Now that it’s 2017, the question regarding cloud storage has become less about whether or not you’re using it and more about which provider you’re using. Cloud storage has become extremely popular for individuals, businesses, artists, and much more. Regardless of why you use a cloud storage service, everyone would agree that security is an essential component.
The last thing anyone wants to worry about is a cloud storage provider having the ability to rummage through their private data. Imagine finding out that your storage service had security flaws that allowed complete strangers to access all of your personal files? It would be devastating.
Yes, all of this sounds very scary and might even prevent you from wanting to use a cloud backup solution in the first place. Fortunately, we’re here to let you know that there are platforms out there that take your privacy very seriously. Seriously enough to build their entire reputation around it.
Features That You Should Consider Before Choosing A Service
Security is a critical part of cloud storage and yet, many of the providers out there are rolling out services that are sub-par when it comes to protecting the data of their customers. If they're not fully committed to your privacy, do they really deserve your money? We don’t think so!
With that said, as vital as security is we also want a service that does other things well too, don’t we? The most secure storage solution in the world is quite worthless if it is devoid of quality features or has the speed of a snail. So, when you’re on your quest for the best solution out there, you’ll want to make sure your service also has:
- File sharing and syncing features that outperform the competition
- Enough speed to get the job done quickly and not leave you staring at the screen for hours
- Sufficient storage space so that you can store everything you need without worry
These are a few examples of what you’ll probably be looking for in a cloud provider, but there is a bevy of other options offered that will likely interest you as well.
We want to do as much of the research for you as possible here, but only you will know what specific features you’ve got your sights on. Our advice? Make a list of these features so that you can compare it to our recommendations. That way, you’ll wind up with a solution that is perfect for you.
Now that we’ve primed you for our recommendations let’s get to them!
Sync.com is a solution that has been going strong since 2011 and has continued to improve each year. Founded by a trio that is also responsible for Netfirms, one of the largest web hosting companies, Sync was built around their zero-knowledge encryption policy and was designed to put the privacy of their customers first and foremost.
We’re here for security reasons ahead of anything else which gives Sync a significant advantage. Their fully encrypted, zero-knowledge cloud platform not only puts your privacy at the forefront but also makes it easy to share, store and access files. The Sync.com service is extremely well-rounded and easy to use. There are very few negatives, and you’ll rest easy knowing that you’re the only one who has access to your data.
- End-to-end 2048-bit RSA, 256-bit AES, SSL, and TLS encryption
- Backup and restore – Real time backup, file versioning, and deleted file recovery
- Sharing and collaboration – Send files to anyone, send large files fast, and multi-user access control
- Sync and storage – Access files from any computer or device, selective sync, and offline access
- 5GB free storage never expires
- You can’t upload entire folders through the web or mobile client
- Desktop client has limited sharing options
- A little costlier than other services
The Switzerland-based pCloud service hasn’t even been around for five years, and they’ve already become one of the most reliable services on the market. The founders of pCloud sought out to create a service for both individuals and businesses that combined necessary features and an easy to use service to form a powerful, reliable solution.
Here’s a bit of information that should interest you. The pCloud team was so confident in the security of their service that they challenged hackers around the world to try and hack their system and offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who could manage to do it. The challenge lasted six months and included nearly 3,000 participants. Not one of them were able to crack through and succeed. Convinced? We sure were!
- pCloud’s 20GB of free storage space is significantly more than most competitors offer
- pCloud’s Crypto, their impenetrable security wall costs just $3.99 per month
- Download and upload speeds compare favorably to similar cloud storage services
- Instant synchronization across all devices
- Easy sharing and collaboration features – files from friends won’t take up your storage
- Users cannot simultaneously collaborate and access the same file
- Private encryption is a little costlier
- Some users reported being unsatisfied with the customer support
SpiderOak has been around for about a decade now, and they created their service with privacy as the primary focus. The company is headquartered in Chicago, IL, and also has an office in Kansas City. PCMag, Forbes and The Daily Dot have all featured SpiderOak in their publications.
SpiderOak is another company that has been ultra-committed to privacy from the jump. Much like the Sync service and pCloud’s Crypto service, SpiderOak utilizes a zero-knowledge system which means that your files are readable by only you. There are no keys or file metadata stored on the SpiderOak servers, so the company would be unable to access your information even if they wanted to!
- Sempahor service enables encrypted group chat and file sharing for teams
- Specify the folders you want and sync across all of your devices
- File versioning allows you to restore previous versions of files if you change your mind
- Data is safe and accessible regardless of what happens to the physical devices you use to access them
- Create password-protected share rooms and send files to anyone you choose
- Upload and download speeds leave a bit to be desired
- The software feels a little out of date and isn’t as crisp as similar services
- The service can be a bit confusing; there are too many options for most users
Locking It all Up
There is no doubt that security and privacy need to be a major part of any cloud backup service you decide to use regardless of your reasons for using it. No one should ever need to worry about the safety of their data. That’s why we feel that Sync’s cloud storage solution is the best overall fit as they combine top-notch privacy with an excellent, streamlined interface that is feature-rich and easy to use.