The past couple of months I started receiving warnings from Dropbox that my ‘gift’ 50GB space that came with the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy S3 2 years ago is coming to an end. I am left with around 20 days so I started looking at the alternatives because Dropbox is pricey. I already have accounts with Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive and I also checked out Box at some point but never really used it. For Google Drive I have an 80GB plan which I signed up for years ago when Picasa Web Albums was still alive (it still is but I have the impression Google will pull the plug soon).
Just today OneDrive announced some big price reductions making it more competitive to Google Drive.
Here’s a table of the current pricing of the storage providers I am considering:
Annual cost for 100GB
Since Box is more expensive while not offering anything better than Dropbox I am no longer be considering it. Since I am currently using Dropbox I won’t need to do anything other than just buy more space. A great feature of Dropbox which I would miss if I was to move to DropBox is its automatic photo uploads for mobile devices. Any photos taken on mobile are automatically saved on my Dropbox and then automatically downloaded to my PC, keeping them both safe and available without having to do any manual transfers. Google Drive has a similar feature but with a catch; instead of saving photos to Drive it sends them to Google+ which means you don’t have direct file access to photo folders. If you want to download them you have to browse your Google+ profile and download them one by one, a very painful process. There is a third-party Android app which does automatic photo upload to Google Drive but I haven’t tested it yet – the fact that I will need to run another app in the background which could drain more battery worries me. OneDrive is supposed to have an automatic photo upload feature more in the lines of Dropbox than Google but I haven’t tested its Android app yet. It comes built-in Windows 8.1 and all Save Dialog default to OneDrive which is convenient for a Windows user like myself. Microsoft was wise enough to release apps for all platforms so Android is covered. Another great feature of OneDrive is that unlike Dropbox, files stored in the cloud do not necessarily require to have a local copy. The OneDrive app ties in with Windows and creates place=holder files for large files and only downloads them when they need to be opened. This is especially useful for users on SSD drives which tend to have limited capacity.
Until today I was leaning towards GoogleDrive but I am reconsidering and might give OneDrive a go. I’ll install OneDrive app for Android and see how it goes. In the meantime I believe prices will continue to fall because of competition between Google and Microsoft.