Amazon removes cloud storage barriers, rolls out unlimited Cloud Drive plans

Amazon announced two tiers of unlimited storage for Cloud Drive, marking the first time such an option is available to users outside of select criteria.

Amazon is boosting its efforts to make Cloud Drive stand out in the midst of a crowded online storage market.

The company announced Thursday the availability of two tiers of unlimited storage for Cloud Drive, marking the first time such an option is available to users outside of select criteria.

First there's the Unlimited Photos Plan, which charges $11.99 per year, or roughly a dollar a month, for the ability to store a limitless number of photos in Amazon's cloud. This plan also includes 5GB for video and other files.

The more extensive option is the Unlimited Everything plan, which charges $59.99 per year for storage of any kind of media, be it photos, videos, music, etc.

Both unlimited storage options are significant in how they reflect Amazon's strategy to make headway in the consumer-focused cloud storage market.

Amazon's Cloud Drive push started last year, when the company rolled out Prime Photos as an unlimited storage option for Prime customers. Amazon followed up shortly after with the Cloud Drive API, which went after developers in a bid to make Cloud Drive more tightly integrated with consumer applications.

But with these latest storage offerings, Amazon is flexing some major AWS muscle to show the extent it can scale when it comes to its cloud capabilities.

And unlike cloud storage options from Dropbox, Google and Microsoft, which require certain subscriptions or business status for access to unlimited cloud storage, Amazon is opening the door for anyone wanting, and willing to pay for, secure cloud storage. That can equate to an enormous number of consumers who have realized a need to manage and store their increasing amount of digital data.

"Most people have a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays, and everyday moments stored across numerous devices. And, they don't know how many gigabytes of storage they need to back all of them up," said Josh Petersen, director of Amazon Cloud Drive, in a statement. "With the two new plans we are introducing today, customers don't need to worry about storage space -- they now have an affordable, secure solution to store unlimited amounts of photos, videos, movies, music, and files in one convenient place."

Right now, Amazon is offering the services on a free 90-day trail period. For Prime members and Fire device owners, the included unlimited photo plan will remain unchanged, however the fee for the Unlimited Everything plan still applies.

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