Managing the storage space on your Android smartphone or tablet can be tedious. Apps battle with photos, videos and other documents for space, and games take up more storage as they become more involved and better looking. Running out of room on your phone or tablet is a common concern, and finding the best cloud storage for Android can be tricky.
However, we’ve ranked the best cloud storage for personal use on Android below. Before we dive in, though, we want to quickly cover how we decided on the best cloud storage for Android. We also like spoilers here at Cloudwards, so we chose Google Drive as our best cloud storage app for Android. Find out why after the break.
What Is the Best Cloud Storage for Android?
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
The most important feature that we looked for when deciding on the best cloud storage for Android was security. Whether you are storing family photos and videos, birth certificates or even just your meme library, it’s important that you know something is standing between unauthorized users and your personal content.
Aside from security, we wanted to make sure that all of our cloud storage options had features like link sharing and folder organization so that your documents are easy to find and your photos are a breeze to share with friends and loved ones. The app also needed to be simple to use so that anyone could pick it up and have a pretty good idea of how it works.
We gave bonus points for extra features, such as Google Drive’s integration with Google Docs or OneDrive’s integration with Office 365. We also took into consideration the price of each option’s storage tiers because, when it comes down to it, more for less is always ideal.
1. Google Drive
When it comes to delivering a fluid cloud storage experience to Android users, it’s tough to beat Google Drive, one of the most popular cloud storage options available. Anybody with a free account has access to 15GB of Google Drive storage space and unlimited photo backup through Google Photos, as long as you’re okay with your photos being reduced to 16MP.
Your free Google account also includes Google Docs so you can create, edit and share documents directly from Google Drive. Sharing files with family and friends is as easy as sending them a link (Google Drive is one of our best cloud storage for families picks). You can also set parameters for your links to control how much access others have to your files.
Google has two-factor authentication (2FA), which protects your account if someone has access to your password by requiring you to input a code that Google sends you.
Google does not use zero-knowledge encryption, which is unfortunate, though it’s not a dealbreaker because you can use Boxcryptor to add zero-knowledge protection to your drive. You can check out our Boxcryptor review to get started.
Along with the free 15GB cloud storage plan, Google offers three other standard plans, with 100GB, 200GB and 2TB of storage. Each plan costs less than $10 per month so every storage option is accessible to nearly any budget.
In this breakdown, Google Drive is also the best free cloud storage for Android due to the large amount of free storage space and the unlimited photo backup.
The Google Drive app has a lot of features, which are contained both at the bottom of the screen as well as in the slide-out menu to the left of the app. Using the app is easy because it resembles a lot of file management apps, though finding all of the features and settings can take a little bit of time.
Other Reasons We Like Google Drive
Along with all of the features that Google Drive brings to Android, Google has made it so that you can turn on nearly any device — Android or otherwise — and have access to everything from your photos and files to bookmarks and notes just by signing in to your account.
If you have a Google account and an Android tablet or smartphone, Google Drive is definitely worth checking out. You can read more about Google Drive and the benefits of a Google account in our Google Drive review.
- Easy to use
- Inexpensive storage options up to 2TB
- Unlimited photo backup
- Storage plans above 2TB are very expensive
- No native zero-knowledge encryption
Sync.com has been hailed as Cloudwards’ favorite all-around cloud storage provider in our Sync.com review, and for good reason. Sync.com offers some of the best storage plans available, as low as $5 for 1TB for the Standard business plan, and has a free 5GB plan that you can test out.
Along with great online storage options, Sync.com protects your documents with zero-knowledge encryption and 2FA (it’s also our best encrypted cloud storage).
Sync.com is straightforward on Android. The interface is simple to navigate, and storing and accessing your documents is a breeze. Because of the focus on security, Sync.com doesn’t offer compatibility with third-party apps, which is worth the sacrifice if you need to store sensitive files.
Sync.com also makes it easy to share and manage links so you can control who has access to your files. You can even delete links if you no longer wish to share files. Links can be created and shared for any file or folder stored with Sync.com. You can also set passwords on links to make sure that your files are only accessed by people with the password.
Other Reasons We Like Sync.com
Sync.com is a pleasure to use on Android. Its simple interface and ease of use make it accessible to everyone. Additionally, its affordable plans allow you to focus on how much storage you want versus what you can afford (and Sync.com is also our best Android backup option).
The only area where Sync.com doesn’t perform is in third-party integration. Sync.com’s security doesn’t play well with other services, though it gets a pass for being a solid contender in every other area.
- Easy to use
- Affordable storage plans
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- No third-party integration
pCloud might not have all the features of Google Drive, but it’s a very secure and private provider, as you can read in our pCloud review.
pCloud’s security is stronger with the optional Crypto package (read our full guide on what pCloud Crypto is). Paying for pCloud Crypto gives you access to the “Crypto” folder, which is very similar to OneDrive’s personal vault but with added zero-knowledge encryption.
Aside from the Crypto folder, your account can be protected by 2FA if you enable the setting. Along with excellent security, pCloud has the ability to play back audio and video files, as well as create and manage playlists, all from within the app.
pCloud has a free plan that gives you up to 10GB to try out, or you can be upgraded to 500GB or 2TB of cloud storage. Although you can pay monthly or yearly, pCloud is unique in that you can also pay once for lifetime storage.
pCloud’s Android app looks like any other file manager, which is a good thing. The slide-out menu has convenient media shortcuts as well as a shortcut for shared links. Also in the slide-out menu is the Crypto folder, if you’ve opted for the Crypto package.
Other Reasons We Like pCloud
pCloud is a straightforward, secure cloud storage service that works well for those who want to store and play back media in the cloud all from one app. Kodi users can also set up an unofficial plugin to stream videos from pCloud. Read more about the Kodi plugin in our best cloud storage for Kodi guide.
The ability to purchase up to 2TB of storage for a one-time payment further reinforces pCloud’s use as a media storage and playback service. Purchasing a lifetime plan brings peace of mind that you can save your photos, videos, movies, music and family moments forever in the cloud without worrying about keeping up with a monthly subscription.
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Native media playback
- Lifetime plans
- Security costs extra
- No office suite
Icedrive launched only in 2019, but already it is implementing some interesting security features, which is just as well, seeing as how it has branded itself as an ultra-secure cloud storage service. Have one look at the website’s explanation of Icedrive’s encryption and you can tell they mean business.
A noticeable security feature within Icedrive is the use of the Twofish encryption algorithm over AES. Twofish was actually a finalist in the Advanced Encryption Standard contest and was ultimately not selected, though Icedrive claims that Twofish is widely accepted by cryptographers as more secure than AES.
Although Icedrive provides a lot of protection for your files, it lacks 2FA and the majority of Icedrive’s encryption, such as zero knowledge, is locked behind a paywall. However, Icedrive’s free plan starts you out with 10GB, which is up there when you compare it to a lot of other free storage plans.
Icedrive has three additional plans aside from the free plan, including a 1TB plan for just $4.99 per month. It should be noted that upgrading to any premium plan also unlocks all of the security features that Icedrive offers, which is not too bad considering the cheapest plan is $1.99 per month, though that only gets you 150GB of storage.
Icedrive has an easily navigable UI as well as a nifty dark mode that makes the app much easier on the eyes. Dark mode aside, Icedrive will be familiar right away because it has the same general look as most of the other cloud storage apps on our list.
Icedrive allows you to share and manage links, though most of the sharing features require you to upgrade to a premium account. Managing links is also not as intuitive as Sync.com, requiring you to locate the shared file and then manage your link from the file options.
Other Reasons We Like Icedrive
Although Icedrive doesn’t currently have many features and the file sharing options are a little clunky, we mention in our full Icedrive review that the software shows promise. Even in the year since it was released, it has a well-functioning mobile app with some unique features, good storage options and excellent security.
Icedrive is a service that will likely evolve as you use it, and if you’re okay with that, it’s a good option for the security-minded or anyone who wants an easy-to-use cloud storage service that offers 10GB of free storage.
- Simple navigation
- Very secure
- Inexpensive plan options
- Only a year old
- No third-party integration
- Clunky link management
- Link management locked behind a paywall
MEGA has been around for a long time. Chances are that you’ve probably downloaded something from MEGA in the past when it was one of the more popular file sharing sites. However, it’s gone through some changes and is now a cloud storage service that focuses on security, and it implements some unique features.
One feature that stands out is encrypted chat, which is a secure messaging system within MEGA that allows you to chat with other users. MEGA also has the ability to set passwords on links so that when you share your files, you can feel secure knowing that even if an unintended person ends up with your link they won’t be able to open it without the password.
Continuing the theme of security, MEGA employs 2FA to protect your account at login and zero-knowledge encryption so that not even MEGA can access your files. Make sure to check out our guide to the best password managers because zero knowledge prevents MEGA from resetting your password if you lose it.
MEGA starts you off with 20GB of storage for free and has an achievement system that gives you bonus storage for completing tasks, such as sharing MEGA with your friends. MEGA also has a competitive range of storage plans that start at 400GB and go all the way to 16TB, making it an excellent choice for those who have large storage needs.
The app experience is pretty standard with MEGA, which is good because it means that you can pick it up and get your files stored without a lot of learning involved. The bottom section of the app contains shortcuts for easy access to encrypted chat, shared folders, your cloud drive and photos.
Other Reasons We Like MEGA
MEGA might not be for everyone, but it brings some serious security to the table. While Google Drive and OneDrive focus on app integration and additional services, MEGA brings zero-knowledge encryption to your entire account and adds secure chat and link passwords.
If security is your biggest focus, MEGA is a great contender. For an in-depth look at MEGA, we recommend checking out our MEGA review.
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Encrypted chat
- Link passwords
- No office suite
- No app integration
6. Microsoft OneDrive
OneDrive is Microsoft’s answer to cloud storage and comes in fifth on the list. OneDrive works nicely with Microsoft Office products, and its paid plans are bundled with Office 365. Like Google Drive, you can automatically backup your photos, though each photo counts against your storage.
You get 5GB of free cloud storage, which can be upgraded to 100GB or 1TB. The 1TB plan is called Office 365 Personal and includes access to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel on your Android phone or tablet device, as well as other devices.
Microsoft has another plan called Office 365 Home that includes all of the features of Personal but can be used by up to six people.
Office 365 Home works out well for families because each person gets their own 1TB of storage in the cloud — plus access to Office for school or work — all for $9.99 per month. OneDrive is also cross-platform, so even if you have an iPhone user in the house, they can still take advantage of all of the benefits of Office 365.
The OneDrive app is snappy and easy to use, with convenient shortcuts on the bottom for files, shared files and photos. The UI uses folders and isn’t too different from the default file manager for Android. Also tucked away in photos is the option to enable automatic uploading of photos from your device.
Other Reasons We Like OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive has a feature called “personal vault” that allows you to store files in a space within OneDrive that includes added security and requires 2FA.
With the free plan, you are limited to how many files you can store in your personal vault, though you can store unlimited files, up to your storage limit, with an Office 365 plan. The personal vault works just like a folder and can be found with the rest of your files.
Though Google Drive and OneDrive offer similar features in most areas, OneDrive offers a far superior storage option for families and groups because each user gets their own terabyte of storage. Read more about OneDrive in our OneDrive review.
- Best family plan
- Personal Vault
- Office 365
- Only 5GB in the free plan
- No native zero-knowledge encryption
- Not a lot of storage options
Dropbox is the grandaddy of cloud storage services and has been around since 2007. Although Dropbox has OK security, it participated in PRISM, a secret government surveillance program, and was also subject to a breach in 2012 when millions of passwords were stolen.
Dropbox has improved its security since then, but we recommend using Boxcryptor with Dropbox to secure your files because it lacks zero-knowledge encryption, though you can enable 2FA. If you are curious about Dropbox and want to learn more about its security, read our full Dropbox review for an in-depth look at the pros and cons.
Security aside, Dropbox has some compelling reasons to give it a try. Dropbox is compatible with Office Online, so you can create and edit your documents in the cloud, as well as edit previously uploaded documents. Dropbox allows you to share files through links. You can manage your link settings, as well, though it requires upgrading to a paid plan.
Its pricing is less than competitive, though the Dropbox plans range from 1TB to unlimited storage, which is nice for businesses and users with large storage requirements. Dropbox also has a free plan that gives you 2GB of storage, less than many other cloud storage providers on this list but enough to test out the service before you buy.
The Dropbox app itself is similar to the rest of them. You can upload, scan and create documents. The UI is easy to navigate, and features are easy to find. One thing that is lacking in the UI is a link tab, something that can be found with the Sync.com app, among others on the list.
If you like Dropbox but can’t look past its history of security issues, you should take a look at our guide to the best Dropbox alternatives. You will find that many of the options listed are also in this guide, as well as other great services like Amazon Drive and Box.
Other Reasons We Like Dropbox
Along with Office compatibility, Dropbox offers a service called Paper, which can be accessed in the slide-out menu on the left side of the app. Tapping it will prompt you to download Paper. Once it is downloaded, you are able to create text documents and to-do lists. You can even upload pictures to your created text documents straight from Paper.
Dropbox may not have the best security, but it does offer good collaboration through Office Online. Paper allows Dropbox to double as a note-taking app as well as a to-do app. Although Dropbox has had issues in the past, it’s still a reliable cloud storage service that’s worth taking a look at.
- Large storage options
- Dropbox Paper
- Office Online compatibility
- Past security breach
- Involvement in PRISM
- Expensive plans
There are dozens of cloud storage providers out there that tick all the boxes when it comes to security and features, though not all of them are worth your time. Here, we’ve covered some of the best cloud storage providers available.
Although Google Drive and OneDrive excel at collaboration and integration with their respective office suites, Sync.com, MEGA and Icedrive focus heavily on security. pCloud lands in the middle with good security but also some great media features. If you are primarily concerned about productivity, we have you covered with the best cloud storage for collaboration.
Dropbox is also an excellent option, but make sure to use Boxcryptor to secure your storage. If you’re on the fence between Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive, we highly recommend reading our Google Drive vs Dropbox vs Microsoft OneDrive comparison guide for an in depth look into the three services.
Whichever cloud storage you choose for your Android phone or tablet device, you can rest assured that all the options listed here are tested and will serve you well as you store and share your files in the cloud.
Also, if you decide to use multiple cloud storage accounts, then you should look into using a good cloud manager for Android.
We appreciate the time that you took to read our guide, and we’d love to hear your opinions, so don’t hesitate to drop a comment and let us know your thoughts. Thank you for reading.