Millions of people are ditching their external hard disks for the cloud. As a streamlined, easy-to-access storage solution with more convenience and less risk, the cloud industry has boomed. The result?
The prices of cloud storage solutions are lowest they've ever been.
And even though cheap options are always great - good cloud storage also has to be secure, easy-to-use, and reliable. You need to find a balance between a low-cost and low-risk solution.
And these right here are the best, cheapest cloud storage options:
- Sync.com (Best for small business owners)
- OneDrive (Best solution for Microsoft users)
- pCloud (Best security features)
- OpenDrive (Best option for users with many files)
- Google Drive (Best solution for collaborating on creative projects)
Price: from free to $49/year
Recommended for: freelancers and small business owners.
Want to keep all your devices in sync? Sync.com could be a strong contender for your hard-earned cash. The solution allows you to store, share, and access all of your files, as long as you have an internet connection.
Better yet, the provider offers end-to-end encryption so you can rest assured knowing that all of your files are kept 100% private.
What makes Sync.com stand out for me is that no matter what type of project you’re working on, you can share it with others in your team, even if they don’t have a Sync.com account. In fact, all users can work from the same set of folders and files at the same time.
Beyond this, with Sync.com you can password-protect your files, set up notifications and expiry dates, and change permissions settings so that you stay in control of your files at all times. Also, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an Apple, Android, or Microsoft user as this provider's application works across all devices.
Sync.com is number one in my list for the cheapest cloud storage solution of 2019 because of its value for money. Aside from its 5GB free plan, you can also go for the Personal Pro plan with 500GB of storage for $49 a year, or 2TB for $96 a year.
Is this solution for more than just the personal? If so, where Sync.com really shines is with its business plans. The Business Solo subscription gives you 2TB of file storage, as well as advanced sharing and collaboration features for just $8 a month.
Additionally, if you work as part of a team, you can get 1TB of storage for each member for $5 a month per user, as long as you have at least two people on the subscription.
- End-to-end encryption
- 2TB of storage on the cheapest plan
- Great for individuals and small businesses
- 30-day money back guarantee
- The free plan offers very little storage
Price: from free to $99.99/year
Recommended for: people wanting access to the Microsoft Suite.
Not only this, OneDrive uses SSL encryption to keep your files secure at all times, which is what you might hope from the platform known for being the number one target for hackers!
Additionally, OneDrive is a great solution for those of you that often collaborate on projects. Why so? Instead of having to attach large files to your emails, you can share them via a link across all platforms. From your email to a text message, and even via social media, sharing your files is super easy.
OneDrive has a free cloud storage plan which comes with 5GB. Alternatively, if you want more storage without the high costs, you can upgrade to 50GB for just $1.99 a month.
For a more robust plan with access to Office 365 and 1TB of storage, you’ll have to pay $69.99 a year. But, if you want real value for money, you can pay $99.99 a year to get access to Office 365, as well as 6TB of storage with advanced security features and productivity tools.
- Large selection of plans to choose from
- File sharing via simple links
- Offline access to files
- The free plan offers very little storage
- Microsoft Windows remains the number one target for hackers
Price: from free to $350 (one-time payment for lifetime access)
Recommended for: individuals and businesses with sensitive data to secure.
pCloud works slightly differently to other solutions in that it has a built-in video player and allows HD streaming. It also has a built-in audio player with playlists. What's more, pCloud allows you to share files via links and invite new users to shared folders for collaborative purposes.
What I find most impressive about pCloud is that it comes with military-grade encryption, making it perfect for people and businesses with sensitive information to store. Aside from its TLS and SSL channel protection, each and every one of your files will have 256-bit AES encryption and 5 copies will be saved on different servers so that nothing ever goes missing from your account.
When it comes to plans, pCloud falls a little short. The provider only offers two plans: one with 500GB of storage that costs $3.99 a month and one with 2TB of storage for $7.99 a month. That said, you can also go for the free plan which gives you 10GB of data.
As far as pricing goes, this is where pCloud gets interesting. Instead of paying a monthly or yearly subscription, you can also make a one-time payment of $175 or $350 which gives you lifetime access. While this may seem like a lot, it may actually save you a ton of money in the long run.
- Built-in video and audio player
- Military-grade encryption
- One-off lifetime payment plans
- Only two plans to choose from
- Link traffic download limits on both plans
Price: from free to $59.95/year
Recommended for: users with a lot of files to store.
While more expensive than others in this list, I have to mention OpenDrive purely because its the only affordable solution I could find that offers unlimited storage. That’s right. Completely unlimited!
This plan, which costs $9.95 a month, also comes with unrestricted file sizes, unlimited bandwidth, and computer access.
But that’s not the only option available. The provider also has a custom plan with 500GB of storage and 25GB of daily bandwidth for $5 a month.
With unlimited storage, you’re probably wondering why OpenDrive is only 4th on my list. Well, the truth is, despite offering the best value for money, there is little in the way of customer support. In fact, you can only get help from the community of users or by sending an email with no guaranteed response time. Also, aside from storage, OpenDrive plans do not come with the same collaboration features as other solutions in this list.
Despite this, OpenDrive allows you to create project lists, comment on files, and share notes with other users. You can also check out the business and enterprise plans, ranging in costs from $7 to $59.95 per month if you want a more robust set of features, including White Labelling options and tasks management across your entire team.
- Choice of unlimited storage plans
- Option to add users to the same plan
- Possibility to create project and task lists
- Fewer opportunities for collaboration
- Free plan offers very little storage
5. Google Drive
Price: from free to $2.99/month
Recommended for: Collaborations on small creative projects
But, that’s not what makes the platform impressive. With Google Drive, you can quickly invite others to view, download, and edit files with just a link; no email attachments are necessary.
Better yet, you can work on the same file as others at the same time, thus making it perfect for project collaborations.
Google Drive has an application for all devices, meaning that wherever you go, your files will follow you. Whether your computer is out of battery or you’re on the bus to work, you can pick up right where you left off from your phone or tablet.
Before you can choose a plan, you’ll need to set up a Google account. Then, you can gain access to the free plan which gives you a very generous 15GB of storage. If you need more, you can upgrade to Google One. There, you can choose between the 100GB plan for $1.99 a month or the 200GB plan for $2.99 a month.
- No email attachments
- Edit files at the same time
- Generous free plan
- Must sign up for a Google account before choosing a plan
- Few storage plans to choose from
So, Which is The Best Cheapest Cloud Storage Solution Out There?
Technically, the cheapest cloud storage solution depends on your short-term and long-term ambitions. With all 5 of the options here, you can get started for free - and quite frankly, it literally can't get cheaper than that.
And on that note, Google Drive is a great option for those of you desiring maximum free space and functionality before needing to pay anything, whereas pCloud might save you most in the long run, due to the one-off payment option for a lifetime subscription. Overall, though, here’s my verdict:
- Sync.com gives you the most control over your files, even when collaborating
- OneDrive is the best option if you need to access files offline
- pCloud is the best solution for those wanting to store video and audio files
- OpenDrive offers various personal and business plans with unlimited storage
- Google Drive is for individuals undertaking small creative projects
Truthfully, the cloud storage solution you choose will depend on the number of files you want to back up, as well as your budget. I hope this has been a useful analysis in making your decision!
Do you agree with my list or have I forgotten an important contender? If so, share your thoughts below in the comment box.