Apple might be reporting significant profits every year, but Androids phones are sold way more than Apple’s flagship phones. According to a report, 81.5 percent phones sold in 2015 ran on Android.
Maybe it’s because of the high level of customization, easy root access, or just affordable prices; Android is here to stay. And it will be tough for any other mobile operating system to take its place in the market.
While iPhones can automatically backup and save those backup files on iCloud, Android doesn’t provide any built-in feature like that. Now that means Android users have to take proactive steps to safeguard their data, in case their phones gives up on them.
Since Android is an open operating system, there are a plethora of apps available on Play Store that claim to store and backup phone data to the cloud. But cloud storage is just one part of the story; you also need a service that can:
- Backup your phone
- Sync Files
- Move data to the cloud automatically
But you don’t need to go scouring the internet to find cloud storage services for Android because we already have done that.
Top Options for Android
Here are the best cloud storage options for Android devices:
With 5GB free storage, file syncing, backup, private encryption, and a clean GUI, iDrive is without a doubt one of the best cloud storage services for Android.
Founded by Raghu Kulkarni in 1995, iDrive has been able to raise over $10 million in 2 rounds of funding. Though the company likes to identify as a cloud backup service, they also provide file syncing and sharing features. iDriveSync, iBackup, and RemotePC are some of its other products.
One of the major things you will notice when you open its Android app are the plethora of features that it provides.
As soon as you sign it to the service, you will get a popup for auto image uploads. In case you don’t want to do it immediately, you can always cancel the option, and revisit it in the Settings. Though the Settings option can be a little hard to navigate, you should be able to find it under the main menu.
Here are some of the iDrive features:
- Full Device Backup
- Private Encryption
- Link Multiple Devices to One Account
- File Sync / Share
- Facebook & Instagram Backups
Apart from the usual media files, the iDrive Android app can also backup all the files present in the phone’s internal storage, including SMS, APK files, calendar, and contacts. Users can backup both inbuilt and third party apps to iDrive.
Backing up apps to the cloud means you wouldn’t have to download them from the App Store every time your phone crashes, or you need to uninstall the app.
The file syncing folder is separately present. So, all the files uploaded to this folder are synced to all the local machines linked with your iDrive account. A feature that we loved about iDrive was that it can backup Instagram, and Facebook accounts too. So, even if you do delete a memorable photo from Facebook, you can always find it in your iDrive account.
Private encryption is available where users can set their own encryption keys, but it also means that files previews in the app would get deactivated. If you are mainly looking for an app to store phone pictures, then we wouldn’t recommend that.
Overall, with 5 GB already free, iDrive is an excellent cloud storage choice for Android phones.
Like iDrive, SugarSync too provides both cloud storage and backup. In fact, it has almost the same features as iDrive. But the reason why SugarSync is on the second position is because it has no local side encryption.
Yes, encryption in iDrive means no file previews, but it is still better to have an option. Some of us do keep crucial data on our phones, and we might feel encryption is the right way to go.
Coming back to SugarSync, it was founded in 2008 by Ben Strong and Gibu Thomas. After raising about $61 million in 7 rounds of funding, the company was finally acquired by J2 Global in 2015. And it's still going strong. SugarSync’s logo is a bird because it was called HummingBird in its initial phase.
Here are some of the features of SugarSync Android app:
- Easy Interface
- Syncing and Sharing of Files
- Available Backup Options
- Auto Upload Options
Just like iDrive has a separate folder for file syncing, SugarSync has a separate folder for backups, called ‘vault.' In case you only want to use SugarSync for backing up your data and not for file syncing, then you can go over to the settings and uncheck the ‘AutoSync’ option.
SugarSync too provides 5 GB free storage, but it's only available for 90 days for users to try the service out. It is like a three month trial period, and you would ultimately have to buy the cloud service to keep using it. The free storage can be increased through referrals.
The app can backup internal storage of the phone, but it cannot separately backup messages or contacts. The files backed up on SugarSync can be shared via public links or privately. But the private sharing option will only be activated when you get a subscription.
As mentioned before, there is no private encryption, but there is a 128-bit encryption on the server side and an SSL encryption for data transfer.
All in all, SugarSync is a useful and standard cloud storage service for backing up Android phones, especially if you are looking for an app with an easy interface.
pCloud’s Android app has a smooth and clean interface, much like SugarSync. It allows file syncing and backup. But most importantly, pCloud gives 10 GB storage space to every user who signs up.
The company was founded in 2013 by Tunio Zafer, and its aim is to provide sophisticated cloud storage solutions all over the world.
As soon as you download pCloud’s Android app, you will notice specific folders for music, video, and documents. And these folders contain samples files too, but we really couldn’t understand their purpose. Since these sample files take space and they would have to be deleted anyway.
Here are some of the features of pCloud’s Android app:
- Clean interface
- 10GB Free Storage
- Easy Management of Shared Links
- Post Images Directly to Social Media
On the sidebar, you will find the path for favorites, shared and crypto folder, links, notifications and settings. The favorites folder is similar to the one on Google Drive – star a file and it will appear in this folder.
Crypto folder contains all the privately encrypted files. But here’s the c3atch – to encrypt files on the local side, you need a separate Crypto plan which costs $3.99 which is a pretty expensive deal.
As soon as you click the share button, a shared link for the file is generated, and it can be shared through any of the apps presents on the phone, or it can just be copied to the clipboard.
The settings menu is pretty sleek too with options for using mobile data, uploading images and videos, and clearing cache.
All in all, if you are looking for a free cloud storage service to store your data to the cloud, pCloud with 10 GB free storage space is a great option. Though, if you are looking for a more secure alternative, iDrive’s 5GB free storage space would work just fine.
Why Cloud Storage for Android is Essential
Moving data from laptops to Android phones can be annoying, even with the options available. You can either take the slow train with Bluetooth or go searching for your USB cable for a direct transfer. In any case, you need to have both your laptop and phone together to make the data transfer.
But what if you want to access a file on laptop remotely through your phone or vice versa?
A cloud storage makes it possible to centralize data so that it can be easily accessed by you, wherever you are. With file syncing, you won’t always need an internet connection to access data because a local copy would be saved on your phone. Any changes made to any file are uploaded as soon as the phone is connected back to the internet.
With file versioning, there is a single main copy of the file, while all the other versions can be easily accessed.
Not to mention, storing data on the cloud also saves up phone storage space. Many Android phones do not allow SD cards, which means users are stuck with a fixed storage. But by storing data in the cloud, that space can be cleared up for apps.
Also, as mentioned before, with no inbuilt backup features, it’s important to opt for a service that can automatically back up phone data as well.
Thankfully, with our top picks for the best cloud storage, you are sure to find the perfect match for your Android phone.