The best cloud storage services for 2021

When you need to access your documents quickly, but you don’t always have your desktop handy, cloud storage is a quick and convenient option. There are more than enough storage services available, and while they might look similar, not every choice is the same. 

When it comes to specs, pricing, and storage capacity, our team has already done the hard work and compared the storage services for you to find the best one for your needs. 

The best

iDrive

iDrive Client

Although other cloud backup companies may offer unlimited storage as a major perk, iDrive has still consistently outperformed them in critical and user reviews, offering competitive pricing for its plans, and a wealth of exciting features. With 5GB for free and just over $50 for five terabytes of storage on unlimited devices, its personal and business storage options are impressive.

iDrive supports multiple device backup on any numbers of Windows PCs, MacOS systems, iOS and Android smart devices, tablets, and more, all linked to a single account. You can backup entire disk images, backup your most important files and folders to external drives as well as the cloud, and access your entire backup through a web browser, desktop client, or mobile app.

For those who like to configure their backups, there are options for the types of files you want to store, how often they’re backed up, and there’s even the option to secure your files with a private encryption key if you want.

Concerned about download or upload rates? iDrive will send you a hard drive to make sending them your data faster, or send one out to you with your data on it, to give you a faster restore process.

The rest

Dropbox

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Dropbox’s service is fully-featured and easy to use. Even though a number of services offer more initial free space — Google Drive, Mega, iCloud, and others outweigh Dropbox’s 2GB — many customers seem to find Dropbox’s referral rewards system irresistible (up to 32GB free space total for Professional and Plus accounts).

Plus accounts start at $10/month on annual subscriptions (or $12/month when billed monthly) for 2TB, and DropBox also offers professional plans with more features for more money. Mobile support includes Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows 10 Mobile, and Kindle Fire.

Dropbox boasts excellent sharing abilities. Invite someone to share a particular Dropbox folder with you and that folder will appear right on their desktop. You can also send a link to an individual document or image. In addition, folders full of images can be viewed as a gallery, making Dropbox a viable photo-sharing alternative to Imgur and Flickr.

Google Drive


Google Drive is great for anyone who prefers Google’s ecosystem. The web giant thrives on integration with Google’s other services as part of its Google One platform, including the likes of Gmail and Google Docs. It offers 15GB of Google Drive space for files, Gmail, and Google Photos entirely for free, with incredibly affordable options for expanded storage. 100GB is just $2 a month, with 200GB at $3. $10 a month will get you 2TB and $50 10TB, with up to 30TB ($150) available for the biggest storage users.

Google Drive is heavily integrated into the Chrome OS and Android environments, offering expansive storage for devices with limited local storage. Paid customers can also enjoy in-depth support for all Google Services under the Google One program, with phone, chat, and email options.

Signing up is as simple as logging in with a Gmail address and password. From there, Google Drive appears right in your Google toolbar, just a click away from your email inbox. You can drag-and-drop files straight into your browser, or download the desktop client to have access to Google Drive as a folder, just like with Dropbox.

Google Drive’s standout features are its sharing and collaboration tools. Thanks to integration with Gmail and other Google services, you can share files with a click, with or without requiring a password. When you work with partners on the same word file, spreadsheet, or presentation, either separately or right at the same time, Google Drive marks the contributions of each person with different colored labels to make clear what has changed.

Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive

OneDrive has undergone some significant updates over the last few years, and now serves as a strong foundation for Microsoft’s overall productivity solutionsIt’s not so much that Microsoft OneDrive does one thing better than other cloud storage systems, but it is well rounded and it’s well integrated with the Xbox and Windows 10 platforms.

If you don’t have a pressing reason to choose another service, then it’s hard to go wrong with OneDrive. Furthermore, if you’ve bought into Microsoft’s Windows 10 ecosystem, then OneDrive is one of the best solutions for you. It touts a decent amount of free space (5GB), along with inexpensive upgrades and the ability to get 1TB of storage with an Office 365 subscription. Microsoft’s cross-platform strategy means that mobile support is very strong, including Android, iPhone, and iPad.

You can also post photos directly from OneDrive to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social-networking sites, which can save time for busy social network users. The service also offers built-in remote access capabilities. From the OneDrive.com website, you can get access to any PC associated with your account that has the OneDrive client installed, even files not already uploaded to OneDrive.

OneDrive is one of the only services to integrate with free Office Web Apps, allowing you to work collaboratively on projects, much like in Google Docs. However, the Office Web Apps have the advantage of opening Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents seamlessly, avoiding any formatting kerfuffles. OneDrive maintains the 25 most recent versions of every file, so if a partner makes a change you don’t like, you can easily revert to an earlier version.

iCloud

iCloud Catalina

Apple’s cloud storage service doesn’t make waves on paper, but it’s great if you use iTunes as your central media hub. iCloud provides 5GB of free storage, while upgrading to 50GB will cost $1/month, 200GB for $3/month, and 2TB for $10/month. The content you download from iTunes will not count towards your storage limit. However, You should know that iOS devices use iCloud for backup. If you have a lot of files on your device, you can reach your iCloud storage limit quickly.

iCloud users also have access to the device’s media sharing hub, accessible through Apple’s cloud-based productivity suite iWork. The latest updates have set this cloud service up for success; Its interface is incredibly easy-to-use. It functions as a standout word processor, even rivaling Google Docs in its performance levels. Users who have an Apple iPhone, tablet, or computer will find a host of positive impacts from using iCloud. That said, we do believe that Google’s storage platform is a stronger service. It offers more storage and similar services at a cheaper price point, and its file-sharing is tough to beat.

Box

Box is a dependable tool for any Android, iPhone, or iPad users. The service gives users who prioritize privacy the chance to limit whether their information can be shared with large corporations, like Google, Apple, or Microsoft. 

The free, basic Box account features about 10GB of storage. However, the Starter account only features a $10 monthly fee and provides approximately 100GB of storage space. There is also a Business plan in this service, which offers tons of added features like password-protected sharing and version history, but we don’t think it’s essential. Even the basic account allows users to share files and folders with other users. You don’t need the Business plan to do that. Box is an excellent service, especially if you need a bit of help with your workflow management. With this tool, you can comment, assign tasks to other users, and much more.

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