Cloud Storage Alternatives
Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are just four of many cloud services available today. Here are a few others to consider.
OwnCloud is a free, open source cloud storage option that is installed on a private server, with no limits on storage space beyond your server’s hard drive capacity. “It runs under our control, not someone else's,” says Rajesh Goel, CTO at Brainlink International, Inc. “It works across multiple platforms, it's extremely easy to backup and restore, and it syncs seamlessly.”
SpiderOak is a good alternative “for the simple reason that everything is stored encrypted,” says Thomas Quinlan, senior sales engineer of business assurance technology firm Blue Coat. “No one can see the contents of the files except me. It has all the features that everyone expects from a cloud storage service provider but also provides privacy.”
Quinlan says SpiderOak is “slightly less user-friendly than Dropbox” but is still relatively simple to use. The free plan offers 2GB of storage; business plans cost $60 per user, per year and provide unlimited storage.
AeroFS is a file-sync and share service that enables organizations to decide where their data resides and how it should be secured. The personal hybrid cloud plan offers unlimited storage for free for as many as three users. The enterprise plan uses a private cloud and gives an unlimited number of users unlimited storage capabilities for $180 per user, per year.
Transporter is a storage device/service that creates a private cloud with a starting price of $99 and no monthly fees. California attorney John Conway says he uses Transporter because it’s simple and offers “total data privacy with cloud convenience.” He says that public cloud storage services can’t guarantee the confidentiality of files, which is why he uses Transporter’s private cloud.
DatAnywhere promises to turn your existing file server into a private cloud for mobile access, file syncing and sharing, without file size and other limitations. It works on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android and is free for up to five users. Paid plan pricing isn’t listed on the company’s site. A perpetual license begins around $6,000 for 25 users (a one-time fee) and includes unlimited data.
Syncplicity is an enterprise collaboration/file-storage/sharing service that promises robust security features, including single sign-on (SSO) with Active Directory or any SAML-based authentication system; Active Directory synchronization for user provisioning and de-provisioning; AES 256-bit encryption for files in transit and at rest; remote device wipe; and more.
IDrive's Pro Personal combination backup/cloud storage plan costs $59.50 per year and includes 1TB for backup and 1TB for regular storage/sync. You gets 5GB of free storage. IDrive promises "military grade" 256-bit AES encryption.
(Disclosure: The author occasionally consults for a company that has Box as a client but has never been involved in that company’s work for Box.)