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Are Cloud Storage Add-ons Worth Paying For?

Most cloud storage services come with a free trial period or a set of free features that come along with the initial amount of storage you can access. Free stuff is great! But ultimately the companies would prefer if you end up paying to upgrade your account or subscribe to their services in some way. They are businesses after all. And you stand to gain quite a few additional perks by upgrading your cloud storage service of choice. But how do you decide whether to go all in and pay for that upgrade? There’s three key things that most cloud storage providers offer as incentives for subscribers and upgraders: security, storage, and tools. Not everyone needs all of these options though. So here’s some things to think about to help you decide what paid for add-ons to your cloud storage are worth it…


Added Encryption

When using cloud storage and cloud backups, security is always a concern. You might have sensitive personal data you want to keep safe from potential leaks or hacks or you might just have photos and documents you’d rather not anyone else peek at. Depending on what you do for your work, you might also be using cloud storage to hold documents and files with other people’s personal information on it as well. These are all prefect examples of why springing for that next upgrade tier that includes added encryption or other security measures is a good idea. We hear about new hacks on different services (even non-cloud related ones) all the time, so it’s best not to take chances when it comes to your storage. If you’re just using the cloud to store your class papers or your collection of MP3s, then paying extra for security is probably not worth it.

Extra Storage

Additional space to store all your digital junk is the main paid feature people think of for cloud storage. Whether paying for more storage is worth it for you depends on two main things: are you really going to use that space? And can you get the same (or more) storage with a different service for less? If your storage is full of big files like audio files, images, videos, and other media files then you’re probably chaffing at the smaller amounts of storage usually offered for free. If you’re storing backups in your cloud storage it’s also a safe bet that you’ll be wanting a bit of extra wiggle room in your storage just in case. On the other hand, if you’re just filing away word processor documents, PDFs and other ‘light’ files then you might be okay with the 2 to 15GB available to you for free. If you do end up needing more storage, make sure to take a look around at other cloud storage providers before you pony up your money. If you’re using Dropbox and find you need more than 2GB, try Google Drive where you get 15GB for free. With so many service providers out there it’s easy to find extra storage that is worth paying for.

Administrative Tools

Being able to set permissions, shared link expiry dates, and remote wipes are all frequently touted admin tools you can gain access to if you opt to pay for an upgrade to your cloud storage account. If you run a business where you’re sharing files with your employees and co-workers, or working on a lot of collaborate group projects at school, these types of features can be invaluable. Setting read-only status on certain files while allowing write permissions on others can be immensely helpful. If you’re a contract worker, administrative tools can help you share examples or collaborate with clients much more easily than with just the vanilla set of tools and permissions you have access to. But if you’re just an individual using your cloud storage and you only share links to files every once in a while, then paying extra for these features is going to be a bit of a waste of your money.

Think it over. Take into stock what types of files you use and whether you use cloud storage with others. Hopefully this post helps make your decision a bit easier! Any aspects I’ve missed in this post? Let me know in the comments!

About Lindsay Doebler

Lindsay is a freelance writer based in New Zealand with a passion for podcasting, gaming, and social media. Cloud storage has saved her more times than she can count.

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