Consumer data storage leaves users with two options. You can buy a bunch of hard drives and store your important data yourself, or you can store it in the cloud with the help of a cloud storage service. Cloud storage unlocks the ability to access your data from anywhere too!

You don’t have to commit to a long-term contract, or even punch in a credit card to test out these services yourself. Many of these cloud storage companies offer a free tier, with a limited amount of storage space. Today, we’re going to feature the top cloud storage services available, and help you find one that fits your needs as well as your budget.

Google Drive

Google offers a wide range of cloud-based services these days. From emails to word processing, most modern Americans can accomplish many of their tasks without ever having to exit Google’s ecosystem. That’s thanks in large part to the foundation provided by Google Drive.

Google Drive is very easy to use, and integrates seamlessly with most operating systems, thanks to the service’s well-designed desktop app. The free tier is available to anyone that opens an account, and provides 15GB of free storage.1 Those that need more space have the following paid membership plans to choose from:

100 GB

  • $1.99/month or $9.99/year
  • 100GB storage capacity
  • Up to 6 users

200 GB

  • $2.99/month or $29.99/year
  • 200GB storage capacity
  • Up to 6 users

2 TB

  • $9.99/month or $99.99/year
  • 2TB storage capacity
  • Up to 6 users

Microsoft OneDrive

If you use Windows or Microsoft 365 then you stand to gain the most from OneDrive. Microsoft’s cloud service boasts unrivaled integration with their entire software suite and features one of the easier interfaces to use. OneDrive lets you edit on the cloud, without the need to download a localized version. Microsoft 365 members get 1TB free too.

Anyone can sign up and get 5 GB of storage for free.2 New subscribers have the option to purchase standalone storage or subscribe to Microsoft’s software suite for one monthly cost. There are a lot of tiers to choose from, including four for business clients alone. The details of each consumer-tier OneDrive plan can be found below:

OneDrive Standalone 100GB

  • $1.99/month
  • 100GB storage capacity
  • 1 user

Microsoft 365 Personal

  • $6.99/month or $69.99/year
  • 1TB storage capacity
  • 1 user

Microsoft 365 Family

  • $9.99/month or $99.99/year
  • 6TB storage capacity
  • Up to 6 users

IDrive

Affordable, secure, and easy to set up, IDrive is a favorite on the forums, and it’s really easy to see why. All files are fully encrypted, and IDrive upload speeds are notoriously fast. Pair those perks with unlimited devices per account and a competitive price, and you have one of the best cloud service providers in the world.3

Test it out yourself with 10GB of free IDrive storage.4 Free plans don’t require a credit card or have a time limit. Though the company doesn’t offer any unlimited storage options, paid IDrive memberships offer an incredible value. Those impressed by their free trial have the following customizable subscription tiers to choose from:

IDrive Personal

  • Starting at $79.50/year
  • 5TB storage capacity
  • 1 user

IDrive Team

  • $6.99/month or $99.50/year
  • 5TB storage capacity
  • 5 users

IDrive Business

  • $99.50/year
  • 250GB storage capacity
  • Unlimited Users

Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the industry’s most recognized names. It’s one of the best in the business too. Dropbox is effortlessly easy to use and integrates with third party apps better than most.5 You can use it to share large files with friends and family, whether they have a dropbox account or not.

The free tier gives one user 2GB of storage, but you can earn additional free space by completing Dropbox’s getting started checklist and by referring friends and family.6 Users have five paid tiers to choose from including7:

Dropbox Plus

  • $11.99/month
  • 2TB storage capacity
  • 1 user

Dropbox Family

  • $19.99/month or $203.88/year
  • 2TB storage capacity
  • Up to 6 users

Dropbox Professional

  • $19.99/month or $199.08/year
  • 3TB storage capacity
  • 1 user

Dropbox Standard

  • $15 per user/month
  • 5 TB storage capacity
  • 3 user minimum

Dropbox Advanced

  • $25 per user/month
  • Unlimited storage capacity
  • 3 users minimum

Apple iCloud Drive

Fans of Apple’s ecosystem will likely lean towards iCloud Drive, which makes a lot of sense. The cloud service works best with Macs, iPhones, and iPads, though it can be used alongside PCs too.

Apple iCloud Drive comes built in to all Apple devices, and Apple users enjoy 5GB of complimentary storage. Non-Apple users can sign up too, though they’ll only enjoy 1GB of free iCloud storage.8

Upgrading your storage is easy and affordable.9 Apple offers the following iCloud+ memberships to those that require more than the free 5GB:

iCloud+ with 50GB

  • $0.99/month
  • 50GB storage capacity
  • Up to five users

iCloud+ with 200GB

  • $2.99/month
  • 200GB storage capacity
  • Up to five users

iCloud with 2TB

  • $9.99/month
  • 2TB storage capacity
  • Up to five users

Safe, Secure, and Ready to Use!

Cloud storage is slowly becoming essential. Whether it’s to add flexibility to a hybrid workplace arrangement or to back up memories, it really is hard to imagine life without it. Thankfully you don’t have to spend a bunch of money to benefit from this intuitive digital service.

Most cloud storage providers offer some storage free.
Don’t expect to break the bank if you have to pay either. Unlocking all the extra space and additional benefits of a membership-tier cloud storage subscription costs pennies a day. So compare the different companies, thoroughly understand your needs, and establish a budget to help you in your search for the ideal cloud storage provider.

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