Cloud storage for businesses—comparing three popular providers

Browsing cloud storage for businesses can be daunting and time-consuming. Read our buying guide and reviews to find the best option quickly.
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Cloud storage for businesses is a more flexible and scalable alternative to hard drives and on-site data centers. It’s hard to imagine a workflow without it, as this technology has become ubiquitous in the business world.With so many providers on the market, choosing the right one can be challenging. This guide will help by explaining what to look for in a service so that you can avoid committing to subpar options. We will also review some popular choices to show you which provider can fit your needs and budget while keeping your sensitive data safe from unauthorized access and cyberattacks.
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What to look for in cloud storage for business use

Switching between cloud storage providers can disrupt your operations and cause bottlenecks, so you must find the right solution from the get-go. When comparing different options, use the following criteria to zero in on the best provider:
  1. Security and privacy
  2. Server location
  3. Performance
  4. Third-party integrations

Safety first

If your cloud provider can’t safeguard your data and ensure complete privacy, you should keep searching. It doesn’t matter if they check every other box, as no feature can make up for the risk of your data leaking. According to IBM’s report, the average cost of a data breach peaked in 2022, reaching $9.44 million in the U.S. ($4.35 million globally).When assessing a provider’s security, focus on four aspects:
  • Cloud security measures (firewalls, intrusion detection systems, etc.)
  • Physical security of the servers
  • Privacy policy
  • Encryption
Most providers do a solid job of protecting their solutions from outside threats—the problem lies in the way they manage and treat your data. With standard encryption that most services use to safeguard your files, the provider can access plaintext copies of your data. Unless the cloud service offers end-to-end encryption (E2EE), they’re not the right solution for your business.This is because E2EE enables client-side encryption, where files are encrypted on your device and reach the cloud ciphered. This way, the provider can’t access your data, and the risk of it falling into the wrong hands is minimal.Even if an attacker breaches the server, they will only see the scrambled text they can’t do anything with. The user creates and stores the decryption key, so the files are safe as long as you secure the devices with cloud access.

Server location determines data responsibilities

Cloud servers can be spread across the globe, and their location makes a massive difference to your overall experience. Depending on where your data is stored, you’ll have different data laws to abide by.The same goes for your provider—some countries require cloud services to give up sensitive data if the authorities deem it necessary, while others prioritize user privacy.The last reason why server location matters is the risk of natural disasters. Storing servers in countries prone to earthquakes or floods can be dangerous, though this risk is mitigated by redundancy. This is a core concept of cloud storage that involves storing your data on multiple servers, so users don’t suffer downtime if the server fails or requires maintenance.

Performance is key

Your cloud storage doesn’t only affect backups and archives. It also determines the file transfer speed and ease of collaboration. Waste caused by low-performing cloud services accumulates over time and can lead to significant costs.When assessing performance, you should focus on several factors, most notably:
  • Response time
  • Processing time
  • Latency
  • Bandwidth
Note that a service’s popularity doesn’t necessarily correspond with high performance. A good example is Microsoft’s OneDrive—despite its widespread use, the service has had various performance issues impacting the users’ overall business efficiency.

Expand the platform’s usability with integrations

A cloud solution isn’t the only software you have, so you must see how it integrates into your existing workflow. The goal is to create a cohesive ecosystem that will increase your productivity and efficiency.This is especially important if your provider only offers cloud storage without additional built-in platforms. The good news is that most storage solutions aren’t this limited, so you should have access to document creation and editing, calendars, and other tools you need to streamline your operations.

Best cloud storage for businesses—pros and cons of industry-leading solutions

Several cloud providers have amassed a wide user base thanks to their numerous features:
  1. Google Drive
  2. Dropbox Business
  3. Skiff Drive
While each solution looks similar at first glance, a closer look will uncover some major differences that may significantly impact your experience.

Google Drive

Source: Google WorkspaceThanks to a combination of affordability and feature variety, Google Drive has become the go-to solution for many businesses. The main problem is the company’s lack of security, which is off-putting to privacy-conscious users.
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Google only offers free Drive storage for personal use. Businesses can choose from four paid Google Workspace tiers that include Drive among the provider’s other productivity platforms:
  1. Business Starter (30 GB per user)—$6/user per month
  2. Business Standard (2 TB per user)—$12/user per month
  3. Business Plus (5 TB per user)—$18/user per month
  4. Enterprise—custom pricing available upon inquiry

Pros and cons

Google Drive is a comprehensive cloud storage solution that comes packed with various useful tools (Docs, Sheets, Calendar, and Meet, to name a few). For a fair price, you get access to almost everything you need to store, manage, and share files without complications.The user interface is clean and modern, as expected from the tech giant. On top of each member’s dedicated space, you can create shared drives to collaborate and manage file changes.Besides Google’s native apps, you can connect many third-party services with Drive—the platform supports hundreds of integrations, so adapting it to your existing workflow shouldn’t be a concern.All of the above would make Google Drive a perfect cloud service for businesses if it wasn’t for the major privacy and security concerns putting users’ data at risk. Google only offers server-side encryption across all its platforms, which means encryption keys are created and stored by the service.Not only can Google decrypt and see your files, but malicious parties can do the same if they breach the platform’s servers. An attacker can steal the decryption keys and have unrestricted access to your data.Besides, Google is known for mining user data, so they’re far from the most private option. If you need a platform that gives you full ownership and control of your data, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
AffordabilityNo end-to-end encryption
Feature varietyMajor privacy concerns
Hundreds of third-party integrations.

Dropbox Business

Source: DropboxDropbox is an integral part of many remote teams, as it’s packed with organization and collaboration features. It’s on the expensive side, though, which might be problematic for users on a budget.


Besides a limited free plan available for personal use, Dropbox offers four paid tiers:
  1. Professional (single user, 3 TB)—$19.99/month ($16.58/month if billed annually)
  2. Standard (3+ users, 5 TB)—$18/user per month ($15/month if billed annually)
  3. Advanced (3+ users, custom storage)—$30/user per month ($24/month if billed annually)
  4. Enterprise (custom storage)—custom pricing available upon inquiry

Pros and cons

Dropbox takes a different approach to collaboration than Google Drive, so it doesn’t have as many additional productivity platforms. You can use Dropbox Paper to create docs and invite team members to contribute, which makes access control simple and effective. Besides Paper, you can share and edit cloud files from Google’s and Microsoft’s suites.If you opt for the DocSend add-on, you can get real-time analytics and advanced document supervision to know exactly what happens with each doc you share. Combine this with Dropbox’s 180-day file versioning and account restoration, and you get outstanding document control that most competitors can’t match. The only drawback is that DocSend is charged separately, starting at $10/user per month.Security-wise, Dropbox is a solid option. It has a highly distributed infrastructure and keeps your files safe in transit and at rest. There’s still no end-to-end encryption, so the platform can access your files.Considering Dropbox’s high price, this is a major drawback. Several providers do a better job of ensuring user privacy at lower costs.
Integration with other major providersPricey tiers
Great document controlNo end-to-end encryption
180-day file versioning .

Skiff Drive

Source: SkiffSkiff Drive is a privacy-first, end-to-end encrypted cloud storage that gives users full ownership of their data. Your files are encrypted before reaching Skiff’s servers and can’t be accessed by anyone other than the users you decide to share them with.


Skiff offers a robust free plan alongside three affordable paid tiers:
  1. Essential—$4/month ($3/month if billed annually)
  2. Pro—$10/month ($8/month if billed annually)
  3. Business—$15/user per month ($12/user per month if billed annually)

Pros and cons

Skiff Drive uses advanced cryptography to safeguard your data, enabling users to create and store decryption keys. Once your files are encrypted, nobody—including Skiff’s team—can see the unencrypted versions.The platform also uses zero-knowledge authentication, so your credentials aren’t stored on the servers. You don’t even need to provide any personal information to get started, so your sensitive data is protected from the moment you sign up.The Business plan gives you 1 TB of end-to-end encrypted storage, and the protection extends to link sharing—links are safeguarded with the same advanced encryption as all your files, so the risk of unauthorized access is virtually zero.For added protection, Skiff supports two-factor authentication and optional InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) integration. IPFS is the largest peer-to-peer storage space leveraging the power of decentralization to keep your files safe and sound.Skiff Drive supports all file types and is compatible with iOS, Android, macOS, and all major browsers. Whether you’re working from the office or on the go, you can rest assured your files are safe.If you own any crypto assets or want to perform transactions anonymously, you can log in with various wallets:Skiff is open source, and the codebase is regularly reviewed by independent developers. You can visit the platform’s GitHub to inspect the code or read the whitepaper to learn more about its cutting-edge data security and other features.

Sign up for free and secure your files

If you want to see Skiff in action, you can sign up for the free plan in three quick steps:
  1. Visit the signup page
  2. Choose your account name and password
  3. Upload your files to Skiff Drive
You’ll get access to three additional end-to-end encrypted platforms to streamline your workflow:If you’re coming from another cloud provider, use Skiff’s one-click migration to transfer your data instantly. The platform won’t save unencrypted copies, so your sensitive data won’t be exposed to any risks.

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