A 5-Minute Guide to the Best Cloud Storage Services

Unless you absolutely cannot be on the internet, there’s no reason these days for storing your digital files on a hard drive. Cloud storage services have made it possible to access your documents and media from any device, anywhere you have internet.

For the price of a monthly tall Latte at Starbucks, it’s possible to purchase online storage space with enough capacity to handle the needs of most users. Aside from scientists involved with the Hubble Telescope, whose massive data sets need to be transported by truck, there’s a cloud storage service solution for everyone.

Since it’s only within the last five years or so that the price has dropped to virtually nothing, a lot of people haven’t yet made the switch to the cloud. If you are just now tuning into the idea of untethering yourself from the chains of hard drive storage, here’s a guide to the best cloud storage services.


If you like things simple—and by ‘things’ we mean your technology—Dropbox might be a good option. It’s known to have one of the cleanest interfaces and it plays nice with a wide range of apps.

There is one drawback, however: Dropbox is a tad more expensive than the main competitors. At the time of writing, the Individual Plus account costs USD$8.25 (c. £6.25) per month.

The cost may only be a deal-breaker for the most hardened of penny-pinchers. For the price equivalent of a sandwich and fries once a month you get an entire Terabyte’s worth of storage. If that means zip to you, it’s enough to store a lifetime of photos (2 million, according to Apple).

If your storage needs are minimal (under 2 Gigs), Dropbox also has a mini account they offer for free.

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Google Drive

The nice thing about Google Drive is that if you have an Android phone, Google Drive is already running. That makes is very easy to adopt Drive as your cloud storage service.

Another plus for owners of Android devices: the photo app on Android phones integrates beautifully with Drive, making it effortless to back up, store, and access your photos. Some users report that the web interface isn’t very intuitive. Indeed, it is a bit clunky and confusing at first.

But this may help you get past that minor inconvenience: Google Drive gives you 15 GB of storage for free! It almost seems as if they’re offering an apology for rolling out a product that has such a clunky interface (for some).

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Microsoft’s OneDrive

OneDrive is another service you might already have installed on one of your devices. If you have Windows 10, then OneDrive is there and ready to go. There’s not even any need to install an app.

OneDrive has a ‘penny pincher account’ where you get 5 GB for free. The next level is just a baby step up to USD$1.99 (c.£1.50) for 50 GB.

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There is something to be said for the big names in storage. You don’t want to store your digital life with a company that won’t be around in a few years. But when companies like Mega offer such enticingly generous free plans, it’s hard to resist taking a chance on a lesser-known name.

The free Mega account offers users a whopping 50 GB of storage.

‘Nuff said! And if you want to level up, it’ll run you USD$5 (c.£3.80) per month for 200GB.

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The Bottom Line

Each of these top cloud storage brands offers secure storage at reasonable prices. Your decision may come down to how much you get for free, or it may come down to convenience.

We’ve given you a summary of who offers what for free, so at this point, your choice might be very easy. And considering the pre-installs we mentioned above, the choice might also be easy if you view convenience as the driver of decisions. Either way, welcome to the wonderful, convenient world of cloud storage.