Personally, I find that I never have enough space on my devices. Having used an iPhone for the longest time, I've become trapped in the Apple ecosystem which means I can’t insert a memory card to get more space on my device.
But at the end of the day, these problems are actually quite minor considering we live in the age of cloud technology and internet connectivity wherever we go.
To maximize the limited capacity on my phone, I fully rely on cloud storage for my storage needs. I bet most of you reading this are already using free cloud storage because of promotions or existing integrations with your other accounts.
I personally use storage solutions like Google Photos A LOT to store all my photos and videos. You can imagine my shock then when I received this email very recently:
So you may be thinking, ‘Oh no, where do I find storage for my photos and videos now?’
Don’t worry, because here’s a few other solutions you can explore to get more storage for your photos and videos! I’ve included both the free and paid options for the few cloud storage services that have served me well in the recent void Google Photos has left.
Dropbox is pretty much the OG of all cloud storage before anything else and has probably established itself as one of the leading cloud storage solutions. That means they are very reliable since they have been in the market for the longest time.
Better yet, it syncs easily to both desktop and mobile which means you can access your files and folders on whatever device you are on quickly. Personally, a lot of my audiobooks are on Dropbox because of how easy it is to access it.
Bad news is you aren’t going to get much free space. To be exact, your account only starts out with 2 GB of free space (even though you can earn some free space, but not a lot).
I remember using Dropbox a lot back in my University days when there was this ‘Space Race’ promotion that gave quite a lot of space. Sadly that was an a permanent upgrade and the promotional storage expired 1-2 years after the campaign ended.
Since then, my account has sat comfortably at 10GB+ after counting in referral and free bonuses. Yes this is still technically the free plan! I use Dropbox to store some personal stuff, but nothing much major like photos and videos as I don’t have much space to accommodate.
In case you don’t have a dropbox account for some reason, use this link that gives you an additional 500 MB free space when you sign up. However, this all changes when you get a paid plan which upgrades you to a 2 TB cloud storage which is massive enough to store a lot of things.
It also includes a lot of features not included with a free plan such as:
Personally I feel this is still a pretty good deal considering Dropbox is one of the leading solutions in the market, and 2 TB is a lot of space to do a lot with.
Of course, you can buy more space at a higher price if you need and it even works as an efficient solutions for businesses that make it easy to coordinate projects between different users as well.
Free space: 2 GB (+500 MB if you click the link below)
Paid space: 2 TB onwards
Pricing: Starts from US$9.99/$11.99 per month for 2 TB space.
2. Google Drive
Considering how everyone is using Google so much for their daily lives, Google Drive would be the next best option if we’re looking at cloud storage.
Not to mention, Google Docs, spreadsheets, slides and form are used very commonly these days to sync everything to the web through your google account. All these are actually saved in your Google Drive account as well.
(PS: I’m actually writing this blog post on Google Docs first 😂)
That being said, Google Drive can be used to store a lot more than just documents. It is also very easy to sync between devices and mobile, considering there’s apps for Google Docs and the rest as well too.
Also the good thing is that the free account starts with 15 GB space which is significantly way more than what Dropbox has to offer. There are also many promotions out there that give you free (limited time) space for your account.
I personally use the free option as well as I don’t use Google Drive to store most of my stuff except my documents. However if you’re looking to pay for more space, I would say Google Drive offers the most bang for your buck in terms of choices.
Introducing Google One:
If you just need that slight bit more space, 100 GB is just S$2.79 per month and gets you a lot of benefits such as access to Google Experts (ability to get help when you need) and share the space with family members.
If you want to compare to Dropbox, then the 2TB costs about the same at S$13.99 per month or S$139.99 per year. (Take note that these prices are in SGD instead of USD like Dropbox)
Google One Details
Free space: 15 GB
Paid space: 100 GB onwards
Pricing: Starts from S$2.79 per month for 100 GB
Bonus Tip for Google Drive Now
If you already haven’t, download Google Photos and use it to store all your photos in case you run out of space.
You still can use the unlimited storage solution until June 2021 and store whatever videos and photos you have on the cloud for free. It’s only media uploaded after this date that will consume space towards your Google Drive.
You may or may not choose to upgrade your storage after this date depending on whether you want to move your media.
Take note also for uploading photo on Google is that Google photos actually compress your photos and videos to an optimised quality that may be a problem to people who need it in original resolution (PS. It really isn’t noticeable to me at all really)
You can choose to upload in original quality also, but that takes up your valuable Google Drive space as of now already. If you really need it, then you can tick the option to upload using original resolution.
The other contender from Microsoft would definitely be OneDrive, which is automatically preloaded when you install Windows 10.
OneDrive comes with a free account that starts with 5 GB storage. While this is more than Dropbox, it loses Google significantly in terms of free storage. I used to use OneDrive quite a bit to store my photos when it auto-synced to get more free space in the past, but I’m not sure if the promotion is still valid.
However taking a look at the paid options does show some benefit why you should upgrade:
For 100 GB space, it’s S$3 per month and doesn’t come with a lot. Google’s plan is actually way better at S$2.79 per month with the option of paying annually.
However, it’s the Microsoft 365 Personal and Family plan that makes all the difference. The biggest thing these plans offer is that they come with the latest version of Microsoft Office which you can download and use. (And Yes, that means no more ‘unlicensed’ popups reminding you every minute to buy Microsoft Office 👀)
The most value plan is probably the Family plan, with 6 TB (1 TB per person) at just S$14.80 per month or S$148 per year
Free space: 5 GB
Paid space: 100 GB onwards
Pricing: Starts from S$3 per month for 100 GB
Link: Sign up for a free account here (Additional 500 MB free)
Android users, move along to the next point. Apple users, read on 😂.
When you sign up for any apple device, you’re automatically given an iCloud account with 5 GB of free space. And if you’re an iPhone user like me, you’ll probably have seen this pop up and ignored it for the longest time.
Now here’s the part where I convince you why you should upgrade your iCloud plan. But first, here’s the pricing plan:
I personally signed up for the 50 GB plan for just $1.28/month because I was tired of the pop up. However, I’m very thankful for being annoyed enough and upgrading eventually. Here’s a short story why:
I bought my iPhone X back in 2017 from Circles.Life and was very happy with it initially. However, a few weeks after using it I realised that my phone was suddenly restarting non-stop for some reason.
So naturally, I headed towards an Apple shop on a Saturday morning and thought I could get it fixed fast. What I didn’t know was that there was a very long queue of people waiting in line as well with the same exact problem. Long story short, the only solution at that time was completely resetting your phone and wiping all your data.
That means losing EVERYTHING. All your photos, videos, apps, data - LITERALLY EVERYTHING
Thankfully because I upgraded my plan to the 50 GB one, I came out of that situation unscathed. If you were wondering what really happened, here’s an article to explain that major bug that happened)
In any case, I would highly recommend upgrading to the 50 GB plan especially if you’re using an iPhone. I dedicate this space mostly to backing up my phone, apps data storage, and chatlogs with whatsapp
The only thing to consider is getting the family plan for S$3.98/month for 200 GB, or S$12.98/month for 2TB. These are great options especially if you have multiple family members using iPhone as well.
Free space: 5 GB
Paid space: 50 GB onwards
Pricing: Starts from S$1.28 for 50 GB
Link: Just sign up with an Apple account to get your free space.
This one is probably the one you never heard before out of everything.
In any case, this is my go-to because I signed up for this service when it was still early and had locked in a great pricing that I’m still enjoying till today. You get 10 GB of free storage, and can do a few actions to unlock slightly more free space.
By comparison, pCloud is very similar to Dropbox as it syncs very well between mobile devices and computers. You can also choose to share documents, photos and videos to friend by generating a download link through pCloud as well.
Pricing wise, we’re looking at this:
The monthly plan starts from US$4.99 per month for 500 GB, or US$9.99 per month for 2 TB. The yearly plan is US$47.88 per month for 500 GB, or US$95.88 per month for 2 TB.
Based on these two options, I would say the prices are pretty competitive as well.
Although you may be thinking, why would I subscribe for this when I have better options that give more, like Google Drive or One Drive?
Glad you asked, because there’s one more pricing option that is unavailable to the other platforms listed below:
It costs a ONE TIME FEE of US$175 for 500 GB storage and US$350 for 2 TB. This means paying once and never needing to pay for cloud storage again. Seems like a pretty good deal in my opinion.
But you may have some hesitation, like what if the business decides to close down? That’s definitely something to consider too. I’ll give my personal story on this. Remember that I said I was an early user and had a pretty good deal?
I snagged the 500 GB plan (that’s why it’s greyed out for me) for just US$49 lifetime when it was offered back in 2018. I knew I wanted more storage and didn’t mind giving it a try.
My personal experience with pCloud has been pretty positive and serves all my needs for cloud storage. 500 GB is a lot to work with since I don’t deal much with heavy photos and videos but just storage for my personal and work needs.
If you are considering buying the lifetime deal, then it takes about 4 years to ‘recoup’ your costs if you are wondering vs paying for an annual subscription.
Free space: 10 GB
Paid space: 500 GB & 2 TB
Pricing: Starts from US$4.99/US$47.88 for 500 GB
Which Cloud Storage Is Best For You?
Personally based on all these, I use all these services except Onedrive now and the only one that I paid for is pCloud which gives me 500 GB of space. Oh and iCloud’s 50 GB upgrade for my iPhone backup.
With so much space across the service, I don’t have any need to buy a monthly or yearly subscription.
And thanks to Google Photos, I don’t need to buy extra space to store my photos and videos. However, that may change soon with the upcoming changes which may make me subscribe to Google Drive’s upgraded plans!
Personally, I would think Google Drive and OneDrive would probably provide the best value especially if you can share with family. Also, they provide additional benefits like OneDrive unlocking the whole Microsoft Office suite for you.
Space is such an important thing these days, and sometimes lugging around a physical hard disk isn’t practical at all. Being able to access your documents from the cloud wherever you go is a big advantage when you need access to your files on the go.
So, do you use any cloud storage solutions and did you pay for any so far?