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The best cloud storage for online backup of files and photos

These are the best cloud storage services that you can safely choose to make a backup copy for your photos and videos.

Using a cloud storage service can be very helpful. Thanks to a cloud storage service, it is possible to have a sort of hard disk online, or to virtually store files, photos and different types of documents.

This means that if you use a cloud storage service, you can access it from any device with internet access, as long as you have the access data.

In addition to being a very practical way to work on the same document from different devices, or to be able to view your photos wherever you are, it is also a highly recommended way to make backup copies.

So, it is clear that using a cloud storage service is highly recommended, but which service should I choose?

If you’ve taken the time to find some information about the different cloud storage services, you may have noticed that there are too many. This can make it difficult to choose the right service for you.

Your choice will depend on many factors: the space you want, the type of extra tools you prefer, and most importantly, the price. For this reason, in this article we explain more about our favorite cloud storage services, hoping to help you with your choice.

The best websites to backup files and photos online

Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the many services that Google currently offers. As soon as you create a Google account, you get 15GB of space. If you use Gmail, Google Calendar, or even YouTube, you automatically have a Drive account.

The space is shared between all these services, i.e. within those 15GB of available space are included files attached to emails from your Gmail account or automatic backup copies of photos from Google+.

Google Drive offers two ways to upload photos and videos. The first is the “High Quality” option, the other option for uploading photos is “Original”.

Drive works the same way as most cloud storage services – Windows creates a folder linked to a duplicate version in the cloud. Google Docs allows two people to open the same document and work on it at the same time.

The previous Google Drive app has been replaced by “Backup and Sync” for Windows and macOS, with mobile versions of Google Drive for Android and iOS.

Google Drive has a selective sync system, so you can choose which folders to sync on each of your devices.

The applications have a fairly intuitive interface, and the files are organized in a “tree way”, which makes searching for each file very easy. You can choose which specific files are available offline in mobile versions.

You will be able to edit these files if they were created in Google Docs. When you reconnect to the internet, the files will be synced again. For other formats (like Word) you will need to open them in another application, thus creating a duplicate copy.

Data is encrypted in 128-bit AES rather than 256-bit encrypted by Box, OneDrive, or Dropbox.

Google has stated that it will not access the contents of any Drive folders unless requested by the authorities. Google also offers the security system for two-step verification.

If you are a lover of the Google world and use many of its tools, Google Drive is your perfect solution for storing files in the cloud.

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive is integrated with Windows 10, so it’s definitely the most obvious cloud storage option for Windows users.

However, the basic account only offers 5GB of free storage. While this amount is enough for many, it’s worth remembering that they previously offered 15GB (which you can get with Google Drive).

Of course, if you want to increase the capacity, there are payment plans. You can get 50GB for just € 2 per month. And if you sign up for Office 365 Personal for $ 69 per year, you’ll get 1 TB of space (plus all Office 365 tools).

The OneDrive interface uses the same layout as the newer versions of Microsoft. You can create folders and files on the web, including Office and OneNote formats, thanks to its close relationship with Office Online.

Selective syncing was introduced with Windows 10, which means that not all OneDrive files need to take up space on all devices.

OneDrive has also made sharing files with your friends a very easy task. How? Thanks to its connection with social networks.

You can also set permissions for each user, allowing them only to read the file or the ability to edit. (And unlike Dropbox, Microsoft includes this feature in its free version.)

There is also a feature that will allow you to remotely access files on another computer via the OneDrive website.

If privacy is one of your concerns, you should be aware that Microsoft reserves the right to scan your files for what it would consider “objectionable content”. Apple has a similar policy, which makes them objectively more intrusive services than their competitors.

If you are a Windows user, it makes sense to sign up for the free 5GB account. Remember that if you are willing to pay a little (2 € per month) you can get 50 GB.

pCloud

If you open a new account with pCloud you get up to 3 GB of free storage space. You can increase this number up to 10 GB by performing the following tasks:

  • 1 GB more when you verify your email
  • 1 GB extra if you install pCloud Drive
  • 1 GB extra if you download the mobile app
  • 1 GB extra if you enable the option to upload photos automatically
  • Extra 3GB for inviting friends (you both get an extra 1GB when signing up)

And while 10GB can be a decent amount if you don’t have a lot of files to store, we recommend that you check the prices of their premium plans as they might interest you.

Currently you can choose the 500 GB option for € 4.99 per month or € 49.88 if you pay for a full year; or the 2 TB option that will cost you € 9.99 per month or € 95.88 if you pay at the same time for the whole year.

It is worth mentioning that pCloud also offers “lifetime” plans. That is, you will only pay once to get the service. While the figure can be expensive upfront, it can also be a good long-term investment that will save you money.

PCloud’s lifetime plans also offer options of 500GB (€ 175) or 2TB (€ 350). To these two “lifetime” options is added that of the Family Plan, which will cost you 500 euros, but which allows you to share the account with five different users.

There are applications available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, iPadOS, and Android, and you can also log into your account via their website if you prefer.

The apps for iOS and Android have a feature called ‘Automatic Photo Upload’ which allows you to activate the option that the photos and videos you take with your smartphone are automatically uploaded to the cloud.

pCloud does not impose any file size restrictions, so you can upload any file allowed from your storage space.

Thanks to its servers in the European Union, files are loaded at great speed and synchronization is also fast and very efficient. In addition, all data transfers between the pCloud servers and your device are encrypted with TLS / SSL, which promotes the security of your files.

pCloud offers import modes that allow you to automatically transfer files from other cloud services, including Dropbox and Google Drive, which is handy if you’re in the process of switching between them or just want an additional backup of your files. File.

As with almost any cloud storage service, you can share your content with friends or colleagues by sending links that allow access to folders and documents. These also have permissions, so you can determine if the person you’re sharing the file with can edit it or just view it.

A good way to share files is the “upload link”. This is a unique link that you can send to someone you want to share a file with.

By using the link, your friend’s file will become part of your pCloud. This way you will save yourself having to search through old emails or in your “Downloads” folder.

Customers with free access can access any previous version of a document for 15 days, while premium customers can access previous versions of documents for up to 30 days.

One of the most useful tools in pCloud is its Crypto folder, where you can save the files you want to keep away from “prying eyes”, whether they are hackers or some government agencies.

The contents of this folder are encrypted on your local device. Not even pCloud employees can read it without your password. pCloud uses 256-bit AES encryption for files and folders, while the encryption key uses 4096-bit RSA (both encryptions are extra secure).

The files and folders are not automatically encrypted, but you have to drag and drop the ones you want to encrypt into the Crypto folder. This means that you can have encrypted and unencrypted files at the same time.

This possibility is very useful for sharing non-confidential documents with friends and at the same time being able to have an additional level of security in the desired files.

pCloud is a great service, it’s easy to use, and offers a good amount of storage for free. Furthermore, its paid version can be purchased at a fairly reasonable price.

The Cryptographic Folders option is also a very nice feature, especially since it allows you to choose which files you want to encrypt and which you don’t.

Amazon Drive

You probably don’t know that much of Amazon’s business relies on cloud storage. Amazon Drive started out as a basic photo and video backup service.

However, today if you are an Amazon Prime member you get unlimited storage for photos and 5GB for videos, music and other files.

In addition to the basic package, Amazon also includes a music storage service, Cloud Player, which allows you to store 250 songs online for free.

You can access these files from your mobile device (Android or iOS), via the Amazon MP3 application. You also have the option to play or download them.

If you need more storage, you can access the paid version for £ 55 per year ($ 61.91 approx) and have unlimited storage.

The apps are available for iOS and Android, as well as for Windows and Mac. They also offer the Prime Photos app, dedicated to storing photos on your phone.

In Prime Photos, faces are automatically recognized, so you can quickly search for photos of someone in particular or even objects. The main Amazon Drive application has a simple and easy-to-use interface. Files saved in the Amazon Drive folder are automatically stored in the cloud.

Amazon Drive was too simple a platform. But now that it offers a complete and adequate backup service for all your files (as well as offering unlimited storage for a reasonable annual price), we are happy to recommend it.

Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the few services that offers support for Linux and Blackberry users. It can also be used on Windows, macOS, Android and any standard iOS. It also has an official application for phones.

The free basic account only offers 2GB of space. If you just want to store documents, this space is more than enough, but if you want to save files of more weight (photos, music or videos), surely that amount is not enough.

You can increase the capacity to 1TB if you subscribe for € 9.99 per month. It’s also worth mentioning that Dropbox offers an extra 500MB for every friend who joins the service thanks to your recommendation. (This offer is limited to 16GB).

Dropbox creates a local folder on the device of your choice that syncs with an online version. Thanks to this, you will continue to have all files available even when you are offline. This does not apply to mobile phones, although it is possible to make some files available offline.

Folders and files can be shared with others, although the basic version doesn’t allow you to configure permissions, so those shared files can be edited (and even deleted) by other users.

Despite these minor inconveniences, the free version is by no means a disaster, as Dropbox makes 30-day backups of the original files, so if you edit them or want to recover a deleted document, you can restore the previous versions.

If you pay $ 9.99 for the Dropbox Plus version, you can configure permissions so that the files you share can only be read (not deleted or modified), as well as create passwords and expiration dates for links you’ve shared.

It also has security tools that include a two-step authentication process (it’s worth activating). Additionally, all files stored in Dropbox are encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption.

Dropbox provides a solid foundation for cloud file storage. It may lack some features that its rivals possess. However, we find Dropbox easy to use and compatible with many applications.

iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive changed in 2014 to allow you to store any document or file, even if it wasn’t created in the Apple app, and access it from your computer (via iCloud for Windows or icloud.com, plus of course via iOS and any Mac device ).

Surely it doesn’t surprise you that it doesn’t have any applications for Windows Phone, Android or Blackberry. So we don’t recommend Apple iCloud if you are not an iPhone or iPad user.

With this service you will get folders for “Tags”, “Numbers” and “Pages in iCloud Drive” and you can also add your own. Many of the third-party apps are now iCloud Drive enabled, and since iOS 9 there is also an iCloud Drive app.

The 5GB of free storage is pretty small, as it’s only a fraction of what you need to use the full range of iCloud services, including backing up your iOS device online. You will have to pay € 0.99 per month for 50GB, € 2.99 per month for 200GB, or € 9.99 per month for 2TB.

A recent addition to iCloud Drive is the ability to share files between applications, this allows you, for example, to design a chart and then include it in a presentation.

iCloud Drive also lets you start working on your iPad and then pick up where you left off on your computer.

While iCloud is secure enough, much of the information is encrypted in what Apple calls “a minimum of 128-bit AES,” with the higher-than-256-bit standard reserved for “keychain passwords.”

Apple also reserves the right to browse the contents of your files if it has reason to believe that they contain illegal or harmful material.

iCloud Drive is starting to get some of the great collaboration features offered by competitors, including the Dropbox offering. However, selective timing is still lacking, which is a problem for many.

If you are an Apple user and are willing to pay at least € 0.99 per month for the privilege, it is worth taking advantage of iCloud Drive, but for those using other operating systems, we suggest looking for another service.

Mega

Mega is a New Zealand-based company founded in 2013 by German entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, although he is not currently involved.

Mega focuses on safety. Unlike some of its competitors, this service always provides encryption. Your files in the cloud are encrypted locally, along the path and on the destination server.

Mega has no way to access your information, as the password is also encrypted. This means that any file stored in Mega can only be opened by you.

It is compatible for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. It also has add-ons to browse safely for Chrome and Firefox. The apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and even Blackberry.

The free standard package offers a large amount of space – 50GB. And if that’s not enough for you, you can get 500 GB (€ 99 per year), 2 TB (€ 199 per year) or 4 TB (€ 299 per year). You will also have greater bandwidth with each package which will allow you to share and receive files from your friends.

Sharing files with other Mega members is easy. (It works similar to Google Drive and OneDrive.) You can send an invitation to a friend and set the level of actions they can complete (view, edit, etc.).

It also allows you to send links to non-Mega users, although this involves sending an encrypted key privately so that they can access the files. The service includes secure communication features: video chat, voice calls, email and instant messaging.

These features are also end-to-end encrypted, making them more private than other company’s features like Skype or Google Hangouts.

Thanks to its advantageous free account, fast service, cross-platform resources, and highly secure nature, Mega is a great option for anyone looking for a cloud storage service.

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