Neil Patel

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Best Cloud Storage Services

IceDrive splash page for Best Cloud Storage Services

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Do you want to skip the read and get right to my top picks? The best cloud storage service for most people is pCloud or IceDrive.

The rise in the popularity of cloud storage is not hard to explain. It’s safe, affordable, and undoubtedly easy to use.

Companies of all sizes use it for backups, document archiving, team collaboration, and file sharing. Getting new storage space without having to build and manage additional infrastructure is a huge time saver.

But choosing the best cloud storage services isn’t always easy, especially since there are so many options on the market. I’ve narrowed it down and reviewed my top nine recommendations.

After the reviews, you’ll find a short guide that shows you how I broke down my choices, and how you can find the best cloud storage services for your specific needs.

#1 – pCloud Review — The Best Cloud Storage Service with Lifetime Access

pCloud splash page for Best Cloud Storage Services

Cloud storage services through pCloud start at $4.99 per month for 500 GB, which is a good deal. Of course, if you pay for lifetime access to pCloud storage, you get a far better deal. Yes, it’s more money upfront, but way less expensive in the long run.

If you are buying storage that you know you are going to need for 3 years or more, getting a lifetime plan with pCloud is one of your most cost-effective options.

It’s not just the price though. pCloud’s lifetime plans come with a wide range of features, including:

  • Shareable links and file requests
  • Brandable and customizable share links
  • TLS and SSL channel protection
  • Five copies on different servers
  • Automatic syncing
  • Offline access capabilities
  • Built-in video and audio player
  • File versioning up to 30 days in the past

pCloud also offers an add-on service for extra security and client-side encryption. You have the option to pay annually or for a lifetime subscription. 

There are two lifetime storage plans to choose from, including:

  1. Premium — 500 GB for $480 (only $175 for a limited time)
  2. Premium Plus — 2 TB for $980 (only $350 for a limited time)

If you prefer paying annually, you can do that as well. 

You can try pCloud for free for up to 10 GB of storage space. So, sign up for a free account or buy lifetime access to get started!

#2 – Icedrive Review — The Best Desktop and Portable Cloud Storage Software

IceDrive splash page for Best Cloud Storage Services

If you’re looking for cloud storage that feels more like a hard drive with cloud servers’ portability and flexibility, Icedrive is a smart choice. It utilizes drive mounting software so you can access your files as if they’re stored directly on your computer. 

You can also get up to 10 GB of storage space for free, making this one of the most robust free plans on this list. 

Icedrive offers several different storage apps for various devices, including web-based, mobile, and desktop. So, you can easily access your files from anywhere. 

The mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices with a clean and intuitive interface. 

With it, you can view documents in various formats, watch videos and listen to audio files with the built-in media player, and create a full device backup in just a few taps. 

Plus, the various apps come packed full of powerful features, including:

  • Client-side Twofish encryption
  • Password protection
  • Share timeout capabilities
  • Collaboration tools

Icedrive offers monthly, annual, and lifetime plans. Monthly Pro plans start at $4.99 per month for up to 1 TB of data, which is incredibly affordable. Alternatively, you can pay $49.99 per year or $149 for lifetime access. 

If you just need a small amount of cloud storage, Lite Plans start at $19.99 for the year or $59 for lifetime access. This comes with 150 GB.

Obviously, the lifetime plans get you the best price in the long-run. But Icedrive is worth checking out if you want a a fast and secure cloud storage solution.

Choose your storage requirements to get started!

#3 – iDrive Review — The Best Device Backups with Unlimited Users

iDrive splash page for Best Cloud Storage Services

If you need cloud storage or cloud backups for a large number of people, it’s more affordable to choose a plan with unlimited users. With iDrive you can have as many users as you want with flexible plans depending on the amount of space you need. 

iDrive’s personal plan is also affordable if you only need cloud storage for yourself. 

However, the business plans are where the service really shines. Those business plans come with a ton of powerful features, including things like:

  • Unlimited PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, and tablet backups
  • Continuous and automatic data backups
  • External hard drive backups
  • Remote management via a browser-based application
  • User and group management
  • Single sign-on
  • 24/7 priority support
  • Server backups
  • Business compliance

So, it’s an excellent option for businesses of all sizes needing backups and affordable cloud storage space. 

Pricing starts at $99.50 per year for 250 GB, with storage limits up to 12.5 TB if you need more. Alternatively, you can opt for monthly plans starting at $49.95 per month for 1.25 TB. 

You can try iDrive free for up to 5 GB to see if it’s right for you. From there, you can upgrade once you run out of space or need access to more features. 

Sign up for a free account and choose your plan to get started today!

#4 – Zoolz Review — The Best High-volume Cloud Storage Services

Zoolz splash page for Best Cloud Storage Services

If you need a secure place to store large amounts of backup data (100 TB range), Zoolz is an excellent choice. They offer long-term storage plans in increments of one, three, and five years. 

The longer your term and the more space you have, the more you can save. 

Plus, Zoolz’ enterprise-grade mass backup storage plans come with a ton of security, management, and reporting features, including:

  • Automatic purging by days and versions
  • Smart duplication algorithm even for encrypted files
  • On-the-fly decryption for easy access
  • Military-grade AES encryption
  • Easy deployment via Active Directory Deployment
  • Advanced device management
  • Bandwidth and storage monitoring
  • Automatic system alerts
  • Continuous change monitoring
  • Server backups

If you don’t need mass storage, Zoolz offers standard cloud backup plans for businesses of all sizes starting at $15 per month (or $99 per year) for up to 1 TB of storage space. 

Speak with a cloud specialist to learn more and get started today!

#5 – Degoo Cloud Review — The Best for Storing Photos

Degoo Cloud splash and signup page for Best Cloud Storage

If you’re interested in a better way to store your photos, Degoo Cloud is a photo storage service that lets you rediscover memories using AI and a built-in personal image feed. 

Plus, Degoo has over 23 million users worldwide. So, you’re in good company. 

On top of that, you get top-notch security. When you upload an image, you can encrypt it with a password. From there, the data gets broken down into pieces and scattered throughout several data centers in different countries. 

The company even claims it’s 100% NSA proof. So, you can rest easy knowing your photos are safe and secure. 

It’s also an excellent way to free up space on your phone. And you can choose when you want to upload your files to preserve your phone’s battery life. Alternatively, you can set things up to auto-upload into your Degoo account. 

Furthermore, Degoo works on virtually any device with iOS, Android, and web-based applications available. 

You have three different plans to choose from, including:

  • Free — 100 GB of storage, three devices, and Degoo ads
  • Pro — 500 GB of storage, ten devices, and no ads for $2.99 per month
  • Ultimate — 10 TB of storage and unlimited devices for $9.99 per month

Create a free account to get started with Degoo today!

#6 – SpiderOak One Review — The Best Storage and Backups for Security

SpiderOak One splash page for Best Cloud Storage Services

If you want or need advanced levels of security, SpiderOak is an excellent choice. It offers everything you need to protect your data and stay compliant with local, state, and federal regulations (like HIPPA). 

Rather than a true cloud storage provider, SpiderOak provides data backups. However, you can share and access those files. 

So, it works similarly, but you can only store backups vs. uploading whatever you want. 

On top of that, SpiderOak practices No Knowledge, meaning the company has no knowledge of your passwords, the data you’re storing, or any of the metadata associated with the files you upload. 

No one but you knows what you store on the cloud. And the system is built with privacy and security in mind with end-to-end encryption. 

This means your files are encrypted before they ever leave your computer, and they stay encrypted the entire time they’re stored. 

Furthermore, you also get:

  • Point-in-time recovery to restore data to any point in time
  • File sharing (No Knowledge doesn’t apply to shared files)
  • Mobile apps for file viewing
  • Separate encryption keys for each file
  • File versioning
  • Access to deleted files

Pricing starts at $6/month for up to 150 GB and goes all the way up to 5 TB for $29/month. 

Sign up for a 21-day free trial to see if SpiderOak One is right for you and your business today!

#7 – OneDrive Review — The Best for Windows Users

Microsoft OneDrive splash and signup page for Best Cloud Storage Services

If you use Windows and none of the other options feel like a good fit, OneDrive is an affordable and easy-to-use option. There are family, individual, and business plans available to suit individuals and businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

Plus, you can access, edit, and manage your files from any device regardless of where you are in the world. 

Some plans also include access to Microsoft Office apps, like Word and Excel. So, it’s a great deal if you don’t already have those tools. 

Each business plan includes 1 TB of storage space, among various other features, including:

  • Secure file sharing
  • Access expiration dates
  • Accessing files on the cloud without having to download
  • Offline access
  • Mentions, comments, and tasks
  • File folder and access controls
  • Password protection
  • Multi-page scanning

Furthermore, you can get unlimited cloud storage space with the Business 2 plan. It also includes advanced security features so you can rest easy knowing your files are secure. 

OneDrive’s business plans include:

  1. Business 1 — $5/month paid annually for 1 TB of space
  2. Business 2 — $10/month paid annually for unlimited space and advanced security
  3. 365 Business Basic — $6/month for 1 TB plus essential Office apps
  4. 365 Standard — $15/month for 1 TB plus all Office apps and collaboration tools

Alternatively, you can get 5 GB for free or pay $1.99/month for 100 GB of personal storage space. 

Choose your plan to get started with OneDrive today!

#8 – iCloud Review — The Best for Apple Users

Apple iCloud splash page for Best Cloud Storage Services

iCloud definitely isn’t the strongest competitor on this list. But it’s a good choice if you already use Apple devices and want an easy way to store and access your files from one device to another. 

Plus, you automatically get 5 GB of storage for free. 

If you’re a light user, this may be enough for you. However, if you have a lot of photos or videos, you probably need more space. 

Furthermore, it’s incredibly easy to set up and upgrade to a higher plan. 

You can upgrade from any of your devices using your iTunes account. And there are various storage plans to choose from, including 50 GB, 200 GB, and 2 TB. 

You can also share this storage space with up to six people in your household. 

This space can also be used for device backups, including your Apple watch, home screen and app organization, purchase history, photos, videos, and device settings. This means you don’t have to start from scratch if you get a new device. 

You can simply use the backups stored in iCloud. 

In the US, paid plans start at $0.99/month and extend up to $9.99 per month. 

These prices vary in other countries and regions, so be sure to check out iCloud’s storage plan pricing for your country before upgrading. 

#9 – Google Drive Review — The Best for Google Users

Google Drive splash and signup page for Best Cloud Storage Services

If your organization uses G Suite (now called Workspace), Google Drive is included in your subscription. It’s packed full of powerful features and is incredibly affordable for businesses of all sizes. 

Workspace paid plans include business email accounts, cloud storage space, video conferencing capabilities, internal messaging, and various web-based tools for document creation, PowerPoint presentations, and more. 

So, you get everything you need to connect, collaborate, and share documents with your entire team. 

But if you’re not already using or planning on using Workspace for business email, you’re better off choosing Workspace Essentials (doesn’t include email services and starts at $8/month) or a different option on this list. 

Google Drive comes with various features, including:

  • Desktop, web-based, and mobile applications
  • Centralized user and data management
  • Data loss prevention services
  • AI-driven predictions for important content
  • Shared drives for easy team access
  • Cloud-based streaming
  • Advanced sharing and accessibility settings

Pricing for Google Workspace starts at $6/month per user with up to 30 GB of storage space per user. You can also upgrade to a higher plan for more space and additional features. 

Alternatively, there’s an enterprise plan with unlimited storage, advanced security features, and custom pricing. 

Choose your plan to get started with Google Drive today!

What I Looked at to Find the Best Cloud Storage Services

Every option on this list has its own set of perks, features, and benefits. They’re all great in one aspect or another, but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all service that I can recommend across the board.

You want to find the cloud storage service that offers resources and capabilities that align with your needs.

Here’s the criteria I’m looking at when I make an evaluation. Use these this short guide to break down the market and find a solution that will help your organization over the long term.

Storage Limits

Every cloud storage service offers various plans with differing storage limits and different price points, depending on how much space you need. 

You don’t necessarily need to know how much space you need before you decide. 

Thankfully, it’s easy to upgrade and add more storage space with most providers on the list. Some charge a small monthly fee to add more space and others may require you to upgrade to a different plan. 

With that said, I always recommend starting on the lowest plan until you meet those storage limits. From there, you can upgrade as you need to.

However, it is essential to choose a provider that can scale with you. 

For example, if you know you’re going to need hundreds of terabytes of space, you need a mass storage provider since you will quickly outgrow a standard cloud storage service. 

Security

Legal requirements for your industry and your personal preferences may require advanced security features and capabilities. 

And when it comes to cloud storage, not all providers are equally secure. 

Some practice No Knowledge, meaning they do not know your password, account details, encryption keys, or the files you store on their servers. 

Furthermore, end-to-end encryption is common but not utilized by every provider. And some may change their security processes while your files are moving, while they’re stored, or when you share them with other people. 

So, you need to be aware of the types and levels of security you need. 

This is especially important if you need advanced security for legal compliance, like HIPAA privacy laws in the healthcare industry.

Number of Users

This consideration isn’t as crucial if you’re looking for personal cloud storage. However, if you need cloud storage for your company, you typically need to pay monthly per user. 

So, it’s important to understand how many users you have and how much space each account needs to have. 

Some providers, like iDrive, offer plans with unlimited users and an all-encompassing storage limit. So, you only need to upgrade when you reach the maximum storage capacity, rather than paying separately for new accounts. 

However, others don’t offer this, and you’re required to pay for the number of users you have. 

Operating System

iCloud is specifically for Apple devices. So, it doesn’t make sense if you don’t use the Mac operating system or have an iPhone. 

On the other hand, OneDrive is specifically for Windows users. 

Some providers offer solutions that work regardless of your OS. So, this isn’t a crucial consideration unless you plan to use a cloud storage service specifically for your operating system. 

You may even need more than one of these services. I use iCloud to back up my phone and for personal use, but I use pCloud and Google Drive to run my business. 

Your Use Cases

Do you need device backups? Maybe you need easy file-sharing or access to files from multiple devices. Perhaps you want to archive sensitive information.

Different types of cloud storage services are better suited to handle each type of task. Those that are good for archiving let you store a ton of data for next to nothing, but they don’t come with the collaborative tools that help teams work together in real-time.

Make sure you have a clear idea of how you want your new cloud storage service to be used across your organization. Understanding these use cases will make it easier to decide which type of service will work best for your teams.

Conclusion

pCloud, iDrive, and Icedrive are my top recommendations for most users. Each service offers flexible plans at affordable prices to suit individuals and businesses.

However, your storage and security needs also play a role in which option you should choose. It may be that one of these services offers better integration with the tools you are already using. To review, here’s my full list of best cloud storage services:

  1. pCloud – Best cloud storage with lifetime access
  2. Icedrive – Best desktop and portable cloud storage software
  3. iDrive – Best device backups with unlimited users
  4. Zoolz – Best high-volume data storage services (100TB+)
  5. Degoo Cloud – Best for photo storage and sharing
  6. SpiderOak One – Best storage and backups for security
  7. OneDrive – Best for Windows/PC users
  8. iCloud – Best for Apple/iOS users
  9. Google Drive – Best for Google users

Some people won’t want another monthly service expense, so they can purchase lifetime storage from pCloud and never have to worry again.

Or they may want to set up storage that’s easily accessible for their whole company with iDrive.

What do you need out of your cloud storage service? Be sure to use the considerations I talked about above in order to figure out which one is going to work best.

Follow the links and explore your options in greater detail. You may even find promotional pricing that gets you an even better deal on cloud storage.

What’s your favorite cloud storage service?

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