Apr 24, 2012

Cloud Storage Price Comparison

Google Drive launched today right on the heels of Microsoft's Skydrive earlier in the week.  It seems the cloud storage revolution is heating up, with other big competitors including Amazon's S3 and Dropbox.

Of course, each of these services has different sets of features.  Amazon S3 is more of a bare-bones backend for developers to build on top.  Dropbox has linux support, yay.  Google Drive has some amazing appstore integration and rich Google Docs interface.  Microsoft's Skydrive presumably has the deepest integration with Office software (although Drive does have an Office plugin called Cloud Connect).

While it's sometimes hard to compare long lists of features, it's pretty easy to compare a number.  Today, Gregable readers, that number is GB and monthly cost.  Here's what the 4 offerings above look like when stacked up against each other (please correct my math if I missed something):
Microsoft Skydrive and Dropbox don't publish rates beyond their 100GB additions and may not even offer them.  Google Drive keeps the same ratio past 1TB, and amazon actually gets a tiny bit cheaper.  The interesting stuff to most people is in the left part of that graph, so let me blow that part up for you:

That's a simple view, but I think it's roughly accurate.  Some other caveats just to the pricing to keep in mind:
  • Amazon S3 charges separately for upload and download bandwidth where the other solutions include bandwidth in the price, so Amazon S3 really costs more than what's shown above in practice.
  • Amazon S3 gives you 5GB free only for the first year.  The other services' freebie quotas are permanent.  Dropbox gives you 2GB free, Google gives you 5GB free and Skydrive gives you a nice round 7GB free.
  • Microsoft Skydrive charges you annually rather than monthly, so I converted all of their prices to monthly prices.  Of course, this means less flexibility as well as the fact that you have to pay everything upfront.
  • Sharing in dropbox counts against all of those users' quota, while sharing in Google Drive counts only against the person who shared.  It isn't clear about Microsoft Skydrive's policy on this.
Also, I imagine that it'll be very interesting to take a look back at this post in a couple years and see how this has all changed.