We Compare The Best Cloud Storage Providers

Cloud storage sounds a bit mysterious, however actually it’s only a laborious drive on the web. As a substitute of the normal technique of storing paperwork in your pc (or a USB drive) you save them to “the cloud”.

This method has many advantages. The information – which could possibly be images, movies, Phrase paperwork, MP3s – are then straightforward to entry on all of your units – together with your telephone. There are different advantages too: you may ship a hyperlink to pals, household or colleagues to allow them to entry particular information or folders with out having to connect these information to an electronic mail, and you’ll share a lot bigger information than electronic mail can deal with – splendid for movies particularly.

Best of all, cloud storage means you don’t have to fret about operating of area or dropping information: you may simply pay for extra storage once you want it and the supplier – Google, Microsoft, Apple, Dropbox or whomever you select – is answerable for holding your information protected and safe.

Not all cloud storage providers provide all these options and never all provide the identical stage of safety to your information. And that’s why you’re right here, in fact: you wish to know which is the very best service to make use of. We’ll clarify what you get from all the highest providers, plus a couple of you could not have heard of, together with their execs and cons.

Cloud storage with native copies of information

If the considered storing your information solely on a server someplace on the web makes you’re feeling a bit uncomfortable, then know that the best way most cloud storage works is by ‘syncing’. Meaning there’s an area copy of all of the information in your laptop computer, PC or Mac in addition to within the cloud.

On telephones and units with restricted storage, you may normally mark which information needs to be accessible domestically, which saves treasured cupboard space.

Is cloud storage a type of backup?

This can be a actually vital level. As we simply mentioned, most cloud storage providers make a replica of the information (within the folders you select) and retailer then within the cloud. Normally, the default setting is that once you delete the native copy of a file, the cloud model can also be deleted. It’s the identical the opposite manner round: delete a file within the cloud (by way of the supplier’s app or web site) and the file might be eliminated out of your pc or telephone.

So cloud storage isn’t essentially backup. Some providers allow you to select whether or not to sync or again up, however not all. 

You could wish to look particularly for cloud backup providers, resembling Backblaze and the UK-based LiveDrive.

Which cloud storage is greatest?

With so many suppliers to decide on between, it may be laborious to choose one. However that’s the place we are available in. We’ve achieved the laborious work of sifting by the choices and have narrowed them all the way down to what we take into account to be the very best cloud storage providers on the market.

We’ve reviewed different providers together with SugarSync, SpiderOak and KnowHow, however they didn’t make the reduce.

Generally the providers beneath provide a free trial or a very free plan, so you may strive them out earlier than spending any cash.

What’s the very best Cloud Storage service?


Google Drive – Best Total

  • Professionals
    • 15GB free storage as normal
    • On-line workplace apps
  • Cons

When you have a Google account then you have already got 15GB of free storage accessible to you in Google Drive. This can be utilized to again up paperwork, images, movies, and the rest you wish to maintain protected.

Drive’s interface is easy, clear, and takes about two minutes to grasp. That’s to not say it’s fundamental, as Drive has helpful options resembling sharing hyperlinks to folders (whereas setting the extent of management the recipient has), accessing a file even when it’s opened on one other system, plus apps for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.

One of many actual advantages is that Drive works seamlessly with Google’s free suite of workplace apps which you should utilize in an online browser or by way of apps in your telephone and pill.

If 15GB isn’t sufficient area then you may pay for the brand new Google One service. There’s a alternative of 100GB (£1.49 / $1.99 monthly), 200GB (£2.49 / $2.99 monthly), 2TB (£7.99 / $9.99 monthly), proper as much as 30TB for a princely sum of £239.99 / $299.99 monthly (and that could be a fraction of what Amazon costs for 30TB!).

The better part is that Google One could be shared by as much as 5 relations.

Backside line: Google Drive is a wonderful, dependable, and inexpensive cloud storage service.

Get Google Drive


Microsoft OneDrive – Best for Home windows + Workplace customers

  • Professionals
    • Deep integration with Microsoft providers
    • Can release area in your units
  • Cons

The cloud storage service that’s seamlessly built-in into Home windows 10 is Microsoft’s OneDrive. Though the preliminary free tier of 5GB will rapidly refill, it’s nonetheless on a par with many different providers.

Options embrace computerized picture backups, superior search amenities, cellular and internet entry to OneDrive, plus the Recordsdata On-Demand settings that may maintain information saved solely on-line fairly than taking over area in your system.

Stepping as much as 100GB of storage prices £1.99 / $1.99 monthly, however even this doesn’t offer you entry to Microsoft Phrase or different Workplace apps.

To make use of these, you’ll have to sign up for Microsoft 365. This month-to-month subscription provides you all the Microsoft Workplace suite (Phrase, Excel, and many others.) plus 1TB of OneDrive storage for both £5.99 / $6.99 monthly (one person) or £7.99 / $9.99 (six customers).

This brings with it numerous extras resembling restoring your complete drive again to any level up to now 30 days, ransomware detection, password safety on shared information, expiration dates on shared hyperlinks, offline folders on cellular units, and ten instances the allowed quantity of content material that may be shared every day.

When you want 1TB of storage, Microsoft 365 is nice worth, however Google is extra beneficiant with fully free entry to its workplace apps.

Backside Line: When you already use Home windows 10 and Microsoft Workplace, or plan to, then OneDrive is the plain alternative for storage.

See OneDrive plans


pCloud – Best for Lifetime plans


  • Professionals
    • Good-value lifetime plans
    • 10GB free storange
  • Cons
    • Costs further for end-to-end encryption

pCloud doesn’t have the workplace suites, video content material or different extras provided by the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. As a substitute the Swiss firm sticks to what it is aware of greatest: holding your information protected, safe, and accessible throughout all of your units.

The free tier provides you 10GB of storage, though 3GB must be unlocked by finishing duties resembling downloading the cellular app, importing a file, or sharing the service with pals.

There are not any restrictions on file dimension, so you may add something that your cupboard space permits, and versioning means information could be restored again so far as 30 days.

Safety is robust with pCloud stating that it retains 5 copies of every information, distributed to totally different servers, with 256-bit AES encryption utilized on the servers. Further client-side encryption can also be on provide (which means your knowledge is encrypted earlier than it leaves your system) for a payment of £4.49 / $4.99 monthly or for a lifetime payment of £115 / $125. 

Pricing is uncommon, in that you would be able to pay a yearly payment for 500GB or 2TB, however the true draw is the Lifetime possibility which prices £159 / $175 for 500GB or £309 / $350 for 2TB. It signifies that the service is successfully free after you’ve used it for about 4 years.

Backside Line: pCloud is a secure, quick storage service with optionally available encryption. The lifetime pricing makes it good worth.

See all pCloud plans


Mega – Most free storage


  • Professionals
    • 15GB+ free storage
    • Finish-to-end encryption
  • Cons
    • Was once 50GB free
    • Excessive-capacity plans accessible

New Zealand based mostly Mega used to supply a beneficiant 50GB to new customers, however that’s now modified to 15GB with extra capability rewarded for one thing Mega calls ‘achievements’.

These embrace validating your account, putting in the Mega apps, and alluring pals to the service. That is sophisticated additional by the truth that the bonus storage is totally different for every achievement and solely momentary, with a spread of expiration dates from 30 days to a 12 months.

That being mentioned, you continue to get 15GB free, which is as a lot as some other service, and there are premium tariffs that embrace 400GB (€4.99 / £4.27 monthly), 2TB (€9.99 / £8.56 monthly), 8TB (€19.99 / £17.13 monthly), and 16TB (€29.99 / £25.69 monthly).

Mega’s principal promoting level is safety, with end-to-end encryption defending your information even when in transit between your system and its servers. The key to the encryption is your password, which means even Mega can’t entry your knowledge, though for those who lose it you’ll be in hassle as you, too, received’t be capable of entry these encrypted information.

The service gives extensions for Chrome and Firefox, safe chat with different Mega customers, plus a mail add-on for Thunderbird so you may simply and securely change giant information.

Backside Line: Quick, straightforward to make use of and good worth if it’s good to retailer lots and lots more and plenty of knowledge within the cloud.

See Mega plans


Dropbox – Best for compatibility


  • Professionals
    • Works with many different apps & providers
    • Good for companies
  • Cons

Dropbox is among the largest names in cloud storage, serving to popularise the idea throughout its early years. In the present day it has grown right into a business-orientated service with highly effective instruments such having the ability to collaborate on PowerPoint and Photoshop information in real-time, create temper boards and team-based plans by itself Paper platform, plus the standard on-line file storage choices.

Huge third-party app help, plus integration with Home windows and macOS, signifies that for those who’re searching for a service you may depend on and know that works with just about every little thing, then Dropbox is a strong alternative. 

Particular person customers face extra of a dilemma, with the free tier being a lowly 2GB of area, restricted to a few units, and hampered by an absence of even probably the most fundamental options resembling setting the permissions somebody can must a shared file.

Shifting as much as the paid tiers improves issues and in comparison with a few years in the past, it’s higher worth now at £7.99 / $9.99 monthly for 2TB.

Companies will want a Marketing strategy, which begins from £16.58 per person monthly (that’s £199 per 12 months per individual). 

Backside Line: For small groups and companies Dropbox has quite a bit to supply, and it’s not dangerous worth for people who want 2-3TB of storage.

See Dropbox plans


Apple iCloud – Best for iPhone & Mac customers

Apple iCloud

  • Professionals
    • Seamless integration with Apple units
    • Automated backups from apps
  • Cons
    • Just for Apple units
    • Stingy 5GB of free storage

Apple’s iCloud works a bit of in a different way to different cloud storage providers in that it’s successfully a part of each macOS and iOS. You may entry it by way of Home windows computer systems, however actually it solely is sensible for those who’re utilizing it primarily with Apple {hardware}.

In addition to information, images and movies out of your iPhone or iPad, your messages, calendars, contacts, and varied different knowledge are additionally saved in iCloud.

The benefit of that is that a lot of it’s taking place behind the scenes, that you simply’ll by no means have to fiddle with it as soon as the service is up and operating. Plus, once you come to maneuver to a brand new Apple system, you’ll immediately be capable of sync all the knowledge out of your previous one in a couple of minutes.

In fact, the 5GB that comes free with iCloud isn’t going to be anyplace close to sufficient, particularly for those who wish to take images and movies, however there are cheap costs for further storage.

These are as follows, 50GB (£0.79 / $0.99 monthly), 200GB (£2.49 / $2.99 monthly), and 2TB (£6.99 / $9.99 monthly), with the latter two choices additionally eligible for inclusion in Apple’s Household Sharing function.

Backside Line: When you use solely Apple merchandise, then iCloud is nicely value your consideration.

See iCloud plans


Field – Best for enterprise


  • Professionals
    • Big selection of platforms supported
    • Good set of options
  • Cons
    • Free customers restricted to 250MB information
    • No versioning help free of charge customers

Whereas Field gives private storage choices, it’s primarily geared toward companies. However, the free bundle nonetheless provides you 10GB of free area, though there’s a restrict of 250MB for file sizes. That is nice for many paperwork, spreadsheets, and even hi-res images, however not video. 

The free account doesn’t help versioning both (having the ability to restore earlier variations of a file) and neither does upgrading to the Private Professional plan that prices £8 / $10 monthly for 100GB of storage and a file dimension restrict of 5GB. 

On the enterprise facet there’s a spread of choices, kicking off with the Starter plan for £4 / $5 monthly, which additionally gives 100GB, a barely decrease 2GB file dimension, works with groups of 3-10 individuals, helps doc encryption, granular permissions and shops earlier variations of any file.

Functionally, Field is superb. The interfaces on the desktop and cellular apps (accessible on Home windows, macOS, iOS, Android) are slick and nicely designed, with loads of choices for creating, importing and sorting information.

Backside Line: For paperwork and images it’s a superb service, however the very best expertise is the one for enterprise customers.

See Box plans


Amazon Drive – Best for Prime subscribers

Amazon Drive

  • Professionals
    • Limitless full-resolution picture storage included with Prime
  • Cons
    • Not nice if you wish to retailer greater than images and movies

Amazon’s Drive has modified its identify and had an overhaul in the previous few years. It’s nonetheless complicated, although, and never notably straightforward to seek out on Amazon’s web site. You could be left questioning if Drive is a part of Amazon Prime (it’s, type of) or for those who can signal as much as it independently (you may). There’s additionally loads of confusion and overlap between the Amazon Drive and Amazon Pictures apps, and no true file syncing from desktop computer systems.

To be truthful, Amazon markets it as storage for images and movies, regardless that you may retailer and preview quite a lot of different forms of information resembling PDFs and workplace paperwork.

Right here’s the lowdown:

  • Have an Amazon account? You’ve gotten 5GB of free storage for images and movies
  • Have Amazon Prime? You get limitless storage for images and 5GB for movies
  • Personal a Fireplace pill? You’ve gotten limitless storage for images taken with that system, plus 5GB of additional storage

It’s value noting that the limitless storage talked about is for images at their full, unique decision and that Google is stopping its free, limitless storage for ‘excessive’ high quality images uploaded to Google Pictures. We nonetheless a lot favor the Google Pictures app over Amazon’s Pictures app although. 

These three choices above are just for images and movies. If you wish to retailer information, you want to enroll in one of many Drive storage plans. There’s a 100GB tier that prices (£1.49 monthly / $19.99 per 12 months) and 1TB for £7.99 monthly ($59.99 per 12 months).

Backside Line: Amazon Drive isn’t the very best cloud storage service but it surely is sensible for those who mix it with the opposite providers the corporate gives. For £7.99 / $12.99 monthly Amazon Prime gives 5GB of storage, limitless area for images, plus Amazon Video, Music and Prime supply. Now that’s good worth.

See Amazon Drive plans


Tresorit – Best for safety


  • Professionals
    • Zero-knowledge, end-to-end encrypted service
  • Cons
  • 14-day free trial
  • High-notch safety features
  • Select the place knowledge is saved

Swiss-based Tresorit takes safety and privateness very critically certainly. There’s end-to-end encryption as normal, zero-knowledge authentication (which means Tresorit doesn’t know your password and may’t entry your knowledge), a number of copies of information stored on a number of servers for backups, 2-factor authentication and servers based mostly within the EU in order that they profit from rigorous privateness legal guidelines.

This implies it’s fairly a compelling bundle if you wish to be assured that no-one might be prying into what you are promoting.

All of those precautions value cash in fact, however Tresorit does provide a 14-day free trial. There additionally a free tier known as Tresorit Primary which helps you to join two units and offers you 3GB of storage and as much as 50 share hyperlinks monthly.

Realistically, you’ll wish to go for the Premium bundle at a minimal which prices £8 / $12.50 monthly for 500GB.

Solo is a bundle geared toward freelancers and professionals that prices £20 / $30 monthly and consists of 2.5TB of storage plus password-protected information sharing, granular permissions, Outlook integration, and limitless file variations (versus the ten on the Premium tier).

Tresorit now lets customers obtain information in an end-to-end encrypted surroundings with out requiring the sender to be a subscriber. Plus, there’s a alternative of ‘residency options‘ which helps you to decide the place your knowledge is saved, permitting native groups to retailer knowledge on servers positioned in their very own area.

Desktop and cellular apps can be found on Home windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android.

Backside Line: Whereas extra pricey than another providers, will enchantment to those that put a premium on safety and privateness.

See all Tresorit’s plans


MediaFire – Best for high-capacity plans


  • Professionals
    • As much as 50GB free storage
    • Good for sharing giant information
  • Cons
  • 10GB free storage (expandable by varied bonuses)
  • Expiration dates for share hyperlinks
  • Share information on to social media websites

MediaFire is an easy-to-use service that provides new customers 10GB of free storage to start with. This may be expanded as much as a whopping 50GB by finishing bonus duties resembling pal referrals and connecting your social media accounts. The latter may show helpful, as MediaFire permits information to be shared on to websites resembling Fb and Twitter.

The service promotes the truth that its customers won’t be topic to bandwidth or obtain restrictions, which is made potential by Mediafire being ad-supported. Must you favor that to not be the case, or simply wish to increase your storage capabilities, then there’s the Professional tier that features 1TB of area, the power to add information immediately from a web site by pasting within the hyperlink, bulk downloads, and One-Time Hyperlinks to forestall individuals sharing information you’ve made accessible to them.

On the time of writing Professional will set you again $3.75 monthly (approx. £2.70), or there’s a Enterprise tier with as much as 100TB for $40 (approx £29).

Backside Line: cloud storage possibility for most individuals, with loads of free area on provide.

See all MediaFire plans


Internxt – Best free end-to-end encrypted cloud storage


  • Professionals
    • Encrypted, zero-knowledge storage
    • Nicely-priced lifetime plans
  • Cons
    • Very fundamental options
    • No versioning or undelete

Internxt is among the latest cloud storage providers, having been round solely a 12 months or so. It’s fundamental, however gives one thing that different cloud providers have a tendency to not: full encryption with zero information. Solely you may entry your information, and no-one else. And people information are break up up into fragments that are saved in a decentralised trend, defending them even additional.

You’ll typically see 2TB of Internxt storage bundl
ed free with VPN providers resembling PureVPN. It appears like an amazing deal – and it’s. The hope, in fact, is that individuals will enroll and pay as soon as their free 12 months is up.

On the time of writing, three lifetime plans have been accessible: 1TB for €99, 5TB for €299 and 10TB for €499. These are, respectively £85/£255/£325 and for those who’re within the US, $112/$339/$565.

However you may as well pay a month-to-month or annual subscription for those who favor: 20GB is €0.89 monthly (£0.76/$1) and 200GB is €3.89 monthly (£3.30/$4.40).

It’s also possible to use Internxt fully free, and also you get 2GB as normal, with the power to extend to 10GB by downloading the cellular app, getting pals to enroll – you understand the drill.

However past importing and sharing information, there’s actually not quite a bit else you are able to do with Internxt. Just lately, a drive app was launched for cellular and desktop.

This lets you select whether or not to sync or backup information out of your units. Sync is the default: it means for those who delete a file from the corresponding folder in your system, will probably be deleted within the cloud – and vice versa.

Backups, however, allow you to decide particular folders and information to again up: these received’t be deleted for those who deliberately or by accident take away them out of your system.

Quickly, a Pictures app might be launched that works a bit of like Google Pictures, syncing your picture library throughout your units.

Backside line: A safe, however at present fundamental service.

See all Internxt plans


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