Online Storage



Intro

In this episode I'm looking at online storage.

With the majority of our lives now in 'the cloud', what options do you have for storing your data. And what are the associated costs?

Choices

When it comes to online storage, there are a vast array of choices, depending on your personal preference, and even what you want to do with it.


You might have a lifetimes worth of photos that need to be backed up.


You might have a whole host of documents that you've accumulated over the years.


There is something out there to suit you.


This post takes a quick look at 3 of the most popular services, each of which offers an app on iOS and


Android, making access to your files quick and easy.


Google Drive

For basic, online storage, that won't cost an arm and a leg, then you can't go wrong with Google Drive.


Most people have a Google account. I said 'most' people!


Google Drive is your online storage for all types of document. Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos, as well as audio and video.


Google offer a minimum of 15Gb of storage completely free. For many, this is more than enough.

For just £1.59 per month, you can increase this to 100Gb.


Bear in mind that Google Photos, the standalone storage for your pictures, is free for High quality photos, but full resolution photos will count against your quota.


Within Drive, you can create folders and sub-folders and add files as necessary. You can also create files using Googles own Docs, Sheets and Slides software. These documents don't count towards your storage limit.


If you need to share documents, this is as easy as sending an email.

Google Drive is really the first port of call for online space.


Apple iCloud

If you are invested in the Apple ecosystem, you're probably using iCloud. Here you get 5Gb of storage included; with a charge of 79p per month to raise this to 50Gb.


Documents created in native Apple apps are still counted, so this isn't as beneficial as Google.


However, it provides easy access, and items stored on your Mac desktop are automatically sync'd to iCloud, so you can retrieve them on other Apple products.


Do you use the iCloud Photo Library? This also uses your quota of storage.


Your iCloud storage will also be used for backups, both for your device and the apps you have installed, which means you're likely to use up the free space much more quickly.

It might be worth changing some settings, to save the apps backing up, to preserve space.


Having said that, 79p per month won't break the bank, for another 50Gb.


I should mention that iCloud is only available via Apple products, and therefore not available on Android devices.


Microsoft OneDrive

The final one to be included here is Microsoft OneDrive.


There are a couple of flavours here. If you have Office 365 Home or Personal, the OneDrive is bundled into the package and you get a whopping 1Tb of storage (on the Home version you get 1Tb each for up to 5 people!)


Should you not have access to Office 365, then there is a free storage plan offering 5Gb of space.


If you need more space, then this costs £1.99 per month, for 50Gb of space.


As with the others, it's easy to access and share documents from anywhere you can login to the service. There's also the obligatory app for iOS and Android.


Cost

Looking at a base of 50Gb per year; the costs would stack up like this:

  • Google Drive. You get 15Gb free, and the minimum additional payment is £19.08 per year. For that you get 100Gb

  • Apple iCloud. They include 2Gb free, with an annual cost of £9.48 - you get 50Gb. The next plan is 200Gb!

  • Microsoft OneDrive gives you 5Gb for free then a cost of £1.99 per month - £23.88

Conclusion

On the face of it, iCloud represents the best value; but this is really only suitable for those with an Apple ID. Otherwise, Google is the winner.

I have had my Google account for a number of years, and so far, I've only used about 20% of the space, which equates to just under 9Gb.

You get the 15Gb included free when you sign up, and it's only £1.59 per month IF you need more.


Do you use an online storage provider? If so, which service do you use? Is there a better value alternative, in your opinion, to the three mentioned here?


I hope you’ve found this post interesting.


If you have any questions about online storage, or have any suggestions about a subject you'd like me to discuss, then please let me know via the Contact Me button at the top of the page.


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