This post was most recently updated on May 9th, 2018
They are called Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon S3, hubiC, iCloud, Google Drive, Mega, pCloud, Amazon cloud drive … they are so legion that we have lost the count. What are Online data storage services?
They all offer similar services. These services include; a storage space on a remote server to host your data, a Windows software to synchronize everything you put in a certain folder dedicated to this service with the server automatically, and a mobile app iOS and Android to be able, on the one hand, to access its data from this device.
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Some may probably be wondering what is the value of these services. Well, this article is here to address this issue. For one, this can be very useful in case of burglary, or if you lost your phone or it is stolen. In such a situation, You can at least access your data online and recover it (make sure to change your password quickly, if you find yourself in this situation.
Now the question arises which of these online data storage services should you choose”?. For me, the choice will be on 3 criteria: software stability and flow, ergonomics, and the price.
Another point that counts for me: the choice of the country where your data are stored also matters. Indeed, I would more likely to favour the services that host your files outside the United States. The reason is that the Patriot Act allows the US government to get hold of your data, without any authorization from you.
However, this may not be a good reason anymore because, the United States still has a strong enough influence to force, in theory, any host, wherever he is in the world, to provide him with the said data if claimed. On the other hand, the latest news reports that the Patriot Act would apply to data from around the world. To summarize, as long as you have nothing to hide, everything is fine, but know that it is always the Americans who win.
There are some that I will describe only very synthetically because it’s been a long time since I did not test them. And to check if they have not evolved since.
Basic requirements for choosing online data storage services
– A few hundred gigabytes of storage (ideally around 500 GB), to host my your important data.
– A stable and fast mobile client.
– A price at maximum 50 € / year, or even less if possible.
– A hyper ergonomic trick
– Data hosted outside the USA(optional)
Online data storage services: Number 1 is Dropbox
Dropbox has long been a reference in cloud storage, especially around the year 2012 to 2015, and before competing services flourish.
The real benefit of Dropbox remains in the unparalleled stability of its PC and mobile customers, where synchronization is seamless, with unbeatable speeds.
In addition, Dropbox integrates perfectly with Windows Explorer, which makes it a major asset.
The only package that hurts at Dropbox is its commercial menu: the lowest paid plan of Dropbox is 100 € / year for 1 TB. A median plan at 50 € / year for 500 GB would not be superfluous for those who do not need 1000 GB, while the 5 GB of the free version is downright stingy.
Online data storage services: Number 2 is – pCloud
The latest in the list of online data storage services. This Swiss host is the youngest who is currently climbing higher than some of its elders.
Created in 2013, this service offers an excellent balance between ergonomics, stability and price.
pCloud have a “Dropbox-like” operation: it is the “Synced Folders” option that can be found under the “Sync” tab of the options.
It allows synchronizing a local folder by choosing the reception folder on the server. Even better than Dropbox. Another point in favour of pCloud.
In return, if files are deleted, they are stored for a few days in a trash folder on the server. This is to leave time to recover in case of error. Ingenious.
However, some will still want, for various reasons, to keep a copy of the files locally. Unfortunately, at the moment, pCloud does not allow to switch to this more conventional system. In my opinion, this operation is okay. However, I understand that it may not please everyone.
The Android app works great for synchronizing media files, it is responsive, stable, and offers good transfer speeds.
The prices are almost identical to that of the competition. This is with the exception of hubiC. pCloud offers a little less than 50€ / year for a storage of 500 GB, where Dropbox proposes only the double plan at least (100 € per year for 1 TB).
For those who have only 1 TB, this kind of plan is more suitable. It is not necessarily cheap, but the price/quality ratio is unbeatable. The 10 GB free (expandable to 20 GB if we follow a number of recommendations), are somewhat comfortable for the majority, but a little insufficient from my point of view.
To know that unlike its competitors, pCloud offers a lifetime plan for € 175 for 500 GB and € 350 for 2 TB, which can be quickly profitable, for those who have long-term visibility on the market. the durability of this company.
Finally, the company offers a Crypto folder, with data encryption, which is also a paid plan.
Some major constraints of pCloud
-pCloud technical problems with Windows are quite numerous; when transferring a lot of data, it happens that the PC freeze regularly at times.
-Refreshing the thumbnails in a folder full of photos on the pCloud Drive is extremely slow and also freezes the PC.
-Finally, it happens regularly that the system slows down as not possible, and that the application “forgets” my identifiers because “my session has expired”. It is therefore necessary to relocate every few times. This can be very frustrating an irritating.