We have updated this guide for 2020 with more information on the best cloud providers and with a specific focus on working from home. You can read the updated article on cloud storage providers here.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with “The Cloud” it is the term used to describe the delivery of services over the Internet – The concept of the cloud is really conveying two main points – Firstly that the data or service is coming to you via the Internet (It just seems to arrive seamlessly and form out of nowhere) and secondly that it is not really coming from a single computer so its easy to think that its not stored on a computer, but in “The Cloud”.

This article will provide a cloud storage providers comparison showing the key features and benefits of the top providers as well as pricing information and value for money.

In reality these services are housed on computers, but they will normally be enterprise computing systems and will be making use of distributing computing technology which means that the services are on a platform spread across multiple computers and often multiple physical locations.

Cloud Storage:

Cloud Storage is exactly what is says on the tin – the practice of storing digital information in the aforementioned “Cloud”. So your data will be uploaded to these distributed computing systems, and then stored within them, for your easy access at any time. There are several advantages of this method of storage, the main ones being safety – these computer systems are much more robust than a home PC for example, and therefor there is a much lower chance of data corruption or loss – more detail to come on that one later. The second main advantage is ease of access – once your data is in the cloud, Dependant upon the provider, it can be accessed from almost any location and any device.

Cloud storage providers comparison

To give you a basis for the comparison, we have put together our top ten cloud storage providers – this is based partly on a general consensus among technology professionals in the industry, and partly on our own findings – please note that it is not an ordered list, but simply the top ten providers:

  1. Dropbox
  2. Livedrive
  3. Mega
  4. Apple iCloud
  5. Microsoft Onedrive (formerly Skydrive)
  6. Google Drive
  7. Box
  8. Amazon Cloud drive
  9. Media Fire
  10. Rackspace Cloud File Storage

To give you some more detail as to what each of these providers offer in terms of storage, pricing and so on, we have picked several metrics to compare all of the services to each other by, and they are as follows:

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ProviderFree SpacePaid (Monthly)Cost per GB (Monthly)Business/RetailVerdict
Dropbox2GB£7.99/1TB£0.007BothVery Comprehensive Service
LivedriveN/a£10/2TB£0.005BothGood price, 2TB max
Mega50GB£8.25/500GB£0.016Primarly RetailBest free offering
iCloud5GB£6.99/500GB£0.013Primarily RetailReasonably priced
OneDrive15GB£5.99/1TB£0.005BothVery good price, Apps need development
Google Drive15GB£6.34/1TB£0.006bothWell priced
Box10GB£11/UNLIMITED~BothBest price but 5GB file limit
Amazon Cloud5GB£13.34/500GB£0.027Primarily RetailFairly Expensive
MediaFire10GB£1.58/1TB£0.0016BothVery well priced
RackspaceN/a£70/1TB£0.07Primarily BusinessExpensive but reliable

cloud storage providers summary

Based on our comparison of the top cloud storage providers, we have made the following summaries:

  • Mega is the best value if you are looking for free personal storage.
  • Livedrive is the best overall solution for individuals
  • Dropbox is the best solution for small businesses
  • Rackspace is the best solution for enterprise