What Is The Best Online File Storage Service Option for 2016

Posted by David Chism | Tue, Feb 23, 2016

 What Is The Best Online File Storage Service Option for 2016
The days of stor­ing all your impor­tant files on your hard dri­ve or a local serv­er (back­up) are just about over. Thanks to the pletho­ra of online file host­ing pro­grams avail­able to indi­vid­u­als and busi­ness­es. Even large cor­po­ra­tions are mov­ing away from the local stor­ing of files to cloud-based options. I want­ed to list a few of the most pop­u­lar cloud stor­age pro­grams on the mar­ket. Which small busi­ness­es tend to use and then wrap up this post by shar­ing what I use and why. There are dozens of oth­er ser­vices not men­tioned in this post. Yet my goal here is to help make com­pa­nies more effi­cient and stop using too many unnec­es­sary ser­vices! Your com­pa­ny might be dif­fer­ent than my con­clu­sion, but if you have a ques­tion about what is best for your orga­ni­za­tion, let me know in the com­ments below.


Drop­box start­ed their online stor­age ser­vices in 2007. They were one of the ear­ly pio­neers of cloud stor­age. Many of the con­sumers I know today have heard of drop­box and have either a paid account or con­tin­ue using the free” per­son­al account. Drop­box has become some­what of a kleenex” brand name for cloud ser­vices. Drop­box is super easy to use. It is an excel­lent plat­form. There are plen­ty of plu­g­ins to use Drop­box with just about any device, CRM, account­ing, project man­age­ment and oth­er busi­ness soft­ware out there. Up until about 2+ years ago, I used Drop­box almost exclu­sive­ly for my online files. Yet I real­ized that Google Dri­ve was becom­ing just as pow­er­ful if not more pow­er­ful than Drop­box. I was pay­ing for both accounts, so I stopped see­ing the need to use two pro­grams. If you are using Drop­box but are close­ly tied to Google Apps, Microsoft or Apple’s iCloud, chances are you can sim­pli­fy your cloud needs by using just one cloud stor­age ser­vice. Keep read­ing to see what I mean.

Google Dri­ve

GDrive-LogoMany of my cus­tomers are using Google’s busi­ness ser­vices called Google Apps for Work. This $5 a month per user plan comes with a busi­ness account using Gmail, Google Cal­en­dar, Pho­tos and Google Dri­ve (oth­er fea­tures as well). Google Dri­ve was far more than just a stor­age ser­vice. It also allowed users to cre­ate Google Doc­u­ments, Google Spread­sheets, Google Forms and Google Slideshows (think: Microsoft Word, Excel & Pow­er­point). It also gave users the abil­i­ty to col­lab­o­rate in real time instead of the need to con­stant­ly be email­ing mul­ti­ple ver­sions back and forth. For my first 5 years in busi­ness, I relied on Gmail, Google Cal­en­dar & Drop­box as my 3 main pro­grams for send­ing emails, sched­ul­ing appoint­ments and stor­ing files. When it came to Google Dri­ve, I used Google’s Docs and Sheets very ran­dom­ly at first and then more and more. I would also toss in ran­dom files into Google Dri­ve. Google Dri­ve became stronger and more reli­able over the years. It had excel­lent inte­gra­tion with Gmail & Google Cal­en­dar, which I already used every­day. A few years ago, I got to the point that when I went to look for a file or fold­er, I would get slight­ly con­fused: Did I save that file in Drop­box or Google Dri­ve? One day I real­ized that Google Dri­ve was bet­ter than Drop­box for my orga­ni­za­tion. Once I migrat­ed from Drop­box to Google Dri­ve, I did not look back, not even once!

Microsoft OneDrive

MSlogo-driveI do not have a lot of expe­ri­ence work­ing with Microsoft OneDrive. I do have an active account, and what I can tell is that this is a great solu­tion if you are using most­ly Microsoft pro­grams such as Out­look, Word, OneNote and Excel. If you own a Microsoft Sur­face and do most of your work in the cloud, using all Microsoft prod­ucts is real­ly the eas­i­est solu­tion. You can basi­cal­ly do the same things you can do with Google Apps for Work. This is just two cents. I used Microsoft prod­ucts up until about 2008 before I began mov­ing over to Google Apps. Microsoft, for years, was way behind Google Apps when it came to cloud com­put­ing ser­vices. They have worked hard and have done a good job mak­ing a good prod­uct for small to medi­um size busi­ness­es. My rec­om­men­da­tion is to again pick one cloud ser­vice.

Apple’s iCloud

logo for adc-appleIf you own a Mac, iPad and iPhone, you also have Apple’s iCloud ser­vice. iCloud was built for per­son­al use, not busi­ness in mind. It is sim­i­lar to Google’s plat­form: Mail, Cal­en­dar, Files Stor­age, Doc­u­ment cre­ation, Spread­sheets, Pic­tures and more. I have an Apple iCloud account and do pay a lit­tle for online stor­age. Yet I basi­cal­ly use this for per­son­al pic­tures only. I do not use it for any­thing else. I do not think Apple iCloud is a good busi­ness solu­tion just yet.


Box​.net has been around for many years. It was sim­i­lar to Drop­box but was more well known in the busi­ness world than for per­son­al use. It had more advanced fea­tures than Drop­box ear­ly on and was well received by medi­um and some large orga­ni­za­tions.


Egnyte had some pop­u­lar­i­ty 5 to 6 years ago as an alter­na­tive to Drop­box and before Google Dri­ve devel­oped their prod­uct to what it is today. Egnyte is a good stor­age pro­gram for small and medi­um size busi­ness­es. My issues with Egnyte was that I did not find it easy to use com­pared to the ser­vices list­ed above. I felt like it was always a lit­tle behind its com­pe­ti­tion when it came to updates and inte­gra­tion. Put it this way, I reached out to their sup­port team a lot! For a short time, I used Egnyte for my busi­ness along­side Google Dri­ve and Drop­box! That was not a great expe­ri­ence!

Con­clu­sion and my Recommendation

If you did not catch my rec­om­men­da­tion above, I will sum­ma­rize again here. I use and rec­om­mend Google Apps for Work for your con­tract­ing busi­ness needs. I find that it is the eas­i­est and most effi­cient way to run your office and field employ­ees. There are lots of third par­ty appli­ca­tions that play nice­ly with Google Apps as well. If you are using Microsoft or Google now for your busi­ness solu­tion, I would strong­ly rec­om­mend you begin to migrate to one of their secure cloud stor­age ser­vices: OneDrive or Google Dri­ve. Drop­box and iCloud are prob­a­bly the two best cloud stor­age pro­grams on the mar­ket for per­son­al use. So feel free to keep an account open there, but keep busi­ness files and stor­age separate.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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