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Dropbox is one of the best cloud storage services out there, and when you take into account its ease of use and responsiveness, it beats most of the competition. From setting up the service for the first time to using it on a daily basis, it is the simplest cloud storage solution you can use. But, not everything is perfect in the world of Dropbox. The biggest drawback is the absence of end-to-end encryption. Dropbox does not encrypt your files when you are uploading it to their cloud, thereby, creating a major security risk. Also, the free version provides a meager 2GB of cloud storage. If these shortcomings have compelled you to hunt for substitutes, these are the 15 best Dropbox alternatives you can try.15 Best Dropbox Alternatives for Cloud Storage (2024)
There are a number of able cloud storage services and each one of them has different specialities. So, jotting down the things that your needs warrant right off the bat is the way to go.Which Cloud Storage Service Should You Choose?
In this comprehensive roundup of Dropbox rivals, we have taken into account three pivotal aspects: Ease of use, Security, and Affordability. Features like seamless syncing, file organizing tools, and collaboration have got the most attention as they have a major role to play when it comes to storing and managing files. Besides, the enhanced security while sharing files and wide compatibility that can let you manage your data across platforms have got fixed checkboxes.
What if your biggest gripe with Dropbox is the rather limited free storage? Well, we have also covered the top Dropbox alternatives that offer a ton of free storage so that you can store your photos, videos, music, and docs without having to pay any bucks. That all being said, let’s explore the lineup!1. Google Drive – Better Alternative for G-Suite Users
In comparison, Dropbox only gives you 2 GB on a free account. However, you should keep in mind that the 15 GB storage is shared between various Google services including Gmail and Photos. Still, it’s a better deal than Dropbox. Also, the paid plans of Google Drive are more flexible than that of Dropbox.
Google Drive goes toe to toe with Dropbox when it comes to the rest of the features like cross-platform availability, instant-sync, ability to share your files, collaborating with other individuals, and so on. In addition, it also provides better free version usage, better pricing plans for individuals, and a plethora of tools that can help a small business grow. It is a cheaper and better alternative in my opinion.
Integrated with G-Suite
Free Storage Space: 15 GB
Premium Plans & Pricing: 100 GB for $1.99, 1 TB for $9.99, goes up to 30 TB for $299.99 (monthly prices)
Visit: Website2. pCloud – Flexible Cloud Storage Service with High-End Security
pCloud is a name that is not so famous in the cloud storage world right now, but it is one of the best cloud storage providers out there. pCloud’s paid subscription plans are very flexible, allowing a user to choose not only the storage sizes but also the different features according to their needs. Considering pCloud is a Swiss company, it comes as no surprise that it focuses a lot on security features.
With both free and premium plans, you get better security options than Dropbox. If you want even more security, you can opt for the pCloud Crypto ($3.99/month), which will encrypt all your data with the key only available to you. You can estimate the quality of its security by the fact that, pCloud has announced a bounty of $100,000 for anyone who can breach it.
Apart from security, one of the best features of pCloud is that you don’t have to manage a separate folder on your device, it can sync anything and everything present on your device. This makes pCloud unique as it doesn’t take any space on your computer. You can work as you used to while pCloud syncs everything you have given it access to in the background. If you still have doubts (as it is not so well known), just look at its customers list. pCloud boasts of serving the top industry leaders such as CocaCola, Pepsi, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Uber among others.
Invite users to shared folders
Automatic upload of your camera roll
Premium Plans & Pricing: 500 GB for $47.88/year and 2 TB for $95.88/year
Visit: Website3. Tresorit – Zero-Knowledge Authentication Backed by End-to-End Encryption
You know a product is good if the owner is ready to literally put his money on it. Tresorit is one such product, which is so confident of its security features that it has a $50,000 bounty for anyone who can breach its security. No wonder, it is one of the most secured cloud storage platforms out there. So, if you are a privacy fanatic or just someone who wants to keep his files secured inside an almost impregnable cloud vault, Tresorit was built to keep you in mind.
When you are using popular cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive, your files are not encrypted when you are uploading them. This means that anyone working at these service providers can peek into your files if they want to. Tresorit is different. It has end-to-end encryption with cryptographic key sharing technologies. What this means is that your files are encrypted from the moment you initiate the upload process. .
When you share a file with someone they cannot see it until you give them a secure password which will act as a key to unlock the encryption. Not only that Tresorit also follows Zero-knowledge authentication. That’s just a fancy way of saying that your service provider (Tresorit, in this case) does not save any of the passwords and encryption keys, making it impossible for anyone even the workers at Tresorit to access your file.
Since you have the key which is locally stored on your computer, either you or the people you have chosen to share the files with can view it. Other features include cross-platform support, 1TB storage, unlimited version recovery, and much more. It doesn’t have any free version, however, you can use it for a trial period of 14 days before you decide to purchase.
Unlimited version recovery
Free Storage Space: Not Applicable, Free 14-day trial
Visit: Website4. chúng tôi – Designed for Secure File Storage and Smooth Collaboration
Also, living true to its name, the sync is incredibly fast. Of course, sync time will depend upon your network speed, but it also depends on your service providers. If you are on a slow network you can specify the amount of bandwidth you want Sync to access leaving the bandwidth you might want to use for other purposes. It also has a free version which allows 5 GB storage option. All in all, it is a good alternative to Dropbox, if you are looking for something which is closer to it when it comes to usability yet far more secure.
Easy folder sharing feature
Excels in the collaboration department
Ability to specify the amount of bandwidth
Free Storage Space: 5 GB
Premium Plans & Pricing: 2TB for $8/month (personal) and 1TB for $5/month/user (Business)5. OneDrive – A Great Asset for Microsoft Office Users
You knew that this one was coming and here it is. Microsoft’s OneDrive gives the closest competition to Dropbox and Google Drive. It is similar in functionality, has cross-platform app support and the sync is fast and instantaneous. Moreover, it also offers a freemium plan with 5GB of storage.
This is an incredible deal if you are a student or are someone who works a lot on Word and Excel. Google’s own offering has evolved over the years but Microsoft is still the king when it comes to productivity tools such as Excel and Word. Since Office has taken the cloud route now, it also allows you to collaborate with others on the same document on a real-time basis.
Ease to access, edit, and share files
Integrated with Microsoft Office apps
Document scanning feature
Free Storage Space: 5 GB
Premium Plans & Pricing: 100 GB for $1.99/month, Microsoft 365 personal $69.99/year or $6.99/month
Visit: Website6. Box – Cross-Platform Service with Best-in-Class Collaboration Tools
The difference comes right at the top with the company’s strategy. As mentioned earlier, Box focuses more on businesses rather than individuals. It does that by providing one of the best collaborative tools in the market.
It does that by integrating various third-party apps. For example, Box has inbuilt Microsoft’s Office suite support, which allows you to edit your documents online without even downloading them. Not only that your team can collaborate on a document on a real-time basis. It also adds chat support, meaning you can chat with your teammates from right within the document you are working on.
Office 365 integration is just an example, Box has integrated with numerous third-party service providers, which means that it supports a large number of file types, that you can store, view, and edit online, together with your team. It also saves all the previous iterations of the files you are working on, thereby safeguarding your data against accidental mistakes and deletion.
Designed for business users
Top-notch collaboration tools
Integrated with several third-party service providers
Supports a wide range of file formats
Free Storage Space: 10 GB, Free Trial
Premium Plans & Pricing: 100 GB for $5/month/user and Unlimited Storage for $15/month/user.
Visit: Website7. SpiderOak One – A Reliable Cloud Storage Service for Business Users
It also focuses more on enterprise solutions and hence it is also priced on a higher side. The sync time is a little bit slower as compared to other apps on this list. Also, the servers are based in the US, which means your privacy is not protected as securely by government laws as in EU countries. Still, the service till now has lived up to its claims, and you can use the basic version for free to check it out.
Syncs data across devices
Secure file sharing
Free Storage Space: Free 21-day Trial, with 250 GB storage
Visit: Website8. Mega – Plenty of Free Storage and Intuitive Browser Extension Seal the Deal
If you are someone who enjoys free services and still needs a little more storage than what’s provided by other cloud storage providers on the list, give Mega a try. The free version of Mega gives you access to a whopping 50 GB of free storage, which way more than what you get with Dropbox. Apart from a juicy free offering, Mega also supports end-to-end encryption.
Like others, it also has cross-platform app support allowing you to access your data from any device. You can share folders and collaborate with other people if you want to. There’s also an inbuilt chat functionality, which helps you chat with other collaborators without leaving the app. It also has browser extensions that give you quick access to your files. There’s a lot to like here, and you should definitely check this one out.
Pretty easy to set up
Supports end-to-end encryption
Inbuilt chat functionality
Free Storage Space: 50 GB
Premium Plans & Pricing: 200 GB for €4.99, 500 GB for €9.99, 2TB for €19.99, and 4TB for €29.99.
Visit: Website9. Jottacloud – Ideal Choice for Those Hunting for Unlimited Storage at Affordable Price
Jottacloud is a Norwegian company that prides itself in providing unlimited storage. There are only two plans, either you can use the free version, which gives you access to a meager 5GB of data or you can go for the paid plans, which give you unlimited storage. The service also provides extra functions like syncing and backing up of all your photos.
You do not have to create any extra folder, the Jottacloud Photos will automatically sync each and every photo present on your device. Being a Norwegian company, it also focuses a lot on privacy. This one is best for someone who doesn’t want to deal with tier pricing. You subscribe once and you have access to unlimited storage and all the tools that come with it.
Organize your files as per your needs
Preview and edit Office documents
Put a lot of emphasis on security and privacy
Free Storage Space: 5 GB
Premium Plans & Pricing: Unlimited storage for files and photos for $9.99/month10. TeamDrive – Productivity-Centric Cloud Storage Service
TeamDrive is another good Dropbox alternative. Your files are secured using the state-of-the-art 256-AES algorithm. It also supports Zero-knowledge privacy along with encrypted link sharing. One unique feature here is that you can choose your cloud hosting service here.
You can either go for their own secure cloud or you can set up your own servers. Collaboration and sharing of files are inbuilt allowing multiple people to access and work on the same files. The free version only provides 5 GB of storage and you have to go Pro if you want to fully utilize it.
Uses 256-AES algorithm
supports Zero-knowledge privacy
Encrypted link sharing
Allows multiple people to work on the same files
Premium Plans & Pricing: Multi-tier (Visit the pricing page for more info)
Visit: Website11. Zoho
In a nutshell, if you are looking for a file storage platform complete with high-end collaboration tools for your team, give serious consideration to Zoho Docs.
Proficient file organizing tools
Built-in Zoho Office editors
Secure and reliable
Free plan: 5GB of free storage
Visit: Website12. iCloud – Best for Apple Ecosystem
For the folks who are part of the Apple ecosystem, iCloud could be a worthy alternative to Dropbox. Though iCloud lacks universal compatibility (available only on iDevice and Windows), Apple cloud storage service has got everything covered to be a highly reliable platform for file storage.
iCloud is deeply integrated into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS so that you can back up your files with ease. The cloud service offers high-end encryption to your files to keep them secure and make it incredibly straightforward to restore your backup or access your stored data across supported platforms.
While Dropbox offers just 2 GB of cloud storage for free, Apple provides up to 5GB of free cloud storage. What’s more, Apple’s offering starts at just $0.99 for 50GB which could easily fit into most personal needs.
Seamless integration across iDevices
Easy back up and restore process across iDevices
Comparatively affordable plans
Free plan: 5GB of free storage
Premium Plans and Pricing: 50GB for $0.99/month, 200GB for $2.99/month, and 2TB for $9.99/month13. CloudUp – A Notable Free Dropbox Alternative
Should you wish to have a ton of free storage (up to 200GB) for your files including photos, videos, and music, CloudUp can be a better choice. While it’s nowhere near as versatile and efficient as Dropbox, the ability to store up to 1000 items (just by dragging and dropping) without having to dole out any bucks is worth taking note of.
One of the highlights of this cloud storage service is the hassle-free file sharing process. You can use secure URL links to share your files via email or even social networking services like Facebook and WhatsApp. For an additional layer of protection, CloudUp lets you password-protect your files. Overall, CloudUp is one of the better free Dropbox alternatives for storing photos, videos, docs, and URLs.
Plenty of free storage
Fast sharing using links
Visit: Website14. Mediafire – Fast and Secure File Storage/Sharing
For fast and secure file storage and sharing, you can count on Mediafire to live up to your expectation. Just like Dropbox, it also supports a wide range of formats including photos, videos, audio, and docs so that you can easily store all of your files and access them from anywhere. Moreover, Mediafire also provides the option to share your files through links to make file sharing safe.
The straightforward file storing and sharing
up to 10/50GB of free storage
Free plan: Up to 10/50GB free storage (Extra 40GB free storage is conditional and you will get it only when you check off the requirements like installing mobile/desktop clients or sharing on Facebook and Twitter)
Premium plan and pricing: $3.75/month/user for 1TB (billed annually), $40/month/100 users (billed quarterly)
Visit: Website15. Nextcloud – A Reliable Open-Source/Self-Hosted Platform
By offering you the flexibility to run your own Nextcloud server, it ensures you remain in complete control of your data. And it’s this flexibility that makes it a better choice than Dropbox; especially for the folks who wish to have better security. Moreover, the open-source platform also promises the enhanced privacy to your files. Considering the reliable track record, you can bank on it to keep the privacy of your files intact.
Beyond file storage, Nextcloud features a productivity-defining dashboard that provides an overview of your urgent emails, upcoming appointments, chat messages, and even your latest tweets. So, you can keep a track of things, which matter to you, right from one spot. The self-hosted platform can also have a key role to play in boosting your collaboration.
Features like private audio/video conferencing, fast text chat, and screen sharing can help you remain in sync with your colleagues and work in tandem. In a nutshell, if you are looking for a Dropbox alternative that can let you store your files at your preferred server and also bolster collaboration, Nextcloud would be a pretty solid option.
Option to choose your own server
Private audio/video conferencing
Free plan: Entirely depends on your hosting plan
Premium plan and pricing: It depends on your hosting plan
Visit: WebsiteBonus: Boxcryptor – A Useful Tool for Managing Your Files Securely
We have covered the best Dropbox alternatives in this article, but what if you don’t want to switch from Dropbox and yet want to secure your files. That’s where Boxcryptor comes to your help. Whether you use Dropbox or other popular cloud storage services such as Box or Google Drive, it integrates and encrypts your files.
The best part is that it is free to use if you are using it for non-commercial uses. When you use it, all your files are end-to-end encrypted with Zero-knowledge privacy. The free version allows you to use only one device and one cloud service provider. For using multiple service providers and devices, you will have to buy premium plans which are not exactly cheap. Still, it’s best for someone who either doesn’t want to lose on the simplicity of Dropbox or doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of moving to another cloud service provider.
Offers integration with Dropbox and other cloud storage services
Provides end-to-end encryption
Maintains Zero-knowledge privacy
Free Plan: Encrypt 1 Device and 1 Cloud Storage
Premium Plans & Pricing: Unlimited Personal for $48/year, Unlimited Business for $96/year, and Company Package For $8/user/month.Use The Best Cloud Storage Services Instead of Dropbox
Dropbox is the first service that made cloud storage services a mainstream tool, but this doesn’t mean it is flawless. The main concern is around its security features which frankly aren’t very good. There are also cheaper options out there, which give Dropbox a run for its money. Before you decide to lock yourself up in a cloud ecosystem, try our best picks. Do let us know if you think we missed a good one. We appreciate user engagement and love to read our reader’s responses.
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10 Cloud Storage Services for Business
While there are many cloud hosting services to consider, there are a few that rise above the rest. Here are 10 cloud storage providers small and medium-sized businesses may want to consider.Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a variety of tiers, including a 12-month free usage tier for new users of its Simple Storage Service up to 5GB and Elastic Block Storage up to 30GB. The web service also provides 100GB of free cloud storage per account with an optimized data transfer as well as a 5GB shared file storage service free for 12 months for Amazon EC2 subscribers. The breadth of options is largely why AWS is considered a leading public cloud provider.Box
Box’s business plan offers $15 a month for a minimum of three users. Box boasts more than 1,500-plus integrations like Slack, Microsoft Suites and Google Workspace to name a few. The Enterprise plan is $35 a month for a minimum of three users with unlimited storage. Enterprise plan owners can also enjoy uploading files up to 50GB, unlimited external collaborators and technical support during local business hours.Carbonite
Carbonite focuses primarily on backup solutions. It has several plans to choose from, including ones that offer additional antivirus packages and backups of both external hard drives and video automatically. Carbonite’s basic package starts at $83.99 per year. Its Prime package featuring a courier delivery of recovered files.Dropbox for Business
Dropbox for Business offers plans benefitting all kinds of organizations, from growing teams to independent employees. These plans include file locking, sharing controls and account recovery. The Professional Plan starts at 16.58 per month and most plans include a free trial.Google Workspace
Google Workspace is the perfect suite for integrating other Google tools into your business’s data. All Workspace plans include collaboration tools with Gmail, Calendar, Meet and Chat. The most popular plan is the Business Standard, which starts at $12 per month, per user, including 150 participant video meetings and recordings and 2TB storage per user, although businesses can upgrade plans to improve their storage up to 5TB.Microsoft OneDrive
OneDrive, similarly to Google Workspace, has unique integrations with many Microsoft Suite applications. Basic and Standard Microsoft 365 Business plans provide 1TB of storage per user and file sizes up to 100GB.OpenDrive
OpenDrive boasts a multi-OS cloud storage system that can backup and sync files on Linux, Mac or Windows. Plans start at $7 per month with $1 per user for each additional user and include 500GB of online storage and 25GB of bandwidth.SpiderOak
SpiderOak is a unique cloud hosting service that boasts high security and encryption for all of your files. Plans start as low as $6 per month, per user, for 150GB across unlimited devices.Syncplicity
Syncplicity offers unlimited devices and file sizes per user. The paid plans offer SyncDrive, the modern file-sharing replacement. All plans offer a free 30-day trial, and the business plans start at $5 per month, per user.Zoolz
Zoolz has great cloud backup features and archiving usage within its service that boasts partnerships among many servers and locations. Starting at $15 per month, each user has 100GB of cloud storage.Security Concerns With Cloud Storage Services
Security is always a concern when it comes to putting confidential and competitive information in the hands of a third party. Data breaches and, worse, outages that result in data loss, are always a risk, no matter whether your data is housed in the cloud or a server next to your office. Arguably, it might be safer in the cloud. The data that gets stored in the cloud gets placed across several locations with strict security protocols to protect your data from cyberattacks.
Unfortunately, there is a small chance of experiencing a malicious program or an outage. Although outages are considered extremely uncommon, there have been times when cloud centers have lost service temporarily. However, most cloud storage providers do have safety systems built in place to prevent loss.
Hackers can also attempt to breach security protocols on cloud storage providers, so look for a cloud storage service that includes strong encryption services with great customer support available to help if problems arise.
Almost all cloud providers offer some free storage, but these are aimed primarily at consumers. Free trials are usually available, however. In addition to basic storage, most cloud storage services include:
Web-based dashboards to access data files
Data backup and archive
Drag-and-drop file transfers
Email and live support
Although there have been reports of cyberattacks into cloud-based hosting services, it is extremely rare for data breaches to occur.What are the benefits of cloud storage?
Cloud storage is readily available and easily accessible — all you need to do is connect to the internet. With cloud storage, you’ll never have to fear losing your work with backup data. Additionally, you can remotely sync, update and share files. Cloud storage keeps remote work simple while keeping your files encrypted.
Cloud services buy a large amount of storage and can offer their customers savings. In addition, using cloud services ends the need for you to purchase hard drives for storage needs. These services also reduce the need for hardware onsite and the management and monitoring of that equipment.
Cloud services can be more affordable because of their tiered pricing structure. You can select the plan that meets your needs based on how fast you store information and how often you back up that information. Services can provide you with storage for short-term and long-term needs. Those needs may determine what type of storage you need. If you determine that your current plan is no longer working, you can move to a different plan easily.
It’s nearly impossible to discuss anything related to PDF without mentioning Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Undoubtedly the most popular PDF viewer out there, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC has long been the de facto solution for everyone’s PDF reading needs. And in its latest iteration, it’s better than ever.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a reliable and cross-platform PDF reader application, go for Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. It’s tried, tested, and the gold standard of PDF viewer programs.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, and 7; Mac OS X 10.9 and later
Bursting at the seams with all kinds of features, Foxit Reader is an impressively capable PDF reader software that is more than enough for all your PDF viewing needs, and also wields some great PDF editing features.
Having a lean and modern UI, complete with the Ribbon menu and tabbed support for multiple PDF documents, Foxit Reader is definitely a looker. Even the heaviest of PDF files are no slouch for it, and numerous standard viewing modes (e.g. Fit page, Fit width) are supported. It’s possible to add all kinds of extra information, such as textual notes, callouts, and other annotations to PDF files, and you can also highlight selected part(s) of the PDF documents. There are multiple reading modes available, along with form filling functionality, and everything from attached files to document security settings can be accessed from a simple sidebar on the left. Foxit Reader even lets you share your PDF documents via email or Evernote, so that’s a good thing too.
If you’re on the hunt for a powerful PDF reader software that also has quite some editing and sharing prowess, Foxit Reader is an absolute must have. It really is that good.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista; Mac OS X 10.8 and later; Linux
When it comes to the sheer number of features (at least as far as PDF viewers are concerned), there’s hardly an application that can even come close to SodaPDF. You can spend hours exploring everything that’s crammed into it, which includes features that go beyond simple PDF viewing and editing.
Talking about the basics PDF viewing features, from multi-document tabbed viewing and reading modes, to form-filling and annotation/highlights, SodaPDF has just about everything taken care of. In addition, it also lets you add geometric shapes, textual stamps, and sticker notes to your PDF documents. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. SodaPDF makes it easy to create PDF documents from a truckload of different files, and supports batch mode for bulk creation as well. Apart from that, you can use it to reverse convert into other document formats such as HTML, TXT, and RTF. And there’s more. The application includes the ability to securely sign PDF documents, and as one of its unique features, includes a bunch of (paid) plug-ins, that can be be used to convert images to PDF (via OCR functionality). And did we mention that SodaPDF can connect to numerous cloud storage services like Google Drive and OneDrive, thus making it possible to manage even the PDF files that you’ve stored online. Now that is awesome!
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, and 7
Price: Paid versions start from $59.00, 14 days free trial available
Bottom line is, PDF-Xchange Viewer is a lightweight but still extremely capable PDF reader software, that also packs in a nice set of quirky extra features. However, its free version is quite restricted, which is a bit of a downer.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP
Price: Paid version costs $79.50, Restricted free trial availableNitro Reader
There might be users out there who find the overabundance of features in applications like SodaPDF and Adobe Acrobat Reader DC confounding, and would rather prefer a PDF reader that’s a bit toned-down, but still sufficiently capable. If that includes you, Nitro Reader is what you need.
Go for Nitro Reader if you want a well rounded PDF reader software application, with decent editing features. That being said, don’t expect it to go against the likes of SodaPDF.
DownloadExpert PDF Reader
On the hunt for a basic PDF reader application that can handle the occasional annotation and editing tasks, without becoming bloated? There aren’t many programs that can strike that balance, but Expert PDF Reader comes pretty close.
Expert PDF Reader is perfect if your PDF editing needs are basic, and you’re largely concerned with just viewing PDF files. Other than that, it really doesn’t offer much.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP
What if you don’t really care for fancy features like annotations, form-filling, document signing etc., and just want a simple PDF reader application that lets you view PDF files? You’re in luck, as that’s exactly what Sumatra PDF is all about.
For those who just want a solid PDF reader software, Sumatra PDF is definitely worth checking out. That being said, it’s also a bit too basic, and doesn’t really contain any unique features apart from the earlier mentioned multi-format support.
Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP
DownloadHonorable Mentions: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox
Surprised at seeing web browsers mentioned as PDF readers? Well, don’t be. Believe it or not, all modern web browsers include the functionality to view PDF files, baked right into them. So if you all need is a simple solution to view PDF files every now and then, you don’t even need to bother with installing a third party PDF reader applications. For those using the latest Windows 10, Microsoft Edge can open up your PDF files just fine. On the other hand, if your browser of choice is Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you can use them to view PDF documents.
SEE ALSO: 5 Best Free Online PDF To Word ConvertersSimplify the way you read PDF documents
Public cloud providers play an integral part in business strategic planning by providing access to vital resources for data storage and web-app hosting. The services are provided over the Internet on a pay-as-you-go basis, allowing businesses to minimize upfront costs and the complexity of having to install and manage their own IT infrastructure.
The need for enterprise-grade data storage has propelled the global public cloud market skyward. It is expected to almost double from $445 billion to $988 billion between 2023 and 2027. The richness and diversity of the market can make it daunting for organizations looking to upscale and upgrade their services.
Here’s a brief guide to some of the leading providers of public cloud solutions and how to choose the right provider for specific business needs.
Amazon subsidiary Amazon Web Service (AWS) emerged in 2006, revolutionizing how organizations access cloud computing technology and remote resources. It offers a vast array of resources, allowing it to design and execute new solutions at a rapid pace to keep up with the global market’s evolution.
AWS’s services range from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) to the simplified and easy-to-access and use, Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud models. Key offerings include:
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a web service that delivers secure and scalable computing capacity based in the cloud designed to facilitate web-centric computing for developers. This allows them to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction with the infrastructure.
The services are available in a wide selection of instance types, from public to private and hybrid, that can be optimized to fit different use cases.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is an object-based storage service known for its industry-leading scalability, security, performance and reliable data availability. Organizations of various sizes and industries can use it to store and retrieve any amount of data at any time, providing easy-to-use management features in order to organize data and configure it finely-tuned access control.
Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) simplifies the setup and operations of relational databases in the cloud. AWS is responsible for automating all the redundant and time-consuming administrative tasks, such as hardware provisioning, database setup and data backup and recovery. This is best used to free up developers’ time, allowing them to focus on more pressing tasks like application development and design.
As a multinational corporation, AWS is able to cater to a wide variety of industries at different stages of development, from startups to established enterprises, as well as the public sector.
Use cases include:
Backup and restoration
This makes AWS’s service particularly useful for data-intensive industries such as healthcare, telecommunications, financial services, retail, and manufacturing.
Microsoft launched Azure in 2010 as a comprehensive suite of cloud-based services designed to help businesses and organizations navigate the challenges that come with digital adoption. Azure was built on Microsoft’s decades-long specialty—software design—allowing its public cloud solutions to integrate seamlessly with other Microsoft products.
Azure also includes a multitude of services that range from computing and database management to storage and machine learning, including the following:
Azure Blob Storage is an object-based and scalable storage platform used for data lakes, warehouses and analytics as well as backup and recovery. It’s optimized for massive amounts of unstructured data, like text or binary values.
Azure Cosmos DB is a database management service that’s multi-modeled, globally distributed and highly scalable, ensuring low latency that supports various APIs to facilitate access. It supports data models including SQL, MongoDB, Tables, Gremlin and Cassandra.
Azure’s Virtual Machines are on-demand, scalable resources that provide users the flexibility of virtualization without the need to invest in or maintain the infrastructure that runs it. They also run on several Microsoft software platforms, supporting numerous Linux distributions for a more versatile experience.
When combined with Microsoft’s software and enterprise-focused approach to the public cloud, Microsoft Azure’s comprehensive services make it the ideal solution for numerous use cases, such as:
Big data and analytics
Disaster and backup recovery
Azure’s services are used by businesses and organizations in a number of industries such as e-commerce, healthcare, insurance and financial institutions.
First launched in 2011 as a cloud-based subsidiary of Google, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a suite of cloud computing services that uses the same infrastructure as Google’s software products. Its industry-leading creations from TensorFlow and Kubernetes are some of the greatest examples of Google’s sophisticated solutions, and include the following:
Google Cloud Storage is a fully managed and scalable object-oriented storage service. It includes many services ranging from serving website content to storing data for archival purposes and disaster recovery.
Google Compute Engine is a cloud-based virtual machine solution that’s scalable and flexible. It allows users to tailor their computing environment, meeting specific requirements, and offering flexible pricing and cost savings.
GCP is used by organizations and businesses in IT, healthcare and retail, as well as the financial industry. Use cases include:
Data analytics and machine learning
Storage and database management
IBM launched IBM Cloud in 2011 as a collection of cloud-based computing services. It leverages IBM’s vast experience, offering a robust approach to enterprise-grade public cloud platforms with an emphasis on open-source technologies and supporting a diverse set of computing models, including the following:
IBM Cloud Functions is IBM’s Function as a Service (FaaS) solution built on Apache OpenWhisk. It enables developers to execute code in response to events as well as direct HTTP calls without having to manage their own hardware infrastructure.
These flexible and scalable cloud computing solutions support both public and dedicated virtual servers. They’re the right balance of computing power to cost, allowing companies to deploy the servers globally and reach their customers.
IBM Cloud Databases is a family of managed, public databases that support a wide variety of data models that include relational, key-value, document, and time-series applications.
IBM Cloud services a wide range of industries with its diverse offerings, such as IT and technology companies, healthcare organizations, financial institutions and retail providers, as well as the public sector. Use cases include:
Public and hybrid cloud implementation
Data analytics and management
AI and machine learning
The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a part of Oracle’s comprehensive cloud offering, first launched in 2012. The public cloud solution leverages Oracle’s long history in enterprise computing and data processing, enabling the company to provide robust, scalable and secure services, including the following:
Oracle Cloud Storage is a high-performance, scalable and reliable object storage service. It’s capable of storing an unlimited amount of data of any content type, including analytic data and rich content like images and video.
Oracle’s Function as a Service (FaaS) offering lets developers write and deploy code without worrying about underlying infrastructure. It’s based on the open-source Fn Project and allows developers to build, run, and scale applications in a fully managed serverless environment.
With its versatile offerings, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is able to serve a wide range of industries such as application development, insurance, healthcare and e-commerce in both the private and public sectors. Use cases include:
High-performance computing (HPC)
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
Data backup and recovery
Launched in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is the cloud computing faction of the Alibaba Group. As the leading cloud provider in China and among the top global providers, Alibaba Cloud capitalizes on Alibaba’s massive scale and experience with e-commerce and data processing. Services include the following:
ApsaraDB is a suite of managed database services that cover a wide range of database types including relational, NoSQL and in-memory databases. These services handle database administration tasks, allowing developers to focus on their applications rather than database management.
Alibaba Object Storage Service (OSS) is an easy-to-use service that enables users to store, backup and archive large amounts of data in the cloud. It is highly scalable, secure, and designed to store exabytes of data, making it ideal for big data scenarios.
In essence, Alibaba Cloud’s extensive services, coupled with its strong presence in Asia, make it a compelling choice in the public cloud market. It also serves a multitude of data-heavy industries such as technology companies, media and entertainment, financial services and education. Use cases include:
Big data analytics and processing
AI and machine learning models
The booming market and demand for public cloud have opened the doors for numerous technology companies to start offering their own cloud computing and storage solutions. The focus of emerging cloud providers tends to be on providing straightforward, scalable, and affordable cloud services to small and midsize businesses, and key players in addition to the ones covered in this article include DigitalOcean, Linode and Vultr. All offer developer-friendly features at affordable rates alongside high-quality customer service and support.
When choosing a provider of public cloud solutions, there are several factors to consider.
Providers must be compliant with local and federal data security and privacy regulations. Additionally, they should be able to protect data against attacks, leaks and breaches.
Cloud services are most known for their flexible, pay-as-you-go pricing models. Multiple tiers at varying costs allow businesses to access only the resources they need.
A public cloud solution should be compatible with existing and legacy systems, ensuring seamless integration, and should include reliable customer support and service to ensure access to solutions and assistance.
The public cloud market offers a diverse range of options, each with its own strengths and trade-offs. AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Alibaba Cloud are major players, each serving a multitude of industries with a broad array of services. Simultaneously, emerging providers offer compelling alternatives, especially for certain use cases or customer profiles.
When choosing a provider, considerations over scalability, performance, security, cost, integration and support are key. By understanding these factors, businesses can make informed decisions and choose the public cloud provider that best meets their specific needs.
Types of Web Hosting Offered
Bluehost provides shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers and WordPress hosting. It offers several plans for each, and its pricing is on par with competitors. Shared hosting is the least expensive, with dedicated servers and VPS sporting costs up to $200 per month. These hosting types differ from shared and WordPress hosting in that the company allocates separate servers for these customers.
Dedicated servers and VPS are best suited for large corporations that need higher storage and bandwidth than shared or WordPress hosting can provide. Also, because VPS and dedicated servers are private, there’s even higher uptime. These types of hosting are typically not necessary for standard small business websites. Shared and WordPress hosting are cost-effective options that cover the needs of most small businesses.Bluehost Pricing and Plans
Bluehost provides shared hosting plans at slightly lower rates than many of its competitors. It has four shared hosting plans: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro. The Basic plan is $2.95 per month, the Plus plan and Choice Plus plan are each $5.45 per month, and the Pro plan is $13.95 per month.
Keep in mind that this is all promotional pricing that was listed at the time of this review. The web hosting industry is a competitive space, and companies often display promotional pricing to attract new buyers. Bluehost does this, claiming the plans are reduced from $7.99, $10.99, $14.99 and $23.99 respectively. Often, web hosting promotional pricing is only valid for the first year or billing term, and then you’ll be charged the original rates upon renewal.
As with just about every business service, the longer you commit to Bluehost, the lower the monthly price. If you’re worried about getting hit with a higher rate when you need to renew your contract, make sure you address this with a member of the Bluehost sales team before you sign up.
You can read more about Bluehost’s additional fees in the terms of service. Some important fees to note involve registering or transferring a domain name. Bluehost offers a free domain name for the first year, but you may have to pay a yearly fee thereafter. This is a standard practice hosting companies use to attract new customers.
There are also some conditions for your 30-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel your subscription within the first three days of activation, you have the option to keep your domain name for a $15.99 fee. If you cancel after three days, you will be required to pay the $15.99 domain fee.
If you decide to cancel after the first 30 days, you are not entitled to a refund of any kind. Bluehost only refunds credit card payments.Bluehost Web Hosting Features
Bluehost’s shared hosting plans have solid features. Its pricing stands out, but the relatively low cost doesn’t undermine the services you get. The company’s transparency with listing the features in each plan is another benefit. Instead of digging for information, business owners can get a quick view of what the company has to offer and decide whether the services meet their needs. Many companies we reviewed provide this breakdown.
Storage and Bandwidth: Bluehost provides unlimited storage on its Plus, Choice Plus and Pro plans. Basic plan holders only have access to 50GB of SSD storage. The bandwidth is unmetered for all plans. Most hosting companies provide unlimited storage or unmetered bandwidth; however, these terms do not mean they’re infinite. Bluehost uses statistical analysis to define the average parameters each consumer must stay within each month. It monitors your usage and contacts you if you’re using more than the allocated amount. Some web hosting companies even suspend service until the usage declines. If you’re concerned about the level of bandwidth and storage you need, it’s be a good idea to talk to someone from the Bluehost sales team about it.
Security: Compared to other web hosting companies we reviewed, Bluehost provides limited security measures. It does offer site backups, restoration, resource protection and an SSL certificate on each of its plans, but some plans require you to pay extra for security features like SiteLock and CodeGuard. Bluehost doesn’t provide a lot of information on DDoS prevention, firewalls or other security measures. This is another good topic to discuss with the Bluehost sales team before you sign up.
Domain Transfer: Bluehost includes a free domain name with the activation of a shared hosting plan. This means when you sign up for the service, you won’t get hit with an additional fee to set up your domain name. If you sign up for other plans, you may not have access to a free domain name.Reputation and Customer Service
Bluehost is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. This is concerning, as most companies have at least some kind of BBB score. Its parent company, EIG, has an A- rating but a lot of negative reviews. The company has also logged nearly 400 complaints. Compared to its competitors, these are negative marks. Bluehost has mixed positive and negative ratings elsewhere online, so it’s not clear how supportive its customer service is.
Bluehost offers support via phone and a live chat window. It also has a unique company blog that provides additional online resources for customers to learn more about web hosting services. Since Bluehost offers some desirable web hosting plans, it is worth testing out its customer support on your own to see how helpful it is.Limitations
The company does not have a good online reputation, lacking BBB accreditation and having racked up a flurry of negative reviews and customer complaints. Also, most web hosting companies provide a service-level agreement, which details the company’s uptime policy and any credits it provides for downtime or measures it will take to ensure its service. There is no SLA available from Bluehost.
Bluehost no longer offers cloud hosting plans to its consumers, instead focusing on its WordPress and shared hosting options for small businesses. Although cloud hosting may not always be the best web hosting type for small businesses, Bluehost removes the option altogether. If you are seeking cloud hosting, you’ll have to find another web hosting provider.
Depending on whom you ask, paying for antivirus software is either a good investment or a total ripoff. In reality, neither viewpoint is accurate. You can find plenty of good reasons to choose a paid antivirus product, and plenty of good reasons to go with a freebie.Antivirus, Deconstructed
Four basic levels of antivirus products exist: free, paid antivirus, suites, and “premium” suites. As you move up the ladder from free antivirus to premium suites, you typically get more features, such as identity theft protection, firewalls, parental controls, and system performance tools.
Free antivirus software usually provides a bare minimum level of protection. It will scan for malware, and often can perform automatic scans, too. Some free apps may have additional protection tools such as a browser add-on that checks for bad links–and Comodo’s free Internet Security Premium has a firewall. But such features are usually limited to paid antivirus products. Some free apps offer behavioral malware detection, which finds malware based on how it acts on your PC–a good way of detecting brand-new malware outbreaks. (Behavioral detection is standard on paid products.)
Paid antivirus straddles a middle ground between the basic freebies and the feature-packed security suites: They typically offer more comprehensive security tools (such as parental controls and identity theft protection) and more flexibility than a free antivirus package, but they have fewer additional features than suites, which are intended to be one-stop security shops.
One of the biggest drawbacks to going with a free product is the lack of technical support. While most companies offer some sort of phone support for paying customers, free antivirus users usually must fend for themselves. Avast does offer e-mail support for its free customers; most others provide only a knowledge base or forum where users can go for help.
On the other hand, free products do give you some flexibility. You can augment a free tool’s basic security with countless security utilities. For instance, you can start with Avast Free Antivirus, add PCTools’s Threatfire Free (which does a good job at bolstering malware detection), toss in one of the many firewalls available and a link-scanning utility to create your own custom security setup. This approach does require you to do your homework, though, and may be more complicated in the long run.Interface Detection
Most of the free products we tested put up identical or nearly identical malware detection scores to the paid varietals put out by the same company. But we did see some subtle differences. One notable example is Panda Cloud Antivirus: The free Cloud Antivirus and Panda’s for-pay Antivirus Pro 2011 performed about the same on the signature-based malware detection tests, but Antivirus Pro did a better job in “real world” malware detection tests that help determine how well a product can block brand-new threats.
We found that, on the whole, paid antivirus products did a slightly better job at detecting malware than their freebie counterparts. In traditional signature-based detection tests, paid antivirus software that we tested found 96.2 percent of the malware samples overall. By comparison, free products’ scores were ever-so-slightly worse, detecting 95.7 percent of samples.
All the products we tested–both paid and free–detected all the test infections we threw their way, but paid products did a slightly better job overall at removing the active components of an infection, scoring a 74 percent success rate on average. The same held true when we tested how well the products removed all active and inactive components of an infection: Paid products achieved a 44 percent removal rate in this test, while free products averaged a full removal rate of 34 percentSpeed
Scan speeds, however, are a mixed bag. In our on-demand scan tests, paid antivirus programs edged out the freebies, scanning 4.5GB worth of files in an average of 2 minutes, 25 seconds. Free products, by comparison, completed the same test in an average of 2 minutes, 44 seconds.
Free and paid products were nearly neck and neck in the on-access scan tests, which show how quickly the software can scan files for malware when they’re opened or saved to disk. Using the same 4.5GB of files, free products completed the on-access scan test in an average time of 4 minutes, 50 seconds. Their paid counterparts completed the test 8 seconds later.Top Picks
Given how close the two classes of products are in terms of speed and effectiveness, the two biggest factors are features and customer support. With some exceptions, you get better customer support and more comprehensive security features with a paid product, but if you’re willing to forgo these, it’s definitely worth considering going free.
Avast Free Antivirus comes out tops among free products thanks to its all-around strong malware-detection scores, good design, and low system drag. Avira AntiVir Personal takes second place: It put up solid malware-detection scores, but its interface is kludgy.
Check out our lists of the top five free and top five paid antivirus products. Our summary reviews of the top two free and paid antivirus programs are below.
Avast Free Antivirus couples good all-around malware detection with a speedy, well-designed package. We liked its easy installation process, smooth interface design, and minimal impact on system performance.
In traditional signature-based malware tests, Avast Free Antivirus detected 94.8 percent of samples, which is neither particularly good nor bad. It also did a decent, though not outstanding, job at detecting malware in our real-world malware detection tests: It completely blocked 76 percent of attacks (which is right about average), and partially blocked 4 percent of attacks.
But on the plus side, Avast Free Antivirus didn’t falsely identify a single “safe” file as a piece of malware, the only free product we looked at that achieved this. Avast Free Antivirus also did a good job at disinfecting a PC; it removed all active components of malware infections 80 percent of the time, which set the pace among the free products we looked at.
Top Paid Antivirus: Norton Antivirus 2011
Norton also put up excellent scores in the blocking of real-world malware attacks: Norton completely blocked 24 of the 25 samples we threw at it, but it did miss one sample completely. Norton also detected all active infections in our tests; it removed the active components of an infection 80 percent of the time, and was able to completely remove the infections 60 percent of the time–both above-average scores.
Norton put up good scores in our speed testing, but not top-notch results. It completed an on-access scan of 4.5GB of files in 4 minutes, 32 seconds. This puts it ahead of the average of 4 minutes, 59 seconds, but but it behind the top-performing product, which completed this test in 3 minutes, 35 seconds. Its on-demand scan speed of 2 minutes, one second is also above average, but again, it trails the top performing program by a good 30 seconds.
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