Best cloud document storage of 2022

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REASONS TO BUY
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cloud document management
(Image credit: Future)

The best cloud document storage makes it simple and easy to manage and organize shared files and folders across your teams.

This is especially important in the modern world where cloud document storage solutions offer an easy way to save all your files, folders, such as documents and images. This isn't just to protect against hard drive failure or other similar issues, but also allows users to access these same files on the go from a mobile device.

Additionally, the rise of collaborative tools means that documents stored in the cloud can be given access permissions to allow for file-sharing with team members, helping to increase efficiency in the office. This can be especially the case for contributing and editing office documents, project management software (opens in new tab), CRM (opens in new tab), or employee productivity platforms (opens in new tab).

Some software applications will save your data to the cloud regardless but provide an option to use their own services or integrate a cloud storage provider. Google Chromebooks are sold on the principle of saving all of your work and documents to the cloud.

The fact that so many people are now working from home underlines the importance of cloud document storage for the modern business as a key, even essential, new way of working.

Here then are the best cloud document storage providers currently available. In putting together our list, we've compared everything from storage capacity and cost to platform compatibility and app integrations.

We've also featured the best cloud backup.


IDrive (opens in new tab)

1. IDrive is the best cloud storage provider (opens in new tab)
IDrive, the cloud storage veteran, delivers tons of storage online for an incredibly small outlay. 10TB for $3.98 for the first year is unmatched till now and so is the support for unlimited devices and the extensive file versioning system available.

pCloud pCloud (opens in new tab)

2. pCloud provides 2TB lifetime cloud storage subscription (opens in new tab)
The Swiss-based company is more expensive than the competition, but the one-off payment means that you won't have to worry about renewal fees that can be very horrendously expensive.


(Image credit: Microsoft)

The best cloud document storage of 2022 in full

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The best cloud document storage platform

Reasons to buy

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Free 5GB storage 
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Cross platform
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Microsoft 365 integration

Reasons to avoid

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Not such great value if you don't use Microsoft Office

Microsoft OneDrive, previously known as SkyDrive, was rolled out in 2007 as Microsoft’s own cloud storage platform. It works as part of the Microsoft 365 office Suite and gives users 5GB of free storage space. Registered students and those working in academia are given 1TB of free storage.

OneDrive is available for all platforms. You need to have a Microsoft account but this is very easy to set up. Users can then collaborate on, share and store documents.  

OneDrive also gives you offline access to documents so you can always have your most important documents at your fingertips. It comes pre-installed on all Windows 10 machines and can be easily accessed or downloaded onto other platforms.

Paid subscriptions offer very generous cloud storage space with Microsoft OneDrive, with both Microsoft 365 Personal and Microsoft 365 Family both offering 1TB of storage per person.

Overall, OneDrive offers a superb and very generous solution that works well not just for office documents but also all file types.

Read our full Microsoft OneDrive review.

Read more on the best business cloud storage services

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(Image credit: Google)
The best affordable cloud document storage

Reasons to buy

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Cheap pricing
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Accessible service
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Integrated G Suite

Reasons to avoid

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No end-to-end encryption

Google has recently been busy rebranding parts of itself, and its famous Google Drive is no different. While the name has been retained for the free version, with a 15GB storage limit, the paid-for Google Drive plans have now been rebranded as Google One, and Google Drive is now headed with "Google Cloud".

Google Drive by itself offers 15GB of cloud storage, though this includes not just the documents in your Google Drive account but also everything else saved to your Google account, not least Gmail and any high-resolution images you might have uploaded to Google Photos.

Google One, on the other hand, offers not just additional storage space but also additional features. For storage capacity there are different plans for individuals, with the main three being 100GB, 200GB, or 2TB of storage. Additional plans with more storage are available as required.

On these individual plans are additional options, such as setting up a shared family account to use your storage, plus promotions for other Google services.

However, for business purposes with multiple staff you would almost certainly need to use Google Drive/Google One as part of Google Workspace, which is G Suite rebranded.

Read our full Google Drive review.

Find out about the best free cloud storage services

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(Image credit: Dropbox)
The best cloud document storage for simplicity

Reasons to buy

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2GB free
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Integrates with most apps

Reasons to avoid

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Relatively expensive

Dropbox is one of the oldest cloud storage providers. It does offer a rather miniscule 2GB of storage space for free users but this can be increased by up to 16GB through referrals as well as by linking your Dropbox account to social media accounts.

To date it is one of the simplest storage providers to use. Dropbox can be installed on most computers or devices and syncs easily between apps. The app can store almost any kind of file with no compatibility issues. You can drag and drop files into the desktop app with ease.

You can also share files with other users easily through links, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account. As Dropbox has been around for a long time it integrates with most other apps such as MS Office and Slack.

The downside to Dropbox is that it can be expensive if you need more than 2GB of space and you have run out of friends to refer. Pricing varies according as to whether you need an individual or business plan. 

Read our full Dropbox review.

Or read about the best business cloud storage of 2022

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(Image credit: Egnyte)
The best cloud document storage platform for flexibility

Reasons to buy

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15-day free trial
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Excellent integrations
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Good for teams

Reasons to avoid

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Multi-factor authentication costs extra

Californian company Egnyte was founded in 2007 and it focuses on cloud content security, providing software for enterprise file synchronization and sharing.  

Egnyte allows businesses to store their data locally and in the cloud. All types of data can be stored in the cloud, whilst you can opt to store data of a more sensitive nature on servers on-premise. This provides better security and peace of mind.

Business teams can work how and where they want with an easy-to-use collaboration system through their content services platform.  Egnyte integrates with the more popular industry applications such as Microsoft 365. This allows remote and internal employees to access all the files they need.

Plans and pricing depends on the number of employees to be covered, and Egnyte offer a 15-day free trial for their packages.

Read our full Egnyte review.

Read about the best cloud hosting providers

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(Image credit: Adobe )
The best for PDF document archiving

Reasons to buy

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Team collaboration
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Document editing
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Esign documents

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive

The Adobe Document Cloud is worth adding to this list, for the simple reason that most businesses will need to actively handle PDF documents. This means not simply needing to store these PDFs in the cloud but also still be able to manage and edit them as required.

The Adobe Document Cloud is mainly powered by Adobe Acrobat CC and Adobe Sign, both of which together mean that you can do almost anything you can imagine you need to do with PDF documents. Whether it's editing, importing or exporting data, as well as scanning, it's not simply a passive storage repository but also a way to actively use PDF documents, and collaborative features are built in.

Another advantage of the Adobe Document Cloud is that it enjoys a number of integrations, such as for CRM, ERP, and HR software, including Microsoft 365, Salesforce,  Zoho, and various products from IBM and Oracle.

However, as with Adobe apps in general the subscription model can be expensive for individuals and small businesses, and is perhaps better considered an option as an enterprise solution.

Read our full Adobe Document Cloud review.

What is cloud document storage?

Cloud document storage is simply a way of storing your files online on a remote data server (aka “the cloud”). Not only does this allow ease of access to your most important files from wherever you are in the world and on a number of compatible devices, it is also the most secure way to store your files.

That’s because, as opposed to storing files on one single piece of hardware (that could be lost, broken, or corrupted), files saved on the cloud tend to be stored on more than one server simultaneously, providing robust and resilient backup and continued access even when one server is down.

How to choose the best cloud document storage for you?

There are a number of factors to consider when making your decision on which cloud storage provider to go for. If budget is at the forefront of your considerations, then you'll need to consider the cost and pricing structure of each, and whether monthly or annual subscriptions will best suit your finances. You may also want to note which storage providers provide free or trial services.

However, for some people and businesses, security will be the number one concern, and if that is the case then you'll need to look into the robust measures (such as multi-factor authentication) put in place by providers to ensure your most important files are always available, and only to those who should have access.

Those with lots of large files to store - such as photographs, videos, or other multimedia - should prioritise capacity and its associated costs. Some providers offer an initial amount of storage for free but adding further can then prove costly, so it may also make more sense to think about your future storage requirements as well as existing needs.

The best cloud document storage: How we test

There is no shortage of options when it comes to the best cloud document storage, and so we ensured that those who've made this list were put through robust and in-depth testing on its key capabilities.

With that in mind, we put each provider through its paces and tested on security factors such as multi-factor authentication, storage capacity options and related costs, and whether each service gave the user the chance to try before you buy.

We also looked at ease-of-use, and whether each provider could integrate with other key business apps that users are likely to be using with it, such as Microsoft 365 or G Suite. 

Finally, we looked at what types of files could be stored with each provider, and what devices and platforms they were compatible with.

We've also featured the best document management software.

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.

With contributions from