Google’s updated subscription plans for cloud storage now fall under its new Google One program. Announced back in May 2018, Google One first launched in the U.S. and rolled out to users across the world since. How does Google One stack up against other cloud storage services? We find out in this quick look at Google One vs the competition!
What is Google One?
The basic idea is to bring all your cloud storage needs under one banner. The storage you buy — or even the free 15GB available to anyone with a Google account — is shared across Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail. Apart from the new moniker, Google also introduced a few new storage tiers to make it a more compelling option. You can learn more about Google One right here.
Google One vs Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, Mega, and pCloud
Google One is not the only cloud storage service. In fact, there are far too many to consider all of them in this comparison. However, there are a few popular options that are worth checking out. These include Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud, Mega, and pCloud.
|Google One||Dropbox||Microsoft OneDrive|
Storage and price are usually the first things you consider. Of course, the number of tiers available is also important. Users shouldn’t have to pay for 1TB of storage when 200GB is all they need, but have no choice.
This is where Google One does an excellent job, with storage options starting from 100GB and going all the way up to a whopping 30TB. With multiple steps along the way, you should be able to pick exactly how much storage you need. iCloud also does a good job in this regard, but maximum available storage tops out at 2TB.
Google One also has a leg up when it comes to free storage, with 15GB of storage available to everyone with a Google account. Not counting towards this is high-quality photos (compressed down to 16MP and video down to 1080p). Photos and videos only go count towards storage if you opt for saving them in the original (highest) quality. Dropbox offers the least amount of free storage, but it’s possible to earn enough to at least triple it.
|$0.99/month||50GB||4.99 euros/month (~$5.57)||200GB||$3.99/month|
$175 lifetime plan
$350 lifetime plan
|$9.99/month||2TB||19.99 euros/month (~$22.30)||4TB|
|29.99 euros/month (~$33.46)||8TB|
Mega offers the same 15GB of storage for free. You can more than double it, even if for a limited time. Just creating an account gives you an additional 35GB for a month. Downloading the Mega mobile and desktop (MegaSYNC) apps will give you 15GB and 20GB of added storage respectively, but only for six months. There are also referral bonuses available.
pCloud is a premium cloud storage services that offer lifetime plans that are relatively affordable, with the potential for huge savings in the long run. There aren’t a lot of tiers to consider, but you can get a lifetime of 500GB or 2TB of storage for just $175 or $350 respectively.
Google One and iCloud are also more affordable than the rest as far as the monthly plans go. However, options like Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive, while more expensive, offer more in terms of certain features, app integration, and more.
Google One vs Dropbox and more: Supported platforms
(Drive + Photos)
|Others||Xbox One||Apple TV||Thunderbird Mail||Lightroom|
For some, supported platforms are as important a consideration as price. After all, there’s no point subscribing to an affordable service with lots of storage if you can’t store the files you need to store.
The good news is that you’ll be able to access everything on all major operating systems with these cloud services. The main exception here is iCloud, which is unsurprisingly geared towards Apple users. A Windows app is available, but there isn’t one for Android.
Google One is ideal for those who depend on Google products (Drive, Photos, Docs, Gmail, etc.). Similarly, OneDrive is great for dedicated Windows users. However, both have Mac and iOS apps available as well. Third-party services like Dropbox, Mega, and pCloud are available across all platforms, including Linux. All of them have robust web apps as well.
Some of these services come with quite a few productivity features that are either built-in or easily accessible. Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive take the lead in this regard. With the first two, the key integration is with Microsoft Office Online, while Google has Drive, Docs, and Photos.
The main advantage of OneDrive is its complete integration with Microsoft products like OneNote, Office 365, Outlook, and Skype. In fact, the higher-tier plans (1TB and 5TB) include a full subscription to Microsoft Office 365 for PC or Mac, which is fantastic.
However, Dropbox and Google Drive take a huge lead in third-party app integration, with hundreds of supported apps. All three are collaboration-friendly as well, and the best options if you are looking for a cloud storage solution for a team.
iCloud will sync all your pictures stored in Apple Photos. On MacOS, both the documents folder and desktop are synced by default. Other Apple services sync through iCloud as well, including Reminders, Notes, Calendars, and Siri.
Mega and pCloud are purely storage services. Both come with excellent photo viewers though, and you can also stream video instead of downloading it to another device. Granted, viewing photos and streaming video is possible with the other storage services as well.
Google One allows storage sharing with friends or family by creating a family group with five additional members. The main account will be responsible for payment and managing the storage. Of course, no user will have access to what another group member is storing unless it’s specifically shared.
Apple offers a similar Family Sharing plan with iCloud, which also lets you share storage with up to five additional users. The group Organizer chooses the features to share like iTunes and App Store purchases, Apple Books, and Apple Music subscriptions. Cloud storage sharing is possible with the 200GB and 2TB plans.
With OneDrive, you can share storage with the highest tier (6TB) — up to 1TB each for six users. Individual Dropbox plans don’t allow storage sharing, so you’ll have to upgrade to Dropbox’s enterprise solutions. Similarly, there’s no multiple-user sharing possible with Mega and pCloud.
Google One vs the competition: Which is the best option for you?
Unsurprisingly, all of them have pros and cons. There’s no absolute best option out there — it depends on individual preferences.
Google One offers a lot of tiers, but the higher options (more than 10TB) are only for very select users. Storage sharing, third-party app integration, and multi-platform access to Google Drive and Photos are all great. However, Google One is definitely suited for those more invested in the Google ecosystem.
Office 365 is a big part of what makes OneDrive a favorite. Access to either Office Online or the included Office 365 subscription with the higher plans is great. It’s not cheap and there aren’t a lot of storage tiers, but OneDrive is still the best way to go for the dedicated Windows user.
It’s the same story with iCloud. The storage service isn’t necessarily intended for collaboration or productivity. However, the plans are affordable, Family Sharing is great, and there’s no better option if you are an Apple user.
There are quite a few excellent third-party cloud storage services as well, like Dropbox, Mega, and pCloud. Dropbox is a bit of an oddity. The subscription plan options aren’t great, it offers the lowest amount of free storage, and the best security features are only available with the highest tier. That said, Dropbox is one of the best options for productivity and collaboration, which is what makes it such a fan favorite.
Mega is a great option if you are looking for tons of free storage. The base 15GB of free space is matched only by Google, but simply downloading mobile and desktop apps, or even just creating an account will give you up to 50GB of free storage (though only for six months). Finally, pCloud is one of the most secure cloud storage services around, and the availability of a lifetime plan promises incredible savings in the long run.
What is your cloud storage service of choice? Let us know in the comments.