Recommend a Cloud Based Storage to Store Our Database/Folders

Hi guys,

Currently running a business with three other people and have been emailing documents back and forth rather than having an online database.

We have about 30GB worth of files (mostly spreadsheets and PDFs) that need to be accessed by all 3 people at any given time.

I was thinking of using dropbox to put everything online and the folders can be accessed and edited in real time and saved for others to view immediately.

The cost of Dropbox will be about $100 per month for 3 users.

What are your thoughts on this?

Do you recommend any other providers?

Thanks so much :)


  • +1


  • +5

    I'll probably look into M365 One drive or Sharepoint if I was you.

    Also depends on where your email is being hosted.

    However, In the long term, I'll plan to migrate to M365 and pay for either a basic ( 7 $ per user/month) or standard license (18$ will get office apps) which will give you 1TB of One Drive space per user and Sharepoint ( 25 TB total I think) and you can create a site to collaborate and multiple users can make changes/access to the spreadsheet as well.

    • With Dropbox, each user downloads the dropbox app on their laptop and it appears like a folder rather than logging in to a website.

      This is what I like about drop box. It will appear in your folders just like Downloads/Documents/Pictures it will be another folder called dropbox.

      Will M365 do the same thing? I dont want to be accessing files online and saving them on the computer and working on them then having to save them online again.

      I hope that makes sense?

      • +4

        Yes, One Drive and Sharepoint allow you to sync it to your computer as well ( in your file explorer like your Pictures, Document, Desktop) just like Dropbox. For Sharepoint, it'll appear in your File explorer // image for reference below
        If you do things/make changes in a doc on your PC using a word or excel, it will get synced to the cloud as well and other users can see it in real-time as well.

      • +2

        Yes, it shows up locally as a folder as well, under Users\$user\OneDrive. Anything in the folder is auto-synced to the cloud.

        Sharepoint folders can be synced as well, in a similar way: Users\$user\$companyName

        OneDrive can also "replace" your documents / pictures etc folders, so anything stored here is in OneDrive, making the experience seamless for most people.

        "Special Folder" Normal Location OneDrive location
        Documents $user\Documents $user\OneDrive\Documents
        Pictures $user\Pictures $user\OneDrive\Pictures
        Videos $user\Videos $user\OneDrive\Videos
        The user's home directory, such as C:\users\myUsername

        It doesn't replace the Downloads folder, though this shouldn't be used as anything more than temporary download space.

        • Thanks, I kind of understand that.

          What is the difference between sharepoint and one drive?

          We were going to get Microsoft 365 for excel/word etc anyway so does one drive cloud storage come with it? Does share point come with it?

          • @bigballerbrand: Just had a look at the pricing.

            We can get M365 for $17 per user per month

            or get Microsoft family for $129 a year for 6 users although its not for business its personal (does that make a difference or will it still be fine?)

            • +2

              @bigballerbrand: OneDrive is intended to be personal storage, whereas SharePoint is for shared / collaborative work. It's all cloud-based storage though.

              If you opt for the $129 /year /6 users, you'll need to create the work on one person's OneDrive, then share it to the other users, and sync the folders as well. SharePoint syncing will operate the same way, but in SharePoint the files are stored in a shared area, so the user doesn't own the files, the company / SharePoint side does.

              Having never set up the M365 suite before (would it need to be set up as a company?) the "Microsoft Family" may be simpler, but remember the licensing is intended for personal use, not company, so there may be complications there.

              Looking at the comparisons of the M365 family, the Business Basic will suffice if you only want the storage. If you want the desktop apps as well, the Business standard will do the job.

              You can view the full list of comparisons here:

            • +2

              @bigballerbrand: Microsoft Apps for Business ($12 /user /month, annual commitment) also gives 1TB OneDrive storage and the desktop apps, but no SharePoint or other things. Worth checking out.

              • Always up-to-date desktop and mobile versions of Office apps: Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote (plus Access and Publisher for PC only).
              • Web versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
              • File storage and sharing with 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage.
              • One license covers fully installed Office apps on 5 phones, 5 tablets, and 5 PCs or Macs per user


  • You could rent a dedicated server in Europe for €35/month with 2TB of RAID and host the content yourself. $100/mth for 30GB of storage space is ridiculously overpriced. Start looking for something a tenth of that price for only 30GB.

    • +1

      After the above comments i researched Microsoft 365 which gives onedrive 1TB per user. so 2 users would be about $40 a month for 2TB

      I think thats reasonable?

      • If we've already saved you $60/month (60% of your planned budget) I think we can call that a win.

        I would advise you to make occasional offline backups. Even the most prestigious of cloud providers has a bad day and oops maybe your data is gone forever.

      • For only 30gb, i would consider just use google drive. You don't pay per user. You pay for the storage.

        So you just have a document or folder and you just assign the permissions so that everyone in the team can access it.

        You get up to 15gb free per account, so you just have 2 or 3 guys do that, and then share the directories with everyone.

    • +1

      Then you have to manage it and support it yourself, do backups, probably patching and security.

  • +1

    $100 a month, just get a NAS.

  • Google drive 100GB for $25 per year, you can add multiple family accounts

    • +2

      This is probably the cheapest yet still robust & reliable option. You might also want to try out google sheet. Lots of people find working in collab using sheet is better and more powerful than excel.

      If you prefer to stay with MS product, I would suggest getting Microsoft 365 Business Standard ( $17.20/user + GST ) and utilise other Microsoft products - ie migrate your email hosting to MS, use Exchange calendar /use Teams for your internet chat/voice call and OneDrive for each staff.

  • I've always found Dropbox's interface to be unnecessarily complicated and convoluted. I think Google Drive is much more user-friendly and updates instantly.

    • +1 for GDrive

      The biggest complaint I hear from people on it is with google sheets: 'it just doesn't work like Excel'… Which is frankly a BS excuse for mostly incompetent people. Formulas are practically all the same, user interface is quite similar.

  • MS Office 365 family plan is all you ask for and more with 1Tb EACH for up to 5 people using multiple devices and you get the Office Suite as well. $128 per year or thereabouts. Seamless to use on PC, Android, Mac and iOS.

  • Install own :) own server Free …

    Or Buy Synology NAS if you want to make it cheap as easy./// if you have long term plan.

  • Just buy a NAS, then get yourself a MS365 for backup. Don't bother with Google, when things go wrong, you get diddly squat support.

  • Avoid dropbox - employees known to have direct access to your files, fast access for the agencies in the usa etc.

    If you're co-located I'd consider a NAS + off-site backup (b2 is a good deal).

    If you're working remotely, I'd use Google Workspace -
    3 seats on $16.80/mo plan = $50.4/mo, that comes with 6TB of space to share.

    • +2

      We have to get microsoft 365 for the apps already so we might as well be using one drive I think.

      I'll give google workspace a search and see how it is.

      Does it create a folder on your computer for easier saving etc. I dont want to be opening up thinks on a webpage.

      • Yes

      • Yep. It offers 2 apps - Sync and Stream.

        The Sync works similar to other digital locker apps, so it keeps a local copy of (all or select folders) of your cloud drive. The moment you make any change to any of the files, it synchronises them back to the cloud (and vice versa).

        The Stream allows you to have a local folder for your cloud drive even if it's bigger, than your local drive. It will selectively download (stream) files that you're working on, while keeping the rest on the cloud. That's useful when you're working with larger files and/or don't have a need to keep copy of everything locally (want to save space).

  • I have had a good experience of - after reading good reviews. A robust and clean interface.

  • Definitely use Microsoft 365 and the included OneDrive and various other apps. Cheap as chips, works extremely well and perfect for your requirement. Access it from only a PC if you want, or from a web browser, or a combo of both.