Cloud storage price check

Cloud storage price check

Summary: Consumer cloud storage prices have been going down across the board. What are the best deals, purely in terms of price?

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TOPICS: Cloud, Storage
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Internet cloud storage is rapidly approaching commodity status, and commodities are basically sold based on price. So which of the consumer cloud storage services offers the best price?

All the services have pretty much the same client access, so a file stored here or there is as accessible on one service as another, right? Well, not entirely. Especially with prices plummeting, vendors are trying to use cloud storage as a hook for their other services: Google Drive comes with their Google Apps services; Microsoft's OneDrive with Outlook.com and a host of other services; even little Copy.com from Barracuda comes with access to their SignNow e-signature service.

Ed Bott argues that in an environment like this, the independent companies (most famously Box and Dropbox) can't survive. Such basic services are always (and should be) subsumed into the operating system, and now "operating system" means families of cloud services, such as those from Apple, Google and Microsoft. Microsoft is also including massive amounts of storage with their Office 365 services.

I looked at consumer cloud services about eight months ago and did a lot of price comparisons. Since then prices have gone down a lot, some vendors are out and most vendors have tended to simplify their plan offerings. For this story I decided to look at all the consumer services I could and compare them based purely on price, and specifically on price per gigabyte per month.

As I did eight months ago, I'm leaving out services (specifically Box, SugarSync and SpiderOak) that focus on business users, even if they may have a free plan.

I am also not considering Apple's iCloud Drive because it won't be available until the fall and I'm not clear on pricing (although their pricing for storage for their current iCloud services isn't especially competitive).

First, let's look at the free plans offered by the consumer service vendors:

Free Storage Plans
CapacityVendor
20GB Bitcasa
 
15GB Copy.com
15GB Google Drive
15GB (*) Microsoft OneDrive
 
10GB F-Secure Younited
10GB MediaFire
 
5GB Amazon Cloud Drive
 
2GB (*) Dropbox

* Dropbox and OneDrive have referral plans that give you an extra 500MB up to a certain limit, for each user who sets up the service.

Of course paid services are more complicated. Here they are sorted by price per GB per month, both monthly and annual plans. Note: I have not tested all of these services and make no representations as to performance or anything other than listed price:

$/GB/MonthVendorCapacity (GB)M/YPrice
$0.0020 MediaFire 1024 yearly $24.99
$0.0024 MediaFire 1024 monthly $2.49
$0.0081 Bitcasa 1024 yearly $99.00
$0.0081 Bitcasa 5120 yearly $499.00
$0.0096 Bitcasa 5120 monthly $49.00
$0.0098 Google Drive 1024 monthly $9.99
$0.0098 Google Drive 10240 monthly $99.99
$0.0098 Google Drive 20480 monthly $199.99
$0.0098 Google Drive 30720 monthly $299.99
$0.0098 Bitcasa 1024 monthly $10.00
$0.0199 Google Drive 100 monthly $1.99
$0.0233 F-Secure Younited 500 yearly $139.99
$0.0248 Copy.com 500 yearly $149.00
$0.0300 Copy.com 500 monthly $14.99
$0.0321 Microsoft OneDrive 65 yearly $25.00
$0.0330 Copy.com 250 yearly $99.00
$0.0354 F-Secure Younited 200 yearly $84.99
$0.0362 Microsoft OneDrive 115 yearly $50.00
$0.0388 Microsoft OneDrive 215 yearly $100.00
$0.0400 Copy.com 250 monthly $9.99
$0.0417 Amazon Cloud Drive 20 yearly $10.00
$0.0417 Amazon Cloud Drive 50 yearly $25.00
$0.0417 Amazon Cloud Drive 100 yearly $50.00
$0.0417 Amazon Cloud Drive 200 yearly $100.00
$0.0417 Amazon Cloud Drive 500 yearly $250.00
$0.0417 Amazon Cloud Drive 1000 yearly $500.00
$0.0825 Dropbox 100 yearly $99.00
$0.0829 Dropbox 200 yearly $199.00
$0.0832 Dropbox 500 yearly $499.00
$0.0999 Dropbox 100 monthly $9.99
$0.1000 Dropbox 200 monthly $19.99
$0.1000 Dropbox 500 monthly $49.99

Obviously MediaFire is the cheapest by a mile. If price is your primary consideration then look no further. Bitcasa is also very competitive. I should note that they have an "unlimited" storage plan for $99/month or $999/year. I didn't put it in the table because dividing by infinity is problematic.

As they were when I looked eight months ago, Google Drive is a good deal at just less than one cent per GB for plans of at least one TB. Their 100GB plan costs about two cents per GB, but that's still a good price. F-Secure Younited, which emphasizes privacy and security, is also competitive, but only if you value their privacy guarantees. Copy.com is in this same range of three cents per GB, give or take, and Microsoft OneDrive ranges between three and four cents per GB.

Next up, at a flat 4.17 cents per GB, is Amazon Cloud Drive. Certain other Amazon services use this storage so they may make it more attractive, but based on price alone it isn't.

Finally we have the gratuitously overpriced Dropbox. They have taken the step of including deleted file recovery, what they used to call Pack Rat and charged more for, but nearly all vendors have this now. If Dropbox survives, it won't be because of price competition.

Topics: Cloud, Storage

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17 comments
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  • Forgot to include Onedrive 1tb pricing

    When you subscribe to office 365 for 9.99 a month you get 1TB of onedrive space plus five installs of office.
    steskalj@...
    • I didn't forget

      It just doesn't work for the comparison. It's effectively a business plan and the $/GB would not be comparable.
      larry@...
      • Except the Office 365 Personal/Home

        are not business plan versions.

        Though you get Office in the deal, so you are paying for more than storage.
        grayknight
      • don't agree; Office 365 is cheapest storage by far

        Sorry but I simply don't agree Larry. You start you article with "What are the best deals, purely in terms of price?". The answer is Office 365 Home paid per year; $99,= for in total 5TB but let's say 1TB since that's what you get with a single login. Even though this might not be comparable according and usable in your table to you, you should have mentioned it; it's the only correct answer to your question.

        And this has been since a short while that you can get one TB for only $5,= ($2,50 sale now) per month with OneDrive Business; that is value for money!
        DutchMatt
        • Check up dupplica.com

          Dupplica is by far the cheapest with a price of $2 per month, unlimited file size, unlimited storage up to 10 computers
          Anita11
        • try this

          Media Fire which offers 1TB for $4.50 a month now has a special lowering this rediculous price to $2.49 a month for 1 TB..

          That's not all... pay for the year and get 10% off that which means 1TB for 1 year $25..

          BEAT THAT!!
          morganfj
    • You can even shave $20 off that price...

      if you just pay $99.99 for one year up front...
      thekman58
      • What is sad, is that Office 365 Home

        is cheaper than Dropbox, without looking at getting 5 installs of Office and without including 4 other users with 1TB each.
        grayknight
      • I can beat that

        Media Fire which offers 1TB for $4.50 a month now has a special lowering this rediculous price to $2.49 a month for 1 TB..

        That's not all... pay for the year and get 10% off that which means 1TB for 1 year $25..

        BEAT THAT!!
        morganfj
    • cheaper still

      Media Fire which offers 1TB for $4.50 a month now has a special lowering this rediculous price to $2.49 a month for 1 TB..

      That's not all... pay for the year and get 10% off that which means 1TB for 1 year $25..

      BEAT THAT!!
      morganfj
  • Copy gives much more referral bonus

    The article mentions that Dropbox and OneDrive give 500 mb per referral, up to a limit. But Copy gives 15 gb per referral with no limit. You can even start with bonus storage space with a referral link: https://copy.com?r=3EewkS
    komondor
    • sorry I meant 5 gb per referral

      still 10 x more than Dropbox
      komondor
  • Acronis Cloud Service missing

    In the list I was looking for tha above mentioned item, but it was not there...Maybe you guys can help me out...Thanks
    amj2010
    • It's just a backup service

      All the other services allow you to map the storage as a Windows/Mac volume. I don't believe Acronis can do that.
      larry@...
  • MediaFire Bonus Storage Activities

    It is easy to miss that MediaFire has bonus storage activities since you have to be logged in to see them. MediaFire offers up to 40GB of extra space to users through these activities. Each activity completed gives a certain amount of bonus storage (install the mobile app: 2GB, install desktop app: 2GB, etc). These activities are available to free as well as paying members.
    CRGJ
  • Cheapest of All $2.50 for 1TB

    Media Fire which offers 1TB for $4.50 a month now has a special lowering this rediculous price to $2.49 a month for 1 TB..

    That's not all... pay for the year and get 10% off that which means 1TB for 1 year $25..

    BEAT THAT!!
    morganfj
  • really

    Why complicate things?
    Did anyone see the dupplica.com package's ? it's great and it's $2 a month . They even have a free month trial ( no credit card's or long registration's). They don't spam, and the backup is super fast.
    chrismonte