It’s getting downright impossible to ignore the growing advantages of cloud service technology. Think about the benefits to wirelessly syncing and organizing important information across all of your devices—you’ll never leave another crucial document at home! These services also simplify collaborative projects, offer extensive resources for sharing and storing media, and even integrate with other applications for a truly streamlined experience. Read on to see which of the big four is right for you.
This cloud service offers a reasonable amount of free storage right off the bat (10 GB). Box’s major downside is the free account’s file upload size, which clocks in at just 250MB and makes media storage potentially problematic. However, Box’s collaborative nature is a significant bonus, as it provides a secure, organized interface for task and deadline management and even allows for the assignment of editing and viewing permissions. If fax integration is what you need from your cloud service, RingCentral offers online services for sending files directly from your Box account. You can also give the HelloFax app a try—it allows you to send, receive, and sign faxes, all without ever using an actual fax machine. Storage plans for this cloud service start at $5/month.
A big pro for Dropbox is offline availability of data, as the service syncs with a local folder on each of your devices. Files can be shared regardless of whether the receiving party is a Dropbox user or not, which is another bonus. Those interested in the collaborative aspect of the cloud service will benefit from the 30-day edit backup feature, which saves earlier versions of each file. Unfortunately, Dropbox offers the smallest amount of free storage on this list (2GB), but you can “earn” more through referrals, tutorials, and the activation of certain features. Dropbox is another cloud service that integrates with HelloFax and RingCentral’s virtual components. Storage plans start at $9.99/month.
If you have a Gmail account, you already have access to Google Drive’s 15 GB of free storage—easily the largest amount on this list. Email compatibility is another significant advantage for Drive, as Gmail users can save an attachment to the cloud with a single click. Drive should particularly appeal to fans of other Google services, as its syncing ease extends to Google Docs and allows for live project collaboration. Drive is additionally compatible with RingCentral and HelloFax. Storage plans start at $1.99/month.
In addition to the free 5GB of storage, iCloud features bonus services such as Family Sharing (though limited to Apple products). Users can save any file to iCloud and access it across multiple apps and devices while benefiting from the automatic sync of all edits. ICloud provides a functional service for Apple consumers, but prospective users should note that faxing with iCloud is slightly problematic. The service is not compatible with RingCentral and has no app equivalent to HelloFax. Users can employ email-to-fax services or traditional fax machines in conjunction with iCloud, but the other three services on this list ultimately offer a more streamlined process for your faxing needs. Storage plans start at $.99/month.