The top concerns with cloud storage services

A comparison between iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync and Box has yielded some interesting issues.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

A new survey released by technical support firm FixYa suggests that the top concerns of cloud storage users are the security of a service, storage limitations, file syncing and missing files.

Asking the website's users for commentary on popular cloud storage services iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync and Box, FixYa received several thousand responses, although a spokesperson was unable to confirm the exact amount, according to Computer World.

Cloud Storage - FixYa Report sugarsync google drive dropbox icloud box
Credit: FixYa

"Cloud-based file storage is becoming the expected method for file sharing these days, both on personal devices and in the workplace," FixYa CEO Yaniv Bensadon told the publication. "We hope the FixYa Cloud Storage Report shines a light on these differences so consumers can make an educated decision on which will be best suited for their needs."

The report documents the major issues users face, and what potential fixes are on offer to streamline storage and knock the kinks out of using cloud services.


Popular cloud storage service Dropbox claims over 100 million users worldwide. It is one of the top competitors in the cloud storage market, and its service is compatible with a number of different devices and operating systems.

A force to be reckoned with due to ease of use, 2GB of storage space is offered to individual users for free -- more than enough for casual storage users. However, other cloud storage services including Box and Google Drive offer 5GB of free space; something 25 percent of respondents found irritating.

40 percent of survey respondents stated that security concerns were the top issue when using Dropbox. The firm has experienced some small but not insignificant hacks and breaches in the past, including a situation in 2011 where accounts could be accessed without a password, and a hack this year where spam emails were sent to Dropbox users.

These issues were fixed, but user trust remains strained.

In addition, 15 percent experienced continual file syncing issues, and "laggy" response times annoyed ten percent of the survey participants.

Google Drive

Google Drive, relatively new due to its official launch in 2012, was the next phase in the tech giant's development of its Google Docs platform.

When using Google Drive, the top complaint was missing files, reported by 30 percent of respondents. In addition, 20 percent experienced synchronization issues. 20 percent found that Google Drive's automatic conversion to Google Docs irritating, and 20 percent cited "unknown" errors. The remaining ten percent referred to "other" problems with the cloud service.

"Although security concerns are not as prominent amongst FixYa users compared to other cloud devices, Drive still experiences some general usability issues that need to be addressed," FixYa says. "For the most part, however, these issues can be solved quickly."


SugarSync without Quickbooks support topped the priority list for 30 percent of users. The popular accounting software is a must-have for those in finance, and so immediately a market is lost due to this service flaw. A quarter of respondents disliked storage restrictions, which are based on a 30-day trial or "a five gigabyte free plan buried at the bottom of their sign-up page." According to FixYa, "pricing is higher than other cloud services (iCloud notwithstanding)."

30 percent stated that file synchonization issues -- including a distinct problem with iTunes files -- was their main gripe with SugarSync. FixYa says that iTunes files are "notoriously dodgy", as SugarSync has problems sharing between different mobile devices. 15 percent chose "other".


With the rollout of the Mountain Lion operating system, Apple's iCloud storage took a beating. 35 percent are reporting synchronization issues, whether it is trying to sign up for the service, back up files or syncing apps like the Notes feature between devices.

Many Apple customers are heavy users of iCloud, as it allows easy transition and synchnization between Apple devices. However, 15 percent also reported problems synching non-Apple devices to the cloud. In addition, 15 percent were dissatisfied with the amount of storage available. 10 percent said that "other" issues irritated them.


Box, launched in 2005, found itself in the firing line over security issues. 25 percent chose security concerns as the main problem with the service -- popular with SMBs -- whereas another 25 percent experienced file upload issues.

"While security issues do not appear to be a problem for large-scale business accounts, FixYa users have reported concerns with security for their free personal accounts," the firm said.

Box is a little different than other cloud storage providers, as it is working towards a native, collaborative management platform rather than acting simply as a file locker. However, as Google moves towards the same principle, Box's popularity may soon be in jeopardy.

Problems with backup files were also reported by 20 percent of respondents, as was "laggy response" times. Ten percent chose "other."

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