iPad Cloud Storage Options Compared

I was just talking to a friend that had her laptop stolen.   It was unfortunate but the thieves also stole her external hard drive.  This meant she lost all her most valuable information, music, photos, etc.    Feeling her pain, I was reminded how valuable I find cloud storage these days and thus wanted to explain all your options for cloud storage with your iPad.

iPad Cloud Storage Options

So what does it mean when people say, “Cloud Storage”?  It means using the Internet as a place to sore files, photos, music and videos.  Basically it’s like having  your own private hard drive located on the Internet.  Yet this hard drive is far more protected than even your own personal storage.  Here are just a few advantage for iPad users:

  • Safe and secure storage accessible from (just about) anywhere
  • Backed up and kept safe from hackers, viruses, and crashing
  • Nearly infinitely expandable (for a price)
  • Peace of mind

Surely there are more reasons but these ones demonstrate the majority and since you have an iPad or other tablet computer then you also know that you cannot simply attach a hard drive so the best way for you to store everything is via cloud storage.  Here are several services and apps that you can try out.

Dropbox

This is most likely the largest and most well-known iPad cloud storage solution out there.  Dropbox is free for your first 2 GB of storage and offers a vast array of features.  Your files can be accessed via the web, an app (on your iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC), or within over 50 different iPad apps that support Dropbox.

Dropbox is the easiest way to sync and share your files online and across computers.

For more information on Dropbox and its services, visit Dropbox.com where you can also get online access to your file, download clients for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, or upgrade your storage to up to 100 GB.

Dropbox is a great iPad cloud storage service and offers you quick, ease of access for a very low price.  The first 2 GB are free and then you can buy two additional monthly plans:

  • 50 GB for $9.99/month
  • 100 GB for $19.99/month

Visit the Dropbox website for more information and a tour.

Box.net

Another excellent iPad cloud storage service that was recently updated to add some great new features.  The Box.net app lets you easily view, access and share files (5 GB Free) on your iPhone and iPad.

    In addition to our app for the iPhone and iPad, Box provides a robust platform for sharing and collaborating around all your business content online.

    So what does box.net cost?  Here is their tiered pricing:

    • 5 GB for Free
    • 500 GB for $45/month
    • Unlimited (contact box for pricing)

    This means that it is definitely cheaper with box.net that with Dropbox.  There are not as many apps that work with box.net as with Dropbox but more and more are supporting it.

    ZumoDrive

    ZumoDrive is not a stand-alone app, it works with the free PC, Mac, and Linux app that you can download from zumodrive.com. We’ll help you register for the ZumoDrive service if you’re not already a user.

    You’ll get 2 GB of storage in ZumoDrive for FREE, and you can choose to get more space at any time. Everything you put in ZumoDrive is protected with encryption and stored safely on redundant servers so you will never lose it.

    There are not that many apps which support Zumodrive yet, at least compared to the likes of Dropbox or box.net but it is still a very valuable and usable cloud storage service at a great price.  Here is the Zumodrive iPad cloud storage pricing:

    • 1 GB Free
    • 10 GB $2.99/month
    • 25 GB $6.99/month
    • 50 GB $9.99/month
    • 100 GB $19.99/month
    • 500 GB $79.99/month

    This is definitely more expensive than box.net but keep one thing in mind with Zumodrive and that is that fact that it is automatically syncing at all times with your Mac or Windows PC so it’s a little more “hands off” than dropbox.  With Dropbox you have to copy your files to the cloud and with Zumodrive you get a virtual drive installed that syncs to the cloud so all you have to do is treat it like a hard drive.

    iDisk

    When you sign up for Apple’s MobileMe service you automatically get iDisk.  With MobileMe iDisk, you can view and share the files on your iDisk right from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. (MobileMe subscription required.)

    Sign in with your MobileMe username and password and you’ll see a list of the folders and files on your iDisk. Select a file to view it on your iPad. To share a file with someone else, just tap the share icon, choose your recipients, and MobileMe iDisk will send them an email with a link to download your file directly from MobileMe.

    You can assign a password to keep your files secure and even limit the number of days the download will be available – all right from your iPad or iPhone.

    There are certainly more apps that support the iDisk service than Zumodrive but the difference with iDisk is that it is a part of an entire service from Apple called MobileMe.  This gives you Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and other apps that all sync together and also offer you a complete service so this isn’t just iPad cloud storage but a lot more.

    The price for MobileMe (and iDisk) is:

    • 20 GB (combined Mail and Storage) $8.25/month
    • 40 GB $12.33/month
    • 60 GB $16.50/month

    Comparing this to the other solutions box.net is still the cheapest service of all three.  These are all great iPad cloud storage services and each one offers you the ability to store all your important files, music, photos and music online so you can have peace of mind if something happens to your laptop, iPad, or desktop.

    Do you use one of these services and like it? Dislike it?  Or did we miss one of your favorites?

    Originally posted 2011-02-17 15:46:03.

    Comments

    1. Sean says:

      Shane, thanks for the posting.

      Whenever I tell people about Dropbox, Box.net, Sugarsync, etc. , they are amazed at the usefulness.

      Box.net came out with a way to use their app on the iPad as a projector for presentations – Amazing Stuff!

      I think Apple knows that these apps are the future, and that’s why they did not put a usb on the iPad.

      1. Shane says:

        Thanks Sean,

        Yeah, I wrote this because I noticed that box.net updated their app today and it made me think about cloud storage in general especially with the move toward better data protection, etc.

        I think a lot of people are now starting to warm up to the idea of cloud storage but in my opinion it’s the only way to go!

        1. Cloud storage seems very appealing. Right now I pay for mozy online backup, but that doesn’t store anything that is not still on your own computer. At first I didn’t realize there is a difference between a “storage” solution and a backup service.

          1. Shane says:

            Hi Eric
            Yeah I’ve used mozy as well…but it’s definitely geared towards backups while these services are geared toward store and access. They do back them up as well but the main feature is allowing you to have a centralized place to store all your information.

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    3. Nigel Prebble says:

      How about Livedrive? They offer an unlimited service for backups and backups/storage and all for 9.99 (uk pounds). Sounds to good to be true!

      1. Shane says:

        Hi Nigel,
        I have only heard briefly of Livedrive but thanks for the mention! I wonder if it’s just backup or if it’s actual storage you can access?

        1. Nigel Prebble says:

          It’s storage as well, on a PC it acts like a networked drive, it also has a iPad app!

          1. Shane says:

            Ahhhh ok thanks again Nigel!

    4. Turt99 says:

      Your Box.net pricing is a little off, the 500gb is $15 a month per user and has a 3+ user minimum (this makes it $45 a month, which is still cheapest).
      Under personal account there are levels from 5gb for free and up to 50gb for $20 a month, I think

      1. Shane says:

        OH YEAH….thanks for pointing that out…I’ll get that corrected :-)

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