5 Cloud Storage Providers and
Their Pros & Cons

If you're looking for a secure way of storing your data offsite, cloud storage is easy and affordable. These online storage services allow users to store massive amounts of data online, safe from physical theft or damage, and easily accessible from anywhere. Some services are very easy to use, while others are less user-friendly. Here are 5 of the biggest and trustworthy names in the cloud storage game...

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1. Dropbox: Dropbox is by far the most well-known cloud storage option, and it's easy to add more free storage onto your account by recommending the service to friends.

PROS
-Easy to add storage to base amount by recommending to friends.
-Intuitive usage.
-Easy to sync.

CONS
-Yearly price for 100 GB is a bit high.
-Once you hit your limit, hard to not purchase a Pro plan.

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2. Google Drive: It took a while for Google Drive to launch and when it finally did, most users were quite happy.

PROS
-Easy to use, but not as intuitive as Dropbox.
-Cheaper than Dropbox and links to all Google Accounts, like Google Docs & Picasa.
-Gmail storage upgrade to 25 GB when you get a 100 GB plan.
-Works for PCs, Macs, Android & iOS devices.

CONS
-Not as intuitive as Dropbox.

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3. Microsoft SkyDrive: SkyDrive is probably the cloud service that's been most placed in popular media. I've seen it mentioned in more than a couple of TV shows.

PROS
-If you still use Hotmail/Outlook mail, then it's easy to use and setup.
-Base free plan has 7 GB of storage.
-Cheaper than Google Drive and Dropbox.
-iOS and Android app for your mobile devices.
-Least intrusive service, runs almost on demand or in the background.

CONS
-Hard to connect to other platforms like Google Docs.

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4. Bitcasa: This service is totally free, and there's a lot to like about that. Whereas some of the other services charge up to $100 per year for 100 GB, which ends up not being that much if you archive your photos, Bitcasa won't charge you anything.

PROS
-Unlimited free storage.
-Never run out of storage.

CONS
-No mobile app, only PC, Mac, Linux & Chrome.

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5. Amazon Cloud Drive: This service is also available for computers only, no mobile devices, but it's similarly priced to SkyDrive. It costs $50 per year for 100 GB.

PROS
-Base free plan has 5 GB of storage.
-Cheaper than Google Drive and Dropbox.

CONS
-PC and Mac app only, no mobile app.

(Images: 1. Flickr member ilamont licensed for use under Creative Commons, all others as linked above)

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