Cloud Storage Comparison - Cheap, Reliable Options

cloud storage comparison

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage allows the user to store data i.e. files, videos and images, back up the data content from a device and remotely access data, all via the Internet. Public cloud data systems allow multiple users to simultaneously do all of the above in private areas of the same storage system and work best for unstructured data i.e. JPEGs and MP3s.

External hard drives are an expensive and fragile commodity in a world where computers are still fallible. They can be lost, stolen or just stop working for no apparent reason, as can PCs and Macs alike. Therefore a third level of storage and backup is required for any of you that doesn’t want to run the risk of writing that painful dissertation again, or needs to ensure that that evidence shot of your mate’s cringy holiday dance moves is never lost and can forever be used as bribery material. Cloud storage is this third level of security, and many versions are available, but they are not all made equally, or free. The cloud storage options that are free and also fulfill most people’s needs and are reliable are even harder to come by.

cloud storage providers

Here's a quick look, with more in-depth details to follow:

Storage company Basic storage limit Upgrade limit Extras

10GB 20GB attainable through friend referrals 'Rewind view' that allows users to see old versions of documents for up to 180 days

2GB 18GB attainable through friend referrals None

50GB Upgrade only available through paying for an account You can message between friends and coworkers

10GB Sporadic chances to upgrade to different amounts Create Google docs and sheets through box

15GB Upgrade only available through paying for an account Creating Google docs, sheets and slides.

5GB No limit - you get a referral code to share with friends. Then you get an extra 1GB every time someone uses your code to sign up Auto back ups

100GB 3GB of additional storage with every person you refer up to 500GB Auto back ups

25GB 30GB of additional storage with every person you refer up to 2.5TB Auto back ups

Totally Free

    1. pCloud

    pCloud is used by the likes of Pepsi, SnapChat and Twitter. It allows users to access files on laptops, phones and most Internet enabled devices, and files can be shared and collaborated on. Social media images can also be copied and saved.

    Basic storage limit –10 GB

    Upgradable limit – 20GB attainable through friend referrals and linking social media pages. 1 GB upgrade per friend referral.

    Extras – Rewind view that allows users to see versions of documents up to 180 days old.

    2. DropBox

    DropBox Basic allows users to upload and access files via a computer or mobile device and includes an app. Files are visible to anyone you choose to share them with without them needing an account.

    Basic storage limit – 2 GB

    Upgradable limit – 18GB attainable through friend referrals. 500MB per referral. Additional space can also be earned by completing the DropBox ‘getting started’ guide.

    3. MEGA

    MEGA offers a huge storage limit for free users in comparison to its competitors and lets you share folders or files with people not using MEGA, without them creating an account. MEGA does have a limited download speed, but apparently there are extensions available for Chrome and Firefox that help speed this up.

    Basic storage limit – 50 GB

    Upgradable limit – There aren’t any ways to upgrade the storage limit on MEGA without paying for an account.

    Extras – Message between friends and co-worker also using MEGA.

    4. box

    box allows users to upload files both online and through desktop applications, and has a mobile app that is compatible with almost all mobile devices and allows offline access to files. There is however a 250MB file limit per upload.

    Basic storage limit – 10 GB

    Upgradable limit – Sporadic opportunities to upgrade storage by different amounts.

    Extras – Create Google Docs and Sheets from within box.

    5. Google Drive

Google Drive works in conjunction with Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides and can be used a platform to save the content created in these applications automatically, or as a cloud storage system for whatever files you want to upload. Links are shareable with anyone and files can be downloaded in loads of formats. There is also an app.

    Basic storage limit – 15 GB

    Upgradable limit – No upgrade available for free users.

    Extras – Create Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, edit in cloud and track changes.

    6. Sync

    Sync offers a relatively small start amount of data, but it enables users to upload multiple files at once through an online platform, desktop and mobile app. There is also the ‘Vault’ option that allows users to archive files to one application and not share them among the others i.e. old image files can be archived on the desktop version and not shared to the mobile app.

    Basic storage limit – 5 GB

    Upgradable limit – No limit on the amount of storage you can have. Sync gives users a referral code to share with friends that gives them an extra 1GB for everyone that signs up.

    Extras – Automatic backups.

    7. Degoo

    Degoo offers a large amount of free cloud storage but no file sharing options.A mobile app is available.

    Basic storage limit – 100 GB

    Upgradable limit – 3GB of additional storage per referral up to 500GB.

    Extras – Automatic backups.

    8. hubiC

hubiC has desktop, online and mobile accessibility, and can be used with Windows, Mac or Linux. Files can be shared with anyone but a time limit must be set for access and download.

    Basic storage limit – 25 GB

    Upgradable limit – 30GB of additional storage per referral up to 2.5 TB.

    Extras – Automatic backups.

Free to Account Holders

    9. Amazon Cloud Drive

    Amazon Cloud Drive offers Prime members unlimited photo storage along with additional storage for videos and files. Files can be shared with people who don’t have an Amazon account. If you are a student, then you can get Amazon Prime free for 6 months.

    Basic storage limit – 5 GB

    Upgradable limit – No upgrade available for users.

    10. Microsoft OneDrive

    Anyone who signs up to Microsoft OneDrive gets 5GB of free cloud storage. Those who have Microsoft Office get the larger storage offer as a perk. Sharing with Mac and Windows users is possible, and there are apps to support the use of the drive.

Basic storage limit – 1TB

Upgradable limit – Additions to the 5GB accounts are available if instructions are followed, such as image sharing or friend referrals.