Cloud computing for small businesses is a very smart investment for many small business owners. Forces of Nature are unknown to people, devices get lost or simply break and you can expect that sometimes valuable information will not be accessible ones something like this happens.
Cloud storage for small businesses not only prevents data loss but also can be utilized as a file-sharing service, especially useful for documents and multimedia files, sharing which using traditional means will take too much time. Whatever task you need to fulfill, cloud storage will bring a lot of utility to your operation. Let us have a closer look at some of the platforms, things to keep in mind while choosing a platform and what underwater rocks can one expect.
While thinking about moving your data to the cloud, the question of security always comes up. There are many issues that exist when putting your data in a cloud. There are many things that should be kept in mind to prevent data leaks. First and foremost- one should always know where the data is stored, due to the fact that often the providers of the cloud storage solutions store your data on the same servers as the data of other clients of the provider. It is important to go through the laws and security certificates that the providers have and also to encrypt the data you send to the cloud.
One of the most underutilized techniques of cloud security is encryption, the lack of which has proven to be the main reason for many data leaks. While it is still should be a part of a bigger security infrastructure, encrypting your data is a vital part of this infrastructure.
Keeping in mind these aspects will be very beneficial for your business and bring a lot of value to your team.
Hightail (Formerly YouSendIt)
Hightail helps your team to securely share and access files from anywhere for more effective and efficient collaboration. Users can send files of any size from their computer or mobile device and control exactly who sees them. Hightail provides unlimited storage and apps for both your phone and desktop so files can be accessed using any device you have at your disposal. Hightail’s free plan comes with unlimited storage space but each file is limited to 250MB. Paid cloud servers for small business start at $15 per user/month and comes with unlimited file amounts and sizes per file, sharing control features and password protection.
Need big-business cloud storage at small business-friendly prices? Zoolz gives small businesses access to powerful cloud storage without the sticker shock. Zoolz also offers unlimited users and servers which puts it above many competitors on the market. It is easy to scale the service when the need for that arises as well. There are also no caps on your upload/download bandwidth speeds or file sizes, so there are no restrictions that very often become issues for other cloud services and SaaS solutions alike. Zoolz is designed with small business in mind and every aspect of it is perfectly optimized for business cloud needs. Zoolz starts at $30 per month for 1TB.
Google Drive is a great cloud service that serves not only as cloud storage but also as a superb collaboration tool. Users can save, edit and invite others to work on Docs, Sheets and Slides (Google’s versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint) directly in Google Drive. This text, for example, was drafted, reviewed and approved using Google Drive. People needed instant access to this text all across the globe and Google Drive proved to be the most efficient way to do it. The free version comes with 15GB of space. Additional storage can be purchased for a monthly subscription, starting at $1.99 a month for 100 GB.
Storegate could be considered one of the best cloud storage for small businesses due to the feature of automatic securing and backing up of the files in real time or using a set schedule. You can be sure, that all your data is being backed up, no matter where you are, in accordance with any specific requirements you may have.
The cloud service also gives you the ability to share any files internally and externally, they even offer you the ability to set personal passwords for protected sharing. The cloud platform provides features such as a drag and drop interface made popular by brands like Dropbox, this makes the overall experience of using their service to the user as quick and efficient which importantly saves you time. You can start using Storegate for as low as $9.99 per month with a 10GB limit.
Carbonite has a great and affordable set of services that are used to protect data, recover it and access it anywhere and anytime. The services include automatic backup, easy restore capabilities and high level of security. The files it can store include documents, spreadsheets, emails, point-of-sale files, pictures and graphics, videos, financial and accounting files and customer relationship management files. The basic package will cost you $59.99 annually. If you want to use more features, the price rises up to $99.99 annually for Personal Plus or $149.99 for Personal Prime. Pro service from Carbonite offers 250 GB of storage for an unlimited number of devices for $269.99 per year.
Bitcasa is a somewhat different kind of cloud storage. It serves and acts as an external hard drive that syncs your data across all devices connected to the cloud, Bitcasa uses a “store once, access anywhere” approach that lets users access and runs files from the Bitcasa client directly. Security is also a top priority — unlike many cloud storage services, files are encrypted before they even reach Bitcasa’s servers, keeping your private files secure. It also offers offline access and a “mirroring” option for real-time auto backups. You can try it out for 60 days for free, which includes 5GB of storage for up to three devices. Paid plans start at $10 a month, which gives you 1TB for five devices. Adițional space and access for more users can be bought.
Box.com is very useful for being able to store content online and share it with co-workers. While it has a lot of different features, it’s simple to use. It serves as a great collaboration tool and facilitates the control of access to files. The issue with it is that it requires some training to get used to the system and it also has a rather unpolished desktop application. You get 5GB for free and then you have monthly subscriptions to give you even more data. Business Plan for €12 per user per month includes unlimited server space and 5GB per file limit.
Dropbox for Business
Dropbox is one of the most top cloud storage services on the market. You can save, send and sync up your data with all connected devices via an official application available on both Desktop and Mobile or cloud’s website. Users get 2GB for free plus some other functionality, like SSL, security and sync functions. The prices start at $12.50 per user/month and include 2 TB, file recovery system and many administrative and integration tools.
SugarSync for business
SugarSync is a cloud storage and online backup service and solution that syncs data across all connected mobile and desktop devices while staying in the background. It offers unlimited storage and a great administrative dashboard. The board manages user accounts, set storage limits, remove users (without deleting backed up data), and add additional administrators. If you purchase a business plan, you will get unlimited storage for three users $55/mo or $550/year. Additional user access can be acquired for $13/mo.
OneDrive is a small business cloud product developed by Microsoft that gives users the ability to access files remotely and integrate into MS Office and Windows Phone. It is a great multi-platform solution with a fully functional web app. You are provided with 5GB for free and additional storage starting with 50GB for $1.99. For $15 a month you get access to 1000GB and full access to Office 365 suite.
SpiderOak collaboration tool, online backup and small business cloud service, that has an emphasis on security. Around 1000 professionals tried to break our security being promised $50,000 reward. No one succeeded to this day. It is so well known for the security aspect, so that Edward Snowden recommended it over Dropbox, claiming that it is better protection, not only against hackers but also against government surveillance. SpiderOak provides a very convenient solution. Groups and Enterprise payment plans both don’t have storage limits and limitations on the size of the data uploaded. Groups plan is usually the most suitable solution for small businesses with $9 per user per month and free setup.
Mozy offers small business cloud storage solutions that enable backing up, synchronization and mobile access to your data. The features include automatic backup cloud storage, mobile access, military-level security, personal and server data restoration and data management system which brings a lot of benefits to any business that can utilize it. The pricing varies depending on the size of the requested server space, functionality starting with $13.98/month for 10GB.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is great for people who want big-business solutions on a small-business budget. Small and medium businesses get access to the same cloud used by Amazon and its big-name customers. Amazon gives the same quality of service to every company, from Netflix to a small company. Businesses are able to store data, applications, backup your data and archive and use Amazon servers to host your website. Amazon S3 provides 5GB of storage for free and 15 GB of data transfer a year. Pricing is based on use and can be calculated using the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator.
OpenDrive is a cloud-based office and online storage solution for small businesses, that has three components that help you manage your business- Drive is used for storing and sharing files, Notes for putting down, obviously, notes, lists, etc. and Tasks for project management. With a free plan, you get 5GB of online storage using the personal use and multiple business plans, as an example, the unlimited business plan for ten users will cost you $74.50/month.
Backblaze is another cloud solution that syncs data with cloud automatically ones it is set up. It requires little to none input from the user and has great security settings. It is a great and easy solution for storage due to the simplicity of the process that is optimized strictly for cloud storage. While it could be a downside, when compared to other cloud solutions, Backblaze easily integrates with other cloud solutions. For as low as $50 you get an unlimited backup that is fully tuned to the needs of business data.
|Hightail||Great collaboration tool||Unlimited storage for $15 per user per month|
|Zoolz||No caps on upload/download speed. Unlimited users and servers.||Prices start at $30 per month for 1TB.|
|Google Drive||Great cloud office solution.||15 GB free. Prices start at $1.99 a month for 100 GB|
|Storegate||Automatic securing and backing up. Quick and efficient.||$9.99 per month with a 10GB limit.|
|Carbonite||Automatic backup, easy restore capabilities and high level of security.||Starts at $59.99 annually|
|Bitcasa||“Store once, access anywhere”. Encryption.||Paid accounts start at $10 a month for 1TB and 5 devices|
|Box||Great collaboration tools and fine-tune access control.||€12 user/month for unlimited storage|
|Dropbox||SSL encryption, file recovery system and many administrative and integration tools.||Starts at $12.50 per user/month|
|SugarSync||Automatic sync. Great administration dashboard.||3 users for $55/mo or $550/year and additional users for $13/mo|
|Microsoft OneDrive||Office integration. Multiplatform||5 GB for free 50GB for $1.99/month|
|SpiderOak||Greatest security. Very flexible solution.||$9 per user per month|
|MozyPro||Great backing up, synchronization and mobile access.||$13.98/month for 10GB|
|Amazon S3||Big-business cloud storage on per-use payment.||AWS Simple Monthly Calculator|
|OpenDrive||Cloud-based office, storage and management system.||$74.50/month for unlimited business plan|
|Backblaze||Simple and straightforward low-input backup solution.||$50 for unlimited storage|
There are many very different cloud-based servers for small companies on the market that fulfill different demands. Often, choosing a reliable and convenient platform with the biggest amount of free storage to cover the basic file storage and sharing needs. But with a small investment into this platform can provide greater utility for both your employees and customers. A lot of functionality that is included in the package often can be used as a basis for a full-on task management system. It could be a basis for the next big step that you wanted to take for the longest time. You can read more about different aspects of cloud technologies on our blog.