The Sky is Falling on Digital Storage Prices
With Google’s recent price cut, cloud storage has never been more affordable, and based on general rules of competition that is good news for anyone shopping for storage in the clouds.
The big news out of the Google Empire in the last week was the massive price drop for Google Drive that basically cuts off all other competitors at the knees. The Mountain View titan is selling a terabyte of storage for $9.99 per month. Compare that to SugarSync that offers the same amount of space for up to three users for $55 per month or their top competition, Dropbox, who only provides 100 GB of space for that same $9.99 per month and it becomes apparent what a massive drop this is.
Typically Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have matched each other’s prices so more than likely we should see other providers start dropping price to keep pace. That will affect all sorts of people from small business to developers.
Generally speaking people look at Dropbox as the top location for cloud storage and syncing data. Microsoft has the OneDrive built into Windows 8. Then there is Google, which has Google Drive and a connection to a range of productivity apps, but still isn’t dominating the market. A primary reason for this price drop is to attract a wider range of users based on price and then show them all of the things Google has to offer like Google Docs and Google Sheets.
To combat that you can expect Microsoft to market the free online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint because they have the name recognition to help sell the OneDrive product to people.
Of course the real question is what does this mean to you?
Do you need Cloud Storage?
Originally the forecast was for all of our files to be in the cloud in the next few decades. At the rate we are going it will probably happen sooner rather than later. The reasons why individuals and businesses are turning to the cloud are fairly simple:
- Data consolidation – Rather than have files on multiple devices or logged away in complicated folder structures we have a centralized location that can be accessed from anywhere at any time using a multitude of devices. Plus it can easily be tweaked for organizational needs.
- Infinite space – Seriously do you think you will ever need all of the space that is available in the cloud? Google offers 15GB of space on Google Drive for free and 100GB for only $1.99 per month. For perspective 15 GB is about 3,500 songs or 20 hours of video.
- Safe backup – A good cloud service can be synched easily and avoids concerns over hard drive crashes, theft, or even natural disasters. If you synch your devices and files regularly even the worst case scenario is not that bad.
- Easy sharing – Content can be shared more easily and quickly from the cloud. Are you still waiting for the email from your Aunt Martha with all those massive photos attached? Too bad she just didn’t send you the link to them rather than sending those large files.
- On the go – While desktops aren’t going away, we certainly prefer not to always be tethered to one. It used to be that if you had to work somewhere else it involved saving files to a flash drive, emailing them to yourself, or even zipping up a big project. How much time did you spend moving files back and forth? Now you can use your tablet from any wireless network to pull something down from the cloud to get work done easily on the train ride home.
Those are just five good reasons why everyone should be moving to the cloud right now. Of course when looking at cloud storage from a business perspective, the question you should be asking yourself is what else do I need along with my cloud storage?
Looking beyond storage
What else do you or your business need besides storage space? Right now space alone is like the bread of the sandwich; it is important because it makes it a sandwich but there is more in the middle to be enjoyed.
Microsoft just announced that OneNote is now free everywhere and the OneNote service now has a cloud API, making it easier to integrate services and third party apps with OneNote. This adds appeal to using OneDrive. Of course if your business isn’t using all Windows devices and Office then it loses some appeal and they also have a strict code of conduct for files that are uploaded.
Dropbox has storage solutions for every type of client from Linux and Blackberry to Android and iOS making it ideal for those who need to share from a range of devices. Plus they have no file size restrictions when using Dropbox apps. However the display and organization is a bit lacking which makes it not as functional for lots of users.
Other service providers have their own positive and negative aspects, although it appears that Google is making a push to eliminate as many negatives and add more positives all the time.
The bottom line, when looking at cloud storage, is to look at where you are along with where you plan to be and pick a service accordingly that seems to be going in the same direction you are for both your current and future needs. With the expected price drop from other providers, now is a great time to move up into the cloud.