Apple’s iCloud Drive vs. the competition

“The biggest complaint with iCloud Drive is that many people want Apple to increase the free tier,” Andrew Orr writes for The Mac Observer. “But Apple actually isn’t doing too bad when it comes to competitors. I think if Apple brought back its 1TB tier and priced it at US$4.99/month, that would put pressure on other providers.”

“Dropbox is even worse off than iCloud Drive,” Orr writes. “It only offers 2GB of free storage, but if you can get your friends and family to sign up using your referral link, you can get up to 16GB for free. Dropbox also doesn’t offer a tier in the middle, it jumps straight to one terabyte.”

“Google beats everyone with its free tier, and also offers a bigger tier on the high end at 10 terabytes. It’s also the mostly closely matched with Apple when it comes to pricing,” Orr writes. “If you’re asking which storage provider gives you the most bang for your buck, I would go with Google. But it also depends on other factors, like ecosystem and privacy. Google scans everything you upload to Google Drive.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you use Google Drive, encrypt prior to upload and decrypt after downloading.

iCloud Drive is best for anyone who’s firmly and safely ensconced in the Apple ecosystem.


  1. iCloud is fine for a low level consumer grade simple solution, however it cannot match the enterprise abilities of most other cloud storage solutions, including Dropbox. In comparison, it is rather primitive. Cost-wise, it’s a bargain.

  2. iCloud Drive works very well, and it syncs folders across every desktop on every Mac, as well as the files app on every iOS device. It’s a good product that seems to finally be better than iDisk. I would Ike the tiers to be more like this though: free 10GB, .99 100GB, 2.99, 500GB, 4.99 2TB, 9.99 4TB. That’s an effective doubling of every storage tier for the same money, while bringin back the 1tb tier and doubling that.

  3. I use OneDrive. For $100 a year, you and four friends each get Office 360 AND a 1TB OneDrive. That’s $1.67 per month per person for 1TB. Nobody beats that pricing. I’m able to sync my Mac’s entire home directory to OneDrive and have access to the files on my iPhone. It also backs up every photo that I take with my iPhone.

      1. I’m not sure, we tried one drive and liked it but it couldn’t sync the directory folders across desktops for us. So I’m not sure what he’s referring to.

      2. I apologize. I am misstated what I do. I don’t synchronize my entire home directory. That’s completely false. I am sorry that I said that. What I had meant to say was that I synchronize my entire “Documents” folder. I wouldn’t want to synchronize my entire home directory as that would include my mail, music and photos libraries. That’s too much stuff that I don’t need to have online. I back up my entire computer to an external drive via Time Machine. However, I only put my “Documents” folder into OneDrive. Please forgive me for incorrectly stating how I OneDrive.

  4. Realistically, iCloud Backup is great for the casual user. You get 5GB for free and probably most people don’t even know they have it. It does provide basic backup functionality for your iDevice.
    If you want more space and the convenience factor then go for the paid tier.
    If you need to share files in a significant way then this is not the product for you.

    1. Now that I like. My stepson has just traded in his iPhone because as a football coach he needed to transfer video and pics a lot. ICloud was insufficient unless he paid extra and the option to manually transfer to other devices especially large files was hardly straightforward without extra cost. Equally viewing on a TV would again again be another extra cost. when you pay out such a large amount for what is yes a premium phone it is rather embarrassing if to do what would be basic on on a Mac is suddenly not straightforward to the average user or otherwise involves more cost. I found myself unable to argue against his decision in his particular position. He is planning to get a Mac as his iPad has similar limitations but I can see him ending up getting a PC at this rate. Its all very well trying to force people into your platform but it also back fires in many ways.

      My iPad and iPhone are great for my general use but I must admit I don’t see them working seamlessly if my business use was complex and far greater transfer/backup requirements were needed, it certainly isn’t the easy flexible and straightforward process it is on my Mac and Lightening is just so limited while wireless isnt always an option especially when plan A breaks down and you need to think on your feet. I do think Apple needs to make progress here on iOS and/or make the options far more discernible I am pretty bored, even after years of use with having to research only to find the options limited, costly or confusing to expand my iOS device use in ways I take for granted on the Mac. At least the well overdue Files app solved one of my annoyances in this regard but still many others to deal with which surely USB C for example would solve?

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