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Who has the cheapest cloud storage?

Cloud comparison

Since Google unveiled it’s new pricing structure for Google Drive cloud storage earlier today, I’ve been wondering how Google now ranks with other cloud storage providers in terms of the annual price per gigabyte. So, I have done all the heavy lifting for you, and have taken a closer look at the five most popular cloud storage providers in the US: Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), SugarSync, and Box.

What I found is pretty interesting, to say the least. In terms of free storage that you get just for signing up and doing nothing else, Google is the clear winner at 15GB per user. Some early SkyDrive users were able to grandfather in 25GB of free storage, so if you have that, more power to you. Dropbox users might also be able to earn more storage by referring their friends and completing other miscellaneous tasks, like sharing to their social media accounts, but I am only considering free storage that you get for signing up and doing absolutely nothing else.

Concerning the paid tiers in my chart above, there are several things you have to consider: each provider offers a different “entry” level, and thus the mid and high tiers are also different. (SugarSync also has a fourth option, which I didn’t include here, that gives users 100GB of data for $99.99/year.) So, you have to consider your individual needs.

That being said, Google offers the most gigs for the least amount of money in its entry level plan. The second plan up also offers more gigs than the competition, but it’s the high tier that is most interesting: Box is the only one offering unlimited storage, and it’s only $35/month, making it the clear winner for anything over 1TB.

Interestingly, SugarSync – which recently did away with its free option – is almost always the most expensive, while Microsoft’s OneDrive is very middle-of-the-road, offering the same annual price of $0.50 per gig, no matter how many gigs you want.

What’s your favorite cloud provider?

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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10 thoughts on “Who has the cheapest cloud storage?

  • Does Google Drive still have file type restrictions. If so than it’s not an apple to apple price comparison.

    • Meant to reply to your comment, but I accidentally posted a new post. So I suppose I’m just informing you of my comment. In the event you miss it.

  • No file type restrictions, I’ve been using my terabyte of Drive (included with Fiber) almost obsessively. I uploaded my entire User directory when I was going through the process of switching out my hard drive to a SSD. I have also been uploading many MKVs, which is how I found one of the coolest features: Drive will process any uploaded video and then let you stream it through their YouTube player at varying resolutions (just like YouTube, but without the Chromecast functionality) on Drive. Which is amazing for watching movies/videos on the go.

    • I think Google have problem with .exe files being stored and emailed. This was also the case when file was zipped as extensions was read. Easy way around it was making the file extension unknown by adding extra letter to it like .exe1
      I might need to look into my payment plan now as i have 5 years old account deal – and until now i think i was in advantage of not choosing deals that are paid for monthly. I’m on a yearly subscription 20 GB @ $5.00/year – so unless you need more than 46GB this is the cheapest option (altho no longer available for nee sign ups.)

      • I’ve stored .exe files with no problems before. The only time it becomes an issue is if Google noticed your distributing (i.e. sharing) those files, and there’s the potential for copyright violations. Otherwise, you’re good.

        Also, Google can tell the file type, regardless of the extension.

        • I’m going to guess that it’s only with sharing on a large (relatively speaking) scale. If one were to share some files with say one or two friends, one would think they have not noticed, especially after about four or five months.

        • It has been a while since I shared anything other than pictures. So I can be terribly wrong about extensions, but trick worked last time, despite blocking .exe

          But as I said that was years back – things might have change. I use google storache mostly for pictures and documents.

  • I’m curious if there’s a reason backblaze was left out, they seem to be one of the more popular backup storage providers and catching up quick at 5/month for unlimited last I looked

  • Avatar of weirdroid

    I try to use Google for everything I can, even when it’s not the best, just to minimize the number of accounts and service providers. It’s my first choice because I already live in Google Apps for Business and Android. It’s also why Android will remain my first choice. I’m not too worried about all my personal information being inside Google, they are probably as good a steward of it as anyone else. I guess they have me for a long time.

    • I’m on the same train here.Call me lazy but having 10 different loggins\apps\bookmarks when you can do the same in one company for small increase in price… – it is good! And google serving android – something that will be hard to compete with on a larger scale. Drive used to be a pain in the neck, if someone was using it years ago. Now amount of integration in google services makes it very good and easy to use.


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