Cloud storage has become a thing, made more so by improved performance, better security, and free storage space. Apple’s iCloud is among the world’s largest cloud services for folks like you and me and there are plenty of alternatives to iCloud– but only one true competitor.
Caveat? Different strokes for different folks. You use case scenario might not match mine, but I’m willing to bet how I use the cloud– iCloud, Dropbox, et al– isn’t much different than the average Mac, iPhone, and iPad user.
In essence, it’s all about apps. For Apple customers, that makes iCloud the big dawg in the race. Why? Applications for Mac, iPhone, and iPad– if they use a cloud storage service to store or sync files at all– almost always have iCloud on the list. If not, the nice integration of iCloud drive for Mac and Files for iOS devices makes it easy.
Here’s how it works. You have an application that collects data or stores files. Where? If the app is multi-platform and files need to be synchronized between devices– iOS and macOS– then iCloud probably is the most used. Save a file or a configuration and it gets saved to iCloud and eventually shows up on other devices.
iCloud remains competitively priced. 5GB is free. Google Drive gives 15GB for free, but does not have as many applications that use it as an option. Ditto for Box and Microsoft’s OneDrive.
What about Dropbox?
I put Dropbox on every device for two reasons. More applications use Dropbox as an option for cloud storage than do Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, and others. Dropbox works faster to sync between devices than iCloud.
Yeah, I know. It’s that simple.
I use iCloud and Dropbox. But Dropbox only provides 2GB of free cloud storage and the additional tiers are among the most expensive. Yes, you get what you pay for, but price is an object. For iCloud I get 200GB for $2.99 a month. Dropbox does not have an interim plan, so there bounce to 1TB is $8.25 a month. iCloud on my Mac automatically syncs the Documents folder and Photos to iCloud.
No other cloud storage services work the way iCloud and Dropbox work on my Macs, iPhone, and iPads. It’s all about applications, quick sync, and price tag. iCloud is competitive on price. Dropbox has the fastest sync between devices. iCloud tops Dropbox on application usage.
Nothing else comes close.
The Daily Beast offered a few cloud storage services as worthy alternatives to Dropbox. The only place those options are worthy by comparison is their price tags.
Dropbox may be the OG of cloud storage, but common complaints include the price and lack of storage
Alternatives include Zoolz Cloud, iDrive, Degoo Premium, and pCloud. No mention of the alternatives from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, et al. Why not? The whole article is a promotion, not an in-depth comparison or analysis of cloud storage apps.
You may have a need for Google Drive or Microsoft’s OneDrive, and you may be attracted to options from Box and others, but for most of us in the Apple club, it boils down to convenience– how many apps can use the service– and price tag. For that, iCloud wins, followed by Dropbox. AlternativeTo has a better list but note the order of each.