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Best Cloud Storage Comparison: Box vs Dropbox vs Hightail

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Best cloud storage comparison in blue sky and cloudsAre you still carrying around a flash drive (and praying you don’t lose it)? Do you and your co-workers still email the same files back and forth, clogging up the server? Ditch your old-school methods of storing and sharing your digital data and get a cloud storage account. We are in the 21st century, after all, folks. If you don’t already use cloud storage, you should. Why? Cloud storage makes your digital life infinitely easier.

What is Cloud Storage?

Simply put, storing things on a cloud is like an online version of a hard drive, but instead of having the drive within your computer or on another device, you save your files to virtual servers hosted by cloud storage providers.

What Are the Major Benefits of Cloud Storage?

  • Quick and easy access from any device, anywhere you have internet access
  • Easy file sharing with co-workers, family and friends
  • Your important files, photos and videos saved where they won’t get lost

Note that we differentiate between cloud storage (simply a place to host your files online), and online backup (providers that automatically sync and back up your content). Online backup services typically include features that are unnecessary for simple file storage (and can hog resources). If you’re interested in our online backup recommendations, check out our article on the best online backup services.

Best Cloud Storage Providers

Here we review several of the best cloud storage providers to help you choose which one best fits your personal and/or business needs. Click on a link below to go directly to the review you’re most interested in or read on to see which service is best for your needs.

Best for Personal Use | Best for Business | Best Free Cloud Storage

Best Cloud Storage for Personal Use: DropBox Review

DropBox cloud storage logoVisit Website

Dropbox is our winner for best cloud storage for personal use. It is best suited for those who only need to sync and share smaller files. With a sleek and simple user interface and drag-and-drop features, Dropbox is easy for novices and has all the tools more advanced users need: file-syncing with any device, photo backup from your mobile phone, file sharing and more. Drop Box gives you 2 GB of free space, but for more space, it can get expensive compared to other top services.

Pros

Cons

  • Strong 256-bit encryption while you’re uploading and storing files
  • Continuous backup
  • You can password-protect your files and folders
  • Keeps file version history for 30 days with Pro Plan; Unlimited with higher plans
  • Data stored on multiple servers in different geographic locations to protect from disaster
  • Supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry and Kindle Fire
  • Easy to share folders or files with others (especially useful for photos)
  • You can sync both a personal and business Dropbox account on your computer
  • Universal 2nd Factor for additional security
  • Only 2GB of space with free plan, less than many other services
  • Customer support only available via email for Pro Plan
  • Business plans can get expensive
  • Files uploaded on Dropbox.com limited to 20 GB file size (unlimited via desktop and mobile apps)

Pricing

You can save 17% off monthly prices by clicking here, signing up, and paying annually.

Basic Plan

  • Free
  • 2 GB storage space

Pro Plan

  • $9.99 per month
  • 1 TB (100,000 GB) storage space
  • Remote wipe
  • Additional sharing controls

Business Plan

  • $15 per user per month
  • Unlimited storage & file size upload
  • Unlimited file recovery
  • Priority support
  • Free 14-day trial

Enterprise Plan

  • Contact Dropbox for pricing
  • Domain management tools
  • Collaboration insights
  • Premium integration and development support
  • Assigned success manager
  • Deployment support and user training

Best Cloud Storage for Business: Hightail Review

Hightail cloud storage logoVisit Website

Hightail, formerly YouSendIt, is an excellent choice for small, medium and even enterprise-level businesses. Their strengths lie in their file-sharing and digital workspace capabilities, unlimited storage and bandwidth and the ability to store and share large files easily. Hightail has even bumped up their file size limits since our last review! You can transmit sensitive files thanks to their advanced encryption levels, and we love their e-signature feature that makes signing and sending important documents a breeze. Hightail has several pricing plans.

Pros

Cons

  • Ability to store and transmit large files quickly
  • Advanced encryption while uploading, sharing and storing files
  • Digital workspace lets you have shared folders, automatic syncing, comments stored
  • e-signatures: sign documents on your mobile or desktop app
  • MS Outlook plug-in directly emails files from app
  • Ability to set auto clean-out of files
  • File tracking and receipts of downloads
  • ID verification and password protection
  • Good customer support with live chat, phone, ticket options (paid versions)
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Expensive
  • Some user complaints about upload times being slower than Dropbox with free plan
  • Customer support via ticket only with free plan
  • No weekend customer support

Pricing

HighTail offers a 14-day free trial.

Lite Plan

  • Free
  • 2 GB storage
  • 250 MB file size upload limit
  • 5 e-signatures

Pro Plan

  • $15 per user per month
  • Unlimited storage
  • 25 GB file size upload limit
  • Unlimited e-signatures
  • 1 user
  • Hightail branding

Business Plan

  • $25 per user per month
  • Unlimited storage
  • 100 GB file size upload limit
  • Unlimited e-signatures
  • Custom branding

Enterprise Plan

  • Contact High Tail for customized plans

Best Free Cloud Storage Service: Box Review

Box cloud storage logoVisit Website

Cloud storage service Box gives you an impressive 10 GB of space for free. Couple that with their extensive file sharing and syncing capabilities, and you’ve got a lot to work with for a free service. Geared more toward professionals than personal use, Box has great features to offer in its paid versions. These pricing plans, however, get expensive quickly for less storage space than other high-end plans offer. Box’s free version is a solid option given its good reputation and storage space.

Pros

Cons

  • Generous free 10 GB of space
  • Excellent sync and sharing capabilities
  • Easy drag-and-drop file storage features
  • Supports Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Blackberry
  • Supports comments on files through mobile devices
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Good customer support via phone and email, even with free plan
  • Can’t archive file versions with free plan
  • No file locking or permission features with free plan
  • Additional monthly fee for 24/7 tech support

Pricing

Personal Plan

  • Free
  • 1 user
  • 10 GB storage
  • 250 MB file size upload limit
  • Option to upgrade for $10 per month: 100 GB storage; 5 GB file upload

Starter Plan

  • $5 per user per month
  • 3-10 users
  • 100 GB storage
  • 2 GB file size upload limit

Business Plan

  • $15 per user per month
  • Minimum of 3 users
  • Unlimited storage
  • 5 GB file size upload limit

Enterprise Plan

  • Contact Box for pricing
  • Minimum of 3 users

How Does “The Cloud” Work?

Here’s a fun video that does a great job of explaining just how cloud storage works in layman’s terms with a dog illustration, no less! Check it out.

Is Cloud Storage a Safe Decision?

Millions upon millions of people around the world rely on cloud storage. The cloud storage service market will see nearly a two-fold increase in revenue from 2014 to 2016, with revenue reaching an estimated $4 billion per year according to Statistica forecasts. Security features to protect your data are better than ever before. With the promise of your crucial data stored — and protected — it makes sense to convert to the cloud.

Which cloud storage service do you prefer and why?


About Sally Jones
Sally has coupled her passion for writing with her (slight) obsession for the latest high tech gadgets. While she’s not daydreaming about the beach, she’s taking advantage of all the activities her hometown has to offer in the Blue Ridge foothills.

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