Online Storage Wars: Which Virtual Storage Is Best?

What's Hot

2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Laptops crash, external hard drives die, and smartphones fall into toilets. Online storage can save your files, but not all clouds are created equal.

A while ago on the way to a meeting my friend got out of a cab too quickly and dropped his laptop bag, smashing his laptop and external hard drive. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he lost the only copy of a software program he was working on. Four months of hard work smashed on the sidewalk.

It got me thinking that I should store my important files, photos, and MP3s somewhere secure online, so I started looking into cloud storage. Everyone from Amazon to Apple offers their own version of online storage. It is the war of the clouds with everyone offering different prices, uploading tools, and limitations. So which storage option is the best? Here is what I found…

Apple iCloud

Currently, Apple offers 5GB of free storage when you sign up for iCloud, but like most Apple products, you really only get the best use out of it if you own Apple products. If you own a Macbook, iPad, or iPhone, you can automatically synchronize all of your devices through iTunes and store files or music on the iCloud. Also, iTunes Store purchases – including apps, books, music, and movies – don’t count against your storage limit.


  • 5GB: Free
  • 10GB: $20 per year
  • 20GB: $40
  • 50GB: $100

Amazon Cloud Drive

Cloud Drive is also offering 5GB of online storage free, which Amazon says is enough to store 2,000 photos. Amazon’s online storage has a few good features. For example, you can view your stored photos in a slideshow online or through the Cloud Drive desktop app. If you have a Kindle Fire, you can download files to the device from Cloud Drive.

The only real downside is the Cloud Drive desktop app. You’ll have to download and install the software to upload and manage your files. I found the software to be a bit clunky and slow to upload larger files, but it didn’t cause any big problems.


  • 5GB: Free
  • 20GB: $10 per year
  • 50GB: $25
  • 100GB: $50
  • 200GB: $100
  • 500GB: $250
  • 1,000GB: $500


The basic Dropbox account only comes with 2GB of free storage, but Dropbox has a few features that make it worth checking out. For one, you get three ways to upload files: using the “Upload” button on the Dropbox website, the Dropbox desktop app, or the Dropbox iPhone app. You can also share files or entire folders with anyone who has an account.

The free space offered isn’t a lot, but you can get up to 18GB free through their referral program. For every person you refer who signs up, you’ll get another 500MB of storage free.


  • 2GB: Free
  • 100GB: $99 per year
  • 200GB: $199
  • 500GB: $499

Google Drive

Like Amazon and Apple, Google is offering 5GB of free storage when you sign up for Google Drive, but Google has a few features that make Drive a better bet. For example, Google Drive is a collaborative storage space, meaning you can upload a file or photo and share it with anyone via email. When someone shares a file with you, you can view it online even if you don’t have the software that supports the file type. Google Drive also has the option of creating and editing files directly from your storage space. I use it to create spreadsheets and other documents.

Google Drive works with PCs and Macs and has an app that works on iPads and iPhones and Android phones and tablets.


  • 5GB: free
  • 25GB: $30 per year
  • 100GB: $60
  • 200GB: $120
  • 400GB: $240
  • 1,024 GB (1TB): $600

The bottom line

Overall, Google Drive was the winner in my book. It has the most features, was the easiest to use, and works on the most devices. The only real downside I found was the lack of free storage space. 5GB is enough for storing word documents, spreadsheets, and photos but you’ll probably need more space if you want to store larger documents or a bunch of MP3s. For storage space, I did better with Dropbox since I was able to talk a bunch of people into signing up and upped my free storage.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Lookin’ Good! How to Get a Killer Deal on Eyeglasses

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,911 more deals!