The Best Cloud Storage Services for 2017

Best Cloud Storage for Personal Use – PC and MAC

If you are individual who wants to store your photos and music to the cloud, the 3 providers below provide one of the best cloud storage solutions around. When you are storing personal data, chances are you don’t need a lot of features like the business owners do, for example the ability to edit files online. Therefore in my opinion it is really NOT necessary to pay the extra bucks and leave the features untouched.

These 3 providers have their own strengths and weaknesses but they share one thing in common, which is their dedication to maintaining a high quality service. You should go ahead and read my first-hand experience with them.

# Company Trial More
1 ElephantDrive 30 Days
free trial
2 pCloud 30 Days
free trial
3 SugarSync 30 Days
free trial


Rates shown are for comparison purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Service plans and rates may not include taxes, surcharges or other fees. Some service providers offer periodic promotions and service agreements based on various terms and conditions. Please be sure to read the individual provider terms, conditions and pricing before you make a purchase decision.

Best Cloud Storage for Business Use

If you are a small – medium business owner, the personal cloud storage is NOT for you. When come to storing your business data (that usually includes sensitive information like customer details, financial accounts, contacts, contracts etc) you need a more robust service with some tailored made features created purposely for business owners. Trust me, those features save your day!

As an online business owner myself, I’m currently using SugarSync to backup my website files, emails and etc. Are they good? Absolutely! I find them not only fit the job perfectly they exceed my expectations. Even now after 6 months of using, I still stumble upon some smart features in SugarSync. No wonder they are heavily awarded in the industry.

# Company Trial More
1 SugarSync 30 Days
free trial
2 ElephantDrive 30 Days
free trial
3 Hightail 14 Days
free trial


Rates shown are for comparison purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Service plans and rates may not include taxes, surcharges or other fees. Some service providers offer periodic promotions and service agreements based on various terms and conditions. Please be sure to read the individual provider terms, conditions and pricing before you make a purchase decision.

What is Cloud Storage?

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage as the name speaks – storage in the cloud! Wherever you go, whenever you want, the cloud is always above, readily to serve you.

Cloud storage works exactly like your laptop’s disk space but it has your data managed and backed up so that you will never lose them by any chance. Cloud storage also makes your data available through the Internet. You can easily access them whenever there’s a network.

What Can You Store?

As of what to store, you can basically store anything and everything to the cloud. The cloud storage could be your media library; document archive and address book. However the best practice is to not store sensitive information like your passport copy and credit card details. Why? Because it’s always good to leave a line between the virtual and the real world. If you get what I mean 🙂

The Choices You Have

Choice of Online Storage

Generally there are 2 types of cloud storage, listed below. What differ them depends on how they backup your data to the cloud.

1) Archive Storage

Imagine a vault to keep your data. You handpick the individual file/ folder and lock them up inside a vault. The file will be left untouched until the next automatic/ manual backup. That is archive cloud storage.

2) Synchronized Storage

Synchronized storage usually appears as a folder. This storage is meant for files that are modified on a regular basis, for example a doc you are working on. The doc will be updated real time and synchronized across devices immediately. In SugarSync’s term, they call it Magic Briefcase.

Usually providers will include both type of storage in their package; some will allow you to choose which type of storage to subscribe, like LiveDrive.

Choosing The Best Cloud Storage

Choosing The Best Cloud Storage

When come to choosing the best cloud storage, personal experience is very important, regardless of what others tell you, including my reviews. You have to try it yourself. So to get you started, this is what you should look out.

A cloud storage service consists of 2 parts: 1) Storing the data to the cloud; 2) Accessing the data on the go. A good provider will make sure the 2 processes are smooth as butter. With that in mind, play around with the processes and see if you can justify them with the criteria below.

  1. Great speed – especially the download speed. You don’t want to get stuck when you are on a rush to get a file.
  2. Easy to use – it should be an user-friendly solution.
  3. Accountability & reliability – is your data up to date across devices?
  4. Value for money – if the same thing can be done with $1, why pay $2?
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How Easy is it to Restore From Cloud Storage in Case of Emergency?

The reason you need a cloud storage is so that all your files are saved even if your hard drive crashes. But what happens when you need to restore all those files to a new computer? Will the process be simple and easy, or will it take extra money, lost time and difficult procedures? You don’t want to wait until a disaster happens to find out – and most companies, while proud of all their backup and upload features, rarely mention the download process. Here we take a look at some of the best cloud storage systems and outline the procedures necessary to restore all your files.


Read ElephantDrive ReviewElephantDrive makes online backup and cloud storage easy through it’s simple and intuitive interface. ElephantDrive offers its users a number of ways to store, access, and backup files. One of the more innovative features offered by ElephantDrive is the option to restore older versions through Versioning control, which allows users to view all previous versions of a file (with date and time assigned) and choose the most applicable version. ElephantDrive also gives users the ability to recover deleted files through Archive control, which keeps copies of locally deleted files and folders.

For a full restore of your files and folders, ElephantDrive gives users two different options. Users can either use the ‘Download’ method or the ‘Restore’ method.

Users with smaller files and folders will find the ‘Download’ method easier. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your account online
  2. Navigate to the file or folder that you would like to download.
  3. Right-click on the file/folder and select Download. Note: You must have Java installed on your machine.
  4. Select the location on your machine where you would like to download this file/folder to. The download window will then appear and will show the progress of the download

Users with large folders will find the ‘Restore’ method more applicable. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the folder that you would like to restore.
  2. Right-click on the folder and select Restore Folder.
  3. Select a Destination Device and the Destination Path where you would like to restore the folder to. This device must be connected to your account.
  4. Click Start Restore Now or use the drop-down menu to select a different time to begin the restore.

ElephantDrive also gives users access to their files in the following ways: 1) via the desktop app; 2) by logging onto your account online; and 3) mobile app

To use the desktop app (available for Windows and Mac), you will have to first download and install it on your new computer. You will then be guided through a step-by-step process in setting up your backups, which will set up your ElephantDrive cloud account as well as your ‘Everywhere’ folder. To use the account online, simply visit the ElephantDrive website The mobile app for ElephantDrive can be downloaded from the App Store or the Google Play store

To learn more on ElephantDrive please continue reading my complete ElephantDrive review.

Carbonite Backup

Read Carbonite ReviewCarbonite offers a couple different ways to restore all your files at once – Mirror Image (only available for Personal Plus or Personal Prime accounts) or Restore Manager (for PCs)/ Restore Assistant (for Macs).

The first option is meant to be used only when your current computer has a failure (this prevents problems due with a new device to a different hardware configuration). When your old device has been repaired, then performing a Mirror Image restoration is the quickest, easiest way to get your operating system, programs, files and settings back in place where they used to be. The final step is to perform an Online Backup, which will restore files that have been changed since the last mirror backup was run.

For new hardware, using Carbonite’s Restore Manager is the best option. Start by transferring your service subscription to the new device and then installing the Carbonite desktop app. Now simply open Restore Manager to initiate the process. More than likely your backup will be “frozen”. Just restore everything and then reconfigure the automatic backup when restoration is complete in order to protect new and newly edited files. Read more at my Carbonite review.


Read BackBlaze ReviewBackBlaze gives you several different ways to restore all your files in case of loss.

The first option is to go online and choose “Web Download” from your account control panel. This could take a while, as it is depends on your internet connection speed, how many files you need to restore and how large those files are.

The second choice is to download BackBlaze’s Restore Downloader to your computer. This is the best way to begin restoration of all your files to a new or reconfigured computer and recommended when you are restoring more than 1GB of data. Just like a normal backup, Restore works in the background and allows you to use your computer while the files are being downloaded.

But BackBlaze also provides another choice: USB flash drive or USB hard drive. In this case, all your files are added to a physical device which is shipped to you via FedEx within two or three days (available only for customers in the United States). The cost for this service is $99 for a flash drive or $189 for a hard drive, but since it could save you lots of time and frustration, the cost could be well worth it. For more on BackBlaze, read my BackBlaze review.

When you are choosing a cloud storage provider be sure that the company offers an easy, simple file restore process. After all, when you need to restore all your data, you don’t want the process to take too long or be too difficult.

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