Cloud Storage Price Comparison

| Analysis

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 shotThe 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 cheapestApple is the most expensive per GB, Google is the cheapest

Above 100GB

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]

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John F. Braun

A relative newcomer to the space that I recently became aware of via one of our Mac Geek Gab listeners is Bitcasa.  I’ve basically used them to replace SugarSync since they terminated their free plan.

Bitcasa offers synching, up to 20 GB of free space, but what I think makes them stand out is that if you really need a ton of space, they offer an Infinite plan for $99/month or $999/year.


Here is another equally useful, superficial & quite incomplete comparison of some other cloud storage services:


What about OVH Hubic? What is 1/10 the cost of Google Drive


also worth checking out:


As usual with Macobserver articles, the writer focuses on a single factor (price) without considering the big picture. No thoughts on security, privacy, a company’s track record for supporting their products and customers?

Did it ever occur to you to consider the business model behind these cloud services and the companies that offer them? How does Google make their money vs. Apple?

When confronting the NSA, which companies were first in line to cooperate?



Well, the title for the article is “Cloud Storage Price Comparison”, so I would kinda expect that the focus would be on price.

Lee Dronick

I suspect that Apple doesn’t want to get into cloud service for businesses. That may be a mistake, but it may also save them a lot of headaches.

Anyway, what about the cost of hosting your own cloud service, say with a website hosting service? Currently I am doing a bit of that using an FTP client to transfer files. Nothing sensitive, just things that I want a copy of which stored off site.

As to sensitive files. Security of the cloud service is a consideration.

I like the ease of synching with iCloud.


I can’t believe Copy was left off this list. ( )

Using affiliate links from existing users (like the one above), you start off with 15GB for free - and get 5GB for every referral. Spread the word to friends and you quickly find yourself in the hundreds of gigs range for free.

Copy is run by Barracuda Networks. Yeah, THAT Barracuda. The network security specialists.


@Intruder… Hence my point that focusing only on cost misses other, equally or more important considerations.


freediverx has a good point.
Jeff G: “. . . no one can compete with Google’s pricing.” Or its spying, selling and scamming.
On the brighter side it might be in Apple’s interest to double or triple its free storage or at least drop the prices for the middle tier, substantially; sort of an appreciation for these who buy its quality products.

Yuval Dimnik

You can co-share and get up to 400Gb for free!
Great for media and your home movies.


On the other hand, iTunes Match stores roughly 20 GB of music for me, for about £22 a year. That’s the music that isn’t matched; music that is matched to music in their store doesn’t count. Also has a backup for all app, music and video purchases for free. Not that they store them, because you just get a new original if you need it.


So what will become of Apple’s iCloud service, if cloud prices are suddenly about to drop so precipitously that Oracle is about to lose its &1B; investment & get immediately edged out of the competition before it even got a chance to start, as this article predicts:
“Who wins the cloud price wars?” - ZDNet/David Chernicoff


Sorry about that failed link. Maybe this will work:
“Who wins the cloud price wars?” - ZDNet/David Chernicoff



Apple’s iCloud prices should also have to drop to the new cut-throat competitive or loss-leader range (at or below cost) set by Amazon, Google (+/- Microsoft), at which, like Apple, they will be able to afford to operate their cloud services, because of the enormous profits their ancillary cloud services provide to them.


ZDnet: “Microsoft is cutting prices for a number of its Azure services to match (and in some cases, beat) Amazon’s latest pricing.”, by Mary Jo Foley

This seems to back up my impression that cloud services prices are already plummeting, so I’ll be eagerly waiting for iCloud’s prices to succumb to these market forces.



I believe should be included in the list. I’ve been using this service for quite some time and its great. I have been using dropbox for about 3 years and got a 50 GB upgrade for 2 years with my samsung phone. Recently I started looking for a free dropbox alternative and came to know about . So far I’m liking it as it is almost similar to Dropbox but with more free space and better sharing function. Plus they have storage for even Raspberry Pi (sweeeet) and is from a reputed cloud company Barracuda networks.

I see loads of people have already provided their referral link give both of us free 5GB on top of 15 GB on signup. You can use any of those links or mine ( ) it doesn’t matter. The main point is that its a great service so far and really worth trying.

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