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How Business Can Make the Most of Free Cloud Storage

So you’ve entered the brave new world of cloud storage, and you’re busy exploring its many advantages.

These include the ability to access your files on the run, the security of knowing your documents are backed up whatever happens to your computer or phone, and your ability to share files with those on the other side of the world.

But how can you ensure your business gets optimum clout from cloud-based management?

Choose a provider who offers the free cloud storage you need

There are plenty of cloud providers out there, so it pays to do your homework and know exactly what you’re getting. Most plans give you a set amount of storage for free – you decide how many other features you add in, and which provider gives the best overall value. Most offer starter, personal and business packages.

The main contenders are Google Drive, OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), Box, Dropbox and SugarSynch, although a number of smaller, more specialised companies have now entered the market.

  • Google Drive. If you’re already using Google Docs, adding file storage through Google Drive is a seamless choice. Google Drive is also available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS, making it a flexible option for both office and travel.
  • OneDrive. Microsoft’s online storage option is OneDrive, replacing the rather clunky SkyDrive. If you’re going straight into Microsoft’s new Windows 10, OneDrive is an integral part of the operating system. Don’t worry about downloading or installing apps – it’s waiting and ready to go.
  • Box. This more recent contender offers the adaptability of working across employees, teams and clients, with a secure and easy-to-use platform.
  • Dropbox. This company is known for offering plenty of optional extras, referral bonuses and plugins. With 100,000 businesses now using Dropbox for Business, it’s certainly worth a look.
  • SugarSynch. This platform allows you to back up and access your files using your existing folder structure, and also offers a free 30-day trial.

The business benefits of cloud storage

  • Unlimited storage. Choose a package with unlimited storage and you’ll never have to worry about filling up that computer hard drive again. With everything from payroll to customer files and business reports neatly stored on the cloud, retrieval is a breeze.
  • Quick and easy analysis. With vast amounts of data stored on the cloud, companies are now able to carry out detailed analysis of their databases without lengthy consultation and specialist knowledge.
  • Mobility. Access your information on phone, laptop or computer wherever you happen to be in the world – as long as you have an internet connection.
  • Security. A cloud storage system ensures that you data is fully secure and encrypted, requiring a password in order to be accessed and retrieved.
  • Online faxing. A company like eFax will securely save and store every document you send and receive free of charge in the cloud. No more needing to keep paper copies of everything. Try the special mBox Plus package for a 30-day free trial, and test it yourself.
  • Simple sharing. Share files and documents at the touch of a button. It doesn’t matter if you’re on holiday, you can still share those vital documents with your work colleagues or customers.
  • Money saved. Free cloud storage is a no-brainer really. It eliminates the need to buy all those extra drives for storage. Your office saves money on paper, printers, cartridges and filing cabinets. And it’s so much tidier and more streamlined to boot.

Remember, too, that free cloud storage is just the start of it. Your cloud provider should be able to offer you multi-platform support, top security and integrated apps, tailoring a package to suit your unique business needs.