These cloud storage solutions allow individuals, families, and businesses to store files securely and share them with anyone in the world.
The cloud has unlocked the potential for increased productivity in ways few other modern tools have. Essential documents are no longer limited to a single network — instead, small businesses and enterprises can keep files secured in a centralized location for instant collaboration. Even individuals and families can harness the cloud for personal use, quickly transferring photos or home videos to family members and friends, no matter where they are or what device they use.
Whether through free accounts or paid subscriptions, cloud document storage solutions provide access to digital documents, photos, and critical files across any number of computers and mobile devices. Many even provide document and photo editing capabilities, enhanced security features, and other perks. Read on to discover which cloud document storage service suits your needs.
Read our free ultimate guide to learn how you can effectively implement the best document storage system for your business.
5 best cloud document storage services
Google and Android power users looking to keep their digital photos and documents safe in the cloud will likely be drawn to Google One, the company’s unified document cloud storage solution for many of its products.
Google provides 15 gigabytes of storage for free but encourages users to pay for a monthly subscription to access more storage space and additional benefits, such as a virtual private network (VPN) to beef up web browsing security. Google also allows paid accounts to share storage access with up to five additional accounts, with the ability to set privacy settings on uploaded files.
Google One is primarily built for consumer and home office use, though small businesses with fewer than five employees may be able to get some use out of the additional storage space. Larger companies will likely need to sign up for a Google Workspace account instead, which offers broader access to Google’s productivity and collaboration tools.
- Secure and reliable access to stored files on desktop computers and mobile devices.
- Free account options provide a decent amount of storage space for most personal use.
- Share access to storage space with up to five users.
- Limited access to raw storage data — can only add or remove files through Google apps or websites.
Best for: Personal use, home offices, and businesses with fewer than five employees.
Security considerations: While Google allows paid accounts to share storage access with up to five users, files are only visible to the uploaded user unless specified within the file’s visibility settings. Google encrypts data in transit and at rest, ensuring files are as secure as they can be when stored or downloaded.
Cost: Free Google accounts come with 15 GB of storage across Google products. Paid plans start at $1.99 monthly for 100 GB of cloud storage, family sharing, and other benefits.
You don’t need Windows to use Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage solution — it’s available across Windows and Mac desktop operating systems, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. That said, Windows users will get the most out of it, as it’s directly integrated with the operating system and can provide a backup of your entire Windows PC if you choose.
While OneDrive’s free option is more limited compared to some of the competition (5 GB of storage compared to Google One’s 15 GB), it’s far more capable of scaling based on your individual or organizational needs. For those looking to store and share photos and documents in the cloud, the lower OneDrive tiers may be all you need. If you want access to productivity software, enhanced security features, and need to set up additional users, Microsoft 365 tiers are available, integrating OneDrive storage throughout Microsoft’s suite of products.
- Versatile range of plans provides options for personal use or businesses of most sizes.
- Integrates directly with Windows 10 and 11, allowing PC folder backup and access to cloud storage on-demand from within the operating system.
- Lower-cost tiers are more limited than other services.
- Important security and compliance features are locked behind upgraded tiers.
Best for: Anyone, from personal and home office use to small businesses and enterprises — though Windows users will get the most out of the service.
Security considerations: All accounts have access to Microsoft’s secure cloud document storage encryption both in transit and at rest. Advanced security features, however, are limited to higher subscription tiers. For example, personal Microsoft 365 accounts provide unlimited access to a Personal Vault, which protects files with identity verification — lower-cost OneDrive accounts only allow storage of three files within the Vault. Likewise, OneDrive for Business’ least expensive plan does not include compliance tracking or file auditing features.
Cost: Free accounts provide 5 GB of storage space. Personal plans start at $1.99 monthly for 100 GB of storage. Business plans start at $5 per user per month for basic file sharing and OneDrive storage services, with additional security and compliance capabilities costing extra.
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If you’re looking for a simple solution to get centralized document storage in the cloud up and running in the shortest amount of time, Dropbox is one of the best options currently available. Uploading photos or other files is as easy as clicking a few buttons, and files are simple to organize with Dropbox’s logical folder structure.
While Dropbox’s document storage cloud is relatively low-frills, the platform allows businesses to gather legally-binding e-signatures and create collaborative documents. Users can also automatically back up files (or their entire PC/device, space permitting) and sync data across any number of devices.
- Extremely easy to use.
- 2 TB of storage space, e-signatures, unlimited device linking, and file and account history tracking available at the lowest paid tier.
- Integrates with third-party apps like Zoom, Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, and more.
- Sending files over 2 GB in size is limited to more expensive tiers.
Best for: Individuals and families, professionals working with photos or video, as well as businesses that need to store and send large files as rapidly and easily as possible.
Security considerations: Advanced security features like sharing controls and file locking are only available at higher tiers, though advanced users also receive 24/7 security monitoring and alerts. Dropbox encrypts data at rest and in transit. Dropbox also plans to offer end-to-end, zero-knowledge encryption sometime in the future — ensuring not even Dropbox knows the contents of your files — but does not currently offer it at this time.
Cost: Free accounts are available, granting 2 GB of storage. Paid accounts start at $9.99 per month for individual access to 2 TB of storage, with options that scale based on family or business size, data usage, and other additional features.
Adobe Document Cloud
Adobe Document Cloud is a storage solution built for users who primarily deal with creating, editing, and sending PDF files. Available as part of Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Document Cloud allows users to upload and access PDF content across multiple devices.
Adobe Acrobat enables easy conversion of Word documents or image scans to PDFs with the click of a few buttons. It’ll also auto-generate electronically-fillable forms, provide additional security with password protection, gather e-signatures, and much more. Then, upload your PDFs to secure cloud storage for personal backups or wider enterprise access.
- Storage provided as part of Adobe Acrobat, which also unlocks PDF creation, document conversion, e-signatures, and more
- Paid tiers available for individuals, businesses, as well as students and teachers, and scale accordingly.
- Integrates with Adobe’s suite of products as well as third-party cloud storage accounts to make PDF creation and conversion easier.
- Mac support is only available for Pro and Business accounts.
- Storage is limited to 100 GB for individual accounts.
Best for: Individuals or businesses who regularly create or work with PDFs.
Security considerations: Adobe Acrobat allows users to lock down individual PDFs with passwords to ensure only authorized users can view or edit files. Adobe maintains what it calls the Secure Product Lifecycle to ensure all of its products, including Adobe Document Cloud, incorporate and maintain industry best practices.
Cost: A free week-long trial of Acrobat Pro is available. Standard accounts start at $12.99 per month for an annual contract. Business accounts start at $22.19 per month per license when signing up for an annual, discounted license pack.
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WeTransfer began as a simple, free way for people to send large files back and forth. Now, it’s a cloud storage solution in its own right, offering password protection, collaboration tools, and more ways for businesses to get important files where they need to go.
If all you want to do is send the occasional large file to a friend, another employee, or a client, simply sign up for a free, ad-supported account. You’ll be able to transfer files up to 2 GB nearly instantly via a private link shared with the recipient, which expires after seven days.
If you need more space, Pro and Premium accounts increase storage capacity and transfer size limits for a nominal fee for each user. You’ll also get access to collaboration tools, remove ads, enable client branding, set custom file-sharing expiration dates, and more.
- Free file transfers are simple and painless.
- An inexpensive collaboration solution for individuals or businesses who don’t need access to more complex tools.
- Easy to add client branding to your file transfer portal.
- Lack of integration with third-party tools.
Best for: Individuals, startups, and small businesses who need a simple way to move files around.
Security considerations: WeTransfer encrypts files in transit and at rest. Uploaded files are only available via auto-generated download link, which expires after seven days (paid accounts can set transfer links to expire on a custom date). Additional password protection features are available for Pro and Premium accounts.
Cost: Free to send files up to 2 GB. Pro accounts start at $10/month per user (billed yearly), include 1 TB of storage per person, and allow for sending and receiving files up to 200 GB. Premium accounts are $19 per month per user (billed yearly) and remove storage and file transfer limits entirely.
Our recommendation: fi and SP Series scanners
Those in the market for a scanner built to form the backbone of your cloud document storage solution have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi and SP Series scanners.
Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi and SP Series scanners are capable of processing tens-of-thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.
With its 300-page automatic document feeder and fast, double-sided scanning speeds, the fi-7600 is a perfect choice for businesses needing to process hundreds of documents daily for cloud storage. Or go compact with the entry-level SP-1130N, offering reliably snappy and high-quality scans for personal and small business use. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line.