It seems to me that cloud storage has become something similar. New cloud services pop up every week, each with a few gigabytes of free storage. The more you use the more you pay. And that’s what they want. Here are the cloud services I have on my Mac today.
When Free Isn’t Free
The first and easiest cloud storage service on my Mac is Apple’s own iCloud. Our favorite Mac maker gives iCloud users 5 gigabytes of storage for free.
With email accounts, photos, Keychain, bookmarks, and a number of documents, I’m up to four gigs already.
Enter Dropbox with another few gigabytes of free storage. Use more than that and you become a Pro user and pay by the month.
Not to be outdone in the losing-money-in-the-cloud business, both Google and Microsoft have their own cloud plans. Google Drive lets you store up to 15 gigs of storage and provides a convenient Mac app (iPhone and iPad, too) to store files.
Me-too-ism is strong at Microsoft, so their OneDrive cloud storage gives you seven gigabytes of free online storage.
Raising The Bar
Competition among cloud storage services is growing. Box has a Starter cloud storage service for $5 per month, but also gives you 10 gigs of free storage with the Personal account. Amazon’s CloudDrive also has five gigabytes of free storage for photos, movies, or whatever, and has iPhone and Android apps.
Not to be outdone by the big boys and their expensive toys, little Mega has 50 gigabytes of cloud storage for free and they encrypt the files for added security. Likewise, MediaFire has up to 50 gigs of free online storage and apps to keep on your mobile devices, but 100 gigs is on sale at $2.49 a month.
Most of these online storage services have apps for OS X and iOS, as well as Windows and Android devices. What’s beneficial about the more popular cloud services is that many apps on Macs, PCs, iPhone and Android smartphones integrate to store your data online.
Which One Is Best?
For my use, iCloud and Dropbox are tops because they’re integrated into so many different Mac, iPhone, and iPad applications.
That favoritism may not last long, as many apps now offer all the top tier cloud storage players as options to store data.
What I would really like to have is a single app which lets me aggregate all those free cloud storage services into one collective with a few hundred gigabytes. For free.