Mobile Portable Media

Cloud Storage Services Compared

Cloud Storage Services ComparedMicrosoft, Dropbox, and Google all made cloud service announcements this week—Google finally delivering on a long-rumored Drive service, Microsoft bolstering its SkyDrive offering with additional storage, and Dropbox now offering file sharing with direct links.

The biggest surprise here is Microsoft, coming in with more free storage than any other service and offering the most economical paid storage plans. Existing SkyDrive users even have a limited opportunity to claim 25GB of free storage. But SkyDrive—even though it’s integrated into many Live products, Windows Phone, and the upcoming Windows 8—just doesn’t have the mindshare or reach of these other products.

Here’s a brief comparison of how the big players in this space stack up against each other:


Cloud Storage Services Compared Cloud Storage Services Compared Cloud Storage Services Compared  Cloud Storage Services Compared
Apple iCloud Dropbox Google Drive Microsoft SkyDrive
Free storage 5GB 2GB† 5GB 7GB*
20ish GB plan (/year) $40 25GB for $29.88 27GB for $10**
50sh GB plan (/year) $100 $99 57GB for $25**
100sh GB plan (/year) $199 $59.88 107GB for $50**
Typical annual cost/GB‡ $2 $1.99 59¢ 50¢**
Desktop Folder Syncing
Mobile Support
Windows Phone


†Dropbox customers can increase their free storage to as much as 18GB through referrals and other offers.

‡Annual cost is based on the cost per gigabyte for the majority of plans from a provider

*Current SkyDrive customers can get 25GB of free storage for a limited time.

**Microsoft’s paid SkyDrive plans are in addition to the free storage allocation.

Bottom line: While Dropbox offers the best desktop and mobile support and compatibility, Microsoft’s SkyDrive offers the most amount of free storage and the most economical paid plans on a pennies-per-gigabyte basis. If you’re a Windows user, SkyDrive may be your best option.


About the author

Richard Gunther

Richard is a product experience consultant with a life-long interest in consumer electronics. He has been immersed in smart home tech for decades now and hosts The DMZ's home automation podcast, Home: On and co-hosts Entertainment 2.0 with Josh Pollard. Richard looks at products through an experience lens, always seeking the right mix of utility and delight.