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We asked, you told us: You're on the fence about paying for cloud storage

While many people pay for cloud storage, an almost equal number are happy with the free storage they get.

Published onJune 7, 2021

Google One app icon on the Google Pixel 3 XL homescreen

Having cloud storage is very common these days. You need it for almost all kinds of digital data backups be it your emails, documents, messages, contacts, photos, or other files. Of course, you can always use physical storage to back up your data but cloud storage just makes this super convenient for many.

There are also a number of cloud storage platforms you can choose from these days. Popular ones include Google One, Dropbox, and OneDrive that offer some amount of free storage and fairly inexpensive paid storage plans.

So we set out to ask our readers if they subscribe to any paid cloud storage plans or if they are satisfied with the limited free storage most services offer. Here’s you they voted in our poll.

Do you have a subscription to cloud storage services?


As you can see from the pie chart above, 51.49% of the 2,860 readers who voted in our poll said that they pay for cloud storage. However, a close 48.5% of the poll takers are only using the free storage option provided by cloud services. This shows that our readers are divided over how they use cloud storage. Comments on our poll shed more light on these results.

Your comments

AnySmarterIdRunLinux: My ‘cloud’ is private and takes the form of a microSD card, synced to another HD.

Techngro: I’m about to create my own Nextcloud. I’ll be able to have access to all of my data wherever I go, but it will all be stored on my own server at home.

Paul: I use Syncthing for all my devices. Its ability to sync files anywhere without a central server is much more private than using Gdrive or Dropbox. Although it took me a bit to set up and configure, it’s definitely worth it.

Eric Pearson: I pay to go to school and get unlimited storage for life from that. So paid?

Nicole B: I have Google Fi phone service and it comes with 100GB of cloud storage. So technically I am paying for cloud storage but not as a separate service.

Evie: No I just don’t back up enough content to worry about it.

john w: Yes, Dropbox. It’s platform-neutral and UI consistent, making it easy to share files with my clients. My primary system is a Mac, so keeping all my Documents synced to Dropbox, along with Time Machine making incremental backups, is a great feature. If I need to switch over to a Win machine, tablet, Linux, etc, all my files are available. A bonus is that it works with Docker containers, working as a “standard” drive, so every time a file updates via the container, it auto-syncs to dropbox (and auto backed-up via Time Machine as well). I also use a NAS (behind a firewall) that images the Time Machine drive, a 3-2-1 backup procedure, as a precaution to ransomware.

Matt Jensen: I have been a poster child for data loss. I had a hard drive die on me, I’ve lost flash drives, had computers go belly up. While I now have local redundant storage with a NAS, I also use cloud storage for photos and videos in case a major catastrophe happens, natural disasters or even theft. Since I’ve lost so much, better safe than sorry.

Albin: Free tiers are fine. I always make a distinction between cloud “sync” and cloud “storage”. My need for sync is only a few hundred MB of active files and reading material, and storage for some independently encrypted personal data and smartphone (as opposed to camera) images and video files, getting larger all the time, My main bulk historical storage is still on external hard drives, backed up every month or so.

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