Comparisons on cloud storage offerings and pricings
With yesterday’s launch of Google Drive, I thought I’d do a quick comparison of the various cloud storage options, especially with their pricing for upgrading and/or features.
…has several options on upgrading space, but the free option is kind of mysterious to me: 5 GB of GDrive, 10 GB of gmail, 1 GB of Picasa. Why split them out like that? Why not just give everyone 15 GB, let them use it throughout Google as they want, and then pay to upgrade? The split between Google Drive (where you can sync photos if you want), Picasa (1 GB limit) and Google+ photos (unlimited space) is especially confusing.
The upgrade prices are decent: $2.50/month for 25 GB of storage, $5/month for 100 GB of storage and $50 a month for 1 TB. Now let’s compare it to the others:
…gives you 2 GB for free, and then lets you complete tasks, connect accounts and get referrals for extra space. I’m up to almost 15 GB, but while the game-like feel of tracking down free space is fun for a while, I hate having to do it just to have enough room.
Their upgrade plans are decent, but don’t look as good now that Google Drive has launched: 50 GB for $10/month or $100/year is competitive with Google’s 25 GB plan, but their 100 GB of storage is $200/year or about $16.50 a month, a great deal more than Google Drive’s $5 a month. And a TB or more is really only for enterprise at this point, so you don’t even have that option.
Basically, Dropbox is going to have to seriously look at their pricing and storage space plans if they’re going to want to compete with Google in the long run.
…gives the usual 5 GB for free, with storage upgrades:
- 10 additional GB (15 GB total): $20/year
- 20 additional GB (25 GB total): $40/year
- 50 additional GB (55 GB total): $100/year
Very competitive pricing to Google Drive, but as far as I can see, it caps out at 55 GB. And while I haven’t used iCloud much, the little I used it, I wasn’t impressed. It was one of the places where Apple’s “walled garden” strategy fails. Files sync across Macs just fine, but what about those of us who use both? It’s not even a consideration to replace Dropbox.
…generally gets ignored in these conversations, because we’re all long conditioned to ignore Microsoft’s offerings, but it’s actually a pretty good deal: 7 GB for free, and then to add 20 GB, it’s $10/year and $50/year for 100 GB. They have a Dropbox-like syncing tool…and even one for Macs! The 7+20 GB model blows Google and Dropbox out of the water, and their 7+100 GB plan is $10 cheaper than Google’s 100 GB plan.
…is one of the most frustrating. I have 50 GB of storage, thanks to connecting my phone to the service, and they offer 5 GB for free to start, but their syncing tool—which is what everyone loves about Dropbox—only comes with an upgrade, which costs $16 a month.
Now, I get that Box.net seems mostly primed for enterprise use, but if they want to have any shot of competing with Google in the personal market, they have to offer than syncing tool for free.
- I’m still loyal to Dropbox, but the convenience of Google Drive is hard to pass up. I can have Dropbox, GDrive and SkyDrive alongside each other for a while, though the segregation will likely get annoying.
- Both Box.net and Dropbox need to seriously consider their paid plans. Google Drive (and SkyDrive) are priced too competitively for individuals to consider anything else for paid storage.
- There’s not much need for me to pay for an upgrade. My cloud storage needs are to a) have some files available on all computers, which Dropbox does nicely for me (and now I have Google Drive & SkyDrive alongside it), and b) to have all of my music backed up and available from the cloud, but all of the plans big enough for my music collection are still too prohibitively expensive.
- I’m still a little disappointed that cloud storage hasn’t gotten larger and cheaper in the last five years. It seems like that was the way it was going, but 1 TB of cloud storage is still not really cheap enough for the vast majority of us to consider it as an option. Read another way: the idea of having everything available everywhere is still out of reach for most of us.