The Best Cloud Storage 2016: Google Drive vs Dropbox vs iCloud vs OneDrive vs Amazon Cloud Drive

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve done it again! After publishing our massively popular Top 10 Secure Dropbox Alternatives article with over 5,000 words, we’ve tackled this comparison monster and can finally show you our findings.

In this 7,000 word post, we’ve not only included comprehensive speed tests of the services but also created a companion video series for you to enjoy.

But we didn’t stop there. We’ve surveyed small business owners and bloggers on how they use cloud storage. Below you can find a collection of their tips and tricks to make you more productive.

Find The Right Cloud – Video Series

We will be discussing the cloud storage industry’s big guns. We tested each of these apps individually and noted down all their little shortcomings– to help you make the right decision. You don’t have to read everything (although we do recommend it for the best possible experience), you’re free to jump right into the section which interests you the most:

To start, let’s quickly go over the services we are going to discuss in detail later on:

Want to know what we recommend instead of the “big guns”? 

Not always are Dropbox, Google Drive the right answer. The cloud storage market is big. VERY big. That’s why we’ve created this website, after all. We’ve testing dozens of cloud storage services over the years and our top two choices are Sync.com and pCloud

Rank Company
Score
Price Link
1 Winner
www.sync.comOverall Rating
$ 4.08 per month 500 GBStorage All Plans Visit Sync.comSync.com Review
2 www.pcloud.comOverall Rating $ 3.99 per month 500 GBStorage All Plans Visit pCloudpCloud Review

Sync.com – The Best Dropbox Alternative?

Sync.com is a great alternative to the big players like Dropbox or Google Drive because this Canada based service puts security at the forefront of their business model.

Whereas Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive do not encrypt your files before they are sent to the cloud, Sync scrambles (encrypts) data before sending it off to their servers. You are in control of the keys for the encryption process which ensures nobody but the owner of the key can see the data.

Sync works essentially in the same way as Dropbox: a client can be installed on your computer which creates a synchronized folder. All files you put into that folder will be transferred back and forth across all your devices.

Here are a few screenshots to show you how Sync.com looks like:

Sync.com Web Panel

This is how Sync’s web panel look like, this is an exact representation of the files on your computer. You can share any file or folder either from the web or your desktop.

Find out more on www.sync.com

Sync.com has a “vault” feature, which lets you put files from your desktop into the vault. Those file disappear from your hard drive but will remain in the cloud for sharing or restoration purposes (as a backup).

Find out more on www.sync.com

Sync.com works with large files

Sync works with large video files as well. We use it to share them with our video producer so she can start editing the raw material and then reupload the finished video to our shared Sync folder.

Find out more on www.sync.com

 

 

pCloud: another great alternative with a twist

Usually, a bulk of cloud beginners rush to the “big guns” immediately they’re introduced to the cloud. As a matter of fact, newbies form a bulk of the user base on Dropbox, Google Drive and the likes. Think about it- would Google Drive have 240 million users if it was not attached to other Google services? And would Dropbox enjoy a user base of 300 million users if it wasn’t one of the first cloud services most users are introduced to?

I was also pretty much hitched to Dropbox back when I was a cloud fresher. Then things started becoming clearer and I had to jump ship after assessing other smaller brands more critically.

They may not have the budget muscle to compete with the big guns on the marketing front…but a couple of them sure have features that make you think twice.

When it comes to smaller brands that are making an impact, pCloud, according to us, deserves a mention. It started back in 2013, and has since gained more than 3 million users.

So, let’s get right on it….

pCloud Features

One of the first things you’ll like about pCloud after longing into its web app is the easily navigable interface.

Files are systematically sorted on the main window, allowing you to download, copy, edit and share them as you please. But of course, that’s pretty much standard in Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive and iCloud, right? So, I kept looking around for the special features…and thankfully, I discovered that the service not only backups your folders, but also other online services.

You can link your account to Picasa, Instagram, and Dropbox (hmmm…yeah, I know) and it will automatically copy all your files and media every 3 days. A cloud backup that backups another cloud backup- pretty smooth, huh?

Find out more on www.pcloud.com

pCloud File Sharing

If you’re the type that likes additional mobility, you can download pCloud’s PC and mobile clients…but duh, that’s also standard with the big guns. Things however, start getting interesting when we come to the file syncing and sharing. With pCloud, you don’t have to create a shared folder like Google Drive.

You can either share upload link, share download link, or invite to folder. Although this makes collaboration more flexible, only one user can edit a fail at a specific time.

Find out more on www.pcloud.com

20GB Free Storage

While collaboration is not pCloud’s forte, the service is seemingly optimized for file backup and sharing. As a new user, you’ll get 20 GB free storage space. Now, compare that to Dropbox’s mere 2GB and Google Drive’s 15GB, which initially seemed to be quite a lot compared to what its competitors offered.

But then again, Google Drive’s dominance diminishes when you consider the fact that your email quota eats up into your storage space.

Well, it may take you quite a while to completely exhaust 20GB of storage space. But if you do, here are your options on paid subscriptions

Find out more on www.pcloud.com

 

 

pCloud Pricing Plan

If recommend pCloud to a couple of friends or workmates, you’ll get an additional 1GB. Unfortunately, this only applies to 20 recommendations. But then again, 40GB of free storage isn’t bad, now is it? If you still manage to exhaust that, you have two options- premium or premium plus.

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
FreeFree20 GB
Premium
$ 3.99 Monthly
500 GB

pCloud crypto costs and additional 3,99$ per month if you need client-side encryption.

Premium Plus
$ 7.99 Monthly
2000 GB

pCloud crypto costs and additional 3,99$ per month if you need client-side encryption.

 

Of course in addition to increase space, upgrades translate into additional features and privileges. I fell in love with the premium plus, which is cheaper by $2 compared to Google Drive and Dropbox’s 1TB plans- translating to $24 savings per year.

Curiously, Dropbox users paid $9.99 for 100 GB of storage space until 2013, when it was upgraded to 1 TB- the precise year when pCloud was launched. Was the market getting a little bit too hot for Dropbox?

Security

Remember back in 2014 when Dropbox’s user account details were compromised? Well, I’ve met a couple of people who argue that Dropbox attracted the attention of hackers because it’s a large, widely recognized brand. Of course no one would waste his/her time to chasing smaller companies, unless they’re looking for a specific set of files. Coming to think of it, it probably makes sense to some level.

So, if you cannot attract the heat, you bring it right to your doorstep. And that’s exactly what pCloud did. They created a contest for hackers worldwide, with a cash prize of $100,000 up for grabs. Interestingly, no one among the 2680 participants managed to hack through pCloud’s server and user side encryptions, even after attempting for 6 months straight.

If that’s not sufficient assurance, you could still subscribe to the Crypto plan at $3.99 to set your own encryption key.

 

Tips & Tricks from Small Business Owners

Cloud storage comparison

1. Google Drive

Google Drive came into existence after Google decided to re-brand the popular Google Docs service. Since then, Google Drive has found its own fans and haters in equal amounts. With amazing collaboration features, this cloud syncing and storage service is definitely a game changer in the market.

Google Drive Review | Find The Right Cloud Series

Pros

  • 15GB free storage (e-mails count towards that quota)
  • Best real-time collaboration features
  • Quickest uploads and downloads
  • Folders can be directly uploaded through the web app
  • Offline access to documents
  • Selective file sync, though only for main folders, not sub-folders

Cons

  • Google has privacy issues
  • It’s good a good choice for Google Docs users…mostly
  • Some problems with larger files syncs
  • Cannot change ownership of files once uploaded

 

Small Business Cloud Storage

How Small Business Owners Are Using It…

We asked small business owners how they’re using cloud storage services in their business to boost productivity, increase sales or work remotely with their team. Here are their answers:

Like to see your tip published here? Click here to submit

I find for sales people one of the most effective ways to leverage cloud storage services is to have the file structure track your sales-flow or process. This will not only allow you to access the right resources in a timely way, but will also prompt and allow you to consider what else has to be executed to move the sales forward to close.

Sales is not just about finding but driving action and execution.

Tibor
By Tibor sellbetter.ca
As a small team, we are super pleased with the functionality of the Google Docs portion of Google drive. I have run my entire services based business with task and completion management there for over 5 years and have yet to have any kind of problem.

The real time changes are awesome and the fact that I can manage who has access to which documents is something that I adore. Universal access online is another great feature as I use Chrome, Gmail and Docs in sync.

That said, we had to go to Dropbox for file storage, as our large design files with strange extensions were a problem years ago on Google Drive. The desktop manager for Dropbox works great for file transfers and has a format that all my workers can understand right out of the box.

Tara
In our marketing agency, we use Google docs from Google drive for cross collaboration in content development with clients in specific niches. Using the “suggest” mode you can outline content edits, optimizations, and provide comments directly to the client or original writer. This allows for the original work to be available for all participants to review with clearly defined suggested edits that the client can then sign off on.
Todd
Google Drive: I link my most important google doc files to the bookmarks bar – easy and quick access. I also make periodic backups in txt format of my most important google doc files – who knows what could happen (I am a writer)

PLUGIN: WORDPRESS BACKUP TO DROPBOX Losing your WordPress database or content is a nightmare – a nightmare you’ll never have to experience, if you have the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin. One-click install has you on your way to regular backups, making restoration a breeze if it’s ever required.

David
By David www.honestnomads.com

2. Dropbox

The godfather of cloud syncing services has been in the business for a very long time. Dropbox’s success is the reason so many cloud services got launched in the market, but the king still reigns in many respects. More than 400 million users worldwide are a testament to Dropbox’s success. Of course, there are flaws and some deal breakers which we’ll explore later in the article. 

Dropbox Review | Find The Right Cloud Series

Pros

  • Effortlessly smooth file syncing
  • Clean and crisp interface
  • Selective file sync (granular control of sub-folders)
  • Integrated with Microsoft Office Online
  • Versioning control of files
  • Access to deleted files

 

Cons

  • No real-time collaboration features
  • Folders cannot be uploaded directly via the Web app
  • Measly 2GB of free storage space (expandable through invites)
  • Riddled with security breaches and privacy concerns
Small Business Cloud Storage

How Small Business Owners Are Using It…

We asked small business owners how they’re using cloud storage services in their business to boost productivity, increase sales or work remotely with their team. Here are their answers:

Like to see your tip published here? Click here to submit

The cloud fosters collaborative work with others who may be far away or who prefer to work on different schedules. I use Dropbox for many successful projects.

Barbara
By Barbara www.BarbaraWeltman.com
Make it easy for people to grab your bio, head shots or logos by storing the folders on Dropbox and then linking to them on your media page. This allows you to easily store, share and update high-resolution files without uploading them to your website.

Ivana
By Ivana www.diymarketers.com
I love to travel and I always bring with me my laptop or, at least, my smartphone or tablet. But not in all places you can find an internet connection. While the lack of web access can be a great thing when you travel (pushing you to relax and avoid any work issue), if you need to consult important files, that would be a big problem!

You can solve this, by marking as favorites your most valued files, so to be able to view them, even if you don’t have your internet connection.

While the lack of web access can be a great thing when you travel (pushing you to relax and avoid any work issue), if you need to consult important files, that would be a big problem!

Erik
In our team we are big fans of integrating clients into our Dropbox folder structure dynamically.

While this might sound like the typical “shared folder” approach, we do it differently. Because we want to stay in control. We use Gravity Forms on our WordPress based website, for allowing clients to upload the assets for their new website. By designing a form that makes it as simple (one could say fool proof) as possible for our clients, we make sure to take off the heavy lifting from them.

Now the clue is: Gravity Forms’ Dropbox extension can file the assets directly into the place where we need them. Our Dropbox. So the team can get straight to work, and sorting the files into the correct Dropbox folders is something Gravity Form took over. A productive combination of those two tools, saving us hours of work each month. (The same extension is also available for Google Drive by the way)

Phillip
By Phillip www.metamonks.com
1. Using selective Sync to choose which folders are local and which are just in the cloud (located in preferences)

2. Setup Dropbox to save all of my screenshots & automatically create a share link that gets automatically copied for quick sharing. Cmd + Shift + 3 or Cmd + Sift + 4 for Macs

Casey
By Casey www.amesblog.co

3. iCloud

Apple’s iCloud is more of an extra perk available to Apple users rather than an individual service. Most iCloud’s features only work if you’re using an Apple device, and if you’re not, it’s really unnecessary. Nevertheless, we wanted to include iCloud into this comparison because Apple users are plentiful indeed.

iCloud Review | Find The Right Cloud Series

Pros

  • Integrated very well with Apple devices
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Smooth file syncing, provided files are small or settings files for apps

 

Cons

  • Only available on Windows 10 and Apple devices
  • Sharing with people outside the Apple universe is cumbersome
  • No collaboration features or selective sync
  • Difficult to locate data in the iCloud Drive
  • Security issues, as it has been hacked before

Do you have an awesome iCloud (productivity) tip you’d like to include here? Click here to submit

4. OneDrive

SkyDrive was renamed and revamped into OneDrive by Microsoft due legal disputes with Sky Broadcasting, and since then, the company has been pushing to get more and more customers to use their cloud services. Though OneDrive still has a long way to go, its deep integration with Microsoft Office is definitely luring in more customers.  

OneDrive Review | Find The Right Cloud Series

Pros

  • 5GB free storage
  • Well integrated with Microsoft Office
  • Selective file syncing right from the get go

Cons

  • Very slow file syncing in comparison to competition (see our speed charts)
  • No real-time collaboration features (an Office 365 subscriber is needed for that)

OneDrive Tip

“Computer users enjoying the new functionality and features of Windows 10 are no doubt discovering some of the exciting original tools within the Edge browser.

When opening up the browser with your Microsoft account, the Edge browser automatically takes you to their msn.com home page. Here, MS displays a page with current news stories.

However, at the top of the browser GUI, users will notice first a Bing search bar, and under that a separate bar that lists all your favorite MS Programs: Outlook, Skype, Office, One Note, AND OneDrive!

Again, you must be logged in, but once that’s done, MSN makes this an easy way and quick way to get right to your OneDrive files. Just click on the icon, and the browser opens up a new tab to your OneDrive home page.

Dave
By Dave www.courvo.com

Like to see your tip published here? Click here to submit

5. Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon recently launched their cloud service called Amazon Cloud Drive, and it has definitely gained some attention because of the unlimited storage deals going around, although storage isn’t all that’s important in a cloud service. Technically, the service has been active since 2012, but really hasn’t gained momentum until recently.

Amazon Cloud Drive Review | Find the Right Cloud Series

Pros

  • Unlimited storage (caveats apply)
  • Free unlimited photo storage for Amazon Prime members
  • Simple drag-and-drop interface

Cons

  • No file syncing
  • Limited sharing capabilities
  • No collaboration features
  • Desktop app is very limited, you can only restore entire drive, not individual folders via the desktop app
  • Unlimited storage claim is flimsy, at best. You’re at the mercy of Amazon.

Do you have an awesome Amazon Cloud Drive tip you’d like to include here? Click here to submit

Things to know about cloud storage

Cloud Storage FAQ

In this section, we’ll be discussion general issues to take into consideration when considering a cloud-based storage solution. While you might be tempted to skip this section we think it’s crucial for a better understanding of cloud-based storage services. What they can’t and cannot do for you. 

We’ll talk about backup (specifically with claims about unlimited cloud storage) and also why consumer solution like the ones presented in this article may not be the best bet for your (small) business.

Also, you should pay close attention if security is a major concern for you when using the cloud. 

Stay with us. 

Cloud Storage for Business

Personal or Business Use?

There are many aspects that can affect your decision when choosing a cloud storage service. Which is why we have put together a list of all the essentials aspects to consider.

When it comes to personal files, there’s obviously information which may or may not be sensitive. However, home users don’t have to comply with government regulations or other restrictive company policies. The main consideration to keep in mind when considering cloud storage for personal use, is to be able to access files from any device and share them as quickly as possible.

When a cloud storage service is meant for business use, priorities change.

Not only does the need arise to ensure that data is securely encrypted (end-to-end encryption), but also the use of a service which abides by policies setup by governments and the company itself. At the same time, a business oriented cloud storage service should allow easy collaboration among team members.

While Dropbox has been touted as a cloud service for individuals, it is definitely trying to turn the tables around with Dropbox Teams and Dropbox for Business. With Dropbox for Business, the company pulled in several compliance certificates that it wasn’t following before, making it easier for organizations to opt for Dropbox.

For Dropbox Teams, users get special collaboration tools to build a team inside Dropbox. They also get a shared folder  which the entire team can share and create sub-folders.

Generally, businesses need a more granular ability to control access to folders (read-only, read-write, ability to share, see who’s currently accessing the folder) and extensive audits on access histories. 

Dropbox For Business
©

When it comes to Google Apps for Work, they do provide ‘unlimited storage’ for $10/month, but this storage capacity is limited to 1TB if an organization has less than 5 employees.

Most of the App for Work tools are similar to Google’s personal version, although with the Work version, security features are unimpressive–oddly enough. 

  • Good part – Google Drive for Work is compliant with FERPA, FISMA, HIPAA, and adheres to Safe Harbor Principles.
  • Bad Part – It’s Google. It tracks everything you do and Google accounts are susceptible to attacks.

Now comes the underdog, OneDrive. Though Microsoft has announced its integration with the company’s popular service, Sharepoint 2013, we have yet to see an effect on businesses.

OneDrive for Business
OneDrive for Business©

Sharepoint was preferred by businesses around the world because it had dedicated servers and people always knew where their data was located. But now that Sharepoint is integrating with OneDrive and moving towards the cloud, nobody knows the exact location of their data in the cloud.

A risky state of affairs for many big companies (and individuals). Until and unless you were using Sharepoint on-premises or on a hybrid environment, the US government does not have the right to subpoena sensitive documents.

It was obviously worth the investment for the companies, but that is going to change. 

iCloud really has nothing to offer businesses:

  • Firstly, because it needs compatible devices (Apple products and recently Windows 10) 
  • Secondly, because of its lack of security

iCloud is definitely a decent personal cloud storage service, but it needs to make big changes if it wants to compete in the business segment.

Amazon Cloud Drive is relatively new when compared to other apps on our list. It is focused on photos and apart from “unlimited storage”, it provides no extra functionality for business users.

 

Cloud Backup

Backup, Backup, Backup

There is a difference between cloud backup services and cloud storage services. Services such as:

  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • OneDrive 
  • iCloud

Are all cloud storage and syncing services, they do not backup data.

If you’re using Dropbox and have it installed on a personal or work device. If you save a file to Dropbox from one of these devices, it will get copied to all the other related devices as well.

If you make any modification voluntarily (or even involuntarily) to any of the files, the modification will be reflected across all related devices. Dropbox doesn’t care if it’s a mistake or not. 

That is file syncing.

If you are looking for backup services, here is our list of some of the best backup services in the market today.

 

Collaboration

About File Syncing, Storage and Collaboration

We tried syncing files across  five services, to see which one was the fastest and which ones lagged behind. We used an iPhone, an Android and a Windows 10 machine and a Macbook Air. 

That way, we could test how each cloud service performed on various platforms and systems and also how file syncing works across platforms. 

Dropbox was the clear winner here. File syncing was almost instantaneous and processed files smoothly . Google Drive and iCloud were a close second. OneDrive took its own time and though the file on our iPhone got synced quickly, it refused to show up on the Android phone.  The app had to be closed and opened again.

Selective sync means there’s an option to select which folders need to be locally available on a device. This helps in saving disk space, since all files uploaded in the cloud are synced and copied on a local machine, and there is no reason to give up space on the disk for files which are not needed.

But you have to be aware of the risks involved: if there’s only one copy of the folder in the cloud, well, you rely on that cloud to always serve you that folder. Make sure to keep a local backup copy somewhere.

Selective Sync in Dropbox
©

Selective sync has been available in both Dropbox and Google Drive for quite some time, but it was just recently introduced to OneDrive a few months ago.

Selective sync is still missing in iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive, though Amazon is one large selective sync if you will, because it works just like a hard drive in the cloud, no local copies or syncing is possible.  

Storage is obviously very important when it comes to cloud services. While some services offer more free storage than others, most of the time, it will be a give and take process between features and storage amount:

  • Google Drive provides the maximum amount free storage at 15GB. For users of Google Docs and Gmail (emails count towards that quota)
  • Dropbox provides a mere 2GB, but users can earn an extra 500MB for every friend they invite to use Dropbox and increase storage to up to 16GB
  • iCloud provides 5GB storage which includes the backup of an iPhone as well as iCloud Drive
  • Amazon Cloud Drive provides no free storage, but there is free three month trial

Collaboration is an important feature when working with a team. Google Drive definitely has one of the best collaborative features with  Google Docs. Users can comment, chat and work on a file simultaneously.There’s also a small yet handy ‘notification panel’ on the right side of Google Drive, which lets a user know about all the latest files that have been modified or uploaded.

Google Drive collaboration
©

Dropbox still lacks collaborative features. It has introduced Dropbox Teams and Badges to somewhat make up the deficit, but you’ll need a Dropbox for Business subscription to use them. Dropbox Personal has absolutely no collaborative features (a part from sharing folders and work inside those folders).

In fact, if two people are working on the same file, the version of whoever saves first will overwrite all the other currently open versions of that file.

OneDrive has recently announced new collaborative features for Microsoft Word 2016. These features were already available for Office 365 users. They’re pretty similar to Google Drive’s collaborative features. The plus here is that Onedrive provides real time notifications about whoever is editing a document.

Also, versioning control helps to keep files from being overwritten and lets you roll back to a previous version of any file.

iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive, as one may have guessed, have zero collaborative features.  

 

Unlimited Cloud Storage

Is Unlimited Storage Just a Myth?

Let’s start this section with a deal that was offered this Black Friday. Amazon announced they were giving unlimited storage for Amazon Cloud Services for just $5.

Obviously, this news grabbed a lot of attention and many people were attracted by it, but they may have missed some important facts mentioned in the fine print:

 

Section 3.2 Usage restrictions and limits

The Service is offered in the United States. We may restrict access from other locations. There may be limits on the types of content you can store and share using the Service, such as file types we don’t support, and on the number or type of devices you can use to access the Service. [emphasis added]

Section 1.2: No commercial use

You may use the Service only to store, retrieve, manage, and access Your Files for personal, non-commercial purposes using the features and functionality we make available.

This means the company has the right to terminate their much publicized ‘limited storage’ if they want to, but you also cannot access or use it for business or commercial purposes. So, all a person can do is save personal files and boring holiday photos on this much coveted limited storage? Boring.

Basically, people are spending $5 for as long as Amazon is willing to continue the unlimited storage. They have the right to cancel your subscription or reduce it at essentially any time.

We have seen what happened to Bitcasa subscribers who uploaded terabytes of data to that service, just to find it discontinued later in the process. Some people weren’t even able to recover their uploaded files. While Amazon is a much bigger and more reliable company, they can add or remove restrictions at will.

Amazon Cloud Drive unlimited storage offer
©

A similar thing happened with OneDrive’s unlimited storage claim. In October last year, Microsoft announced that they would be rolling out unlimited storage on OneDrive for all of their Office 365 users. This was probably done to lure in more Office 365 customers. However, this month, the company again issued a statement saying the storage limit was back to the old 1TB and customers who were using more have to clear it out quickly.

Right now, unlimited storage does look like a myth. Companies will do anything to get more customers, even if it involves giving the illusion of unlimited storage.

 

How We Speed Test The Services

Now, generally, it’s tough to get accurate results for speed and performance tests when it comes to cloud services. Also, what use is a speed test if our location is different from yours, if our ISP has a very slow uplink connection and yours is super fast? That’s one issue. So, when we say it took a 1GB test file 30 minutes to upload, a similar file very well could take an hour on your side of the world.

Cloudwards speed test
This is a speed test of our current internet connection we used for this test.©

Another issue is compression and cache performance. Generally, all cloud services either compress or cache files before uploading them to their servers. That’s why it is wise to test with a batch of smaller files to see how many files are processed per second. That’s particularly important if you plan to upload a lot of smaller text documents or spreadsheets. While personal users probably won’t generate as many files, businesses probably have dozens if not hundreds of people collaborating together.

We decided to measure the actual throughput in megabytes per second because that’s what many people can relate to. They know how many files they have on their systems and can get an idea how long it might take for them to sync 100GB of files after reading our tests. We used Little Snitch as our network monitor to scan all outgoing connections and timed the up and download from start to finish.

We then calculated the average MB/s second throughput (1GB divided by the time in minutes) and recorded peak upload speeds with Little Snitch. Most accurate results may have been obtained with Wireshark, but as we’re looking at consumer-grade solutions, it would have been an overkill.

Our test files are a combination of the usual syncing suspects:

  • MS Office and other text documents
  • Audio files (MP3 and WAV)
  • RAW photo files
  • MP4 video files

Files sizes range from a couple of KB to a hundred MB, for the video files.

We decided to upload 1GB, to be able to quickly compare the results; but certainly long term tests are adequate and we’ll update this article accordingly. We’ve uploaded, deleted and re-uploaded the files three times and averaged the results which you can find below.

Also, we’ve uploaded the same files to a more expensive business and enterprise cloud syncing solution we use here, called Autotask Workplace (formerly known as Soonr). We thought it would be interesting to see how an end-to-end encrypted service performs against  consumer solutions. If you’d like to know more about enterprise file sharing and sync, feel free to get in touch with us.

 

Google Drive

After the huge success of Google Docs, it was re-branded as Google Drive to give multiple Google service one home. It may be a little new to the game compared to the other veterans, but with its powerful and amazing features, Google Drive is gaining more customers than ever.

Google Drive Speed Comparison

Looking at a provider’s speed results can only be a snapshot of actual performance – so your mileage may vary depending on your internet connection and files that you upload. Here are our results for Google Drive: 

Cloud Storage Syncing Speed Comparison
©
Upload Speed Comparison Cloud Storage
©

 

Plans and Pricing

Google Drive gives 15GB of free storage and this includes Gmail data, but excludes documents and spreadsheets created in Google Docs. The highest storage it can offer is 30TB for $299.99 per month; this is actually the highest storage capacity offered among all the cloud services included in our list today. Well, apart from Amazon Cloud Drive, which claims to give ‘unlimited storage.’ 

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
100GB
$ 1.99 Monthly
$23.88 1 Year
100 GB
1TB
$ 9.99 Monthly
$119.88 1 Year
1000 GB
10TB
$ 199.99 Monthly
$2,399.88 1 Year
10000 GB

File Syncing

The one thing that we absolutely loved about Google Drive’s web app is that right click works just like it works on a desktop. It’s also extremely easy to directly upload folders or share them.

Nonetheless, we really think Google could do better with the web app’s interface. Compared to the others, this GUI just looks dull and boring with a gray background and the graphics look sad, too.

Selective sync is available in Google Drive which is a great plus, but it comes with a big caveat: you cannot selectively sync sub-folders. Why Google won’t implement this crucial feature is really beyond us and certainly a major deal breaker for anybody who wants a bit more control.

Google Drive Selective Sync
Unfortunately, you cannot selectively sync subfolders with Google Drive©

It also allows version control for both Google docs files as well as non-Google files. All the versions of Google files are kept in the system. But for non-Google files, anything over 100 revisions is deleted after 30 days.

This can be increased to 200 revisions by choosing the ‘Keep forever’ option under ‘Manage versions’ tab.

Google Drive Revision History
Browse revisions of your documents from Google Docs.©

Google Drive was the quickest to upload. With an upload speed of 6.2 MB/s (that’s BYTE), it was able to upload a 1GB file in around 23 minutes. But Dropbox was pretty close as it took around 25 minutes to upload the same set of files.

Downloading on Google Drive was surprisingly slower. In fact, it came in at 4th place, below Dropbox, OneDrive and iCloud. With a download speed of 52Mbit/s, the 1GB file took 6 minutes to download.

Sharing and Collaboration

Collaboration and sharing is pretty easy with Google Drive, all thanks to the amazing Google Docs. In fact, Google docs has the best real-time collaboration feature available in the market right now.

You can view and edit files with team members in real-time and discuss them over chat. When collaborating on a Google doc, users are able to see the Google + profile pictures of all the users who are viewing or editing the document alongside them. For Google Chrome OS users, offline access to all Drive files is provided.

File sharing options on Google Drive
©

By default, sign-in is not required to view Google docs if you have the file’s link, but Google lets you choose the privacy of the file as well. There are three modes available –

  • Public on the Web – This means anybody can find and access a file without any sign-in
  • Anyone with a link – file is not searchable on Google, but anyone with a link can access it without signing into their Google account
  • Shared with specific people – Here, you have to mention email addresses and only those people can access the file. Sign-in is, of course, mandatory here.

File sharing is pretty similar to Dropbox. You can either directly create a shared folder by inviting users and putting their email address or share the file’s link with other people.

Google Drive Folder Sharing Permissions
You can set if people can edit, comment or view-only the folder or document. ©

Mobile Access and Photo Storage

We tested the Google Drive app on both Android and iOS, and they look more or less the same. Surprisingly, Google Drive still doesn’t have an officially supported Windows Phone app. There seems to be a client, but it has very negative reviews on the Windows app store.

The Android app allows access to your entire internal storage (which is not possible on an iPhone). But there is a hiccup we noticed – files can only be viewed and not edit on the Google Drive app, so we had to install Google docs in order to edit files.

Google Drive Photo Storage
Create slideshows from your photos or browse your files on the go.©

Photo storage is available through Google Photos, which is a reincarnation of Google’s Picasa. Once pictures are uploaded onto Google, it scans through the images and can identify different objects in photos. So a search for “pizza” will prompt Google to show all of your photos that have a pizza in it. Google Photos also has the option of editing photos online, which none of the other services being discussed here have.

 

Dropbox

Dropbox is a veteran among all of these cloud storage services. While all the other companies listed here just provide cloud services as an addition to the other services they offer, for Dropbox, the cloud is their bread and butter.

Dropbox Speed Comparison

Looking at a provider’s speed results can only be a snapshot of actual performance – so your mileage may vary depending on your internet connection and files that you upload. Here are our results for Dropbox: 

Cloud Storage Syncing Speed Comparison
©
Upload Speed Comparison Cloud Storage
©

 

Plans and Pricing

Like all the other services, Dropbox is a Freemium service. They provide 2GB of free storage and 500MB extra for every friend referred to Dropbox. For more plans, check out the price chart here.

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
Dropbox BasicFree2 GB

Free plan. Can be increased through referrals.

Dropbox Pro
$ 9.99 Monthly
$ 119.88 1 Year
$ 99.00 (-17%)
1000 GB

Pro version with more sharing options (password protected links, expiration dates)

File Syncing

Dropbox has file syncing but no backup service, which means if a file is deleted from a Dropbox folder on any device, the file is deleted everywhere.

Though it can definitely retain older versions of files. It keeps old files after 30 days of being modified or deleted, and you can recover files older than that too, but you will need a pro account to use that feature.

We have to note, file syncing in Dropbox was the fastest. While the 1GB file upload took around 25 minutes, it was downloaded in roughly 3.4 minutes.

Universal App
Dropbox on Windows©

What we didn’t like about the app was that it doesn’t allow users to directly upload folders through the web app or mobile app. The only way to directly upload folders is to copy paste them in the local Dropbox folder on a computer and hit sync.

Also, file syncing is limited to the Dropbox folder that’s determined at the beginning of an install. You can’t sync files outside of your Dropbox folder, unless you’re willing to fiddle around with symlinks

Sharing and Collaboration

Sharing is pretty easy with Dropbox. In fact, that’s what we love about it and we all know that Google Drive copied these features.

There are two ways to share a file or a folder in Dropbox:

  • Share the file link and set the visibility to ‘can be seen by anybody with a link’
  • Directly invite users by entering their email address
Dropbox File Sharing
File sharing in Dropbox is easy, you can share a folder or a link which doesn't require a Dropbox account.©

This way, the file or folder being shared will become common among all the people invited and they’ll able to keep tabs on any changes that may occur. Also, inviting someone means a notification is sent to you when they access the folder.

Working with Dropbox becomes a little difficult when looking to collaborate. There is no real-time collaboration. Also, if two users start editing the same file, then instead of the merging the two files together, the first user’s edited file will be saved as the second version of the file, while the other user’s file will be saved as a ‘conflicted copy’.

So finding out which version is the right one to work on, can be painful (especially with larger teams). 

The one complaint we had with Dropbox in the past was that it didn’t allow document editing right from the app, unlike OneDrive and Google Drive. But all that changed when Dropbox announced its surprising collaboration with Microsoft Office.

The new integration with Microsoft Office Online is amazing, since it lets you edit Dropbox files directly in Microsoft Office Online – both on the web app and on the mobile app (for the mobile app, you need both Dropbox and Office 365 apps installed). we’re definitely loving this new feature; it’s like having the best of both worlds.

Dropbox Open in Office Online
You can open Word or Excel files from Dropbox directly inside Office Online©

Mobile Access and Photo Storage

The entire interface is clean, simple and clear. It works on almost all kinds of devices and is not limited to just one or two platforms (we’re looking at you, iCloud). There are applications for:

  • Linux
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iOS
  • Android
  • BlackBerry

Right when you log into Dropbox from a phone, the option to sync-up Camera Roll is provided. Apart from that, there are no extra features when it comes to photo storage.

We did notice that downloading pictures directly from Dropbox to a phone’s local storage is a little difficult. There is an option to ‘Make available offline,’ but that doesn’t put pictures in the  Album folder. You can only access them through the Dropbox app. There is a separate option called ‘Export’ which lets you transfer photos to your album.

Dropbox Mobile Access
Mobile access is swift and easy.©

 

iCloud

iCloud is Apple’s bet in the cloud storage market and it looks like Apple doesn’t really care much about the rest of the world. While other services are trying create apps for every platform possible, iCloud is very happy to stay in its own native ground. Maybe rightfully so, because they manufacture their own devices, so they don’t have rely on other companies’ systems. Pretty sneaky, Apple. 

iCloud can be accessed with OS X Yosemite or above on a Mac and iOS 8 and above on iPhones. Apart from that, it also has an new app for Windows 10.

iCloud Speed Comparison

Looking at a provider’s speed results can only be a snapshot of actual performance – so your mileage may vary depending on your internet connection and files that you upload. Here are our results for iCloud: 

Cloud Storage Syncing Speed Comparison
©
Upload Speed Comparison Cloud Storage
©

Plans and Pricing

iCloud starts users off with 5GB of space, but unlike Google Drive, this is allocated across both iCloud Drive and iCloud, which stores photos and backup of an iPad/iPhone.

You cannot choose what goes in which folder because iCloud always knows better than you.

Apart from that, there’s an additional 1GB of space available for Numbers, Pages and Keynotes app. The price for iCloud storage is almost similar to Dropbox, but there are more increments available with iCloud. The service offers:

  • 50GB storage for $0.99 per month
  • 200GB storage for $2.99 per month
  • 1TB storage for $9.99 per month

File Syncing

While testing iCloud Drive on iOS – we realized it’s rather complicated and confusing (very unlike Apple). It doesn’t really work like the other cloud storage apps, basically, it doesn’t provide the same freedom the other apps do. Since iCloud is deeply embedded in iOS, it didn’t have a separate app, so documents are saved on an app-by-app basis.

That means any documents in iCloud Drive that can be opened by the Numbers app can only be found in the Numbers app. For that, you need to make sure I have given permission to Numbers to access my iCloud drive. 

iCloud Drive
©

Fortunately, the Mac version is pretty straightforward. There is a single iCloud folder where you can drag and drop all files and access them from there. File syncing from Mac is definitely quick and it almost gave Dropbox a run for its money.

When we tested upload and download times on iCloud, we found that it took 30 minutes to upload our test files and 4.48 minutes to download.

But iCloud is definitely a great option to sync:

  • Mails
  • Calendar events
  • Photos 
  • Passwords

If you have an iPad, an iPhone or a Mac (or maybe all three devices), iCloud would be the best option because of how amazingly it syncs data from all Apple devices.

Sharing and Collaboration

Sharing via apps is great within Apple’s own environment, but as soon as anyone moves out of Apple’s bubble, it becomes an utterly disappointing experience. It becomes painful every time you have move an iCloud document to a third-party app. Also, there is no context menu option available for iCloud.

Same goes for collaboration. Apple is so focused on itself that it doesn’t even care to produce any collaborative features. It did introduce iWork for iCloud last year, but it’s still far away from competing with Dropbox and Google Drive.

Mobile Access and Photo Storage

Obviously, iCloud doesn’t have an Android app and the iOS app is embedded in the device. Access to iCloud is through an Apple ID and you can also individually specify which apps can have access to iCloud data.

The Camera roll can be directly synced to iCloud’s Photos folder, but think hard about it before doing so, since we all know what happened the last time iCloud got hacked.

 All in all, iCloud has a lot of potential, but for it to succeed, Apple really needs to take this service seriously. Make it cross-platform and add needed features like sharing and collaboration.

 

OneDrive

Microsoft’s in-house cloud storage service, OneDrive, was launched as a revamp of SkyDrive. This ‘new service’ was announced as the ‘one place for everything’ by the company and though it is definitely cross-platform, the service is still failing to capture the ‘non-Windows’ niche.

OneDrive Speed Comparison

Looking at a provider’s speed results can only be a snapshot of actual performance – so your mileage may vary depending on your internet connection and files that you upload. Here are our results for OneDrive: 

Cloud Storage Syncing Speed Comparison
©
Upload Speed Comparison Cloud Storage
©

 

Plans and Pricing

OneDrive used to give 15GB of free storage to its users, but it was recently decreased to 5GB. Also, until last month, it also gave ‘unlimited storage’ to Office 365 subscribers, but that too was not-so-shockingly taken back by the company and now, it’s back to the 1TB average.

From 2016 onwards, the service will be discontinuing its 100GB and 200GB paid storage plans and replacing them with a 50GB plan which will cost $1.99 per month.

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
FreeFree5 GB
100GB
$ 1.99 Monthly
100 GB

Will be replaced with 50GB free plan in 2016--costing $1.99

200GB
$ 3.99 Monthly
200 GB

Will soon also be replaced by the 50GB plan

1TB
$ 6.99 Monthly
1000 GB

Comes with Office 365

File Syncing

File syncing is definitely slow, but it does provide selective sync and that is a relief. With a speed of 52 Mbit/s, OneDrive took about 4.42 minutes to download a 1GB file and 28 minutes to upload the same files with an upload speed of 6.12 Mbit/s.

While the download was fast, uploads were definitely slower, but it really depends on your internet connection and location. Are you using a fast cable connection, a VPN service, or maybe mobile? So results in your particular case may vary a lot. Also, while testing out the online web app and Android app, we uploaded our test folder through the web app and checked how long it took for the Android app to reflect it. But even after 10 minutes, the folder refused to display on the app.

So results in your particular case may vary a lot. Also, while testing out the online web app and Android app, we uploaded our test folder through the web app and checked how long it took for the Android app to reflect it. But even after 10 minutes, the folder refused to display on the app.

©

At the end, the app had to be completely closed. We logged out and logged in again, and then the folder appeared on Android.

Something else worth mentioning here is that OneDrive has a file limit of 20,000 files. It doesn’t matter what size those files are, the limit cannot be exceeded beyond the 20,000 mark. Its a bug and Microsoft knows that, but they haven’t done anything yet to resolve it. Though, the limit has been taken out of OneDrive for Business edition.

Sharing and Collaboration

Sharing of files is pretty straight forward, a lot like the other cloud services. When you tap on a file:

  • There’s an option to ‘Share’
  • Invite someone through their email address
  • Share the file through a link
  • Give read-only, or read-write access
OneDrive Share Files
Share files and folders and set user based permissions©

It is possible to directly attach OneDrive files to emails, but only when using the Outlook Web App.

Moving on, we love the fact that OneDrive is integrated with Microsoft Office, which makes collaboration easy. But real-time collaboration is only available for Office 365 subscribers right now, but if Microsoft adds it as a free feature, it would definitely attract more customers.

Microsoft Office Online is just like its desktop version and definitely better than Google Docs. And to be honest, if someone’s worked on Microsoft Office all their life, then it’s really difficult to work on Google Docs (force of habit and preference).

OneDrive Microsoft Office Online
Access Word and Excel files via Microsoft Office Online for free.©

Mobile Access and Photo Storage

The OneDrive mobile apps on both Android and iPhone are clear and crisp. However, one does not simply edit documents in the OneDrive mobile app, one must have Microsoft Office or a similar editor.

Mobile sharing is easy too, you can either directly copy a shareable link or directly send the link to apps like WhatsApp and Twitter. The OneDrive mobile app also has an ‘Attach to Mail’ option, but instead of attaching the actual file, it just puts the file link in an e-mail. A practice which saves space in the recipient’s mailbox.

OneDrive Mobile Access
You can access file via a mobile device and share links.©

OneDrive does not offer anything exciting for photo storage apart from the extra space. There is an option to view all photos in a slideshow. You can view the meta-data about a photo including camera information (a feature not which is not available on Dropbox). But, it’s still not on the same level as Google Photos, since OneDrive does not have photo editing features.

OneDrive does have a promising future, but before moving forward, it needs to work on its current functions including free real-time collaboration and allowing the attachment of OneDrive files directly through Outlook’s web app.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive is new to the scene, but it has plenty of iron in its spleen. It’s definitely trying to come on top of the hierarchy, through offering aggressive photo-oriented features and cheap cloud storage space.

Amazon Cloud Drive Speed Comparison

Looking at a provider’s speed results can only be a snapshot of actual performance – so your mileage may vary depending on your internet connection and files that you upload. Here are our results for Amazon Cloud Drive: 

Cloud Storage Syncing Speed Comparison
©
Upload Speed Comparison Cloud Storage
©
Amazon Cloud Drive Review Homepage Screenshot
©

Basically, this file sharing cloud service is focused more on photos and backup. If this were just a photo backup app, it would have actually been good, but mixing everything up just makes it messier.

But then, it’s not a very good backup app either, because there are no scheduling features and Amazon’s ability to start off where a backup was left is flimsy at best. 

Plans and Pricing

Amazon does not provide free storage. There is a three-month trial period, but that’s it. You can get 5GB data for $11.99/ year and unlimited storage for $59.99/year. Amazon did give out unlimited storage for $5 this Black Friday, but we don’t know how long that scheme will hold. 

An Amazon Prime member will get unlimited storage for photos, which is definitely a pretty good deal.

File Syncing

We were ready to test Amazon Cloud Drive’s file syncing capabilities when… we realized there is no syncing feature in this service.

Instead, you have to manually download a file from the cloud, make whatever changes you want and then upload it again. There is no local copy saved.

Moving files around on Amazon Cloud Drive was the slowest. We did a speed test with 6.2Mbit/s upload speed and 52 Mbit/s download speed, it took around 6.5 minutes for download and 38 minutes to upload a 1GB folder. 

The desktop client is just an upload manager for the Amazon Cloud. It’s easy to setup and start uploading files via drag-and-drop. You can watch how your files are being uploaded in the History tab. 

Amazon Cloud Drive Desktop Client
Amazon's desktop client is rather dull, it's a simple file uploader.©

Sharing and Collaboration   

No one can share more than 25 files in one go. That means if a person wants to use Amazon to share a folder with around 30 files with someone, they’re gonna have to use a zip folder, or move the files into a shared folder altogether (this wasn’t possible a couple of weeks ago because you couldn’t share folders only files with Amazon Cloud Drive). 

Amazon Cloud Drive Max File Share
You can share a max of 25 files at a time.©

Also, Amazon Cloud Drive has absolutely no collaboration features. You can create albums to organize photos and videos, but that’s about it. 

Mobile Access and Photo Storage

The service has mobile apps for Android and iOS, and desktop apps for Mac and Windows. The mobile apps do have automatic image upload tools (just like the other services), but the desktop apps are disappointing with limited features. 

Amazon Cloud Drive was first launched as a photo storage app which later grew on to accommodate all kinds of files. The app definitely has a lot of features for photos:

  • Preview all stored images images
  • See a slide show
  • Create albums
  • Look up metadata
  • Check  aperture and shutter speed settings

With the  Amazon Instant Video app, users can connect to Smart TVs and see their photos on big screens, but it doesn’t display picture meta-data like Flickr does and there are no editing features available in the app.

Online Storage
Amazon Cloud Drive©

Amazon Cloud Drive can definitely be used as a place to store images by Amazon Prime members, since that will cost them nothing extra, but paying for this cloud storage service doesn’t make sense right now since all you get is storage and no other extra features. We would definitely want to hold on and see what the company has to offer… in the future.

 

Secure Alternatives

Cloud storage security is important and we’ve discussed this at length in this article. What we’re looking at when considering Dropbox alternatives are services that encrypt your files before they leave your computer, with end-to-end encryption. 

 

Fortunately, there are plenty services available that are taking security seriously. Here are some options for your to consider: 

Jottacloud Review

Jottacloud

The first one is Jottacloud, through which you get complete privacy because it is based in Norway (Bye, Bye NSA). It provides 5GB storage for free and unlimited storage for just $9.99/month.

Check out Jottacloud
Tresorit – Dropbox Alternative

Tresorit

Another secure alternative is Tresorit, which is based in Hungary and Switzerland and claims to keep data secure and encrypted. It provides 1TB of encrypted storage for 16€/user/month, but is certainly more geared towards business users.

Check out Tresorit
SpiderOak ONE Review

SpiderOak One

Still worried about data security? then try SpiderOak, which has a strict ‘zero knowledge policy.’ That means no one at the company has any knowledge about the contents of your data because you are in control of the encryption keys. But with such great privacy features, the cost  is 30GB of storage space for $7/month.

Check out SpiderOak
Sync.com Review & Comparison

Sync.com

There is also the Canada-based file storage and syncing service, Sync.com, which has a ‘zero-knowledge encryption’ policy. With its user level access controls and 5GB of storage for free, this is a great service to try.

Check out Sync.com

Conclusion

After doing a complete Google Drive vs Dropbox vs iCloud vs OneDrive vs Amazon Cloud Drive analysis, what’s left to say?

Perhaps this, there is no one ‘perfect cloud app’. It’s more like a give and take between features each service has to offer.

So you need to determine what you’re looking for and which app comes closest to your requirements. Feel free to do a thorough inventory of your needs and then use ourfeature chart to determine which solution works best.

When it comes to speed, certainly Dropbox and Google Drive are the top performers in the race. If you’re an Office 365 subscriber, well, it’s almost a no-brainer to use OneDrive and maybe supplement it with Google Drive or Dropbox for larger file syncs (because they work more reliably on those platforms). 

Do you need top-notch security? Sorry to disappoint. None of the services will satisfy such needs. They all lack end-to-end encryption, and are all hosted in the USA. If you have special requirements for auditing and compliance purposes, consider looking at business cloud storage solutions instead.

 

10 thoughts on “The Best Cloud Storage: Google Drive vs Dropbox vs iCloud vs OneDrive vs Amazon Cloud Drive”

  1. This epic post is only missing one thing: a discussion about pre-encrypting your files. We should take responsibility for the security of sensitive data.

    While I prefer CryptSync, Boxcryptor also deserves a look. The process is a bit more work to set up, and does result in twice the hard drive space that would otherwise be required, but the peace of mind is worth it. (I talked about this before on your website.)

    Incidentally, using pre-encryption gives you a chance to also have more control of the folders that you want synced. The reason is that (for CryptSync, at least) you use a paired folder system. For example, if you tell CryptSync to encrypt all files and folders found in a folder called LocalDropbox before copying them to a subfolder within your Dropbox folder! Now, you just put the desired folders into LocalDropbox and forget worrying about the Selective Sync options (unless you have other folders directly added to Dropbox.)

    Of course, your caveat about backups still apply to this LocalDropbox folder: you may want to employ an independent backup application to handle either the LocalDropbox folder or its encrypted pair within the Dropbox folder.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    1. Hi Mitch,

      thank you for the comment. Indeed, we could have included pre-encryption, though we have talked already about that topic in our Top 10 Secure Dropbox Alternatives article. Thanks for mentioning this!

  2. Versioning is an important consideration. Dropbox leads the pack here but Google is catching up. Sometimes you need to be able to restore a file, for example if you need an older version of a file or a virus hits. Onedrive only had Versioning for office files although they are considering expanding this to other file types

  3. A few mentions of back doors to the security services – especially iCloud?

    I think the FBI, etc might disagree about your security comments!

  4. I did not read any discussion of differential sync (delta sync) in the article. If you are storing large files that change frequently (e.g. PST email backup or encrypted container) then Dropbox would be the ONLY major service you would even consider. How did you miss this incredibly important feature Mauricio?

    1. Good point. I will add it to the discussion. I do recommend Dropbox for larger files though, as I’m aware of incremental sync. However, I wouldn’t recommend using any of these services for serious backups like an Outlook PST file.

      1. I wouldn’t recommend it either, but users still do it.

        A more realistic example for your average user; Imagine if you had a large music, photo or video collection and you simply updated the meta-data (added track data or maybe artwork). Without differential sync your entire collection would re-up instead of just metadata. I am really shocked that this isn’t a standard feature for any cloud service these days.

        Thank you for the article.

  5. I feel that the iCloud review is neither fair nor accurate.

    “Only available on Windows 10 and Apple devices”
    iCloud Drive is also available on Windows 7 and Windows 8. On icloud.com you can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations in any web browser (so no matter what platform you are working from) and download the files in pdf or microsoft office format.

    “Sharing with people outside the Apple universe is cumbersome”
    You can share links to the files stored on iCloud. Those files can then be downloaded via a web browser (on any platform).

    “No collaboration features or selective sync”
    While it is true that there is no selective sync, you can collaborate. According to Apple, up to 100 people can collaborate on one iWork file. Again through a web browser, so the platform doesn’t really matter. While I have never collaborated with that many people on one file, i have tried it with 5-6 people and it was efficient.

    “Difficult to locate data in the iCloud Drive”
    Not sure what you mean. Just like in Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive you can create any folder you want in your iCloud Drive and store your files wherever you want in those folders.

    “Security issues, as it has been hacked before”
    As far as I know, there is no proof that iCloud has been hacked. If you are alluding to the celebrity photos stolen from iCloud and Google Drive, it seems that the passwords had been obtained by phishing.

  6. Good article, thanks! One thing you mentioned though may be incorrect. I believe the 20,000 file/folder limit still exists for OneDrive for Business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Rating:

Care about security? Give Sync.com a try.

Sync.com is a Canada based cloud storage service with ultimate levels of privacy and security.

Overall Rating
Starts from
$ 4.08 per month
www.sync.comSync.com Review
  • Good syncing speeds
  • Good attitude towards privacy
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • 1h Email support response time
  • Encryption slows down uploads and previews
  • Mobile client doesn't allow file sharing
www.sync.com

More about

Most Visited News