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The top 5 issues with the top 5 cloud storage services

FixYa survey points to security, capacity concerns

November 16, 2012 06:09 AM ET

Computerworld - A new survey by technical support website FixYa indicates that users of the top five cloud storage services are most concerned about capacity, security and missing files.

FixYa asked users of its service about the top five issues cloud storage customers have with Dropbox, Google Drive, Sugar Sync, iCloud and Box. Several thousand responses came back, although a spokesperson did not have the exact amount.

"Cloud-based file storage is becoming the expected method for file sharing these days, both on personal devices and in the workplace," said FixYa CEO Yaniv Bensadon. "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."

FixYa uses a volunteer staff to help with technical support information on its website. The information is designed to help consumers repair and troubleshoot product problems by themselves.

The survey uncovered some problems common to most of the cloud storage services, such as synchronization issues. Where it was able to, FixYa also offered its top recommended fixes for the problems.

Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the most popular consumer storage services. It recently claimed that it has 100 million users. Each day, one billion files are saved to the site, Dropbox officials said.

Dropbox supports just about every operating system, from Windows, OS X and Linux on desktops to Blackberry, Android and iOS on mobile devices.

Those surveyed about Dropbox chose "security concerns" (40%) as their top issue. Storage capacity limits were cited second (25%); file synchronization limitations, third (15%); slow responses, fourth, (10%) and "other" (5%).

As of June, about 7% of personal data was stored in the cloud, but that number is expected to climb to 36% by 2016, according to market research firm Gartner.

Dropbox has dealt with multiple security issues in the past, including a hack this summer that resulted in spam emails being sent to a portion of its user base.

"Further problems with privacy settings, as well as a situation in 2011 where accounts could be accessed without a password, have added to the small but not insignificant security concerns around the company and its product," FixYa said in its comments on the survey results.

FixYa users who rely on Dropbox for personal content, such as photos, music or entertainment, aren't discouraged by the security issues, FixYa noted.

"However, personal users utilizing Dropbox to store personal financial information or similar items that would pose a security risk should steer clear," FixYa said. "The same goes for mid-sized businesses looking for an easy way to share bank statements or proprietary business information."

Google Drive

When it came to Google Drive, missing folders topped the list of user complaints (30%). Problems with synchronizing files was noted by 20% of respondents.

Another 20% indicated they were unhappy with the automatic conversion from simply using Google Drive to having to adopt Google Docs, while 20% didn't like unknown errors that occurred while they were using the service. The remaining 10% cited "other" issues.



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