Top Cloud Service Providers for 2017

Recent surveys are demonstrating that usage of cloud server hosting is increasing, both among business users and individual consumers. With popular names like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon all endorsing their own version of a cloud platform, it’s no surprise that using a cloud service is becoming more and more of the norm for users.

To give an example of just how much of a presence a cloud platform has around the globe, one study took a look at the number of items stored by Microsoft alone. The ten trillion items was best envisioned in an equivalent numbers of DVDs stacked to the moon, making the trip more than 36 times.

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Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Cloud Service Providers

Cloud server hosting is obviously becoming a very popular solution to a common consumer issue, as well as to business issues.

AdvisoryHQ wants to enable consumers to stay on top of the current technological trends, and cloud hosting is a trend that is here to stay. It can be a rather mundane task to wade through all of the top cloud providers searching for their reliability, pricing, and all the other pertinent details you need to know. In our ranking, we’ve made all of the most important data on these best cloud service providers readily available.

If you’re ready to start moving into the world of cloud hosting, take a look at these best cloud hosting programs below.

See Also: Advantages of Cloud Computing—Why Cloud Computing? (Benefits, Disadvantages & Risks!)

AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Cloud Service Providers

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the providers below to go directly to the detailed review section for that cloud provider):

Top 6 Best Cloud Service Providers | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Cloud Hosting Providers


Storage Space

Amazon DriveStarting as low as free with Amazon PrimeUnlimited photo storage
5 GB of music and other files
Apple iCloudStarting as low as free5 GB
BoxStarting as low as free for individuals
Starting as low as $5 per user per month for businesses
10 GB for individuals
Starting at 100 GB for businesses
DropboxStarting as low as free2 GB
Google CloudStarting as low as free5 GB for Google Cloud
15 GB for Google Drive
Microsoft CloudBased on services usedCustom

Table: Top 6 Best Cloud Hosting Providers | Above list is sorted alphabetically

What Are Cloud Services?

The average consumer likely has more files than they truly need on their computer, taking up space and memory that their device is lacking. They may even be worried about the long-term safety of those documents in the event of a computer crash or virus. How can cloud hosting help to alleviate some of these concerns?

Whether you’re a regular consumer or a business owner, cloud services are an ideal solution. They offer virtually unlimited storage space for your files and documents remotely. The major benefit of opting for cloud server hosting is the ability to eliminate the necessary hardware to support that space on your own.

What do cloud service providers really offer to consumers and business owners?

Cloud solutions can range from the ability to host your documents elsewhere to signing up for software as a service (SaaS). Cloud service providers give the necessary space and hardware to users for short-term usage in a variety of ways.

cloud service providers

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When searching for the right cloud hosting providers for your needs, there are a few things that all individuals should first consider. You want cloud hosting that offers reliability, so you should check what their guarantees are. Most of the best cloud service options will give some guarantee of reliability.

Second, you should always look at the amount of storage space granted. If you are looking at cloud providers where your documents will be stored online, you need to know how much space they allot. In a similar vein, you should know how that data is secured on their servers as well.

Finally, price is a consideration for any cloud server hosting arrangement that you may find. Many cloud hosting providers offer a certain amount of storage space for free with optional upgrades for additional usage. The best cloud service options can be tailored to adapt to your changing needs over time.

A cloud service has the potential to provide an easier method of storing your documents or purchasing software as a service. The top cloud providers all have slightly different platforms and opportunities for their users. To find out more about what cloud hosting providers can offer, our top-rated cloud platform providers are listed below.

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AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review Top Ranking Cloud Service Providers

Below, please find the detailed review of each provider on our list of cloud hosting providers. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these cloud server hosting solutions to score so high in our selection ranking.

Amazon Drive Review

Amazon Drive is a convenient cloud platform for consumers who are already accustomed to shopping with this mega-retailer. With two distinct options when it comes to cloud-based services, users know they can depend on a name brand like Amazon. Even better, some consumers may not even have to pay for services offered by these cloud service providers.

The first cloud hosting option available from Amazon is their Prime Photo drive. This cloud platform is free for users that already subscribe to Amazon Prime. These consumers will enjoy the most basic cloud-based services at no additional cost:

  • Unlimited photo storage
  • 5 GB of storage for music, videos, and other documents or files
  • Free apps for all devices

For an additional cost, users can check into the additional storage plan from these cloud hosting providers. Similar to Prime Photo, this option gives you unlimited storage for all files and access to the apps for just $59.99 per year.

The services you can expect from these cloud service providers are a large part of the reason why consumers use Amazon Drive for their cloud solutions. When you use the apps, the most compelling reason to utilize Amazon Drive is for their automatic photo backup app. This saves a copy of all your photos automatically to prevent loss in the event of damage to your phone.

Once uploaded, they are organized into a timeline format to keep track of all photos on your cloud platform.

The apps allow you to access cloud management from any device, but they are accessible anywhere through your Amazon account. This means that you can also check your cloud platform from Amazon devices like the Fire TV and Fire tablets.

Apple iCloud Review

Catering to a very specific segment of the population, the Apple iCloud is specific to users of other devices from Apple including the iPhone and Mac products. There are some definite advantages to using Apple iCloud as your preferred cloud service providers, if you are able to.

Most users love the flexibility granted by the Apple iCloud cloud server, which allows for automatic backups of your photos and files saved on your Mac computer (with the latest software). All of the files that are stored within their cloud solutions are accessible from any device. Sharing files and photos with friends, even while on the go, is simple.

Particularly when it comes to photos, Apple iCloud is definitely one of the top cloud providers. It saves the full-size version of your pictures on the cloud platform and leaves a smaller file on your phone. This means that you can take and save even more photos.

One of the most unique features available from these cloud hosting providers is the ability to share an account with family members. Up to six people can save their photos, files, and more under the same cloud-based services account.

They have a generous 5 GB cloud management platform for free, but users can also choose to upgrade if they need additional space:

  • 50 GB: $0.99 per month
  • 200 GB: $2.99 per month
  • 1 TB: $9.99 per month
  • 2 TB: $19.99 per month

These cloud service providers give users a great degree of flexibility for their storage to grow and adapt over time with reasonable rates.

Apple iCloud - cloud hosting providers

Image Source: Apple iCloud

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Box Review

Box has the potential to offer a cloud platform even to business users who need to ensure compliance with higher security standards. While they do also have some of the best cloud hosting for the average consumer, businesses, and enterprises may be able to benefit most from the unique aspects of their cloud platform.

These cloud hosting providers are able to store all types of files so that entire teams can view, edit, and leave comments on a particular document. However, the most compelling feature to note here is that there is easy access to centralized cloud management for supervisors and administrators. Sharing policies (for those inside and outside the company) can be enacted to give even greater security.

With the Keysafe, these cloud providers also give greater confidentiality with encryption. You can opt for customer-managed encryption keys to protect your files.

Security is a prime consideration for selecting the proper cloud server hosting. Box is compliant with many of the top governance standards, including HIPAA. They are also a PCI DSS Level 1 service provider.

Cloud server hosting at Box is easily compatible with a number of other apps used for document creation or data storage. Businesses may be able to make the most use of this feature, with integrations available for:

  • Office 365
  • Salesforce
  • G Suite
  • Symantec

Individuals can get started with this cloud platform for free (10 GB of storage), but business plans do have a small monthly fee associated with them. Plans will start at just $5 per user per month. These cloud server hosting plans allot for 100 GB and 2 GB file uploads, but they do have some restrictions and certain abilities:

  • Must have a minimum of three users and maximum of ten
  • Mobile access with desktop sync
  • SSL and at-rest encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
  • User management

Upgraded plans are available with unlimited storage and larger file uploads, as well as advanced capabilities. Price range from $15 per month to a custom price on those plans that need to be HIPAA-eligible.

Dropbox Review

Dropbox is perhaps one of the best recognized cloud hosting providers on the market today. With options for both individuals and businesses, it functions very similarly to Box. When it comes to the individual plans, Dropbox offers convenient cloud server hosting with the capability of collaboration among users.

One of the most appealing features to note about the Dropbox cloud server is that it automatically syncs all of your documents to each device. This allows you to access any of your information from your home desktop, your phone, or your tablet. Their cloud platform makes it easy for users to access their documents whenever and wherever they need them most.

By having them stored on all your devices, it allows you to share large files faster with friends and family. The cloud service providers give you a link to send to friends for access to the specific file, even if they don’t have an account on the cloud platform.

Like several of the other cloud hosting providers on our ranking, Dropbox does allow for automatic backups of your photos when you turn on “camera upload.” You can also scan documents and images from the app for storage directly into the cloud server hosting.

Collaboration is great for users who need to work on a presentation or a group project for college. Files that can be accessed by a group are stored in a shared folder. Edits are shared with everyone in an update to keep every user informed of changes.

A basic Dropbox account for an individual user is free, granting up to 2 GB of storage on their cloud platform. A Plus membership gives additional access to more storage (1 TB) for a monthly fee of $8.25 (billed annually). It also grants more advanced features, including:

  • A 30-day version history and file recovery option
  • Password-protected and expiring shared links
  • Remote device wipe
  • Can require two-factor authentication

Related: Namely Reviews—What Is Namely? Is Namely Legit? A Scam? (Cloud HR & Review)

Google Cloud Review

Google Cloud is one of the most popular choices among cloud hosting providers for its name-brand recognition and the security it offers to users. Excellent for individual consumers and for businesses alike, the services offered through their cloud server hosting are an excellent starting point for anyone.

Cloud server hosting at Google is designed to be durable, no matter what may happen. They boast a 99.9999999999% durability rate with redundant and multi-regional storage among geographically different locations.

One of the greatest features of the Google cloud server hosting is the additional capabilities that are unavailable on many of the other cloud services. Beyond simple storage of your photos, music, and other files, Google can also:

  • Analyze existing data with Google Compute Engine
  • Archive cold data with Cloud Storage Nearline
  • Build your mobile apps
  • Host a website
  • Run tools like Cloud Machine Learning over data stored within their cloud platform

Google offers a free cloud storage solution to individuals up to 5 GB. However, pricing can vary depending on the specific usage that you have for your data. Multi-regional storage, as well as Nearline storage, will have different rates, seen in the image of their general pricing below.

Google Cloud - cloud platform

Image Source: Google

Google Drive is the version most applicable to individual consumers who simply need to save their photos, music, and other documents. Without the ability to perform more advanced technological capabilities like the other forms of the Google Cloud platform, you gain a simplified system that gives up to 15 GB of cloud server hosting for free.

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Microsoft Cloud Review

While Microsoft does offer several different options for cloud server hosting, their options for enterprises are the most impressive. Consumers may be the most familiar with their OneDrive application, which allows for individual photo sharing, file upload, music storage, and more. Their most basic cloud server platform eventually gives way to the more impressive cloud-based services offered for businesses.

They promote the intelligence of the cloud as one of the best features about their cloud platform. Perhaps for good reason, this feature is touted as one of the most impressive selections due to its:

  • Data management and analytics
  • Advanced analytics for more detailed insights and predictive optimization
  • Ability to build and manage apps with flexibility
  • Security that adapts to protect and respond to emerging threats

In addition to the advanced features that make this one of the best cloud hosting options, Microsoft’s cloud hosting companies have many of the same capabilities as the other cloud service providers on our ranking.

For example, users can collaborate on files and access documents from any device to increase productivity with the cloud platform. It also integrates with Internet of Things and artificial intelligence with existing technology assets and unused data.

The most unique feature from these cloud hosting companies is the flexible pricing structure. Much like that of the Google Cloud, Microsoft only bills businesses for what they actually use on the cloud platform. Accounts are free and there are no up-front fees.

Users who have an estimate of what they need to store with cloud providers can use the price estimator available on the website.

Conclusion—Top 6 Best Cloud Service Providers

Cloud services seem to be the way of the future, allowing individuals and businesses to free up space on their overused devices. Without the need to purchase additional hardware to hold all of your documents, you can continue to create, store, and analyze your data with a greater degree of convenience by utilizing one of these cloud hosting providers.

cloud server hosting

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Businesses and consumers will need to weigh which of these cloud service providers can ultimately meet their specific needs. Cloud-based services are highly customizable in many cases, allowing for flexibility and scalable solutions in every situation.

Do you need storage for your personal files, or do you need to share more documents with your coworkers? Is cloud management for the company a must-have on your list of features or will you be the only one accessing the cloud platform?

Depending on your unique situation and needs, one of these cloud hosting providers will likely be a better fit for you than the others. Consider which of these cloud hosting companies can offer you the best fit before jumping into uploading all of your existing files into the best cloud service.

Read More: Best Free Cloud Storage | Ranking | Largest Free Cloud Storage Comparison

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Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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