While you will undoubtedly hear differing opinions over which provider offers the best cloud storage, there is little disagreement over which companies rank in the top three. As a matter of fact, with consideration to price and ease of use, there are some who would argue that it is really only a two-horse race between Dropbox and Amazon’s new Cloud Drive service. In this article, we’ll review the key features and pricing of both of these cloud storage providers and let you decide for yourself which is the King of Cloud Storage.
Is Amazon the Best Cloud Storage for Casual Users?
Reacting, in large part, to skyrocketing demand for cheap cloud storage among casual users, Amazon released its Cloud Drive service in spring 2011 to spectacular reviews. Offering annual pricing for what amounts to a dollar-per-gigabyte (not to mention 5GB of free cloud storage to every new customer) and an interface that sets a new standard for user-friendliness, the online retail giant immediately challenged Dropbox for the mantle of industry-favorite in personal cloud storage.
Aside from its friendly price point and easy-to-use interface, the area where Cloud Drive really sets itself apart is in managing and streaming music files. Designed as a virtual extension of the popular Cloud Player, the service automatically downloads and stores any music files purchased on Amazon’s site. Even better, it also allows Android users to stream from their storage directly to their mobile device through an app.
Does Dropbox Still Dropkick the Competition?
Prior to the launch of Cloud Drive earlier this year, most personal cloud storage users would have probably been in agreement that Dropbox covered their needs better than anyone else in the industry. At the equivalent of $0.50 per month for a gigabyte of storage, the service has traditionally been one of the best cloud storage solutions available at its price point.
Unrivaled levels of cross-device file synchronization and mobile app integration, coupled with what is still the easiest file sharing platform in the business, will certainly keep Dropbox among the most-popular service providers. The question is will it still be the darling of the average consumer?
So, Who Offers the Best Cloud Storage?
The question of who provides the best cloud storage service is really a subjective one. While it is clear that Amazon has cornered the market on streaming stored music to almost any device (which Dropbox still doesn’t allow users to do), and achieved a price point that no one else in the cloud storage industry can touch, it does come up short compared to Dropbox in a couple of critical areas.
While Dropbox dominates the other cloud computing companies in the realm of file sharing (particularly across multiple devices), Cloud Drive offers no such option. Additionally, Dropbox’s security features (though quite pedestrian in comparison to some providers) beat Amazon’s hands down.
So, if you’re a casual user who is interested in easy use, streaming music, and getting the most storage space for the lowest price, then Amazon Cloud Drive is the way to go. However, if you’re someone who enjoys file sharing with family and friends and using stored files on your mobile apps, Dropbox is still the best cloud storage service that money can buy.