In this article, we are going to share a list of the best cloud storage services for small business. This list contains services that are currently performing the best in the market.
When it comes to businesses, data security and safety are two of the most crucial things, especially if your business is related to data-driven sectors. To make sure your data won’t get compromised by hackers, you have to go for the best cloud services for small business.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
Best Cloud Services for Small Businesses
1. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is one of the best cloud services for small business, especially for companies that are already using Microsoft 365. One of the main reasons is that Microsoft OneDrive easily integrates across all other Microsoft applications, allowing you and your team to collaborate and share files very easily.
Microsoft OneDrive offers both cloud storage and cloud syncing features. For businesses, Microsoft offers you a choice to pick between Microsoft OneDrive standalone plan or Microsoft 365 bundle plan.
There are two Microsoft OneDrive standalone plans, costing you $5 per month per user and $10 per month per user. The $5 per month per user provides 1 TB of cloud storage. The latter also provides 1 TB of storage but adds an additional layer of advanced security features.
Instead of Microsoft OneDrive standalone plans, you can go for the Microsoft 365 bundle plan that costs you $5 per user per month and $12.50 per user per month. The $5 plan gives access to 100 GB of cloud storage along with access to the web and mobile versions of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Exchange, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
You also get access to other features such as advanced security, email & calendaring, Office integration, and more. The $12.50 plan gives you complete access to all the functionality and features offered by Microsoft. However, you will only get 5 GB of cloud storage per user.
Pros of Microsoft OneDrive
- Microsoft OneDrive is available for almost all types of devices – whether you have a Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS device. Although OneDrive isn’t officially available for Linux, there is an open-source tool that you can use to run OneDrive on Linux.
- Microsoft uses AES 256-bit encryption for all the files, meaning everything that you will store on your Drive can only be accessed by you or the person you’ve shared those files with.
- Microsoft also offers Microsoft Vault, which applies unlimited end-to-end encryption to all the files stored inside that folder. Note that this feature is only available for business customers.
- Microsoft backs up all your data across multiple servers, ensuring that none of your data will be lost even in catastrophic situations. Microsoft OneDrive is also known for its best-in-class cybersecurity and threat detection functionalities.
- Microsoft OneDrive gives the ability administrators to force two-factor authentication by default along with periodic password changes.
- Microsoft OneDrive makes file sharing quite effortless. All you have to do is right-click on the file and specify the email address with which you want to share your files.
- If you don’t want your employees to access organization files on their personal home computers, you can simply put such restrictions. You can also configure users who are allowed to share files.
- Microsoft OneDrive lets you set bandwidth limits for users to restrict them from uploading or downloading files at a certain speed only.
- There is a Files on Demand feature that lets users conserve storage space on their devices. Users can choose to store the majority of their data on OneDrive to keep very few files on their devices.
Cons of Microsoft OneDrive
- Whenever an employee leaves your organization, their data can only be recovered within a specific period. The entire responsibility to take the backup of their data is of the organization.
- Microsoft OneDrive has a few limitations regarding how many files can be synchronized. For example, currently, OneDrive warns to synchronize more than 300,000 files. OneDrive also restricts users from uploading files above 250 GB in size.
- Even though Microsoft OneDrive features plenty of integrations, it lacks the majority of third-party integrations. It only works best with Microsoft 365 suite.
- As a standalone cloud storage solution, OneDrive isn’t that impressive. There are better options available that can be used instead of OneDrive, especially if you are going to use OneDrive solely without the Microsoft 365 suite.
If you are not interested in buying the Microsoft Office 365 bundle and looking for a cloud storage service to help you with backups and file sharing, Dropbox can be a good choice. You can install Dropbox on your device and enable the auto-sync function to create automatic backups of all your files.
Once your files are uploaded on the Dropbox cloud server, you can easily share or access them from anywhere, just with the help of a connected internet device. Dropbox offers plenty of tools, such as the eSignature feature, that help it stand out amongst the crowd.
Dropbox offers plenty of plans designed for both personal and business usage. There are two personal plans – Plus and Family. The Plus is designed for individuals and provides cloud storage of 2,000 GB at $9.99 a month. The Family plan also provides cloud storage of 2,000 GB, but this storage can be shared between up to six users. This plan costs you $16.99 a month if billed annually.
For business purposes, Dropbox offers three different plans – Professional, Standard, and Advanced. The Professional plan is designed for individuals and gives users access to 3,000 GB of cloud storage with plenty of additional features such as document watermarking, shared link controls, viewer history, and more.
The Standard and Advanced plans are designed for companies with more than three users. The standard plan gives access to 5,000 GB per user, while there is no storage limit for Advanced users. All these plans are priced at $16.58, $12.50, and $20 per month per user if billed annually.
Pros of Dropbox
- Dropbox has client apps available for all major devices, allowing you to enable syncing options by default to back up all your data. Plus, it also makes it easy to access files from anywhere, just with the help of an internet-connected device. You can also enable the selective syncing option that lets you select what files you want to sync and what not.
- Dropbox makes it extremely easy to share files amongst other team members or with people not in the team. With business plans, you get access to a Team folder. Whatever file you save in this folder will be automatically available for all other team members.
- Dropbox also offers a file versioning function that lets you easily create multiple versions of the files for different environments. Plus, you can also find previous versions of the file if the file has been updated or modified.
- With each plan, you get free access to Dropbox Paper, Dropbox’s in-house collaboration tool. This enables you to create and edit documents, assign related tasks, comment on them, and more efficiently.
- Dropbox also keeps a backup of all the files that you’ve uploaded to your cloud storage. When you delete a file from your storage, it gets stored in the deleted folder and can be recovered at a later date.
- Dropbox allows you to select some files or folders that you often require. These files stay synced to your device so that you can access them without even having an internet connection.
- Dropbox uses AES 256-bit advanced encryption to secure all your files. This means all your files will be end-to-end encrypted, and no one without your permission will be able to access them.
- Dropbox has a free tier that comes with most of the functionality of the full product. Though it provides you with very limited storage, you can opt for this plan to use the product and see if it is suitable for your needs or not.
Cons of Dropbox
- Even though Dropbox is currently quite secure and a reliable cloud storage platform, it has a dark history. In 2016, Dropbox data was hacked, and the login information of over 68 million users was compromised. However, Dropbox has worked on the security front, and since then, such an incident has never occurred.
- Dropbox is a bit costly, especially if we compare it with other cloud storage services such as OneDrive or Google Drive.
If the lack of advanced syncing features isn’t going to be a deal-breaker for you, iDrive can be a great choice. iDrive is my favorite pick for a small business storage solution for those who are quite tight on a budget yet want a reliable solution.
iDrive offers four different plans along with a free plan. The free plan gives you access to 5 GB of cloud storage with all the basic features. You can use this plan to test iDrive’s services. For personal usage, iDrive offers two different plans – iDrive Mini and iDrive Personal.
The thing about iDrive that impresses me the most is that it features multiple sub-plans under each plan. For example, the iDrive Mini plan starts at $3.71 per year for 100 GB of cloud storage, but this plan allows you to extend the storage to up to 2 TB by paying $29.62 per year.
Similarly, the base plan of iDrive Personal costs you $59.62 per year for 5 TB of cloud storage, but you can extend it to up to 10 TB by paying $74.62 per year.
For businesses, iDrive offers two plans – iDrive Team and iDrive Business. Each of these plans comes with multiple sub-plans that make it extremely easy to pick something that meets your needs. These plans start from $75.62 per year for five users (5 TB each) and go up to $1499.62 per year for 100 users (100 TB each).
Pros of iDrive
- iDrive allows you to back up data from multiple devices using a single account. This is really a great feature, considering people nowadays own more than one device.
- iDrive is a perfect backup option. It not only lets you backup whatever you have stored on your storage device but also helps you by taking a backup of your social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more.
- iDrive uses AES 256-bit encryption to store all your files on the cloud server. This gives you confidence that all of your data can only be accessed by you or the person you’ve shared that data with.
- Additionally, for data security, there is an option that lets you make a user-defined key to access the data.
- iDrive has multiple pricing schemes to choose from. This allows you to make the right choice based on your budget and needs.
- iDrive offers quite rich functionalities for backing up your devices to the cloud. You can either select an individual file, folder, or a complete image of your hard disk. iDrive will do the job without any hassle.
- iDrive compliance with GDPR and HIPAA guidelines means you don’t have to worry about user privacy.
- iDrive is a zero-knowledge cloud storage platform, meaning if you enable private encryption, none of your backed-up data will be shared with anyone, even the authorities. Only the person with the encryption key will be able to decrypt the data.
- iDrive offers telephonic support, even for the most basic plans. Additionally, you can connect with the team using the live chat or email ticket support option.
Cons of iDrive
- Even though iDrive plans are quite inexpensive and value for money, there is no option to opt for a monthly subscription. This is not a deal-breaker but still something I didn’t like.
- Even though there are some features that offer you sync functionalities, iDrive is not a true syncing solution. If you are mainly looking for the best cloud storage for small business solutions with syncing functionality, iDrive would not be a good choice.
Nextcloud is not primarily a small business storage solution. Instead, it is a flexible suite of cloud storage software. With Nextcloud, you can set up your own self-hosted cloud storage server. This makes Nextcloud a great choice for people who are concerned about the security of their data.
Nextcloud allows you to set up on-premise storage infrastructure that can be used as a private cloud. While there are plenty of benefits of this technique, such as security, privacy, and more, there are some drawbacks as well, and the major one is that you have to set up a server on your own, which can be time and resource consuming.
Additionally, Nextcloud lets you enhance functionality in multiple ways. It supports over 100 third-party apps that you can integrate with your Nextcloud server and enhance the functionalities. Plus, most of them are open-source, which can help you save some bucks.
Talking about pricing, Nextcloud is completely open-source. This means you can use it for free for as long as you want. You can also add some additional services, but that will cost you extra.
But if you don’t want to indulge yourself in technical stuff, you can opt for their pre-configured, ready-to-use annual plans. There are three plans – Basic, Standard, and Premium. You can also request a free trial of the service to test and see how it feels using Nextcloud.
Pros of Nextcloud
- Nextcloud is completely free and open-source software that can easily run on any Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS device. Further, it can also be accessed using web browsers.
- Since Nextcloud allows you to set up your own cloud storage server, it is entirely on you where you want to store your data. For example, you can go for on-prem storage infrastructure. Alternatively, you can also opt for any hosting service.
- All the data you store gets protected with TLS in transit. Plus, you can also encrypt all your data using AES-256, but that is optional.
- You also get the option to protect your data using AES-128-GCM end-to-end encryption. Though the functionality isn’t fully implemented yet, you can see it in the near future.
- With the help of application integration, you can also enable the file versioning option that will allow you to make different copies of the file.
- Nextcloud supports two-factor authentication, meaning you don’t have to worry about accounts getting compromised by hackers.
- Nextcloud boasts plenty of file sharing and control options. This gives you complete control over who can see your files, what files are available for which user, and more.
- There is a virtual files feature that provides top-level sync performance.
- Nextcloud provides plenty of integrated personal information management tools such as contacts, calendars, notes, and more. These tools can easily help you schedule meetings, tasks, and more.
- There are plenty of collaboration features, such as whiteboard, author colors, document templates, etc. Plus, you can additionally integrate third-party apps such as Collabora Online for more collaboration tools.
- Once you set up your account, you can synchronize all your data across all your devices, including web browsers.
Cons of Nextcloud
- Even though there is an optional AES-128-GCM end-to-end encryption option, that is not fully implemented yet.
- Even though there are plenty of security tools you get with Nextcloud, it is going to be a self-hosted cloud storage option, and therefore, you will be responsible for the security of all your data.
5. Google Drive
This is one of the reasons Google Drive is ranked so low on our list. However, if your business isn’t completely data-driven, I don’t think you will have any problem with Google Drive. After all, millions of people are already using Google Workspace for their businesses.
If we keep privacy aside, Google Drive is undoubtedly one of the best cloud storage solutions for almost any need. Google Drive is considered one of the most secure cloud storage solutions. Therefore, if you are looking for secure cloud solutions for small business, Google Drive can be a great option.
Another good thing about Google Drive is that it gives you access to plenty of collaboration tools. However, if you really want to use Google Drive for Business with its full potential, you can go with the Google Workspace suite.
However, getting the Google Workspace isn’t necessary for Google Drive. You can opt for the standalone Google Drive plans.
Pros of Google Drive
- Google Drive has an easy-to-use interface. Even most of you would have already used Google Drive on your smartphone or desktop.
- Google Drive doesn’t force you to go for Google Workspace. It is Microsoft Office compatible, meaning you can easily open MS Office documents in Google Drive. You can also convert Google Docs files to Microsoft versions.
- The file-sharing options on Google Drive are quite easy and simple.
- Google Drive protects all of your data using SSL encryption.
- Google Drive is compatible with a wide range of collaboration and productivity tools. Even if you don’t opt for Google Workspace, you can find plenty of ways to connect with your team.
- Google Drive has desktop clients for both Windows and Mac OS. They also have native applications designed for Android and iOS smartphones.
- Google Drive is one of the most secure cloud storage platforms.
Cons of Google Drive
- According to Google’s policy, they reserve every right to collect and scan your data to improve their service. Even though Google Drive is quite secure, data privacy is really a big concern for data-driven businesses.
There you have a list of the 5 best cloud services for small businesses.
There are hundreds of cloud storage service providers for businesses, and each of them has its own pros and cons. Some cloud storage providers are great in terms of functionality, while others are great for privacy and security. In such a situation, you have to pick the one that fulfills all your needs.
However, if you want recommendations, the above list contains services that provide the best cloud server for small business.