A Comparison Guide Of The Various Cloud Storage Services

When it comes to online storage services, you are pampered with choices. Although Google is a titan in the Internet, that doesn’t mean its newly launched Google Drive will replace all other players and become the de-facto for cloud storage. Conversely, there are many other players that are able to provide you with more value for your money. Here is a comparison table of the various popular online storage providers and how they stack against each other.

Free Storage SpacePricing per month (US$)Desktop clientMobile SupportFile SharingUnique Selling Point
storage-dropbox-logoDropbox2GB, free referrals upgrade up to 18GB$9.99 for 50GB
$19.99 for 100GB
Windows
Mac
Linux
Android
iOS
Blackberry
YesSupport almost every platforms, sync seamlessly
storage-skydrive-logoSkydrive7GB. Existing users can have free upgrade to 25GB for a limited time$13/year for $20GB
$32/year for 65GB
$65/year for 100GB
Windows
Mac
WP 7
iOS
YesA generous amount of storage space to start with and great integration with Windows OS and devices
storage-gdrive-logoGoogle Drive5GB$2.49 for 25GB
$4.99 for 100GB
$7.99 for 16TB
Windows
Mac
Linux (coming soon)
Android
iOS (coming soon)
YesGreat integration between Google Docs, Gmail, and Picasa. Cheap and affordable storage space upgrade
storage-ubuntuone-logoUbuntu One5GB$2.99 for every 20GBLinux
Windows
Android
iOS
YesThe native sync client for Ubuntu and supports music and contact sync
storage-icloud-logoiCloud5GB$20/year for 10GB
$40/year for 20GB
$100/year for 50GB
Requires iTunes, for Windows and Mac onlyiOSNoIntegrate seamlessly with iOS device and Mac.
storage-amazon-logoAmazon Cloud Drive5GB$20/year for 20GB
$50/year for 50GB
$100/year for 100GB
$200/year for 200GB
$500/year for 500GB
$1000/year for 1TB
Windows
Mac (only a upload/download client, not a sync client)
No sync client for mobile (yet). Mp3 saved in the Cloud drive can be played with the Amazon MP3 Android appNoMusic purchased from Amazon will be saved to the cloud drive for free, without affecting the storage status
storage-spideroak-logoSpiderOak2GB$10/month per 100GB incrementWindows
Mac
Linux
Android
iOS
YesEncrypted online backup
storage-sugarsync-logoSugarSync5GB$4.99 for 30GB
$9.99 for 60GB
$14.99 for 100GB
Windows
Mac
Android
iOS
Blackberry
Symbian
YesAble to sync any folders on your computer
storage-box-logoBox5GB. Android users and Apps email holder can upgrade to 50GB$9.99 for 25GB
$19.99 for 50GB
Windows & Mac version only for business and enterprise userAndroid
iOS
Blackberry
YesGood focus on business side
storage-wuala-logoWuala5GB$39/year for 20GB
$79/year for 50GB
$129/year for 100GB
Windows
Mac
Linux
Android
iOS
YesWuala encrypts the data on your computer before it is uploaded. During the upload, your data is split up into many different pieces and stored in multiple places to make certain that you never lose a single file.
storage-idrivesync-logoiDriveSync5GB$4.95 for unlimited sync storageWindows
Mac
Android
iOS
YesData are encrypted at the data center

If you are looking for a cross-platform compatible storage service, Dropbox is the one to go. It is the easiest to use and supports the most number of OS and platforms.

If you need plenty of storage space and are looking for a cheap and affordable storage provider, you can consider either SkyDrive or Google Drive. For up to 65GB, SkyDrive has the lowest price per GB. When the storage space go up to and above 100GB, Google Drive is the cheapest. However, on the mobile side, you don’t expect Microsoft to come up with an Android app for SkyDrive and Google might not be so keen to create a WP7 app for its GDrive too. If you need to have mobile access, this is something you need to consider as well.

iCloud is the obvious choice for iOS users since it is deeply integrated into the OS. It may not be the cheapest choice though, but with all Apple stuff, it just works.

Amazon Cloud Drive is really useful if you are a regular Amazon customer, particularly if you buy MP3 and eBooks often. I have a feeling that Google will merge its Drive and Music services together in the future, but as of now, Amazon has really done a good job linking your digital download and the cloud storage together.

Being a Ubuntu user, I really like the way that Ubuntu One is integrated into the system. The syncing and restoration is seamless that I can reformat my PC and still have my settings and configuration intact the next time I boot up my PC.

Wuala and SpiderOak are good if you are paranoid about the confidentiality of your files in the cloud. Both services are cross-platform compatible and encrypt your data by default. Wuala offers more storage space for free (5GB) but if you need more than 100GB of space, SpiderOak is slightly more affordable.

Which storage provider is your favorite?

Image credit: By wwarby