Summary: The cloud is a storage place for files. As long as you are connected to the Internet, you can open and edit the files at any time and with any device. We present the most popular cloud providers for private individuals and explain what you have to pay attention to when it comes to data protection.
Since the cloud provider encrypts the data for you, it is of course also capable of decrypting it again if it has an interest in doing so or is forced to do so (e.g. by authorities).
The crucial question is whether you trust big companies like Amazon, Google or Microsoft enough to believe that they will not misuse your data. Often, trust in a high standard of data protection is not given to global players for good reasons. But for that, there are solutions that allow you to still use these cloud storages and enjoy the convenience of handling large amounts of data and folders.
Regardless of your choice of cloud storage, Zero Knowledge end-to-end encryption, like Boxcryptor provides, guarantees that your data worth protecting will remain safe from outside access - during data transfer and in cloud storage.
This list is sorted in descending order by the size of the free storage.
15 GB storage space free of charge
Google offers 15 GB of storage for free, but this includes the storage already used by Gmail and Google Photos. Upgrading to the so-called Google One membership brings 100 GB of storage and costs €1.99 per month. For €9.99 per month, you already get 2 TB.
The offline view of files can also be activated in Google Drive. There is a search function and the option to set sharing permissions for viewing, editing or commenting on content. As with all major cloud providers, you can of course access the data from your computer, smartphone or tablet. Conveniently, Gmail users can save received email attachments to the cloud with a click on the Drive icon.
Google Drive will hardly pose any problems for private users when it comes to the maximum file size - because with a maximum file size of 5 terabytes, even an extensive backup of the hard drive should not cause any problems during synchronization.
Google Drive advertises that files are managed "securely", which means that they cannot be lost if users lose their smartphone or laptop once they are stored in Google Drive. However, it does not mean that the data stored in Google Drive is safe from access by Google itself or American authorities. This is because the latter have been given far-reaching access rights by the CLOUD Act. For this reason, additional encryption is recommended to protect your privacy.
Where does the Google Drive cloud have its server locations?
10 GB free storage
The company is headquartered in California and is geared towards corporate customers. Nevertheless, it offers a free cloud storage of 10 GB for private individuals. Even with this American company, it is recommended to upload sensitive data only in encrypted form.
Companies headquartered in the US also have to comply with the Patriot Act - a counter-terrorism law that grants American authorities questionable rights to monitor - and share data with American authorities upon request.
On its website, Box advertises that its data is protected by the Privacy Shield data protection agreement. This was overturned by the ECJ in July 2020 with immediate effect. Companies like Box are now called upon to adapt their data protection provisions.
With a maximum file size of 250 MB for "Individual", Box in the free version is probably more suitable for storing text files and tables. With the paid upgrade to Personal Pro, uploading files up to 5 GB in size is possible. For the price of €9.00 per month, you then get 100 GB of storage.
Where does Cloud Box have its server locations?
3 GB free / 15 GB as Telekom customer
Die Telekom unterliegt dem deutschen Datenschutz, was bedeutet, dass das Unternehmen sich auch schon vor Inkrafttreten der DSGVO an strenge Datenschutzbestimmungen im Umgang mit Kundendaten halten musste.
Früher bot die Telekom ihren Kunden und Kundinnen 25 GB kostenfreien Speicherplatz in der MagentaCLOUD. Mittlerweile sind das nur noch 15 GB. Wer sich für Speicherplatz bei dem deutschen Anbieter interessiert, aber noch kein Telekom-Kunde ist, bekommt sogar nur noch 3 GB kostenfrei. Dafür wurden aber auch die Preise kräftig gesenkt. Für 100 GB bezahlt man nun nur noch 1,95€ pro Monat (Tarif M).
Zur Nutzung dieses Onlinespeichers benötigt man eine Telekom E-Mail-Adresse, die kostenlos eingerichtet werden kann. Ganze Ordner mit Unterordnern können in der MagentaCLOUD geteilt werden. Die Synchronisierung, also die Nutzung von ausgewählten Dateien, ist auch im Offline-Modus möglich.
Nutzer der MagentaCLOUD haben keine Einschränkungen in Bezug auf die maximale Dateigröße zu beachten – Dateien jeder Größe können hochgeladen werden.
Die Telekom weist auf Ihrer Webseite auf die Möglichkeit der zusätzlichen Verschlüsselung hin und empfiehlt hierfür Boxcryptor.
Wo hat die MagentaCLOUD ihre Server-Standorte?
10 GB kostenlos
Der Cloud-Speicherdienst dieses russischen Unternehmens ist auf Fotos spezialisiert. Der Anbieter wirbt damit, dass mit dem Handy aufgenommene Bilder automatisch in der Cloud gespeichert werden, sobald eine Internetverbindung besteht. Danach könne man die Bilder auf dem Handy löschen, um dort Speicherplatz zu sparen.
Für 2 $/Monat erhält man 100 GB Speicherplatz und für 10 $ monatlich gibt es bereits 1 TB. Bei der Umstellung auf jährliche Abrechnung kann man ca. 15 % sparen.
Die maximale Dateigröße, die von Yandex akzeptiert wird, variiert ja nach zum Upload verwendeter Schnittstelle. Wenn die Bilder außerhalb der App hochgeladen werden, also über den Browser, oder das WebDAV Protokoll, ist die maximal akzeptierte Größe der Datei auf 2 GB beschränkt. Diese Beschränkung fällt mit Verwendung der App weg und es können Dateien bis zu einer Größe von 10 GB synchronisiert werden.
Die Dateien sollten vor dem Upload definitiv von einem unabhängigen Anbieter verschlüsselt werden, da die Datenschutzrichtlinien dieser russischen Firma nicht sehr aussagekräftig sind.
Wo hat die Cloud Yandex.Disk ihre Server-Standorte?
5 GB kostenlos
With Microsoft OneDrive, 5 GB are free of charge. For €2.00 per month, you get 100 GB. In combination with Office 365, there is 1 TB storage volume for 7.00 € monthly (or 69.00 € per year) and is called Microsoft 365 Single. Family start at 99.00 €/year and 6 TB total storage. Files can have a maximum size of 10 GB at OneDrive, so that synchronization is successful.
Since the provider is an American company and the servers are located in the USA, among other places, the data should be encrypted so that it cannot be passed on to authorities under the Patriot Act and the CLOUD Act. The same applies to all US companies (i.e. companies headquartered in the US) and cloud providers that have their servers outside of Germany.
When you recreate your Microsoft 365 account, all files will be stored in the same country as the billing address on which the account runs. Customers and clients can view location information for client-specific data in their Office 365 Admin Center under Settings | Organization Profile | Data Storage Location Map. Microsoft does not indicate on its website whether old accounts will be moved.
Where does the Microsoft OneDrive cloud have its server locations?
2 GB free of charge, limited to three devices connected at the same time
With the pioneer among cloud storage, you only get 2 GB of free storage, but it is still very popular due to its great user-friendliness. Files can be easily stored and shared. 2 TB is available for 9.99 Euros per month, or 119.88 Euros per year. Dropbox advertises itself as being the market leader in synchronization.
With the Pro version, there's automatic photo management that instantly syncs all the pictures you take on your phone to Dropbox if you have an Internet connection. When using the Dropbox client app, there is no limit to the maximum size of a file for synchronization. Without this app, a file is allowed to have a maximum size of 10 GB - which is already five times the storage with 2 GB of free cloud storage.
With the Free as well as the Pro version, files are automatically synchronized on the PC, which means that they are always immediately available. On mobile devices, on the other hand, synchronization can be selected for individual files. With automatic synchronization, the smartphone's memory would probably be exhausted quickly. Those who do not want to store pictures, but mainly text files, are also well served with Dropbox's free storage. With additional encryption via an encryption software like Boxcryptor, Dropbox is our number 1.
Files up to a size of 350 GB may be uploaded via the interface used by the Boxcryptor apps for iOS and Android. Those who upload directly to dropbox.com can only put files up to 50 GB into the Dropbox cloud. A small restriction is the limit of three devices that can be connected to Dropbox at the same time. However, this should hardly lead to problems in everyday life, after all, one smartphone, one tablet and one computer can then be connected to Dropbox per account, for example.
Germany, Australia and Japan only for business accounts
If you want to use a lot of storage at a low cost, Google Drive, Box or Yandex.Disk are recommended. These large cloud storages offer all the features you need as a home user. If 2 GB of storage is enough for you or you are willing to invest money for cloud storage, Dropbox is a good choice due to its wide distribution and high usability. On the other hand, if you already get the Office 365 package from Microsoft anyway, you get a TB of cloud storage for free with OneDrive. If you additionally encrypt the data with independent software before putting it into the cloud, you are in good hands with all these providers.
If you want to take advantage of the convenient offerings of the major cloud providers, you can protect your cloud files, folders or backup with additional zero-knowledge encryption from Boxcryptor. Thus, you separate data storage from data security and minimize the risk. Moreover, with Boxcryptor, we are not able to decrypt your data due to the zero-knowledge standard - so you retain full control.
For users who have only one cloud provider and want to access the cloud from two devices, Boxcryptor is free. Upgrades are available for using unlimited cloud storage and devices.