Microsoft OneDrive vs. Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Amazon Cloud Drive vs. Box vs. Mega vs. iCloud Drive [Comparison]

OneDrive vs. Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Amazon Cloud Drive vs. Box vs. Mega

If you’re an active internet user, it’s more likely that you’re using a cloud storage service (or an online backup service). If you’re not using it already, then sooner or later you’re going to need it. A cloud storage service can be useful to you in several ways. For instance, it can save the disk space on your PC if you store your photos and videos online. Also, it can be used as a backup service so that your files are all safe in the cloud even if your computer hard drive crashes. And yeah, today cloud storage service has become increasingly popular because of their cross-platform support. It means that you can upload your documents from your PC to the cloud and can instantly access it via your mobile.

Comparison: Microsoft OneDrive vs. Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Amazon Cloud Drive vs. Box vs. Mega vs. iCloud Drive

I have already compared the best cloud storage services back in 2012 but things changed a lot ever since. So I’m going to compare the top cloud storage services once again to reflect the updates (for instance, Microsoft SkyDrive was rebranded as OneDrive) and new services (like Box.net, Mega, and iCloud Drive).

1. Microsoft OneDrive (formerly Microsoft SkyDrive)

Microsoft OneDriveI really love OneDrive apps (yes, it’s my preferred cloud storage service) and its interface. But what I really don’t like about OneDrive is their URL structure. It’s simply not user friendly and not uniform at all. Also, sharing files with friends is not as simple as in Dropbox or Google Drive. OneDrive supports remote access to your PC. You can access all the files on your PC from another computer using OneDrive website.

In other words, if you have installed OneDrive desktop on your PC then you can use fetch files feature to access all your files on that PC from another computer even if it’s not there in your OneDrive folder. Also, you can access the network locations as well if they’re included in your PC’s libraries or if they’re mapped as drives. Since OneDrive is integrated to Microsoft Office Online (and now with Windows 8 as well), you can view your documents (Word, Excel, PDF, etc.) online without downloading them to your PC.

Free Storage: 15 GB (+ 3 GB extra storage when you activate camera roll backup)

Available Platforms

  • On Mobile: iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), Android, Windows Phone, Mobile Web
  • On Desktop: Web, Windows (Vista, 7, 8, or 8.1), Mac OS X

Pricing For Additional Storage: $25/year for 50 GB, $50/year for 100 GB, $100/year for 200 GB $1.99/month for 100 GB, $3.99/month for 200 GB (if you own an Office 365 subscription then you get additional 20 GB 1 TB OneDrive storage for free — like this).

File Size Limit: 10 GB (on all devices including OneDrive website)

You can refer your friends to OneDrive and you will get additional 500 MB/referral (refer up to 10 friends for a maximum of 5 GB additional free storage).

» Visit Microsoft OneDrive

2. Dropbox

DropboxDropbox is perhaps web’s favorite cloud storage service with over 200 million users. I’m not actually a fan of Dropbox but it’s really a cool service as it’s intuitive and very powerful. Dropbox offers a clean interface and unlike OneDrive it’s super easy to share files and you can view all your shared files in one-click. Dropbox is secure too as it supports two-step verification and you can even lock your Dropbox mobile app using a passcode.

Free Storage: 2 GB (+ up to 1.5 GB extra storage as bonus)

Available Platforms

  • On Mobile: iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), Android, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire, Mobile Web
  • On Desktop: Web, Windows, Mac, Linux

Pricing For Additional Storage: $9.99/mo. or $99/year for 100 GB; $19.99/mo. or $199/year for 200 GB; $49.99/mo. or $499/year for 500 GB

File Size Limit: No File Size Limit (via Dropbox desktop or mobile apps); 10 GB (via Dropbox website)

You can easily get bonus storage by connecting your Facebook account (+125 MB), Twitter account (+125 MB), following Dropbox on Twitter (+125 GB), giving feedback about Dropbox (+ 125 MB), and also by connecting your Mailbox for iOS app to Dropbox (+ 1 GB). Or you can refer your friends to Dropbox and get up to 16 GB as bonus space. Dropbox offers 500 MB/referral  so you can refer up to 32 friends for a maximum of 16 GB additional storage space).

» Visit Dropbox

3. Google Drive

Google DriveIf I like Google Drive then it’s probably because of the following reasons: First, it’s deeply integrated to Gmail so you can save all your Google Mail attachments directly to your Google Drive account (Tip: Use the “Save to Drive” option in Gmail). Second, it’s integrated to Google Docs so you can create a doc and share with your friends instantly (and can even collaborate with each other in real-time). Third, it’s very easy to share files and set its permissions.

Free Storage: 15 GB

Available Platforms

  • On Mobile: iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), Android, Mobile Web
  • On Desktop: Web, Windows, Mac, Chrome OS

Pricing For Additional Storage: $1.99/mo. for 100 GB, $9.99/mo. for 1 TB, $99.99/mo. for 10 TB, $199.99/mo. for 20 TB, $299.99/mo. for 30 TB

File Size Limit: Up to 1 TB (depends upon the file type)

Unlike other services the storage space offered by Google Drive is shared between Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. So if your Gmail is using over 10 GB space then you’ve got less than 5 GB free storage in Google Drive. If the storage is not enough then the only option is to buy one of their paid plan since there is no referral program.

» Visit Google Drive

The Next 3 Lesser Known Cloud Storage Services

Since I don’t personally use any of the following cloud services I’m highlighting only their basic features. You can select one based on your personal preference.

4. Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive

Free Storage: 5 GB

Available Platforms

  • On Mobile: iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), Android, Kindle
  • On Desktop: Web, Windows, Mac

Pricing For Additional Storage: $10/year for 20 GB, $25/year for 50 GB, $50/year for 100 GB, $100/year for 200 GB, $250/year for 500 GB, $500/year for 1 TB

File Size Limit: 2 GB

» Visit Amazon Cloud Drive

5. Box

Box

Free Storage: 10 GB

Available Platforms

  • On Mobile: iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch), Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Mobile Web
  • On Desktop: Web, Windows, Mac

Pricing For Additional Storage: $10/mo. for 100 GB

File Size Limit: 250 MB (5 GB for $10/mo. plan)

» Visit Box

6. Mega

Mega

Free Storage: 50 GB

Available Platforms

  • On Mobile: iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, compatible with iPad), Android, BlackBerry
  • On Desktop: Web, Windows

Pricing For Additional Storage: $9.99/mo. or $99.99/year for 500 GB, $19.99/mo. or $199.99/year for 2 TB, $29.99/mo. or $299.99/year for 4 TB

File Size Limit: No File Size Limit

» Visit Mega

7. iCloud Drive

iCloud Drive

As you probably know, iCloud Drive is the latest addition to cloud storage service providers (but it’s not exactly a Dropbox alternative). Like any other cloud storage services, iCloud Drive allows you to store your files in the cloud so that they’re available on all your — iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Windows PC (but no app for Android yet).

You’re going to love iCloud Drive only if you’re an iOS user. In fact on iOS you don’t have an app for iCloud Drive as it’s integrated with the operating system. Earlier, it was not possible to save files directly in the iCloud but now iOS apps can save files in the cloud so that it can be accessed from iOS or Mac (of course if the app supports it).

Free Storage: 5 GB

Available Platforms

  • On Mobile: iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad)
  • On Desktop: Mac, Windows, Web

Pricing For Additional Storage: $0.99/mo. for 20 GB; $3.99/mo. for 200 GB; $9.99/mo. for 500 GB; $19.99/mo. for 1 TB

File Size Limit: 15 GB

» Visit iCloud Drive

So tell me, which is your favorite cloud storage service and why? :)

First Published: March 2014; Last Updated: November, 2014

  • Le Me

    Mega, mostly for its security, ease of use, its cheap(enough) prices and the amount of free storage you get. And it’s made by Kim Dotcom

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Yes,

      but the problem is… many not-so-popular cloud storage services has shut down in the past…. So I actually prefer cloud storage services by Apple, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, or one by Yahoo. Let’s see how Mega is going to compete…

      • Alfonso

        The problem is that if you don’t get an account and just wait for the service to be popular well… it won’t be. If everybody thinks like you it’s going to shutdown for sure.

        • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

          Umm… that’s right too.. ;)

  • William

    There is actually a considerable speed difference. MEGA is by far the fastest of all providers within Australia.

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Wow! Great.. Maybe they’re targeting specific users and is not for everyone.

  • http://process.st/ Vinay Patankar

    Great breakdown, I recently wrote a post about how I moved to Google Drive from Dropbox

    http://www.process.st/2014/07/why-i-moved-from-dropbox-to-google-drive/

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Maybe you can try OneDrive + Office 365 later. Office 365 users will soon get 1 TB of free OneDrive storage.

      • http://process.st/ Vinay Patankar

        Yea microsoft is a good option if you use office/outlook. But since I use gmail/google docs I prefer drive as it a syncs together.

        • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

          Yes, that’s right too… Gmail/Google Docs is the primary reason why I also rely on Google Drive for few things. Btw OneDrive just got bigger… yesterday they upgraded everyone’s storage so now we get 1 TB of free storage with Office 365.

  • Alan

    Both Google and Dropbox are blocked in China so if you plan to share with anyone behind the great firewall of china you can forget both of these services unless you plan to pay for a VPN to use them

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Oops! And what about OneDrive?

  • veeru789

    I want to choose between one drive and Box. can anyone suggest which is more secured and why ? thank you in advance

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Though I included Box and Mega here I’m personally using only OneDrive and Dropbox (sometimes Google Drive too as I like Google Docs). Can’t comment about security as I think almost all of these cloud storage services were compromised before. So nothing is that secure but still go for one that supports 2-step authentication (like OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.).

  • http://helikopta.com Bill Addison

    I’ve tried Dropbox, Box and Google Drive thoroughly by syncing over 150,000 dev files to each and definitively Google Drive is the worst of the bunch. It is quite undependable for hardcore batch syncing, many files did not sync.

    Box is ok, although the sync times, from Brazil at least, and the processing times for many files were very slow compared to Dropbox and Drive. However, Box’s sync was dependable, although I noticed some peculiarities when adding files via the web interface, over 2 days the files never synced to my machine. Might have been because I was uploading a tone of files from my machine, although I found that strange.

    Dropbox in my experience is the most dependable and has the best performance. Although, if you ever sync over 300,000 files sync basically craps out completely. I was very disappointed by this actually. I think Dropbox should warn you as you approach 300k+ files so you don’t have to go through what I did by removing a tonne of stuff, or tar’ing files into one compressed file to save on file count.

    Having said that, of these three, Dropbox is easily the best performing, and for me I personally find their interface the simplest and easiest to use. Just don’t sync over 300k in files or you’re screwed.

    • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

      Hi Bill,

      This a great feedback! I also don’t like Google Drive except that I like Google Docs. So I find it useful for collaborative purposes.

      I never tried Box (except for review purposes) so I’m not sure about its problems.

      And I agree that Dropbox is cooler compared to the others because “it works”. My primary cloud storage is OneDrive and I also use Dropbox to archive files that I don’t need frequently.

  • Gerry Hangko

    Not sure when it changed but ..for private use, Dropbox takes For Additional Storage: $9.99/mo for 1TB so information above is already old(outdated), totally wrong!

  • http://www.minterest.com Mahesh Mohan

    Hi,

    You’re absolutely right. As you can see I updated this article in the first week of August and Dropbox launched the Pro plan in the last week of August with 1 TB space at $9.99/month. So I’ll update this post once again to reflect that change.

    Thanks for notifying me. :)