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How can you keep track of your files when they’re all in different places?

With the availability of free cloud storage increasing all the time, and more people using multiple providers, you’ll probably need to answer this question soon.

When you have documents and photos all over the Internet, it’s easy to lose track of them. Was that spreadsheet in Dropbox or Google Drive? Is your presentation in OneDrive or SugarSync? Did that picture get uploaded from your phone to Amazon Cloud Drive or Flickr 5 Tools To Sync & Auto-Upload Photos From Android To Cloud Storage 5 Tools To Sync & Auto-Upload Photos From Android To Cloud Storage Nothing is more convenient than taking a photo on your phone and automatically having it be backed up to the cloud. Read More ? These four websites promise to help you keep tabs on your cloud accounts. Let’s see how the pros and cons of each service stack up.

Primadesk (Web, iOS, Android)

Primadesk aims to be more than just a way to manage your files in the cloud — it’s a one-stop online hub. When you log in, you’re greeted with a dashboard that shows you all the activity that has happened in your accounts within the past 24 hours, making this a great tool if you do a lot of cloud collaboration. It also gives you access to a unified inbox, letting you manage multiple e-mail accounts from the same window.

primadesk-dashboard

Pros

  • 39 different providers, including e-mail, photo, document, and social accounts.
  • Support for multiple accounts from a single provider.
  • Drag-and-drop transfers between services.
  • Unified e-mail inbox.
  • Advanced search capabilities, letting you search by keyword, date range, and content type in a single operation.
  • 256-bit encryption and HTTPS to protect your information.

Cons

  • Only 10 accounts available to free subscribers
  • Only 1GB of backup space available to free subscribers
  • Inability to view or edit Evernote notes

primadesk-main-view

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Overall, Primadesk is a very competitive option, though the lack of Evernote viewing and editing support will be a big strike against it for a lot of people. Primadesk, however, does have a free option, and that’s a big plus. If you upgrade to the Pro account for $5 monthly or $50 yearly, you get the ability to attach an unlimited number accounts, instead of 10, and you get more space to backup all of your files to the cloud Double The Cloud Power: How To Sync Files Across Storage Services Double The Cloud Power: How To Sync Files Across Storage Services Being able to sync from our many devices to the Cloud is an awesome benefit of modern computing. We’re able to take our files with us on mobile devices, access them from other computers without... Read More . The top-tier premium account provides even more space.

Also Download: Primadesk for iOS / Android (Free)

JoliCloud (Web, iOS)

Like Primadesk, JoliCloud offers an integrated dashboard that lets you manage a lot of different cloud services from a single page. It doesn’t provide an integrated e-mail inbox, instead opting for a unified social feed called Home that combines Facebook, Feedly, Google+, Tumblr, and a few other services. Your cloud storage accounts get added to the Drive section, where you can manage your files.

jolicloud-home

Pros

  • Clean, easy-to-use interface.
  • Unified social stream.
  • Easy to see how much storage you’re using in each account.
  • Integration of Evernote previews.

Cons

  • Only 13 providers.
  • Unable to transfer files between accounts.
  • Limited to one account per provider.
  • No unified search feature.
  • No backup feature.
  • Still in beta.

jolicloud-main

Without the ability to search through all of your cloud files or transfer things between different accounts, JoliCloud falls a bit flat on the file management side. The unified social feed is a cool feature, though, and the interface is quite easy to use, meaning this could be a contender if you need to do more browsing than management.

Also Download: Jolicloud for iOS (Free)

CloudKafé (Web)

While it falls in the middle on the scale of supported providers, CloudKafé is completely free and offers a beautiful user interface and one of the most useful sharing features in this list with Baskets. Baskets allow you to choose items from any number of providers and share them in a single place by simply adding your friends’ or colleagues’ e-mail addresses.

cloudkafe-dashboard

Pros

  • Unified contact storage for Google, Yahoo, and LinkedIn, creating a giant address book
  • Support for multiple accounts from providers
  • Simple navigation groups your accounts into documents, photos, videos, notes, contacts, and baskets*
  • Ability to view and edit Evernote notes
  • One-click search with results broken down by category
  • Easy multi-provider sharing with Baskets

Cons

  • No file transfer ability
  • 18 providers is on the low end
  • No backup options
  • No mobile apps

cloudkafe-evernote

*Although this classification is nice, most cloud storage services, like Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and SugarSync, can also store photos and videos, meaning that some of them will end up in your documents folder.

CloudKafé has few drawbacks, but it does lack some important functionality in file transfers and is hurt by the lack of mobile apps. However, the integration of Evernote viewing and editing is a huge plus, and the easy-to-navigate interface makes this a great option for beginners to cloud storage management.

ZeroPC (Web, iOS, Android)

This is definitely the most unique cloud management app on this list. Instead of the file-explorer-type view offered by the other sites, you get a whole online desktop to work with, complete with apps like a text editor and a web browser. Unfortunately, in my testing, they fell short of the performance offered by even the most basic free apps that come standard on any computer.

zeropc-apps

Pros

  • Universal inbox for managing multiple e-mail accounts
  • Easy drag-and-drop file transfer capability
  • Quick search by keyword, provider, file type, and date range
  • Cloud Attach allows you to attach any files from cloud storage directly to e-mails in your Gmail account
  • 1GB of free storage
  • Secure SSL encryption and no storage of your usernames and passwords

Cons

  • Online desktop interface is much more complicated than other options
  • 25MB file size upload limit on free account
  • 1GB data bandwidth limit on free account
  • No backup option for free account

zeropc-search

While a Pro account gets around most of these drawbacks, I found the cloud desktop format to be very “un-user-friendly” and the apps to be sub-par. Drag-and-drop file transfer, quick search, and Cloud Attach are extremely useful features, though, so if you’re not bothered by the desktop, this might be worth looking into.

Also Download: ZeroPC for iOS / Android (Free)

Which one should you use?

Primadesk is the standout option here, as it offers the biggest number of supported providers, file transfer capability, a unified inbox, and up to ten accounts in the free plan. If you’re looking for more than ten accounts but don’t want to pay for a premium plan, CloudKafé is a good compromise — it lacks some of the features of Primadesk, but more accounts and basket sharing are great features. JoliCloud might be a contender if it gets more functionality when it comes out of beta, but it’s not very compelling at the moment. As for ZeroPC, I’m not convinced that it’s a good way to go, but I’d love to hear your arguments to the contrary.

Do you use a cloud storage manager? Which would you recommend? Or do you skip it and just manage each one individually?

Image Credit: Baltic Servers via Wikimedia

  1. Justin Adams
    September 7, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Oh, get http://www.odrive.com for multiple cloud storage... it's the best (especially if you want straight up, reliable desktop sync to Amazon Drive or to multiple cloud storage providers). I loved being able to only have one sync client installed. Also helped me save local disk space, too (you can see placeholder files for files in the cloud that are available, but you don't have to have everything downloaded to your computer all the time... great cuz I only have a 120GB SSD on my laptop).

    • Dann Albright
      October 4, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      Thanks for the tip! That sounds like a really useful service.

  2. jerrry jonnnes
    July 18, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    This is your list? You are missing a lot of options like ReachIt from lenovo or koofr.eu or odrive or many more. Are you using affiliate links, is that why you recommend such mediocre options like above?

    • Dann Albright
      July 25, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Well, ReachIt wasn't released until after this article was written, so that's a pretty compelling case for leaving it out. I didn't look into the release dates for the other two, but that makes me think they might be newer than this article as well.

  3. Sam Grapner
    September 1, 2015 at 12:00 am

    I love this short and helpful article http://www.codyhofstetter.com/2015/08/jolidrive-how-to-make-the-most-of-your-free-cloud-storage/
    Found it a while ago looking at another post on cloud storage and he makes a quick review and gives helpful suggestions on what to use your cloud storage for you might not have thought of.

    • Dann Albright
      September 2, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      Thanks for sharing that link! There are all sorts of uses for cloud storage, from backups to sharing to safety. And keeping it all organized can help a lot.

      • Sam Grapner
        September 10, 2015 at 5:12 am

        Thanks Dann! Your article and his were two of the more useful articles I read (and I read a LOT of them).

  4. Wilson
    May 10, 2015 at 6:15 am

    Hello, I am a user of Zero PC and I am loving the online desktop approach very much it is just what I need because I need portable computing, cloud based computing where I can on any machine so I do not have to bring my own machine everytime so it is unfair to say the online desktop is un user friendly. If you know how to use Windows, it will be easy to use the online desktop as the interface has something in common with Windows. It is a good thing they built it the way by taking advantage of users familiarity with the Windows OS.

    • Dann Albright
      May 14, 2015 at 6:36 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Zero PC! I wasn't much of a fan (possibly because I've been a Mac user for five years or so now), but it's good to know that it works well for some people.

  5. Dave Arthur
    January 29, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Can someone explain to me how the space works on a free "Cloud Management" system like Primadesk?
    If say the CM system offers 1 GB of data... and I have 17GB of Dropbox and 5 GB of Google Drive and 10 GB of Box ... as an example ... what is the 1GB that Primadesk is giving me used for?

    • Dann Albright
      January 29, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      I think that means that you also get some space from Primadesk. You can access things from Dropbox and Google Drive and Box, but you can also store things directly with Primadesk. It just gives you a bit more space to work with.

  6. Suresh
    December 12, 2014 at 2:46 am

    @Primadesk
    There has been problem in connecting email of http://www.hotmail.com whereas the gmail and yahoomail has been properly added & connected at http://www.primadesk.com

    Can you let me know why there has been a problem.

  7. CloudBuckit
    August 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    You should look at our solution to manage your cloud storages:

    Cloudbuckit - http://www.cloudbuckit.com

    We support many storages (photo ones as well) and latest ones Evernote and Copy.com.

    - Backup, Migrate, Schedule, Synchronize files
    - Fast Search & Accessibility in all Storage Accounts
    - Directly Move Files between Multiple Cloud Storage Accounts
    - Share files with colleagues and friends

    Also the design has been proved by many users as easy and User-Friendly Interface!

    It's in beta...give us a try and lets hear from you! :o)

  8. Alejandro Germán R
    March 23, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    According to your recommendation I tried Primadesk, but it di not scan my files (only two accounts). I write 24 hours later I open my account.

    • Dann A
      March 24, 2014 at 8:40 am

      Alejandro, could you provide some more details? What do you mean that it didn't scan your files? Did you add your cloud accounts and then not see anything listed in Primadesk? If you can be a little more specific, I bet the guys from Primadesk will help you out.

    • Primadesk
      March 24, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      Alejandro,
      Please send an email with details to support@primadesk.com and we will be happy to work with you and help resolve the issue. Thanks a bunch for using Primadesk.

  9. Cantab
    March 22, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Anyone know about CloudCmdr?

  10. Bernice Jenkins
    March 20, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    The $60 is for the paid version. The free version is also avail. The only difference is with the free version they limit you to only being able to connect 5 clouds at a time. But its so easy to just add and remove to check all you have if needed. Also they do have a subscription avail. it's the business one for $5.00/mos.

    • Dann A
      March 21, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Thanks for pointing this out, Bernice! I didn't notice that there was a free version. Five accounts isn't very many, but if you used it for Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, OneDrive, and Google Drive, you'd definitely cover all of the big ones. Seems like a pretty good deal to me!

  11. Remigius
    March 20, 2014 at 4:33 am

    I use the cloud storage at http://www.4shared.com/.

    After registration which is free one is entitled to use about 15 GB of cloud storage for a period of six months, after which there will be charges to maintain one's account.
    So if one is keen on storing large amounts of files, and paying for this service after initially trying it for free, this is good ....ideal for offices and corp orates.

    • Dann A
      March 21, 2014 at 7:27 am

      Another one that I had never heard of! Though this also appears to be a cloud storage provider, and not a storage management app. 15GB for free isn't too bad, but it only lasts for the first 180 days. Also, it seems strange to me that there's a bandwidth limit on the premium account, but not on the free one.

      I can see how this would be a good idea for groups of people, though, as you could get a lot of storage and easy sharing capabilities. Thanks for sharing it!

  12. Bernice Jenkins
    March 20, 2014 at 3:28 am

    I have used them all and Primadesk was the one I used most until I came across StorageMadeEasy.com. They have both a free and paid version. You can access everything through the website/webapp, or if you prefer you can also download software and make it like a network drive on your computer so you don't have to use a browser. And the number of cloud providers they are able to connect with is by far the best out of all these.

    I used to also use Otixo when it had a better free option but they changed things now so it's a paid service. It would of been equal to Primadesk.

    Someone told me about IFTTT.com but I have not had a chance to fully check it out.

    • Dann A
      March 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      I had never heard of StorageMadeEasy, but I just looked at their website, and they support a pretty impressive number of providers, and support for up to 30 accounts on the personal license. It feels expensive at $60, but because it's not a subscription service, that's probably not too bad if you're going to be using it for a long time.

      Thanks for pointing this out!

  13. M Douglas
    March 20, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Has anyone tried Pogoplug? How does it compare?

    • Dann A
      March 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Pogoplug is a cloud storage provider, and not a management app—it doesn't link other services. However, it does provide unlimited storage for $50 / year, so you could potentially replace all of your other accounts with a single one instead and obviate the need for an app like this. If you want to pay, that is.

  14. Primadesk
    March 19, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    @dragonmouth Here are a few use cases our users find compelling. Though individually Dropbox files, Google Drive files are available readily when you have serveral accounts in the same provider(One of Personal use and other for professional use) or different providers (because you use one service but others share files with you on another service, this is specially the case for consultants who work with several companies each using their own service) it becomes extremely difficult to search for files or copy files from one service to another.

    Also when you are using mobile phones you have to constantly jump between apps. If you have two dropbox or google drive accounts it is impossible to work with them on mobile devices.

    Going between services like Evernote and Dropbox or search ing between them is very difficult if you do not have a service like Primadesk.

    If you have only one service and one account then you are right that it may not be necessary to use other products but many studies have shown that most people have much more than one service where they store their data.

    Hope this helps.

  15. dragonmouth
    March 19, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    That's one of the shortcomings of Cloud storage, you lose track of your files.

    • Dann A
      March 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      I thought that was the case for a while, too, and then I found out that these cloud storage management apps were available. Seems like a lot less of a shortcoming when you can access them all at the same time!

    • dragonmouth
      March 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      If the files are so readily available, why would need a cloud storage management app??? :-)

  16. Swetank R
    March 19, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Did some one tried Multcloud?

    • Dann A
      March 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      I didn't look at MultCloud, but I just took a quick glance at their site, and it doesn't present much of a compelling case. For example, there are only a few providers listed, with no indication that there are other options. I didn't see any screenshots, so I can't comment on the interface, but I did notice that their tutorials aren't really tutorials at all, but seem to be SEO bait. They're not very well written, either. If you're currently using MultCloud, I'd love to hear your experience, though!

  17. Primadesk
    March 19, 2014 at 2:39 am

    Dann,

    Thanks a bunch for a nice article. We will provide more options with Evernote soon as recommended here.
    We are also testing a beta version of a universal Sync client for Windows that can synchronize all your cloud accounts to your windows PC. You will be able to synchronize multiple Dropbox, Google Drive and other cloud accounts to your PC with one simple Sync client. If anyone is interested in beta testing this product they can approach us at support@primadesk.com.

    Our Android app has several cool features like bump files and photos from any online accounts to your friends.

    Try it out.

    • Dann A
      March 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      I'll be looking forward to seeing the new Evernote features, and the Windows sync client sounds really great! If I had a Windows computer, I would definitely want to get in on the beta.

      Thanks for checking in here!

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