How iCloud Drive Compares Against the Competition

Yesterday we wrote that Apple is offering an iCloud storage promotion. Today we’re looking at how iCloud Drive compares to the competition, specifically when it comes to storage tiers and pricing.image of iOS files app

[macOS: How to Access iCloud Drive in Terminal]

iCloud Drive

  • 5GB: Free
  • 50GB: US$0.99/month
  • 200GB: US$2.99/month
  • 2TB: US$9.99/month


  • 2GB (up to 16GB with referrals): Free
  • 1TB: US$9.99/month
  • 2TB: US$19.99/month

Google Drive

  • 15GB: Free
  • 100GB: US$1.99/month
  • 200GB: US$2.99/month
  • 2TB: US$9.99/month
  • 10TB: US$99/month


  • 5GB: Free
  • 50GB: US$2.99/month
  • 1TB: US$7.99/month
  • 5TB: US$10.99/month


The biggest complaint with iCloud Drive is that many people want Apple to increase the free tier. But Apple actually isn’t doing too bad when it comes to competitors. I think if Apple brought back its 1TB tier and priced it at US$4.99/month, that would put pressure on other providers.

Dropbox is even worse off than iCloud Drive. It only offers 2GB of free storage, but if you can get your friends and family to sign up using your referral link, you can get up to 16GB for free. Dropbox also doesn’t offer a tier in the middle, it jumps straight to one terabyte.

Google beats everyone with its free tier, and also offers a bigger tier on the high end at 10 terabytes. It’s also the mostly closely matched with Apple when it comes to pricing.

If you’re asking which storage provider gives you the most bang for your buck, I would go with Google. But it also depends on other factors, like ecosystem and privacy. Google scans everything you upload to Google Drive. If you have the know-how to encrypt your files before you upload them, then privacy is no longer a concern.

If you have more than one Apple device, then sticking with iCloud Drive might be the easiest for you. Ecosystem is everything nowadays, and it’s easy to use iCloud Drive because everything is automatically synced in one place, without needing to install a third-party app.¬†Additionally, thanks to iOS 11’s Files app, which acts as a cloud hub, it’s easier than ever to manage files with multiple cloud storage providers.

[Google Drive gets Full iOS 11 Files Support]

3 thoughts on “How iCloud Drive Compares Against the Competition

  • Don’t forget BOX $15/mon 3 users with 100GB and $45/mon 3 users for unlimited storage. (Really? I didn’t read the fine print but I’m skeptical)

    They used to have a free tier and I have I think 7GB with them for nada. OK, they’re not such a great deal.
    Never mind…

  • It’s also worth noting that if you subscribe to Office 365 Home ($99 per year, I think) you get 1TB of cloud data storage for each of your subscribed users (up to 5 users for that one price).

  • Yes. 1TB for ~$5 a month. I would go for that. I don’t need or want to pay for, 2TB. Heck I don’t really need 1TB, but 200GB isn’t big enough to do anything of value for me. Right now I’m sticking with the 50GB. It does what I need, though not everything I want, and doesn’t cost too much.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.