Backups are your friend. Online reliability has improved immensely in the past few years. I have yet to lose a file backed up to Amazon or Dropbox and only recently added iCloud as a primary storage option. What do I like best? Dropbox. Why?
Speed And Reliability
Apple’s iCloud– via Files app on iOS and iCloud Drive on the Mac– has only improved the past few years. That’s good. I use it. I like it. Dropbox is better where it counts. Speed and reliability. And the latest iOS update allows file navigation on iPad– File app-like.
The reason I do not use GoogleDrive or Microsoft OneDrive or Box very often is because they do not integrate into as many applications as iCloud or Dropbox. iCloudDrive and the iOS Files app can be navigated with ease and almost make using an iPad as easy as using a Mac. Almost. Files is no Finder.
Dropbox has some advantages. It is integrated within nearly as many of the applications I use as iCloud. And it works much faster. Much. Faster. I don’t know what iCloud’s storage architecture is like, but a file saved to Dropbox on one device shows up seconds later on another device, while a file stored on iCloud on one device will eventually get there on another device.
The latest version of Dropbox for iOS has full screen iPad file navigation that somewhat resembles the Files app. Got long file names? They’re visible now. Drag and drop has arrived, too. Tap and hold files, then drag them to and fro.
Most cloud files come in a variety of extensions. .doc, .txt. .xls, and dozens more that we use and save and share every day. Dropbox now knows what each file is so it can provide a preview of the file (like the Finder and Files app does)– more than 120 file extensions total.
To be fair, Dropbox is not exactly price competitive with iCloud. Apple gives Apple ID users 5GB for free while Dropbox users get only 2GB. iCloud is competitive with almost any online storage vendor– $2.99 for 200GB. Dropbox caters to business far more than iCloud. That may explain the reliability and transfer speeds. It also explains why it can be challenge to find non-Business prices.
Business class starts at 2TB of storage for $12.50 a month, but despite the many useful features, that amount of storage can be overkill for most of us. Dropbox Basic is free for 2GB storage. Dropbox Plus— the non-business alternative– is $10 per month, $99 annually– for 1TB of storage; exactly the same price as iCloud gives for 2TB.
For now, I use both. Dropbox performs better and has more features and options. It works on a sufficient number of iOS and macOS applications so as to compete with iCloud prices. In the end, what I want more than mere low price is speed and reliability. Dropbox wins. For now.