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Business Clouds - Find the Best Cloud with our Comparison
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Business Clouds - Find the Best Cloud with our Comparison

A constantly rising number of companies are discovering the cloud as a business solution. However, clouds for business have to satisfy different requirements than clouds for private use. In this list we compare four clouds that are popular amongst companies who already shifted their business into the cloud:

  1. Microsoft OneDrive
  2. Dropbox
  3. Google Drive
  4. Box

Beforehand, we will give you a short overview of what you have to be aware of when choosing and working in a cloud.

No. 1 Criteria: Synchronization

Automatic and reliable synchronization is a very important criteria for companies in the cloud. It allows you to work offline with your files in the cloud.

Using Sync, selected files are synchronized on your computer which means that large files are available instantly, no matter if you are online or offline. The other solution is remote access, but in this case files have to be sent to your computer via online connection, which takes some time.

Setting up automatic synchronization (Sync) requires more effort by the cloud provider but results in higher convenience for the user. Therefore, we recommend clouds with good synchronization. Furthermore, it is important, that multiple users can access data, while retaining different levels of access rights. It has to be easy to work in a team and to file and share data. Those are the needs most companies do have with regard to a cloud. The cloud provider of your choice should offer a business version that is designed specifically for the desires and needs of companies and enterprises.

Following a suggestion from our community, we have included the aspect of maximum file size for synchronization in our comparison and list this key figure with every cloud service.

Data Privacy and the Cloud

For every cloud provider we recommend the use of an additional, independent end-to-end encryption that prevents any third party from accessing your data.

In case your cloud provider becomes the victim of an attack by a hacker, your data will not be of any use for the cybercriminals. Additionally, you are protected from the provider itself, accessing your data. Furthermore, even if governmental institution use local law to access data within the cloud, the data cannot be deciphered by anyone, but the owner of the data.

Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive all advertise their product by ensuring that your data is safe and that their servers are ISO 27001 certified. However, this does not mean at all that the data is thoroughly secured off of illegitimate access by third parties. Only when zero-knowledge encryption is applied to the data in the cloud, nobody (not even the provider of the encryption software) - besides the owner of the data - may access the legible data.

Encrypting the Cloud

Companies have to meet certain policies in relation to their customer’s data privacy. In Germany and Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to all companies storing and handling personal data of European citizens. The guidelines of the GDPR are strict and often not compliant with privacy policies in non-EU nations. As a consequence, using an American cloud provider (most cloud providers are located in the U.S.) to store data can be problematic, especially when it comes to personal data. Furthermore, all companies should consider certain risks that come with the cloud, such as data breaches or password leaks, as well. Encryption with zero knowledge standard is a solution to this problem. It ensures full control over the content stored in a public cloud.

Cloud storages in comparison

1. Microsoft OneDrive for Business

$5 per user per month (1 TB per user)

2-1   Cloud for Companies ONEDRIVE

in 2016, Microsoft OneDrive’s business version has been updated with a new sync-client for Windows and Mac. All your data is synchronized automatically, and therefore available offline. For $5 per month each user gets 1 TB of storage. Compared to Dropbox ($15 per user) this is much cheaper. At Google Drive you also pay $6, but you only get 30 GB. Microsoft limits the size of a file to be synchronized in OneDrive to 15 GB.

Henkel, Dakine and the Dana Holding Corporation are customers of OneDrive for Business. Amongst our enterprise customers, the cloud storage OneDrive in the Microsoft universe (Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 356, SharePoint) is also the cloud provider that is most used by our enterprise customers – as our latest customer survey from spring 2020 showed.

According to Microsoft, your data is encrypted in transit and at rest. However, Microsoft is subject to American data policies (such as the CLOUD Act). Even if a cloud provider does not want to enclose data to authorities, they might be forced to do so. For this reason, it is safer to take security and encryption into your own hands. Zero-knowledge encryption should be the instrument of choice. Files should be encrypted before (!) they leave your device and are moved to the cloud. This way you don’t have to ask the question of trust and can still work just as comfortably with your colleagues in the cloud.

Get more information about this provider here.

2. Dropbox Business

$12,50 per user per month minimum (at least 5TB storage per Team)

Dropbox Business offers more security features than the free version of Dropbox.

Dropbox Business offers more security features than the free version of Dropbox. User friendliness is a high priority at this cloud storage pioneer, therefore the leader in the market of personal clouds is also very popular amongst companies. Security and administration tools make it very easy to use Dropbox Business. One example of a well-known company that uses Dropbox is National Geographic. Dropbox claims that companies using their cloud achieve a rise in productivity and a reduction of costs for infrastructure. Prices may be slightly higher compared to other cloud providers, but in return you get very good infrastructure and usability.

If you want to upload files via the Dropbox website, the file size is limited to 50 GB. Files uploaded directly in the Dropbox software or with the Boxcryptor encryption software can be up to 350 GB in size.

Dropbox stores its data, and therefore your data, at Amazon S3. One month per user costs 12,50 $ minimum and every team gets at least 5 TB of storage. If necessary, you can upgrade on inquiry to unlimited storage.

You should use additional zero knowledge encryption to keep access to your data under your control. Ideally, of course, with encryption by a Dropbox Premier Technology Partner.

Get more information about this provider here.

3. Google Drive for Business (G Suite)

$6 per user per month (30 GB per user)

2-1   Cloud for Companies GDRIVE

Google Drive for Business offers good synchronization and offline functionality. Support is available around the clock by phone, chat or email. Many users appreciate the search function on Google Drive, which allows you to search for keywords in images, PDFs and notes. However, this function is only possible because Google knows, analyzes and evaluates the contents of files that are in the cloud.

Although data is encrypted both during data transfer and in storage, Google also holds the keys with which your data can be decrypted. According to the CLOUD Act, American authorities can make use of this decryption – a simple form with a request is sufficient. Additional client-side end-to-end encryption is therefore also necessary with Google Drive. The price per team member and month starts at $8 with Google Drive in the “Drive Enterprise” plan. Unlimited storage space is possible here, but there is a cost of $0.04 per GB and month. For prices ranging from $10 to $25, businesses in the “G-Suite” get unlimited storage. Small teams up to 5 members get 1 TB per user.

With an allowed maximum file size of 5 TB, there are arguably extremely few cases that might result in a file not being able to be uploaded due to the file’s size.

Get more information about this provider here.

4. Box for Companies

Per user per month $7 (at minimum 100 GB per user)

2-1   Cloud for Companies BOX

Box is specialized on companies, which means that they developed a user-friendly interface which allows simple file transfer and collaboration. Still, its competitor Dropbox is leading in user friendliness.

With Box, you can start with $7 per team member with 100 GB of memory and a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 10 users. In this version, however, you can only upload files with a maximum size of 2 GB. The Business, Business Plus and Enterprise plans offer unlimited storage space and allow you to upload larger files.

Box works together with Amazon Web Services. Box supports all major mobile systems and is, according to Business Insider, No. 3 of the most used cloud-apps in companies.

Get more information about this provider here.

Our Comparison in a Nutshell

Due to the high user friendliness and the well-engineered cloud technology, we recommend these four big providers. Of course, there are many more cloud providers, also some that emphasize security and that encrypt your data better.

But since the keys for decryption in those cases also stay with the cloud providers, we recommend the use of zero knowledge encryption no matter which provider your company is making use of. This way, full control over the data remains within the company and you can use the market leading clouds without concerns over safety.

Find out how Boxcryptor can protect your business cloud

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