The Cloud Storage Final Four

What could be possibly more exciting than the best teams in college basketball facing off in a March Madness Final Four showdown? Oh, I don't know, maybe four of the leading cloud storage platforms battling it out on this blog post!

501cTECH's Cloud Storage Final Four

In the Northwest Region, we have OneDrive! Also in the Northwest Region, we have DropBoxGoogle Drive, and Box (there aren't very many companies in the cloud business based outside of the Pacific Northwest). We'll judge each platform on their respective strengths and weaknesses, keeping in mind that all of them are worthwhile solutions.

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OneDrive

Points For

OneDrive works seamlessly with Windows devices because it's built into the Windows operating systems running on PCs, tablets and Windows Phone. It's easy to open and edit files from OneDrive in Microsoft's other applications, such as Word or the Photos app. Since OneDrive is closely 0-1tied with Office, it's a good choice for anyone who uses Office frequently. It's also free for some nonprofits through partnerships with organizations like 501cTECH!

Points Against

OneDrive has a ton of potential (upside), but if you're not running Windows exclusively or using Microsoft applications regularly, it probably won't live up to it. There are apps for other devices, but OneDrive is really meant for the Windows OS.

You can't use OneDrive without a Microsoft account, so if you're not interested in using Outlook or other Microsoft services, this might not be the right solution for your organization.

There's currently a limit of 20,000 per business account, but Microsoft says it is working to change that.


DropBox

Points For

DropBox does a 360 slam dunk with its user experience and integration with PCs, Macs, Android and iOS. It's probably the unnamedsimplest of the solutions to master, and its desktop applications blend seamlessly with your computer's files system.

Points Against

Dropbox gets its shot blocked with website design. It's probably the weakest out of the final four services. It's simple and clean, but you can't control the way your files are displayed. However, you do get many more sharing options on the Dropbox website, which almost makes up for the bare-bones design.


Google Drive

Points For

Google Drive requires very little setup if you already have a Google account. What's more, if you use Gmail, it's easy to save attachments from your email unnamed-1directly to Drive with just a few clicks.

Points Against

While you can organize your files and photos in Google Drive, there's no way to automatically upload photos from your phone directly to the service. Instead, Google has an Auto Backup feature in the Google+ mobile apps, which sends your photos to your Google+ profile. There isn't a central space to store and upload files that combines the best of Google+'s photo editing features and Google Drive's document editing tools, which may be a missed opportunity.


Box

Points For

For most organizations, Box.org is a great choice because it comes with so many tools for collaboration and file privacy control. It's also free to very affordable for nonprofits depending on size.unnamed

Points Against

While anyone can sign up for a free individual account on Box, the service's endless list of sharing and privacy features can be lost on someone who's just using the service for personal storage. Because of all those features, it can feel overwhelming to navigate the Box website if you're only trying to manage a few files and folders.


There you have it! Arguably, the four best cloud storage teams. Use this information as a small part of your own cloud March Madness decision making, and let us know if you need any help choosing the champion.

Topics: cloud technology, nonprofit technology

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