Cloud storage allows users to access large amounts of storage without having to build a server room in their closets. For many personal and professional use cases, this can be an extremely affordable option. Understanding the difference in pricing for the major cloud storage options can help you make the right decision for your needs.
The software reviewed on this list are:
What Are The Best Cloud Storage Solutions?
While there are dozens of cloud storage options, this list covers pricing information of the top 3. Google Drive, Box, and DropBox are the Top-Rated award winners for this software category. These ratings are based purely on reviews: no vendor can pay for this award. Each of these software has a catalog of experiences detailed by users like yourself.
Google Drive – Powerful Cloud Storage for All Needs
Google Drive as a purely cloud storage software is a separate thing from the host of tools Google offers. This can be rather confusing to many users. One of the major benefits of Google products is the seamless integration with other products from Google and other vendors. A slight downside of this is the border between each of them can become somewhat blurred.
With that said, this pricing information covers Google Drive, the product that is the Top-Rated award winner. Google also offers Google Cloud, a far more complex service with a plethora of add-ons. These can range from natural language processing and security to computational engines and GKE autopilot.
Google Drive Pricing
The first Google Drive plan is its free tier. For many users, including many professional use cases, this will be enough. The free tier offers 15 GB of storage with no cost to the user. This can be used anywhere in Drive, in Gmail, or in Google photos.
Those who have a small to moderate amount of photos and personal documents will find this to be for the vast majority of their online storage. To put this into perspective, 1 GB can hold around 678 thousand pages of text. This is also equivalent to around 15,500 image pages. You will get 15 GB. Video can eat up this data faster, as can higher resolution images. For most personal and professional document management, this will be plenty.
The next tier of Google Drive, now incorporated into Google One, is the 100 GB plan. This plan also includes access to Google experts and the ability to add family members to the plan. The cost is $1.99/month.
The next available plan doubles the storage to 200 GB and adds 3% cashback in the Google Store. This plan would cost you $2.99/month. From here, there is a 1 TB, 2TB, 10 TB, and 20 TB plan. These cost $9.99, $19.99, $99.99, and $199.99 per month respectively.
This pricing information presents a rather clear picture: Google Drive offers extremely affordable lower-tier storage options. For less than three dollars a month, your family or small business could have access to 200 GB of storage. If you do not use a wealth of rich media content, this will likely be more than enough.
Companies that are using higher data amounts for different types of content may want to look at Google Cloud. Once you are at the higher data limits, you are almost certainly using this for more than document and photo storage.
At that point, the wealth of other services that Google has to offer may be useful to your organization. You can find a pricing calculator for Google Cloud here. This will allow you to select the various features you will want and get the most accurate pricing information.
Box – Affordable, Large File Storage
One important thing to remember with Box is the fantastic integrations it offers. With over 1,500 integrations, this is one of the most compatible storage solutions on the market.
Business Storage Plans
Box is a fantastic cloud storage system that allows for large file storage at a reasonable rate. The 4 major price points for organizations cover most of the needs one could come across.
The first tier of Box is the Starter Plan. This plan allows for collaboration with up to 10 users. These individuals will share 100 GB of storage space. Users have access to mobile and desktop access, as well as two-factor authentication. Standard integrations like Office 365 and Google Workspace are included as well.
There are some limitations to this plan. External collaborators must be paid users. There is a minimum of 3 users for this plan. Custom branding and more advanced security are locked behind higher-cost options. The plan costs $5/user/month when billed annually, rising to $7 if monthly. The single file size limit is 2 GB.
The Business tier is where Box really starts to shine. This plan offers unlimited storage. This can be shared with as many users as you would like. You get access to everything in the lower plan. Custom branding and an admin console are included as well. The single file size limit is now 5 GB.
Integrations take a step up here, allowing for one additional enterprise app. Mobile security controls, an advanced user directory, and SSO system are other benefits. These are tailored to professional business use and work well with any company size. This plan will cost $15/user/month, rising to $20 if billed annually.
The Business Plus plan is the most popular Box tier. This plan has everything from the lower tiers and allows for unlimited external collaborators. External integrations increase to 3 as well. The single file size limit is raised to 15 GB.
Beyond this, the plan adds further management and security tools. This includes more advanced admin controls and full content management. Administrative delegation and user activity tracking allow larger organizations to have more control. Managers and team leaders can segregate the storage system by who needs access to what. This is particularly important to those who work with sensitive information.
This plan will cost $25/user/month, once again increasing to $33 if paid monthly. Like all these plans, there is a minimum of 3 users.
The final tier of this plan is for organizations with advanced data protection and compliance needs. This tier adds HIPAA and FedRAMP compliance certification. It also adds document watermarking and password policy enforcement. Clearly, this tier is suited to those who need these features, and would not be needed by those without compliance requirements.
This plan will cost $35/user/month, raised to $47 if paid monthly.
Box also has a pair of plans for those who are only looking for storage. These two plans allow single users to experience the freedom cloud storage offers.
The free plan is Box’s no-cost option for cloud storage. It offers up to 10 GB of storage, with 250 MB single file limits. Multiple file versions are not supported. Mobile support and 2-factor authentication are included.
Basic integrations are strong here, and the mobile app is well-optimized. You can create shared folders and links to spread your information when needed. The training programs are strong and a great way for beginners to learn about cloud software.
For those with larger storage needs, this plan offers up to 100 GB of storage. The single file size limit is 5 GB. Up to 10 file versions are supported as well. Beyond this, the features are very similar to the free version.
This plan will cost $10/month for one user. This raises to $14 if you do not want to sign a yearly agreement.
DropBox – Fantastic Integrations for Teams
DropBox also offers plans for personal and professional uses. Both are fantastic and work slightly differently than what Box offers. It shines best in its paid individual tiers and its higher-level business plans. One noteworthy feature is the HelloSign eSignature integration. All paid plans allow you to send up to 3 documents for signature per month.
Like the others on this list, DropBox offers a free plan. While it does exist, in many ways it is lacking compared to the others. Offering 2 GB of space for one user, the fantastic integrations and DropBox features are rather limited. For most individuals looking for a no-cost option, Google Drive or Box will be a better choice.
This individual plan offers 2 TB (2000 GB) of storage for just $10/month for one user. This is one of the most cost-effective individual storage options. Additional features include strong encryption and computer backup.
2-Factor authentication and the DropBox password vault are strong security benefits that come with both paid individual plans.
This plan is exactly what the name suggests, a cloud storage plan aimed at tech-savvy families. Up to 6 users can share 2 TB of storage. This plan costs $16.99 for the whole family. Beyond this, the features are similar to the Plus plan.
Business Storage Plans
The DropBox business plans start to come into their own best at the higher tiers, where they offer a cheaper alternative to Box for high storage needs.
The first business tier offers 3 TB of storage for only one user. This is an obvious limitation for those working with a team. This plan will cost $16.58/month with the yearly discount, $19.99/month without.
For this, users will have access to all the features included in the individual plans and more. Document watermarking is included here, at a much lower price point than Box plans. Users can send up to 100GB in a single transfer, making this a strong way to share data.
Support goes beyond the standard in this plan, allowing for priority email and live chat support. The file access systems for DropBox are fantastic. Smart sync is one of the best cloud access tools available and will leave little to no downtime when accessing content from any device.
This is the first plan suitable for professional teams. 5 TB of data is stored between a minimum of 3 users. All of the same features are included from the previous versions, now with team management features that would be redundant for individual plans. This plan also supports phone support during normal business hours.
These administrative features include a console and multi-team admin login system. Company-managed groups allow for more controlled access. This plan also adds HIPAA compliance.
This plan will cost $12.50/user/month with the yearly discount, $15/month when paid monthly.
The advanced plan is the first to offer unlimited storage. A minimum of 3 users will pay $20/user/month, $25 if paid monthly.
In addition to everything from the lower tiers, SSO integrations and invite enforcement add layers of security. This is bolstered with a tiered admin system and audit logs. Viewer history allows you to see who has been viewing certain files. Onboarding and offboarding are a little easier with the device approvals system. This enables managers to choose what happens to disconnected accounts and devices.
More Cloud Storage Options
For those looking to learn more about their cloud storage options, check out our category page. Here you will find products and reviews, sortable by company size and trScore.
Users who are feeling a little overwhelmed can check out the video below for a crash course on the fundamentals of cloud storage and how it works.