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Google Drive vs Apple iCloud vs Amazon S3 vs Box

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There have been several new additions to the line of cloud storage services lately. With the latest entry of Google Drive, the competition is getting really tough and interesting. Let’s take a look at how some of the popular online cloud storage services stack up against each other in terms of different aspects. Here's a quick round-up of Google Drive vs Apple iCloud vs Amazon S3 vs Box vs other cloud storage solutions.

Free Storage

The obvious place to begin with cloud services is the amount of storage space that you get with each of these, but comparing the four is not as easy as it seems. In terms of free disk space in cloud, all of these offer 5 GB free storage on sign up. If this basic storage space does not satisfy your requirements, you can opt for the paid upgrades. DropBox only offers 2GB of free space, while Microsoft SkyDrive offers 7GB.

Sharing and Collaboration

In case of Google Drive, Box, and Apple's iCloud, 3rd party applications can be plugged in for storing or retrieving folders or files. This keeps the apps synchronized across platforms and devices much more flawlessly.

Drive and Box provide in-browser access to folders and files including document editing, but the SkyDrive is still an old fashioned one!

Mobile Integration

iOS users are waiting to get access to Android app in spite of the app being around Google Drive already. On the contrary, Box provides solutions for multiple mobile platforms. Apple iCloud and Amazon S3 are far behind in terms of mobile access game. Apple offers iCloud exclusively to iOS 5 users, while Amazon integrates with Android, restricting the integration just to that platform.

Pricing

Google charges $30 per year for 25 GB of space, which can be used with Picasa and Google Drive storage and additional 25 GB for Gmail storage to any customer who decides to take a paid plan. This is higher than the charges of Amazon, but lesser than Box and Apple iCloud. Google Drive costs $60 per month for 100 GB, which can be used with Picasa and Drive, plus the extra 25 GB Gmail storage. This is relatively lower than the fee charged by Apple, Amazon, and Box.

Among all these, we would say Box is the most expensive service and the company focuses mainly on business users. And, DropBox also charges $199 for 1TB storage, which is almost 3 x times that of Google Drive, as Google has priced their packages very sensibly at $60 for 1TB. However, this is just $10 greater than $50 charged by Microsoft, for their SkyDrive cloud storage service.

Final Verdict

There are several considerations to be taken into account before making the decision. Take your time to utilize a service and check how it integrates with your workflow before investing on an upgrade.

For businesses that heavily run on Google Docs, Google Drive would make the best choice without second thoughts. If you need more robust features, then Box is a better choice than Google’s cloud service.

Though we have compared Apple iCloud and Amazon S3 here, neither of them really look competent enough with the other two, since these products focus on different aspect.

However, once again the choice greatly depends upon the specific category of users, and their requirements, because nobody can ever make a one-product-fits-all thing, and that too in the cloud hosting market! So, would you prefer Google Drive over others? Well, don't forget to drop your comments in the blog section!

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