Comparing Popular Cloud Storage Services Online

Aug 19, 2012  Print Story

services that allow storage of files online
Saving and getting access to your files online has become easier than ever today. All the big names in the computing world are there in the cloud storage facility—Google with Google Drive, Microsoft with SkyDrive, Apple with iCloud, etc. The greatest advantage is that you can get your files synchronized to any device anywhere as long as you have Internet access. 

All online storage services provide you with some obvious features—syncing across multiple devices or platforms, file encryption, easy access from any device connected to the Internet, etc. Let’s look at the features of some of the most popular online storage facilities and decide which the best option to go for is.

1. Google Drive


Google Drive logoGoogle’s online office software, Docs will no longer be there; it will be upgraded to Drive. This online storage facility from Google has got it all—backup, syncing across devices and platforms, and facility to open multiple file types. Also, the security of your files is ensured by Google. File encryption is not available though.

Google Drive feature has full integration to other services like Gmail, Google Chrome, etc. The free storage given is 5 GB (you will still retain the 7 GB you are getting on Gmail, 1 GB you get on Picasa web albums, and unlimited sharing facility on Google Plus).

Additional storage on Google Drive cost you as per the following:

Size Price (in Dollars per month)
25 GB 2.49
100 GB 4.99
200 GB 9.99
400 GB 19.99
1 TB 49.99
2 TB 99.99
4 TB 199.99
8 TB 399.99
16 TB 799.99

Feature list:

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage No
Free Storage 5 GB
Maximum File Size 10 GB
Network Drive Available
Web Access Available
Platforms Supported Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

2. Microsoft SkyDrive

Microsoft Sky Drive online storage utility

SkyDrive is the cloud storage platform from Microsoft and it obviously has all the features offered by other services. SkyDrive provides you with a client piece of software available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android. SkyDrive provides you with 7 GB of free storage. However, if you are an already existing user of Microsoft Live, you will an additional 18 GB of storage.

SkyDrive gives you on-the-go access to all the major platforms. Also, the paid plans are highly affordable—20 GB for 10 dollars per year, 50 GB for 25 dollars, 100 GB for 50 dollars.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage No
Free Storage 7 GB (25 GB for existing users)
Maximum File Size 2 GB
Network Drive Available
Web Access Available
Platforms Supported Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

iCloud logo

3. Apple iCloud


 One of the greatest disadvantages of iCloud is that it’s an Apple product and doesn’t support Android or Windows Phone. It has support for all Apple products—iPhone, iMac, iPad, etc., and all Apple technologies.

It’s the greatest product for file syncing and storage if you have only Apple products. 5 GB is the basic free storage and extra storage costs you some more—20 dollars for 10 GB, 40 dollars for 20 GB, and 100 dollars for 50 GB per annum.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes
Free Storage 5 GB
Maximum File Size 2 GB
Network Drive No
Web Access No
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Mac OS X Lion
or later, iOS (5.x or later)

4. Box.com


box online cloud storage
Box is an online file storage service providing personal, business, and enterprise solutions. Personal free storage is 5 GB and upgrade plans are pricey—25 GB at 9.99 dollars per month and 50 GB at 19.99 dollars per month.

Mobile versions of the storage app is available and encryption is provided. If you have a small business, then you can get 1000 GB storage and will cost 15 dollars per user per month; minimum of three users have to be there to register the small business plan though.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes
Free Storage 5 GB
Maximum File Size 100 MB (personal) 2 GB (small business)
Network Drive No
Web Access Yes
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Mac OS X, Android, iOS

5. Dropbox

dropbox.com logo

This file sharing platform has become one of the most popular today. Dropbox provides you with a piece of client software for Windows, Mac and mobile platforms for creating a pretty drop box on your system.

Just drag and drop your files to this drop box to get it synced across platforms. The app is available for almost all platforms out there. 2 GB only is given free, and extra storage costs more: 100 GB for 9.99 pm or 99 pa, 200 GB for 19.99 pm or 199 pa, 500 GB for 49.99 pm or 499 pa. Dropbox also has the two-factor authentication feature which makes the service more secure.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes
Free Storage 2 GB
Maximum File Size 300 MB
Network Drive Yes (with limits)
Web Access Yes
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Linux, Mac OS X, Android, iOS,
BlackBerry, Kindle Fire

6. SugarSync


Sugarsync online storage
This is another file storage platform that supports all the basic features including encryption. Also, the platforms supported are many. Free storage given is 5GB and it can be expanded to 32 GB through their referral program.

SugarSync is touted by several web reviewers as one of the top-notch file sharing services out there. Pricing for plans: 30 GB for 4.99 pm or 49.99 pa; 60 GB for 9.99 pm or 99.99 pa; 100 GB for 14.99 pm or 149.99 pa.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes
Free Storage 5 GB
Maximum File Size No limit
Network Drive No
Web Access Yes
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Linux, Mac OS X, Android, iOS,
BlackBerry, Kindle Fire, Symbian

7. ADrive


Basic features of ADrive online storage include 50 GB of free storage among others. This is the largest free storage you can get among cloud storage services. Mobile apps are provided for iOS and Android. In order to edit office documents, you can use Zoho within ADrive. Besides these, premium features are available for higher storage plans.

Pricing is as follows: 50GB to 10TB at 6.95 pm (known as Personal Premium plan); 100 GB to unlimited at 16 dollars pm (Business plan). Unlike other storage services, the mobile app is ad-supported for revenue.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes based on plan chosen
Free Storage 50 GB
Maximum File Size No limit
Network Drive No
Web Access No
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Mac OS X, Android, iOS



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