It's recommended to use various online storage services to keep your files to receive a fast access to any personal files from any point of the world. Some people use an online storage service as part of a backup strategy. The two main criteria for selecting the preferable storage service are upload bandwidth and fast access. In the age of web and mobile applications, a desktop app’s simplicity of use also matters.
We tested 23 storage services in order to discover the features of an excellent place to save your files. Too many expensive services were ignored as they make almost no sense. The focus was on upload and download speed. The best-performing services all possess the features listed below.
1. Upload Speed
Few variables have an impact on upload speed. First of all, it depends on your Internet provider as well as whether you prefer a modem or Wi-Fi router. After all, you might be dealing with a specific restriction on the amount of data you can download or upload during one month. You cannot cross that set border; you can only buy another package to speed up the work and get more gigabytes. The speed can sometimes change during the day, depending on the amount of traffic.
In order to examine the upload speed, multiple data sets were developed. Each had different size and number of files (videos, images, docs, etc.) and every online storage we tested involved the same data set. The goal was to measure upload period. We took 1 TB of information to test. Computers with equal characteristics were used to test each storage service fairly. Our team estimated that the best results were displayed by all services that managed to upload 1 TB in less than seven days. It took more than seven weeks to upload all files in case of the worst examined services. It all depends on your computer; the period may be slower or longer.
2. Download Speed
The download speed is almost the same as the upload speed. The only difference is that instead of removing data to the existing online storage, the user gets it. As you can guess, network provider's bandwidth and network traffic matter. Cloud storage providers and SpiderOakOne were among the leaders in this category as these services managed to save a plenty of time for users who downloaded (for instance, up to 1 TB). The services that cope with this task in less than one week are considered the best choices. It is not recommended to select Microsoft OneDrive as it requires more than one month to download the same amount of data.
Online storage should be extremely easy! Avoid software that is complex. The desktop app must be as easy as ABC even for the newcomer. This criterion might sound rather subjective, but while evaluating, we have taken into account such features as:
- How easy it is to reach and start using the service.
- How many steps should be taken to upload and download.
- If there are any special skills needed to work with the service.
Based on the features mentioned above, it was discovered that easy app includes no more than three steps:
- Moving to the upload and download page.
- Choosing the files.
- Launching the process.
Fewer stages usually prevent users from failing the process or get stuck. Besides, in the age of active mobile development, the service should be accessible from any device. At last, all symbols should be clear, so that user understands what a certain feature is about.
4. File Sharing
Some services are focused entirely on online file sharing, but many of the cloud storage services make it possible to share files on a basic level with the help of generated URL.
5. Device Syncing
Services like Dropbox and iCloud are built on this principle. In other words, each time you come up with some modifications, they are automatically uploaded to the cloud and downloaded to the other devices later.
- Third-party app integration.
- Help and client support.
These are what's really irritating when they're missing. Users are more likely to choose services with 24/7 loyal support that will never leave them in trouble.