Cloud computing hits a particular sweet spot. With cloud storage services, small businesses reap the benefits of not having to deploy physical infrastructure like file and e-mail servers, storage systems or shrink-wrapped software. Plus, the “anywhere, anytime” availability of these solutions, means hassle-free collaboration between business partners and employees by simply using a browser.
Here is a list of cloud storage sites. Some of these sites store your content such as documents and photos so that you can access remotely and collaborate with peers. Other sites focus on storing your data for backup protection.
Google Drive. In Google Drive, you can create new documents, spreadsheets and presentations instantly. Work together at the same time, on the same doc, and see changes as they appear.. Price: For $30 a year ($2.50 a month), users get 25GB to use for Google Drive and Picasa, plus 25GB of Gmail storage.
ADrive. ADrive is a storage and backup site. Access files anywhere, edit documents online, and share files. ADrive offers 50 GB of storage in its free account. However, some traditionally standard features, such as SSL encryption, are only available in the paid account. Price: 50 GB Basic is free. Signature 50 GB accounts — which include security and other features — are $6.95 per month. Premium 100 GB to 10 TB accounts start at $13.95 per month
Box.net. Box.net is an easy-to-use system to store, manage, and share files. It has nice features, including exchange feedback around file versions, task management, and smartphone access. Advanced security features only come with Business and Enterprise level accounts. Price: 5 GB with one user is free. 500 GB and 3 to 500 users is $15 per user per month. Call for Enterprise pricing.
Carbonite. Carbonite is an automatic backup system. It offers unlimited backup to protect your files (not software) for a very competitive price. Carbonite is great if all you need is backup protection. Price: $59 per year per computer. 3-plus-computer plans start at $229 per year. Discount for multi-year subscription.
Dropbox. Dropbox is a storage, syncing and sharing system. Any file you save to Dropbox instantly saves to your computer, phones, and the Dropbox website. Invite others to a folder, then see their changes instantly. Dropbox has a mobile app. Price: 2 GB is free. 50 GB is $9.99 per month. 100 GB is $19.99 per month. Team plans start at $795 per year for 5 users and 350 GB.
ElephantDrive. ElephantDrive is an automated backup system with a simple interface program. Easily manage stored files with file search and file history. Multi-user storage is only available for Enterprise account. Price: 2 GB is free. 100 GB with two devices is $9.95 per month. 500 GB with 5 devices is $19.95 per month. Call for Enterprise pricing for unlimited storage and multiple users.
FilesAnywhere. This is an online file storage, syncing and sharing system. Manage and share files anywhere, including from mobile phone. View and edit documents. Advanced plans feature additional security and automated backup. Price: 1 GB is free. 10 GB is $11.95 per month for Basic plan and $15.75 per month for Advanced plan.
FlipDrive. Simplify your life with FlipDrive. FlipDrive offers storage for files, contacts, photos, favorite sites, calendar, and other information. FlipDrive does not have an application to backup files automatically. Price: 1 GB storage is free. 10 GB storage is $4.95 per month. 50 GB storage is $9.95 per month. 100 GB is $19.95 per month.
FreeDrive. FreeDrive is a personal storage and file sharing service designed for users of social networks, such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. Users can access both their own files and their friends’ files from within the social network. Price: 1 GB storage, free.
iStorage. iStorage is an online storage service from Iomega. Simply click what you want to backup automatically with an easy-to-use interface. Manage files, access remotely with smartphone, and share your data. File sharing can only be accomplished using WhaleMail. Price: Individual plans start at 1 GB for $5.99 per month and goes to 15 GB for $49.99 per month. Multi-user plans start at 1 GB for $9.99 per month and goes to 25 GB for $99.99 per month.
Mozy. Mozy is an automated storage system. While this is primarily for backup protection, you can easily manage stored files and access them remotely, including from smartphone. Mozy offers strong security features and is inexpensive for the amount of space. Price: 50 GB is $5.99 per month. 125 GB with 3 computers is $9.99 per month.
JungleDisk. Store, sync, backup, and share online with Jungle Disk. Features automated backup and smartphone app. Share files between multiple computers. Multi-way sync keeps files up to date. Pay only for the storage you use. Price: Simply Backup is $2 per month plus $0.15 per GB of storage used; first 5 GB storage is free. Workgroup Edition is $4 per user per month plus $0.15 per GB of storage used; first 10 GB storage per user is free.
OpenDrive. Store your content for remote access, sharing and collaboration. Back up files automatically, and sync across multiple platforms. Directly link or embed any of your files for use in emails, websites, or social networks. With its full set of features, this is a top solution for online storage and collaboration. Price: 5 GB storage is free. 100 GB storage with 3 users is $5 per month. 500 GB storage with 5 users is $15 per month. 1 TB storage with 7 users is $25 per month.
SkyDrive. SkyDrive is part of Microsoft Windows Live. Upload your files and photos so you can access them from anywhere. Share files and collaborate with others. Create, edit, and share Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files online, even if you don’t have Microsoft Office installed on your computer. Price: 5 GB is free.
Storegate. Storegate is a storage and backup site. Store files to access or share anywhere, including from smartphone. Backup files automatically. Storegate is cell phone compatible so you can back up your phone contact list and calendar. Price: 1 GB online hard drive is free. 25 GB storage is $7.99 per month. 50 GB is $14.99 per month. 100 GB is $29.99 per month.
SugarSync. SugarSync is a perfect blend of storage and backup. Store and sync your files in the cloud to access from any device, including smartphone. Back up files automatically. Access, share, and edit files and folders from anywhere. Price: 5 GB is free. 30 GB is $4.99 per month. 60 GB is $9.99 per month. 100 GB is $14.99 per month. 250 GB is $24.99 per month.