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What’s The Best Way to Store 1TB in The Cloud in 2020?

Branko Vlajin
By Branko Vlajin (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2020-07-06T16:42:20+00:00

Data is everywhere, so it’s no wonder that we generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of it every day. Such a volume has to be stored somewhere, and that somewhere is the cloud. It’s the best way to store 1TB of data.

Relocating your terabyte of data to the cloud is a good idea because it will help you declutter your hard drive, boosting the performance of your computer. Plus, your files will be safe if your hard drive crashes or malfunctions. It’s not certain data recovery software will help you if that happens and your files aren’t in the cloud.

You’ll also be able to share them with your friends and family if you’re so inclined.

Several of our best cloud storage services have subscription plans that offer 1TB or more of storage space (see our cloud storage cost comparison). They work for individuals and businesses of all sizes.

Size is not the only factor to consider, though, because cloud providers need to be secure and make it easy for you to manage your space. To learn more about the features they need to keep your data safe, read our explanation of how cloud storage services protect your data and our list of the most secure cloud storage services.

If you came here looking for backup, read our list of the best cloud backup services. You can learn the difference between cloud storage and cloud backup here.

With that out of the way, we can move on to the services that are fit to store 1TB of data, beginning with

1. is at the top of our best cloud storage services list. It was founded in Toronto in 2011 and has a reputation for strong security and user privacy. Its security includes private encryption and Canadian privacy laws will help protect your privacy.

You can use Sync Starter, a free plan with 5GB of storage to test the service before paying for a premium plan. There are two of those for personal users: Personal Pro 500GB for $49 a year and Personal Pro 2TB for $96 a year. The latter is one of the best deals in cloud storage.

If you need more space, you can subscribe to the Business Solo 4TB plan for $180 a year. That comes down to $15 a month, which is still a great deal.

For multiple users, you can get the Business Pro plan, which costs between $60 and $180 depending on the amount of space and the number of users. You have to have at least two users to sign up for it, though. doesn’t limit file size, so you can upload a single 1TB file if you wish. A representative told us in an email that it doesn’t limit data transfer, either.

Its upload and download speeds are similar to the rest of the cloud storage market, but it doesn’t cap your bandwidth by default. Uploading a 1GB folder took about 15 minutes on average. Downloading one took about six minutes. The tests were conducted over a network in Mexico.

If the sync process uses too much of your system resources, there’s an option to throttle it using the taskbar icon of the desktop client. You can also limit monthly traffic if you’re on a limited plan. Block-level sync, which speeds up the transfer of files that have already been uploaded, is not available, though. Read more about the service in our review.

2. pCloud

pCloud is a U.S.-based company that ranks near the top of our best cloud storage list. It falls under U.S. laws, but you can mitigate that by buying pCloud Crypto, an add-on that enables private encryption.

pCloud Web Interface Files
pCloud Sync Folder
pCloud Share File Link
pCloud Download Links
pCloud Drive Client

Once you’re confident that your data is secure and private, you can start by giving pCloud a try using its free 10GB plan. That’s not enough to test the service for 1TB, but it is enough to see what it’s like.

There are paid plans for personal and business users. Personal users can choose between Premium and Premium Plus. The former can only store 500GB, but the latter gives you 2TB for $9.99 per month. There is a discount if you pay for the year in advance, too, or you can save even more green by buying a lifetime license.

pCloud lets you upload files of “unlimited” size, but it has a transfer limit of 500GB per month for Premium users and 2TB per month for Premium Plus users. Still, those aren’t small caps and they probably won’t hinder your work. Read more about the pricing plans in our pCloud review.

The service has fast speeds, too. Tests conducted outside of Boston showed it takes about seven minutes to upload and about one minute to download a 1GB folder.

3. Google Drive

With 800 million users, Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud services. It has a global network of data centers, which makes it a good fit for transferring a lot of data. That said, it doesn’t have the best security and privacy, and it was connected to the PRISM project in 2013. It’s compatible with Boxcryptor, though, so you can use that to enhance your privacy.

Google Drive Web Interface
Google Drive Sync Folder
Google Drive Google Docs
Google Drive Create Link
Google Drive Network Settings

The service recently updated its subscription plans, giving them much better value.

Paid plans start at 100GB and end at 30TB. They’re not all good value, but the 2TB plan is because it only costs $9.99 per month. If you pay for the year in advance, you get a discount, too. There’s also a free plan that gives you a generous 15GB of storage space which you can use to get an overview of the service.

File size limits are set at 5TB for non-document file types. You won’t be able to upload that much in a day, though, because there’s a 750GB transfer limit. Even so, you shouldn’t have a problem uploading your files.

Thanks to its global network it took around 10 minutes to upload a 1GB folder and about five minutes to download it. Google Drive has speed throttling, which you can use to slow file transfers if the sync is hogging system resources. There’s no block-level transfer, though. For more on speeds and other features, read our Google Drive review.

4. Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the oldest cloud storage services and it invented the common model of sync and block-level sync. It has more than 500 million users.

Dropbox Online Files Slide1
Dropbox Sync Folder Slider
Dropbox File Request Slide4
Dropbox Selective Sync Slide5

As with Google Drive, there’s no zero-knowledge encryption, but it uses AES 256-bit at-rest and in-transit. Dropbox isn’t privacy-friendly, though, because it decrypts your files for indexing once they get to its servers, then re-encrypts them. Again, to avoid that, consider using Boxcryptor. That said, two-factor authentication is available.

Dropbox has multiple plans that you could use to store 1TB of data. Its Plus plan provides 1TB of storage for $10 a month. If you pay for the year, the price drops to $99. That’s a decent value, but not as good as you get with services such as and pCloud.

In fact, you need to pay $20 — twice the price of pCloud’s comparable plan — to subscribe to Professional and get 2TB of space. For the details, read our Dropbox review.

If you’re using the web client to upload, your data transfer will be capped at 20GB, but there are no bandwidth restrictions with the desktop client. Paid plans have a daily sharing limit of 200GB, though.

Dropbox’s data centers are in the U.S. so your speeds will be fastest there. The tests results were great considering we ran them from southeast Asia, with the upload averaging 16 minutes for a 1GB folder and the download around six for the same. You can throttle speeds, but you shouldn’t need to because sync uses little system resources.

5. OneDrive

OneDrive is Microsoft’s entry in the cloud storage market and it has a global network of servers. It used to lack at-rest encryption, but now its premium plans have it.

OneDrive Web Interface Files
OneDrive Sync Folder Slider
OneDrive App Launcher
OneDrive Create Link File Sharing
OneDrive Word Online

The cloud storage service has several plans to choose from, but only a couple are a good fit to store 1TB of data: Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home. The first gets you 1TB of storage space for $6.99 a month or $69.99 if you pay for the year. The second provides six users with 1TB each for $9.99 a month or $99.99 per year. OneDrive has a 20GB file size cap.

Thanks to its global network of servers, OneDrive’s speeds are fast and stable. It took about six minutes to upload a 1GB folder and one minute to download it. We’ve only uploaded files with sync, though, because we encountered errors with manual uploading. Unfortunately, block-level copying is only available for Office files.

If you find that OneDrive’s sync speed affect your system resources too much, you can manually adjust them. By default, they are unlimited. You can also set upload speeds to automatically slow down when there’s an issue or set speed caps for uploads and downloads. Read more about OneDrive’s features in our OneDrive review.


MEGA was founded by the notorious Kim Dotcom in 2013. He doesn’t work there anymore, but the company remains. It’s among the best zero-knowledge services, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the privacy of your files. MEGA offers a lot for cloud security, including protocols and encryptions to protect your files in-transit and at-rest.


The free plan used to be a huge hook for new users because it offered 50GB of storage. That changed in 2017 and now the service takes 35GB away after one month. Despite that underhanded move, MEGA is still one of the best free storage services.

It advertises the Pro I plan as its most popular, and it’s not hard to see why. It offers 1TB of storage for $11.38. The service doesn’t give you a discount but gives you two months free if you purchase a one-year Pro plan.

It took around 36 minutes on average to upload a 1GB zipped folder, which is 10 minutes slower than we would expect. On three attempts, MEGA uploaded our files in around 25 minutes, but it took more than an hour on another.

That’s a good result considering we were using a WiFi connection in Belgrade, Serbia, with an upload speed of only 6 megabits per second and a download speed of 102 Mbps. Users have reported they achieved faster speeds when they turned off the “use http” setting in the bandwidth tab of the desktop app. You can see the full speed table in our MEGA review.

Final Thoughts

Storing 1TB of data doesn’t have to be slow and expensive thanks to capable cloud storage services. The services we talked about are among our best cloud storage services, so you should refer to their individual reviews to help you make up your mind. If you don’t like to read much, give a try. You won’t go wrong with the number one ranked service.

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The rest of the services are good, too. pCloud is the top choice among them, but the others on the list are viable. If you place a high value on your privacy, consider using MEGA because it goes to great lengths to protect it.

What do you think about the services we listed? Is there another that you use when you need to store a lot? Tell us about it in the comments below. Thank you for reading.