This week, Amazon officially put a 1 TB limit on its cloud storage service. Previously, users who paid $60 a year for an Amazon Drive plan benefited from unlimited storage, making it one of the best cloud storage plans there was.
Amazon launched the plan in 2015 to outpunch Dropbox and Google Drive, its rivals in the cloud storage arena. In hindsight, though, Amazon probably only wanted users to scramble toward its service upon launching, and once it saw that the unlimited schtick became unsustainable, it promptly pulled it. Of course, that's just guesswork, but it's easy to imagine that some users are upset about the news, and it's possible they're now looking for alternatives.
So here's a handy guide comparing Amazon Drive with other cloud storage service plans.
The first you need to know is that the cloud storage service market is huge, and it's easy to get confused in the maelstrom of it all. Needless to say, there are a plethora of options out there. Some will fit your needs; some won't suffice.
Right off the bat, Google Drive offers 15 GB of free storage, although emails count toward that total limit. The service boasts real-time cross-collaboration features, quick uploads and downloads, and direct uploading of folders via the web app. It even offers offline access and selective file sync.
The problem is, Google is often linked to privacy issues, and it often encounters problems with huge files. Also, once uploaded, files can't change ownership, which might be a deal-breaker for many.
Here are the plans Google Drive offers:
• 100 GB for $1.99 monthly or $19.99 yearly
• 1 TB for $9.99 monthly or $99.99 yearly
• 10 TB for $99.99 monthly
• 20 TB for $199.99 monthly
• 30 TB for $299.99 monthly
One of the best things about OneDrive is its integration with Microsoft Office, which makes a pretty strong argument for luring customers over to the service. If you're a Microsoft Office fanatic, OneDrive is the logical solution for your file storage troubles, since it makes file-sharing easy.
OneDrive comes with 5 GB of free storage and boasts selective file syncing. However, in terms of speed, OneDrive runs at a snail's pace compared with its competitors, and that's a problem because more than anything else, the key element of cloud storage is speed.
Finally, OneDrive doesn't have real-time collaboration features right off the bat — users would need an Office 365 subscription to have that.
Here are the plans Microsoft OneDrive offers:
• 5 GB for free
• 50 GB for $1.99 monthly
• 1 TB for $6.99 monthly or $69.99 yearly, Office 365 included
• 5 TB for $9.99 monthly or $99.99 yearly, Office 365 included
Apple is less of a full-fledged cloud storage solution than a proprietary "freebie" that iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac users are privy to. For one, most features on iCloud will only work on an Apple device.
That said, where it shines, it shines really well. It boasts stellar integration features with Apple devices, as mentioned, and it also has a visually pleasant and easy-to-use interface, which is only what you'd expect from Apple. File syncing is also pretty good, provided they're not too large.
At present, iCloud is only available on Apple devices and Windows 10 machines, which makes sharing files with people outside of those systems troublesome. There are no collaboration features, no selective sync, and it's difficult to comb through your data, as Cloudward notes.
Here are the plans Apple iCloud offers. Keep in mind that the prices vary depending on your region:
• 5 GB for free
• 50 GB for $0.99 monthly
• 200 GB for $2.99 monthly
• 2 TB for $9.99 monthly
Dropbox is probably no stranger to many, seeing as how it's probably the most popular cloud storage solution there is. It features smooth and selective file syncing, a clean and crisp interface, and is integrated with Office 365. It also features one of the best collaboration tools there is called Paper.
It's worth noting, however, that Dropbox has suffered from security issues in the past.
Here are the plans Dropbox offers.
• Dropbox Standard: 2 TB for $12.50 (monthly)
• Dropbox Advanced: "As much space needed" for $20 (monthly)
Which cloud storage solution is the best for you? Let us know in the comments section below!