Online file storage, or Cloud storage, may be easy to come by, but that doesn't mean all services are created equally and pricing can vary widely. Google drove that point home this week when it dramatically lowered prices for its Google Drive storage options. We took a look at just how Google's prices stack up against Apple, Amazon, Dropbox, and other Cloud-based storage options.
Pricing, as well as storage capacities, are across the board so we chose to compare the services we looked at based on cost per gigabyte. The companies we compared include Apple, Google, Dropbox, Amazon, Box, SugarSync, and Microsoft.
Spoiler alert: Apple doesn't fare too well in this market.
Free Online Storage Options
Every company we looked at—the exception is SugarSync—offered some level of free storage. Dropbox came in at the bottom of the pack with 2 GB, while Apple, Amazon and Microsoft where in the middle of the pack with either 5 GB or 7 GB of storage. Box was a little higher with 10 GB, and Google was the leader of the pack with 15 GB of free storage.
The best deal on free Cloud storage is Google by a long shot
20GB up to 100 GB
Online storage at 20 GB and higher will cost you, and this is where Apple just can't compete. Apple's 20 GB and 50 GB upgrade plans will cost you US$2 per GB per year -- by far the most expensive of the lot.
Dropbox will set you back $1 per GB, as will SugarSync's 100GB plan. A 60GB plan from SugarSync, however, costs about $1.50 per GB. Amazon and Microsoft come in at $0.50 per GB, and Google is the least expensive at $0.25 per GB.
Apple is the most expensive per GB, Google is the cheapest
Once you jump above 100 GB, the pricing can really start to hurt. Amazon and Microsoft charge $100 for 200 GB, which is the same $0.50 per GB. SugarSync will cost you $249.99 for 250 GB, or just under $1.00 per GB, and Amazon's 500 GB option is priced at $250, still $0.50 per GB.
You can get a full terabyte (1,024 GB) of online storage from SugarSync and Google, and 1,000 GB from Amazon. We accounted for Amazon's less-than-a-TB package in our price calculations.
The Bottom Line
If you're looking for just free online storage, Google has the best deal. Between 20GB and 100GB, Google is the leader again, followed by Amazon and Microsoft. Above the 100GB cap, no one can compete with Google's pricing.
[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]