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Cloud storage options and price comparison

Ever since having kids the number of photos I have on my phone has exploded. In 2017 I took a total of 1158 photos an videos, and in 2018 that number jumped to a whopping 5477.

I realized quickly I needed a way to back up all those photos and videos because I’m one hard drive failure away from losing all the precious memories of my baby’s first year. I have had external hard drives in the past, and have had enough drive failures to not go there with my thousands of photos, so cloud storage is naturally my go to for back up.

However, there are a few options out there, which company gives the best value? It depends as cost-effectiveness is different at the different tier levels, or storage size levels. I will compare the cost of Google, Amazon, Apple, and Dropbox in this blog post. Hope this will help you decide what is the right company for you.

Price comparisons are done in Canadian Dollar, and annual cost per GB is done assuming the user utilizes the cheaper annual rate of each company when the plan offers a discounted annual rate. Data collected on Feb 19, 2019.

Quick Glance at the pricing at each tier

Google drive $0.28-$0.17/GB/Year

Google provides the best free storage size, and is very generous when it come to how much it will let you upgrade, its top plan allow a single user to have 30 TB of storage.

  • Google Photo allow free unlimited photo and video at reduced resolution, full size storage count against Google Drive Allowance
  • Free=15GB
  • 2.79 monthly/27.99 annually=100GB
  • 3.99 monthly/39.99 annually=200GB
  • 13.99 monthly/139.99 annually=2TB
  • 139.99 monthly/1679.88 annually = 10TB
  • 279.99 monthly/3359.88 annually = 20TB
  • 419.99 monthly/5039.88 annually = 30TB

iCloud $0.30-$0.08/GB/Year

One of my biggest need is a working photo management program that also integrates with cloud storage. I have a total of 13574 photos and 707 videos at the time of writing this post, no matter how hard I manage the folder structures in my cloud storage, it will still be next to impossible to find certain pictures quickly.

It’s one thing to have photos backed up automatically, it’s quite another to try and find this photo from three years ago out of a huge library of backed up files. Apple Photo does a good job on it, especially if you have a Mac computer. Photos can be searched through faces, dates, and tags. Browsing and jumping to a certain time of the year is also very easy, and setting up album is a rather painless process. Perhaps for this reason, Apple’s iCloud storage comes with a huge mark up compared to other companies. You pay for the storage, but you also pay for the automation that it comes with. Having said that, the Apple 2TB plan is actually cheaper compared to Dropbox or Amazon, it is only slightly more expensive than Google, making it a worthwhile consideration for anyone with iPhones and Mac computers.

  • Apple Shared Album is a free way to store unlimited photo and video at reduced resolution
  • Free=5GB
  • 1.29 monthly/15.48 annually=50GB
  • 3.99 monthly/47.88 annually=100GB
  • 12.99 monthly/155.88 annually=2TB

Amazon $0.25-$0.12/GB/Year

Amazon is generous with photo storage, if you have Prime membership, you can store an unlimited number of photos on their server, for free, at full resolution. If your primary need is photos, definitely go with them. They allow you to manage photos using their app, and also offer a desktop software for PC and Mac.

Amazon also has the most number of the tier in term of plans offered so you can pick and choose how large you want your storage to be.

  • Free unlimited photo, 5GB Video 7.99 monthly or 79 annually
  • 24.99 annually = 100GB
  • 124.99 annually = 1TB
  • 249.98 annually = 2TB
  • 347.97 annually = 3TB
  • 499.96 annually = 4TB
  • 624.95 annually = 5TB
  • 749.94 annually = 6TB
  • 874.93 annually = 7TB
  • 999.92 annually = 8TB
  • 1,124.91 annually = 9TB
  • 1,249.90 annually = 10TB
  • 2,499.80 annually = 20TB
  • 3,749.70 annually = 30TB

Dropbox $0.13-$0.14/GB/Year on Individual Plan

Dropbox is the only company that offer unlimited plans, the only catch is that you have to operate as a team. Do you have two friends that also need cloud storage? Consider teaming up and get their unlimited plans with 3 user licenses.

  • Free=2GB
  • 13.99 monthly/129 annually= 1TB
  • 30.99 monthly/279 annually= 2TB
  • *Team Plans 3 users minimum*23 monthly/210 annually = 3TB
  • *Team Plans 3 users minimum*36 monthly/330 annually = unlimited

What do you think? If you are a Prime Member, you can potentially use Amazon for photos and Google for Video and not pay a cent extra. Otherwise Google and Dropbox both appear to be cost effective, however Google offers more flexibility with upgrades for individuals.

Prime is available free for everyone to try for 30 days, and if you do wish to try it out, below is my affiliate link for Amazon US. Thank you for reading!

Or if you are in Canada, click below

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