Once you see the benefits of cloud storage, including the ability to access files from anywhere and to maintain an always up-to-date backup copy of your files, you’ll wonder why you’ve ever bothered with other options. (If you remember the days of burning backup files to CDs, give yourself a pat on the back.)
Although some cloud storage systems offer limited storage options with basic features for free, to truly take full advantage of this impressive technology, you will want to purchase a cloud storage subscription.
But why spend more than you need to spend? Here are the eight cheapest cloud storage service options, along with the pros and cons for each service to help you decide which is the best for your needs.
1. Google Drive and Google One
For those who already use Google services, such as Gmail, you may not realize you automatically have access to one of the cheapest cloud storage options with Google Drive. When you sign up for a Google account to use Gmail, you receive up to 15 GB of cloud storage for free.
If you don’t create and store many large files, this free cloud storage may serve your needs well. Those who stick primarily to word-processing documents may have the best luck with using the free Google Drive storage.
Should you need more cloud storage, you have the option of paying for extra storage with Google One by upgrading your Google Drive account. For fans of Google’s numerous services, it will be a natural progression to add a subscription with Google One cloud storage.
- Highly integrated with Google’s word processing and spreadsheet apps
- Easy to sync files from the local hard drive with Google Drive
- Great 15 GB free tier for those who only need basic storage
- Doesn’t offer massive storage tiers for high-end users
- Price isn’t the lowest on our list
- 15 GB for free
- 100 GB for $1.99 per month
- 200 GB for $2.99 per month
- 2 TB for $9.99 per month
2. Apple iCloud
Much like Google, Apple also has legions of loyal fans who take advantage of any and all services Apple may offer.
Among the services Apple offers is one of the cheapest cloud storage options through iCloud. For those who only need up to 50 GB of storage, iCloud has an extremely inexpensive price, making it a great choice.
Although 50 GB will not be enough for those seeking to store hundreds of large files, it can work well for serving as a backup storage option for an iPhone or an iPad. iCloud will be the most natural choice for those already using Apple products.
- App is easy to use to synchronize your files
- Includes 5 GB of free storage for iOS or Mac hardware owners
- Works easily with Windows
- Does not offer an app for Android mobile devices
- Doesn’t offer large storage tiers for high-end users
- 50 GB for $0.99 per month
- 200 GB for $2.99 per month
- 2 TB for $9.99 per month
Please note, pricing may vary by region. To check pricing outside the US, visit here.
3. Microsoft OneDrive
If you are a loyal Microsoft user, and if you already have a subscription to Microsoft 365 Office, you have some storage available already through OneDrive. Microsoft also offers standalone storage for a fee through OneDrive.
The OneDrive service has a desktop app, a mobile app, and a website account you can use to move your files to the cloud easily and quickly. Its interface is extremely easy to use.
Because Microsoft 365 Office is such a popular piece of software, many people have a subscription to it already. This makes using OneDrive for cloud storage a simple and natural extension of Microsoft 365 Office, regardless of whether you have a Windows or Macintosh computer.
- Little to no learning curve to figure out OneDrive’s features
- Works well with any device
- Integrates closely with Microsoft 365 Office
- May require rearranging your hard drive folder structure for file syncing
- Doesn’t offer huge storage tiers for high-end users
- 100 GB for $1.99 per month
- 1 TB for $6.99 per month (includes a Microsoft 365 Office subscription)
With a pCloud account, users will receive 10 GB of free storage space. For more storage, customers can subscribe to the pCloud pay service for either 500 GB or 2 TB (roughly equal to 2,000 GB).
This 500 GB level of storage is not commonly found with cloud storage providers, who often offer levels of 1 TB or larger. So those who are looking for one of the cheapest cloud storage options for storing photographs, graphics, and other medium-sized files will appreciate the value they receive with pCloud. They will not be paying for storage they really don’t need.
One aspect of pCloud to consider is that the service limits your account to 500 GB of download traffic per month. If you are using the pCloud storage to give others the ability to download the files, you may run up against this limit fairly regularly, causing issues.
- Has more security and encryption options than some others
- Supports all kinds of devices and operating systems
- Offers a single payment option for lifetime access to your storage (eliminating monthly fees)
- Has limits on the amount of data you can download from your account each month
- No option for live chat or phone support
- 500 GB for $4.17 per month or $49.99 per year
- 2 TB for $8.33 per month or $99.99 per year
- One-time lifetime access payment offer of $199 for 500 GB, $399 for 2 TB, or $1190 for 10 TB.
MediaFire offers a 1 TB storage capacity option that carries one of the lowest prices per GB of storage that you’ll find in the cloud storage marketplace.
However, this is not the easiest cheap cloud storage option to use. MediaFire doesn’t offer a desktop app, which forces users to use the MediaFire website to pass files from a computer to the cloud storage space. MediaFire is far less convenient than other cloud storage options.
MediaFire does offer a mobile app for its service, so those seeking cloud storage for use primarily with a tablet or smartphone may receive a better benefit from MediaFire than those looking for cloud storage through a laptop or desktop computer.
- Extremely low price per GB of storage for a 1 TB storage tier
- Has a mobile app to simplify use with a tablet or smartphone
- Simplifies the process of sharing files with others
- Security features are not as strong as some others
- Lacks a desktop app to simplify using the service
- 10 GB for free with ad-supported downloads
- 1 TB for $5.83 per month billed annually or $6.99 month-to-month, for the Pro plan that covers one user.
- 2 TB for $50 per month, billed monthly for the business plan that covers up to 100 users
For those who need larger amounts of cloud storage at a low price, Sync.com has extremely competitive pricing in the 2 TB to 4 TB ranges.
You’ll appreciate the large number of extra features Sync.com offers too, including up to one year of deleted file recovery (depending on the pricing tier you select). Sync.com also has strong security features, ensuring that your data stored in the cloud remains well-protected.
If you are using Sync.com to host files that you’ll allow others to download on a regular basis, the service does not place limits on the amount of shared data you may have each month.
- Security features outperform others on this list
- Doesn’t place limits on the number of file transfers that can occur each month
- Includes excellent file recovery options
- May require rearranging the hard drive folder structure for file syncing
- Doesn’t have lower storage tiers for users with basic needs
- 5 GB for free
- 2 TB for $8 per month
- 6 TB for $20 per month
- Unlimited for teams at $15 per user per month
Dropbox has one tier made for individuals seeking cloud storage, giving users 2 TB of data storage. But you will have a limit of 2 GB per file transfer.
Its biggest advantage is its ease of use, with apps and features that work with almost any kind of device and operating system.
- Extremely easy to sync your local hard drive with Dropbox
- Provides support for file collaboration
- Works well across a variety of devices
- Could use more storage tier options
- Highly restrictive size of files for transfers
- 2 TB for $9.99 per month
- 5 TB shared by the team for $15 per user per month
- 15 TB shared by the team for $24 per user per month
For those who have extremely high cloud storage requirements, MEGA has an extremely desirable price per gigabyte of storage. MEGA specializes in offering subscriptions up to 16 TB.
Mega has strong security settings, offering encryption of files as they move to and from the cloud storage system. You can even try MEGA for free with 20 GB of storage, once you create an account, although the free account only offers the most basic features.
- Low price for those who need high-end storage capacity
- Offers 20 GB of free storage
- Encrypts your files throughout the transfer process
- Doesn’t have many third-party integrations
- Lower storage tiers have a higher price per GB than competitors
- 20 GB for free
- 2 TB for $10.73 per month
- 8 TB for $21.47 per month
- 16 TB for $32.21 per month
Understand that cloud storage service providers regularly update their subscription tiers with new storage limits and prices. So it’s probably worth checking in with cloud storage providers semi-regularly to see if they are offering a lower price than you’re paying now or if a new storage space tier may meet your needs better.
Because cloud storage remains a relatively new type of service, changes are frequent and inevitable. Stay up to date on your cloud storage options, and you’ll be sure to always have the best option for your needs. If you’re fortunate, it’ll also be one of the cheapest cloud storage options.
Cheapest Cloud Storage Compared
Here is how each tier of the cloud storage discussed in this article stacks up against the others when boiled down to a consistent storage amount. (For these price comparisons, we are assuming that you are able to use the full amount of storage in the tier. If you purchase 2 TB of storage but only use 1 TB, however, you’ll be wasting 1 TB, meaning your cost per 10 GB for the 1 TB of storage you’re actually using will be double what we’ve listed.)
- $0.0000 per month per 10 GB: MEGA free 20 GB tier
- $0.0000 per month per 10 GB: Google Drive/One free 15 GB tier
- $0.0000 per month per 10 GB: MediaFire free tier with ad-supported downloads
- $0.0201 per month per 10 GB: MEGA 16 TB tier
- $0.0268 per month per 10 GB: MEGA 8 TB tier
- $0.0333 per month per 10 GB: Sync 6 TB tier
- $0.0400 per month per 10 GB: Sync 2 TB tier
- $0.0417 per month per 10 GB: pCloud 2 TB tier
- $0.0499 per month per 10 GB: Google Drive/One 2 TB tier
- $0.0499 per month per 10 GB: Apple iDrive 2 TB tier
- $0.0499 per month per 10 GB: Dropbox 2 TB tier
- $0.0537 per month per 10 GB: MEGA 2 TB tier
- $0.0699 per month per 10 GB: Microsoft OneDrive 1 TB tier
- $0.0834 per month per 10 GB: pCloud 500 GB tier
- $0.1495 per month per 10 GB: Google Drive/One 200 GB tier
- $0.1495 per month per 10 GB: Apple iDrive 200 GB tier
- $0.1980 per month per 10 GB: Apple iDrive 50 GB tier
- $0.1990 per month per 10 GB: Google Drive/One 100 GB tier
- $0.1990 per month per 10 GB: Microsoft OneDrive 100 GB tier