Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Review: 7 Cloud Storage Services

Review: 7 Cloud Storage Services
By

Are there any computer users left who haven’t experienced some sort of data disaster? Forget the dog eating your work. Now we can blame drive failures, alpha particles, power glitches, viruses, or any number of other data-garbling maladies. With local backup storage, such as to another hard drive, flash drive, NAS box, or even optical disc, you’ve got more protection, but you’re only one disaster away from losing your entire digital life.

Additionally, it’s harder to share your data from local storage. When you’re away from home but still want to dip into your photo archive, stream a song, or pull up a PowerPoint file you’re working on, what do you do? You can’t fit everything on thumb drives. With network-attached storage (NAS), you may have the ability to get remote access to your files, but the price of entry is usually several hundred dollars, plus you need the tech savvy to set the storage up properly and maintain it.

One increasingly popular answer is to turn to cloud computing services. Cloud computing is a freshly minted term for applications and services that are hosted and run from one or more remote data centers. Consider Hotmail or Gmail as examples. But if you run email as a local application in Outlook, Outlook Express, Apple’s Mail, or something similar, then all of your messages save on your system. Unless you’ve made other provisions, if your computer burns to the ground, your email data is gone forever. Compounding the problem, if you paid for a copy of your email program and that burns with your PC, then you’re out the cost of a new email app or office suite, as well.

        

With Hotmail, Gmail, or any of the other data center-hosted mail services now billed as “cloud” apps, your data and software are both safe. The software is running from a bunch of rackmounted servers in the provider’s data center, and even if that data center burned down, it’s likely that the provider has at least one redundant data center to which your session would be automatically rerouted. And your data? No problem there, either. Good cloud providers have your data duplicated at multiple levels, both within one data center and across multiple data centers.

Why cloud computing does or doesn’t make sense for consumers and small businesses is a bigger topic for another day. For now, we want to focus on cloud-based storage services that can help you better protect, share, and distribute your data.

Display 19 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , April 24, 2010 4:05 PM
    I've been using Amazon S3 cloud storage for several years now ( http://aws.amazon.com/s3/ ), along with JungleDisk for access to it. This gives you multiple access methods (web, as a drive attached to your PC etc), can set backup strategies, etc, never had a problem with it.

    Pricing for S3 is 15c per Gb, so 10 Gb is $1.50, much lower than say Box.net. You then pay a licence for JungleDisk as well.

  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , April 25, 2010 12:31 AM
    Looking forward to an article explaining cloud computing does or doesn’t make sense for consumers and small businesses.
  • 1 Hide
    dataDINK , April 26, 2010 2:17 PM
    Thank thor, the god of progress for his incredible wisdom for raid, rack mounted servers, and increasingly great ammounts of redundancy.
  • 0 Hide
    williamvw , April 26, 2010 6:17 PM
    JohnnyLuckyLooking forward to an article explaining cloud computing does or doesn’t make sense for consumers and small businesses.
    Stay tuned. You'll see it soon on Tom's Hardware. ;-)
  • 2 Hide
    hellwig , April 26, 2010 9:26 PM
    Remember when cloud hosting was 50MB, and of course that seemed ridiculous with dial-up upload speeds? I even remember the email they sent out when they went under and shut down the site. Heck, I remember when yahoo upgraded from 3-7MB of free email storage. I was actually able to stop deleting emails for a few months.

    Ah... memories.

    Still, some of these might be good ideas, but get rid of the porn, and how many people have 10+ GB of data that really needs to be stored in this manner that isn't already shared on Flickr or YouTube? I guess that's the topic of the next article though.
  • -1 Hide
    annymmo , April 27, 2010 8:30 PM

    Hello dependability.
    Because we the sheep people can't get enough of letting our data in other people's lap.
    Haven't we outsourced enough?
    The redundancy is moronic. Look at the prices for hardware these days. These cloud things are just to make you dependent on it.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 30, 2010 1:11 AM
    Why not Crashplan? It's just like Mozy, Carbonite, Backblaze, and whatnot, but just ... better. Smarter about what to backup/dedupe detection, supports backing up to friends as an alternative or complement, better handling when your internet goes down when transferring that 4GB file, reasonably fast speeds...
  • 1 Hide
    gilbertfh , May 4, 2010 3:54 PM
    Remember the days where you could select the level you wanted an application loaded at. I know there are some still out there that do it like MS Office but imagine if you could install straight to the online server and run it from there... Utilizing MS Office servers they would always be up to date have the latest patches and compatability or if you choose and like to maintain control you could install to your harddrive and manually update. Same goes for games and such... with a lot of new games requiring a live connection anyway may as well let them pay for the storage. As technology advances and connection speeds get faster the delay from opening a program and it loading to memory will become negligible.
  • 0 Hide
    gilbertfh , May 4, 2010 3:57 PM
    Oh and yes I know this article is cloud storage not cloud computing but there is a fine line between the two.
  • 0 Hide
    zaznet , May 10, 2010 5:55 PM
    JohnnyLuckyLooking forward to an article explaining cloud computing does or doesn’t make sense for consumers and small businesses.


    This article shows a cloud computing as a end service (file storage) and not just the total idea of cloud computing. I would like to have seen Amazon S3 included in the comparison as it is a total cloud computing solution but includes file storage options.
  • 1 Hide
    starryman , May 14, 2010 3:52 PM
    zaznetThis article shows a cloud computing as a end service (file storage) and not just the total idea of cloud computing. I would like to have seen Amazon S3 included in the comparison as it is a total cloud computing solution but includes file storage options.


    I agree with Zaznet... storage in the "cloud" isn't anything big. There were no advantages or differentiations made between regular old online storage and cloud storage. There's really no difference. The entire article as whole is a bit dicey. I'm really pining for a TH style article on cloud computing (coinciding with storage)... and yes include Amazons EC2 / S3 services.
  • 0 Hide
    alc_prod_mgr , October 19, 2010 1:43 PM
    Now the limit is up to 25G. I guess the April 2010 limit was 50MB?
  • 0 Hide
    JamesSneed , December 21, 2010 10:38 PM
    @alc_prod_mgr. If you mean skydrive(you didn't specify) then nope it is still 50MB per file but a max of 25GB total storage.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 19, 2011 5:00 PM
    Has anyone tried GoBox ?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 9, 2011 7:55 PM
    I prefer iozeta.com. I use it at home and is very affordable and reliable. Iozeta Online Back up. Only $3.88/month for unlimited online backup. Livedrive package provides all of the great features of Unlimited Online Backup plus the powerful Livedrive functionality that lets you share, edit, and sync your files wherever you are. Works on Windows and Mac.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 28, 2011 11:15 PM
    I vote for Iozeta with the person above. Great features at a very affordable price.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 26, 2012 11:12 PM
    A Quick Note from Experience: if you have more than 35GB of data to backup do a google search on backup throttling carbonite and read the terms on backup / upload speed. I have 135GB and the first 20gb was nice and fast so I went ahead and purchased a full license, only to find when I crept over the 30gb some good 2 weeks later did it then slow dowm to around 100kbps yes your reading that right, its around 3-4GB a day.
    Now they say on the terms over 35-200gb "upload speeds can reach up to 512 kbps" and in reality its really throttled back to the 200GB mark as they confirmed 3-4GB per day. I have had the tech support people also check remotely my machine about 4-5 times now and the answer is always we will escalate this to the "Next Level" of support. Well its now been just under 6 weeks and my machine has been on 24x7 with reboots at time to reach 112gb, so another 3 weeks till I get the 135gb online, but that does not include any of my personal videos, that will take another estimated 2 month online backup with machine on..?? so trying to work out is 3 months of powering my Q6600 machine worth all the trouble ? (I backup to remote NAS , but its located on the same site)

    It is good for say your mum or dad, long as they place the files in the folder you selected for backup , but for anyone serious with lots of DATA, I would say be prepared to keep machine on for whats looks like weeks or months at a time.... Here is a snippet of files - dates - GB ....(I have been tracking this from JAN when 1st installed till today the 19th Feb 2012.*Update 27-02-2012..

    Time Date Files GB
    19:00 13/02/2012 55238 95.8
    21:39 14/02/2012 56938 98.6
    09:25 16/02/2012 59028 102
    19:00 16/02/2012 59598 104
    09:00 17/02/2012 60394 106
    00:57 27/02/2011 71144 141 = 3.5GB per day..........


    RIGHT SHIFT BUTTON - RIGHT CLICK on CARBONITE ICON

    Apart from the various MetaDataCheckSum errors (still no response to what these are from support) I also see another msg now "Account is currently under storage quota." ? so what does this change and to what affect.

    R
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 16, 2012 1:20 AM
    With SkyDrive and GoogleDrive, I don't see any particular value with box.net service. In fact all cloud storage service providers are under pressure unless they can differentiate. Why would I pay more from Box.net when I can get much lower cost service from bigger names?

    Cloud IT service pioneered by DriveHQ might be different. instead of selling just cheaper and cheaper storage, they offer cloud-based servers and IT systems, such as file servers, ftp servers, email servers, web servers and automatic backup. I can see a lot more value to businesses than cloud storage service - because you can actually save cost on your servers.
  • 0 Hide
    PolTalk1 , August 24, 2013 5:29 AM
    I can recommend a new great cloud storage service - Copy. It has very simple but functional interface as well as fast uploading speed. And only now they give 20 Gb free storage space through a referral link:
    https://copy.com?r=wK6EjL
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter