Cloud Storage Services: Consumer vs Enterprise
Two types of cloud storage service currently exist in the digital world: consumer and enterprise. The two differ in several fundamental ways, with enterprise options offering more features than their consumer counterparts.
What is a consumer cloud storage service?
Consumer cloud storage solutions are services that can be accessed just like any other utility on your computer, but are delivered over the internet. The cost to use them is based on the amount of data you want to store, with most consumer cloud storage services offering pricing packages that bill you only for the storage space you need – if your consumption drops, so does the price.
Consumer cloud storage is easily accessible and can be used to share files with other people or retrieve them on alternative devices, such as laptops or cell phones. It’s a service that’s generally used by individuals with limited storage needs and includes well-known services including Dropbox and YouSendIt. Although cheap and secure, consumer cloud storage options tend also to be limited.
How does enterprise cloud storage differ?
Enterprise cloud storage solutions are generally the option of choice for businesses and organizations that need to store corporate data and keep it safe from disaster, theft and viruses. They offer storage on demand on a scalable basis and are both cost-efficient and easily available ways for a large number of sensitive or important documents.
Other common advantages of an enterprise cloud storage solution include better or unlimited bandwidth for uploading your files and storage; storage configurations that can be changed according to your specific needs, control over where your data back-ups reside; global access to your files for everyone on the network, wherever they are in the world; and the flexibility to organize your files into sub-domains and child accounts to make it easier to access and use.
Which solution do I need?
Whether you need a consumer cloud storage solution or an enterprise storage solution depends entirely on the width and depth of your needs. Both options are secure, but the latter offers extra security. Both allow you to store your documents and access them anywhere, from any device, but an enterprise storage solution gives you more options and features to help you do so – and will allow you to store a whole lot more documents. Before you choose between them, you simply need to decide how much data you want to store, how secure you need it to be and how easily you need to be able to access it. Below you’ll find a comparison chart to help you get started comparing some of the very best cloud storage services available.