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Online storage: which to choose?


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Year after year, the ” cloud ” is inserted more deeply into the applications. Even Mr. Everybody has heard and often uses it. Cloud services are increasingly extended and integrated with operating systems, especially on smartphones and tablets where they complement the low capacity of initial storage. However, all cloud services are not equal: they vary greatly in storage capacity, in prices or features. Indeed, one would think that “have plenty of choice” was invented expressly for the cloud market.

The price of the facility

Most services allow you to open a free account, which entitles to a few gigabytes of storage. But do not believe that online storage is economical. Instead, the e gigabyte online is still expensive , to the point that it is not possible to duplicate the entire contents of their PC in the cloud.

Fortunately, large suppliers are waging a war ongoing price: therefore prices decrease steadily it is now possible to store a terabyte online for a hundred euros per year. An external hard drive is less expensive but does not open the same opportunities.

The empty box to the Swiss Army knife

In terms of features, the cloud storage services do the splits. Some are minimalist and offer only a space where to send files manually. Others are part of the operating system and automatically load your photos, documents, videos, configuration settings, etc. Most focus on the synchronization of a file : the content will be automatically copied online and on all other PCs connected to the same contract. Less common are services designed to make the backup.

Personal space, but not totally private

All services protect access to their customer data via the traditional login / password. However, behind this fence your data are not necessarily immune from every eye. Often the data is stored unencrypted on the servers of service provider, which leaves the possibility for a third party to consult. At Google, or Microsoft, it is even a certainty: these companies reserve the right to analyze by software robots data they house in order, for example, to remove content contrary to their values. A pedophile was arrested in the US after Microsoft warned police he shared images of child pornography on onedrive.

Other services have a completely opposite approach: they allow to totally encrypt data and leave the encryption key only in the hands of the user. There are also third party applications, as BoxCryptor, adding this functionality to services that do not.

This is according to these criteria we will review eight competing services: Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, OVH Hubic, Microsoft onedrive, MEGA, and Bitcasa DrivinCloud.

Server, network, storage: Amazon and Microsoft reign supreme in the cloud

Gartner has published its “Magic Quadrant” dedicated to IaaS offerings. Only two offers access to the coveted status of “Leaders” quadrant.

The market for Infrastructure as a Service , ie resources (server, network, storage) available in convenience via the cloud is expanding. Pioneer and longtime market leader, Amazon AWS and preserves, not surprisingly, his position. But it is no longer the only public cloud to appear in the famous square “Leaders”. Microsoft, which still appeared last year in the case of “visionary” joined Amazon. The offer IaaS Microsoft Azure launched there just over a year, has grown considerably within months. For Gartner, “Microsoft’s vision is global and publisher aggressively extends across multiple international markets.”

To survive in the public cloud, we must constantly innovate and quickly. RackSpace accompanying Microsoft in 2013 as Visionary thus sees “demoted” in the square of the “Niche Players” and rub shoulders with Joyent, VirtuStrealn HP, VMware, Fujitsu … Five builders “Visionaries” are fighting for third place in the podium. Among them, CSC (Computer Science Corp) but also Google (which entered) and IBM (which benefits from the redemption SoftLayer).

Hubic the OVH online storage service has just upgraded its offers, in a good way! No technological revolution and new incredible features, but lower prices at remarkably low levels nearly as low as they were at the launch.

A free account Hubic always gives the right to 25 GB. But who wants to 100GB has to pay more than € 1 per month, so 12 € per year, against € 15.74 previously. And the largest consumers will be even happier. The previous offers were charging the 1TB for almost € 120 a year, then additional 120 € per terabyte. Starting today, 10TB not cost more than € 10 per month, so 120 € per year.

OVH is not quite returned to the launch prices (unlimited when was costing € 84 per year), but almost. In addition, since last year there is no limit on the size of stored files. The only requirement for use is penalizing bandwidth limited to 10 Mbit / s, which certainly hinder the fiber or VDSL2 subscribers happy. Note that since its inception, has evolved technically Hubic: the application now supports syncing a folder between multiple positions, it exists for the most popular platforms and overall service reliability has greatly improved.

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