In an age of smartphones and tablets, cloud storage lets you take all of your important data, photos and videos with you on the go. Now more than ever, cloud storage providers have been updating their apps to include better mobile features like productivity suites and automatic photo uploads.
Since Android is a mobile platform, the devices it runs on generally have limited storage and it fills up quick. If you run out of space, you may find yourself deleting files and photos or having to use a SD card, which aren’t always cheap.
Even worse, if you lose your phone or SD card, all of your data is gone, too. Chances are your phone stores everything from family photos to voice memos, so losing your device can really ruin your day.
Below you’ll find our top five cloud storage picks for Android users. While most of the picks in our best cloud storage guide have Android apps, we found Sync.com to be a cut above the rest thanks to productivity features and an unmatched security-first approach. Keep reading to find out what other services made our rankings.
Best Cloud Storage for Android 2018
What Makes a Cloud Storage Service Best for Android?
Given the limited storage space and the risk of losing your files posed by Android phones, we looked for cloud storage services that offer generous amounts of storage when building our list. For example, pCloud offers 10GB of free storage and gives you the option to upgrade to a 2TB storage plan for less than $10 per month, which is outstanding value.
However, storage capacity isn’t all that matters: your files need to be secure, too. With that in mind, we also looked for Android cloud storage solutions that offer 256-bit AES, zero-knowledge encryption.
Most cloud services store your encryption keys internally, meaning they can read your files at any time. This may be for legal reasons, marketing purposes or whatever. However, zero-knowledge encryption leaves you in charge of your keys so only you can decrypt your files. Not even the data center engineers can read your data.
Finally, there’s always the chance you’ll need to edit files while away from your computer. We looked for cloud storage apps that offer productivity features to support that need. Google takes the prize for productivity features thanks to its Google Docs integration, but its not the only storage solution that will let you get work done on your Android phablet.
With our primary talking points laid out, it’s time to turn to our best cloud storage for Android selections.
Sync.com is a longtime favorite at Cloudwards.net. The cloud storage service prides itself on protecting its users privacy with free, always-on zero-knowledge encryption. Because of this, your files are safe both on your Android phone and your computer as you’re the only person that can access your files. We think it’s the best zero-knowledge cloud storage service, overall.
Additionally, Sync.com is based in Canada, so the data it stores is protected by the consumer-friendly PIPEDA, a Canadian law that protects your back by making sure that online companies storing data comply with the latest security standards.
Sync’s Android app lets you share on the fly, too, with maybe the most secure approach to file sharing we’ve seen thanks to surprisingly rare features like file-link expiry dates and passwords.
Sync.com’s Android app has a few helpful productivity features as well. You can tag files for offline use and access them through the Sync.com app without an internet connection. You can open these files in third-party mobile apps like Microsoft Office directly from the Sync.com app, too, so you can keep working no matter where you are.
Other Reasons Why We Like Sync.com
If you’re interested by Sync.com’s approach to security, you can test before buying with a free 5GB account.
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Fast file uploads
- Great customer service
- Only 5GB of free storage
IDrive is a backup tool that also offers cloud storage and file sync. Its Android app can automatically backup all content on your device including photos, videos, contacts, call logs and texts.
The app offers cross-platform backup and restore with iOS. Say you get rid of your Android phone and buy an iPhone: just download the IDrive iPhone app and you can restore your Android’s photos, videos and contacts directly from the IDrive app. This works for iPhone-to-Android moves as well.
IDrive takes security seriously, too. The service offers zero-knowledge, private encryption keys to protect your data. For more information, see out our full IDrive review.
Other Reasons Why We Like IDrive
A single IDrive subscription can be used to store files from unlimited mobile devices, plus your desktop computers as well. It’s one of the few services to provide both cloud storage and online backup (what’s the difference?), ranking as one of the best online backup services overall.
You can give IDrive a spin with its free 5GB storage plan. If you’re happy with the service, you can upgrade to an IDrive Personal plan for $69.50 per year for 2TB of storage or $99.50 per year for 5TB of storage. The service offers discounts for the first year of service; currently 2TB is just $52 per year.
- Automatic file backup for Android
- Private key encryption
- Cross-platform restore
- Only annual billing options
- No unlimited or lifetime plans
- Only 5GB of free storage
pCloud is one of our favorite services here at Cloudwards and for a good reason: it provides great value, landing on our best free storage list, and includes useful functionality like features for streaming media and creating playlists. That makes it a great pick for movie and music lovers.
You can easily share stored files with pCloud, too. Its Android app lets you edit and manage all of your document share settings on the fly, so you can easily send a batch of Christmas photos from your Android phone to your grandmother’s email with a tap. Check out our full pCloud review for more information on the service’s sharing features.
With pCloud’s Crypto add-on, your data can be secured with zero-knowledge encryption. Unlike Sync.com and IDrive, though, you have to purchase that security: Crypto costs $3.99 per month.
Other Reasons Why We Like pCloud
We’re big fans of pCloud’s file versioning feature: pCloud Rewind. This feature lets you revert any unencrypted file to an earlier state, something that comes in handy if you accidentally delete a file from your pCloud folder or want to see an older version of something you’re working on.
The service includes 10GB of free storage for all users, upgradeable to 20GB with referrals. If that’s not enough, you can bump up to 500GB or 2TB at competitive rates. This gives you plenty of room to store files from both your Android phone and computer.
- 20GB of free storage
- Automatic photo & video backup
- Free file versioning
- Zero-knowledge encryption costs $3.99 per month
SugarSync’s Android app lets you view and manage files on your mobile device, plus edit a number of file types. Combined with mobile office tools like DocumentsToGo and OfficeSuite, you can turn your Android phone into a productivity powerhouse.
The app supports media streaming and photo viewing for times when you need a break from productivity, too. Photo and video lovers will also appreciate SugarSync’s automatic backup functionality. You can use the application to automatically safeguard your smartphone media, so your family photos and other memories are kept safe if your device is ever stolen.
Unfortunately, SugarSync isn’t a zero-knowledge service like our top three picks, so your mobile data might be quite as secure as you’d like. See our full SugarSync review for more information on its security profile.
Other Reasons Why We Like SugarSync
One of the best things about SugarSync is that the desktop client can connect any folder on your computer to the cloud, rather than restricting you to one sync folder like Dropbox and most other services.
On the downside, SugarSync doesn’t have any sort of free storage tier and its not cheap. Its base-level 100GB plan starts at $7.99 per month. If you want to give the service a shot, try its free 30-day trial.
- Fast data uploads
- Automatic photo & video backup
- Pick & choose which files to backup
- No private key encryption
- Less-than-stellar customer support
- No free storage tier
Google created Android, so it only makes sense to add the company’s native cloud storage service to this list. Google Drive comes prepackaged and nicely integrated with Android, letting you upload files to Google Drive from almost anywhere in the Android operating system.
As mentioned, Google Drive is by far the best cloud storage provider in terms of productivity features. You can sync document, spreadsheet and presentation files with Google Drive and edit them directly in Google Docs on your Android smartphone. For more on Google Drive’s productivity features, read our Google Drive review.
Do note, however, that Google Drive doesn’t offer zero-knowledge encryption and is based in the United States. This means that Google has full access to your stored files, which it may use for marketing, and the company has been tied to government surveillance programs like PRISM.
If security is a concern but you still want to use Google Drive, consider pairing it with Boxcryptor, a zero-knowledge service that lets you encrypt your own files. Check out our Boxcryptor review for more details.
Other Reasons Why We Like Google Drive
Google Drive gives 15GB of free storage to any Google account holder, and you can upgrade to 100GB for just $2 per month.
The 1TB plan gets a bit expensive at $9.99 a month, however, so at that point you may want to consider Sync.com or pCloud, instead, both of which give you twice as much storage for less money.
- Direct integration with Android
- Stellar productivity features with Google Docs
- 15GB of free storage
- No zero-knowledge encryption
- Privacy concerns
- No incremental backups
There are plenty of cloud-storage services available that offer great Android apps for users. In fact, most of those detailed in our cloud storage reviews library have smartphone apps. For our money, we think the five picks above rank as the top options.
While Sync.com ranks number thanks most due to its security and value, each of the five services offer unique security, productivity and backup features that should meet a wide variety of needs. Which Android cloud storage service do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below, thanks for reading!