- What Makes Cloud Storage the Best for Large Files
- 1. Sync.com -- The Best Cloud Storage for Large Files
- Other Reasons We Like Sync.com
As digital content becomes more complicated, the need for large file storage grows with it. However, the typical hard drive still holds very little data. Cloud computing is here to save the day, though, bringing new ways of storing large files online.
When it comes to online storage, less is never more, which is why we’ve put together this list of the best cloud storage for large files. As you’ll see below, Sync.com is the top cloud storage service on our list, but your files will be safe with any of these storage clouds.
Finding a secure place to store your data can be vital if you’re a professional, for example working with CAD files that reach more than 10GB in size. However, even if you’re just a casual user, cloud services can easily store your media library, especially those hefty Blu-ray videos.
A full hard drive can really bog down your computer’s performance. Cloud storage services can take some of the load off your computer so it can keep chugging along without all those massive files weighing it down. Plus, you never have to worry about hard drive crashes when your data is in the cloud.
We picked only the best cloud storage providers for our list, so you’ll know you’re getting a quality service, whichever one you choose. You might also want to look into an online backup service if sharing and syncing your files isn’t a priority. Now, let’s take a quick look at which services we chose and why.
Quick Guide: The Best Large Cloud Storage Providers
- Sync.com — Super-secure cloud storage for large files
- pCloud — Best cloud storage for free
- Dropbox — Cloud-collaboration king
- Icedrive — Blazing-fast and secure cloud
- Google Drive — Big Brother’s favorite cloud service
What Makes Cloud Storage the Best for Large Files
The number-one factor when deciding on a cloud provider for large files is storage space. The service needs to offer ample space for all those big files, but it should also provide that space at an affordable price. Ideally, a service should have pricing plans that strike a suitable balance of cost and storage space (check out our guide to understanding cloud storage pricing).
However, storage space is generally not a limiting factor when it comes to storing massive files. Instead, some services set limits on file size and monthly bandwidth usage. A file size limit will stop you from uploading your data. Plus, if the files you’re uploading are several gigabytes in size, you’ll be hitting that bandwidth cap quickly, so a service with no upload limits is preferred.
Speed is another thing to look out for when choosing a cloud service. After all, what good is all that storage space if it takes forever to upload a file? Editing huge files doesn’t have to mean long reupload times. Block-level file copying can significantly increase your reupload speed by uploading only the part of the file that you’ve altered, so a service that has it will have an advantage.
If you’re looking for where to store large files, all of these services are excellent and won’t leave you disappointed. Your choice will ultimately depend on your needs and what cloud storage features you value more. So without further ado, let’s jump into the full list.
1. Sync.com — The Best Cloud Storage for Large Files
Sync.com provides safe and reliable cloud storage without a file size limit or bandwidth cap. Its storage plans go all the way up to 4TB, while most cloud storage services don’t offer more than 2TB of storage. Its plans come at a low price, too, making them the best deals for cloud storage.
Sync.com has an excellent free plan that gives you 5GB of storage space and doesn’t cut any critical features. Its paid personal plans — called Pro Solo — offer much more space, starting with its 2TB Basic plan, which costs $8 per month. The 3TB Standard plan will set you back only $10 monthly, while the 4TB Plus plan costs $15 per month.
The only drawback is that you can only pay yearly for Sync.com’s plans; there’s no option to pay a monthly fee.
Sync.com provides high security at a low price, offering zero-knowledge encryption for all of your files. Its servers are kept under 24/7 surveillance to make sure your data is physically safe, as well. Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security by safeguarding your login. This makes Sync.com the best encrypted storage option for your files, no matter their size.
Though Sync.com isn’t slow by any means, it certainly isn’t the fastest cloud storage out there. Uploading a 1GB test file took us 36 minutes 18 seconds on average, and downloading it took around eight minutes on average. There is no block-level sync to help with reupload speeds, either.
Our connection’s download speed was 32 Mbps and our upload speed was 6 Mbps. Keep in mind, though, that the speed test was performed from a European location, while Sync.com’s servers are in Canada. Speeds will be better if you’re closer to the servers, and we wish Sync.com would expand its server network to the rest of the world.
Other Reasons We Like Sync.com
Sync.com is the absolute best storage service for sharing. It boasts advanced sharing features, such as expiry dates and passwords for sharing links, plus some unique ones, such as download statistics and link activity notifications. Plus, you can use upload folders to collaborate on files with other people, though there is no integration with third-party apps.
If you ever overwrite a file by accident, Sync.com’s superior versioning capabilities can come in handy. Free users can restore past versions of files for up to 30 days. Pro Solo users can access an unlimited number of previous versions of files indefinitely, and the same goes for deleted files. None of this counts against your storage quota, which is particularly useful.
Sync.com’s interface is straightforward and easy to pick up. The desktop app creates the familiar synchronization folder that you get with many other cloud services. To move your data to the cloud, just look for the folder called “Sync” and place the files you want to upload into it.
Mobile apps are now a must-have for any respectable cloud platform. Sync.com’s mobile app has an excellent design, and it’s available for iOS and Android.
The Sync.com app does what it needs to do without adding too much fluff. It displays your files and organizes them into categories, plus it can automatically upload your photos to free up space on your phone.
Sync.com is the best option for sharing and is an excellent all-rounder. Its spacious plans can accommodate even the most massive files, and it comes pretty cheap, too. Its security is foolproof, so you can rest easy knowing your data is safe. That’s why Sync.com is the number-one pick on our list.
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- No bandwidth or file size limits
- Competitive pricing
- No block-level sync
- No monthly payment plans
If you need to store large media files, pCloud is a great option. It’s a Swiss cloud provider with servers in Luxembourg and the U.S. with no file size limits. It does impose some restrictions on monthly bandwidth use, though the ceiling is relatively high. It’s one of the cheapest services, too, and its lifetime plan can save you a lot of money in the long run.
pCloud has a 10GB free plan with a 50GB transfer limit, which makes it one of the best free cloud storages, but that’s not enough for storing massive files. However, you can get the 500GB pCloud Premium plan for $4.99 per month, and pCloud’s Premium Plus plan comes with 2TB of storage space for $9.99 monthly. Plus, you can get a discount if you pay for the whole year in advance or if you buy a lifetime plan.
Unfortunately, 2TB is all the storage you can get with pCloud, unlike Sync.com and its 4TB plan. You can check out our comparison of Sync.com and pCloud if you want to learn more about them.
Both of pCloud’s paid options have a monthly bandwidth cap. The cap is 500GB for Premium users, while Premium Plus users can transfer 2TB of data per month.
However, what pCloud lacks in high-capacity storage, it makes up for in speed. It’s one of the speediest cloud services we’ve tested, taking only 28 minutes 38 seconds on average to upload a 1GB test file. Its download speed was similarly impressive, with pCloud taking just under five minutes on average to download the test file.
Switzerland has some of the tightest internet regulations in the world, which means your privacy is all but guaranteed. If you’re in the United States, you can upload your data to pCloud’s U.S. server. However, if you happen to live in Europe (or if you value your privacy), you’ll be better off using its servers in Luxembourg.
pCloud has excellent security, and it encrypts all of your data by default. If you want zero-knowledge encryption, though, you have to pay for it. pCloud Crypto costs an extra $4.99 per month, and you can use it to take control of your encryption key, so no one but you can decrypt your files.
Other Reasons We Like pCloud
pCloud’s interface is simple and easy to use. Its desktop app installs a network drive, which is a virtual drive that “stores” your data. Files on this drive aren’t actually on your hard disk; they’re just links to your cloud-based data. When you copy a file to the network drive, it’s uploaded to your pCloud account, but it doesn’t take up extra space on your computer.
pCloud has several unique features, such as its dedicated music player. The mobile app has the same music player, which means you can use your pCloud account as a sort of DIY Spotify. You can also use pCloud to convert videos to different formats, which makes pCloud the best cloud for video.
pCloud is one of the fastest online backup services and has no file size limits which makes it an excellent option. However, you have to pay for zero-knowledge encryption, which will affect the overall price. As we mentioned above, there’s also a bandwidth cap, though it’s high enough not to be a big issue.
If you need lots of free storage in the cloud, pCloud could be the right choice for you. That’s not enough to unseat Sync.com, though, which makes pCloud the runner-up on this list.
- Amazing speed
- No file size limit
- Monthly bandwidth limit
- Zero-knowledge is only available as a paid add-on
- No block-level sync
Icedrive is a newcomer to the cloud storage business, having opened its doors to the public in 2019. Despite its young age, it manages to impress, providing a fast and secure service at a low price. It comes with no limits to file size, though monthly use is capped (more details on that below). Thankfully, that limit is fairly forgiving, so it won’t really pose a problem.
Icedrive offers 10GB of free storage and a 3GB transfer limit. It has three paid plans for personal users, which you can pay for either monthly or yearly at a discounted price. There’s also a lifetime subscription option, which is even cheaper in the long run.
The Lite plan is only available as a yearly subscription, though, costing $1.67 for 150GB of storage and a 250GB bandwidth limit.
Icedrive’s Pro plan costs $4.99 per month, offering 1TB of cloud storage and a bandwidth cap of 2TB. The Pro+ plan gives you 5TB of file storage and an 8TB bandwidth limit for $17.99 per month. These are the lowest prices per terabyte on this list, especially considering the annual payment option.
Icedrive is the only storage provider that matched pCloud in our speed test. It took an average of 28 minutes and 36 seconds to upload our 1GB test file and just shy of five minutes on average to download the same file.
Icedrive provides zero-knowledge encryption for its paying users. Although everything on Icedrive is encrypted, only the data in your “encrypted” folder is protected end-to-end. It’s based in the UK, so it has to comply with both UK privacy laws and the GDPR. This means your data is safe with Icedrive, as long as you keep it encrypted.
Other Reasons We Like Icedrive
Icedrive lets you restore previous versions of files, no matter how old they are, even for the largest files. Versioning is a relatively new feature for Icedrive, and it remains unlimited for now, but that might change as the company grows. In the future, Icedrive will likely retain past file versions up to 180 days for paying users, according to its customer service.
Other features are pretty sparse, especially when it comes to sharing. In its current form, Icedrive isn’t quite the best for collaboration, though features such as permissions for sharing links and upload links are on the way. An in-house document editor is in the works, too, with a planned release in the coming months.
One of the most attractive things about Icedrive is its interface. It has a clean design and is easy to use. Icedrive has mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as a desktop application that you don’t even need to install.
You can also choose to install a network drive, similar to pCloud’s, which frees up space on your computer by letting you access cloud-based data without syncing it.
Icedrive has a bright future ahead, but it still has a little ways to go. It promises a lot, and if it manages to keep those promises, it might become a storage service to rival pCloud or Sync.com. For now, Icedrive gets third place in our roundup.
- Doesn’t limit file size
- Superb pricing
- Limited monthly use
- Lacks features
4. Google Drive
As the biggest name in cloud storage, Google Drive has over a billion users worldwide. It’s the most popular online storage option and one of the best for large files. On the off chance that you’re unfamiliar with Drive, we have a guide to how Google Drive works.
Drive’s free cloud storage plan is one of the most generous on the market, offering 15GB of space. You can upgrade that space by 100GB for $1.99 per month or 200GB for $2.99 a month.
The 2TB upgrade costs $9.99 monthly, but you can go even bigger. The 10TB, 20TB and 30TB upgrades cost $49.99, $99.99 and $149.99 per month, respectively, which is pretty expensive per terabyte.
Google Drive is the only service on this list that offers plans that big, which makes it a genuinely huge cloud storage platform. However, it limits file size to 5TB, and there’s a 750GB daily transfer cap, as well. That daily cap can be bothersome if you’re sharing your uploaded content.
Its speed isn’t the best, either, taking almost 31 minutes to upload our 1GB test file and six and a half minutes to download it.
Other Reasons We Like Google Drive
Google Drive has an extensive library of both third-party and in-house apps. It is tightly integrated with G Suite, which makes it the best option for productivity. It’s a great online storage for photos, too, because of its Google Photos integration. There’s no Microsoft Office 365 integration, but with the sheer abundance of apps at your disposal, you’ll hardly miss it.
However, Google is infamous for its data collecting, and Drive is no exception to it. Google has access to all of your files, and it can suspend your account at any time. Plus, there’s no zero-knowledge encryption on board, which is why Google earns the fourth spot in this comparison.
- Very high storage capacity
- Good prices
- 750GB daily bandwidth limit
- 5TB maximum file size
- Security & privacy are poor
Since it launched in 2007, Dropbox has become a household name. If you haven’t heard about it by now, you can read our article explaining what Dropbox is. It keeps innovating in the synchronization space with features such as block-level copying. However, file size is limited to 50GB, which might not be enough for some of your largest files.
Dropbox manages an average upload time of 30 minutes and 18 seconds, and an average download time of five and a half minutes with our 1GB test file. Dropbox’s data centers are in the United States, so speeds will be better there. Plus, block-level copying means that reuploads are much faster, uploading only the edited parts of a file.
Dropbox’s pricing is where it falters, though. It offers a paltry 2GB of free storage, which is much less than the other entries on this list. The 2TB Dropbox Plus plan costs $11.99 per month for 2TB of file storage space. Its highest-capacity plan is the 3TB Dropbox Professional plan, which costs a steep $19.99 monthly. That’s a high price for cloud storage.
Other Reasons We Like Dropbox
Dropbox offers a variety of features and a wide range of third-party integrations. Most importantly, it integrates with the most popular office app suites — Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite. Plus, you can use Dropbox’s app store to download even more third-party apps that work with its service.
Dropbox has had its fair share of privacy scandals and security breaches over the years. The most famous of these was the 2016 incident when a hacker leaked the emails and passwords of 68 million Dropbox users. The company has tightened its security since, but it still doesn’t offer zero-knowledge encryption. That’s why Dropbox sits only at number five on our roundup.
- Block-level sync
- Integrates with third-party apps
- No zero-knowledge encryption
- A history of privacy issues
OneDrive is a cheap option if you don’t need too much storage. It offers only 1TB of storage, but it recently increased its file size limit to 100GB on all plans. Its fast speed makes it a good option if all you need is a place to store a few big files. Plus, Office 365 integration can help sweeten the deal.
IDrive (not to be confused with iCloud) isn’t actually a cloud storage service; it’s an online backup platform that provides much of the same functionality that cloud storage providers have. However, it offers unlimited backup, block-level sync and a ridiculous 95-percent discount on its 5TB plan for the first year. You might want to take this cloud backup service for a spin.
Whether you need to store complicated CAD drawings, upload massive media files or keep gorgeous high-resolution textures, these online storage services have your back. Eschewing file size and transfer limits, Sync.com wins the top spot in this showdown, though the rest of the cast put up a good fight.
pCloud and Icedrive are both fine choices for any speed demons out there. If you don’t care about your privacy, you could throw caution to the wind and go with Google Drive or Dropbox. Let us know which service is your favorite in the comment section below, and read our guide if you need to email your large files securely. Thank you for reading.