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Google One vs the competition: Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, and more

Which cloud storage service is right for you?
By
May 31, 2022
Google Drive featured stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

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!

See also: 10 best cloud storage services for Android

What is Google One?

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 DriveGoogle Photos, and Gmail. Apart from the new moniker, Google also introduced a few new storage tiers to make it a more compelling option. With Google removing free unlimited storage with Google Photos, you might want to consider getting a Google One subscription.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Google One

Google One vs Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, Mega, and Box

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, and Mega.

Subscription plans

Google OneDropboxMicrosoft OneDrive

Google One
Free
15GB
Dropbox
Free
2GB
Microsoft OneDrive
Free
5GB

Google One
$1.99/month
$19.99/year
100GB
Dropbox
$11.99/month
$119.80/year
2TB
Microsoft OneDrive
$1.99/month
$19.99/year
100GB

Google One
$2.99/month
$29.99/year
200GB
Dropbox
$19.99/month
$199/year
3TB
Microsoft OneDrive
$6.99/month
$69.99/year
1TB

Google One
$9.99/month
$99.99/year
2TB
Dropbox


Microsoft OneDrive
$9.99/month
$99.99/year
6TB

Google One
$24.99/month
5TB
Dropbox


Microsoft OneDrive



Google One
$49.99/month
10TB
Dropbox


Microsoft OneDrive



Google One
$99.99/month
20TB
Dropbox


Microsoft OneDrive



Google One
$149.99/month
30TB
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 the 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. Mega jumps ahead, though, with 20GB of storage. You can more than double it with limited-time offers for the first few months. 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.

iCloudMega

iCloud
Free
5GB
Mega
Free
20GB

iCloud
$0.99/month
50GB
Mega
€4.99/month (~$5.37)
€49.99/year (~$53.80)
400GB

iCloud
$2.99/month
200GB
Mega
€9.99/month
(~$10.75)
€99.99/year (~$107.61)
2TB

iCloud
$9.99/month
2TB
Mega
€19.99/month (~$21.51)
€199.99/year (~$215.23)
8TB

iCloud


Mega
€29.99/month (~$32.28)
€299.99/year (~$322.85)
16TB

Google Drive, iCloud, and Microsoft OneDrive all have similar starting tiers and prices. OneDrive makes a significant jump to the next level, though, while the others have multiple tiers in-between. Mega’s plans are among the cheapest, with around $5 per month getting you 400GB of storage. DropBox and OneDrive might be a little more expensive than the rest, mostly because of a lack of tier options, but they have plenty to offer in terms of services and software integration.

Google One vs Dropbox and more: Supported platforms

Google One
(Drive + Photos)
DropboxMicrosoft OneDriveiCloudMega
Desktop
Google One
(Drive + Photos)
Windows
Mac
ChromeOS
Dropbox
Windows
Mac
Linux
Microsoft OneDrive
Windows
Mac
iCloud
Windows
Mac
Mega
Windows
Mac
Linux
Mobile
Google One
(Drive + Photos)
Android
iOS
Dropbox
Android
iOS

Microsoft OneDrive
Android
iOS
iCloud
iOS
Mega
Android
iOS
Others
Google One
(Drive + Photos)

Dropbox

Microsoft OneDrive
Xbox One
iCloud
Apple TV
Mega

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.

Productivity

google drive third party apps
Google Drive third-party apps supported

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 is a pure storage service. It comes with an excellent photo viewer, 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.

Storage sharing

Google One family sharing feature
Google One family sharing

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.

Google One vs the competition: Which is the best option for you?

Google one features
Additional Google One features

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. It also comes with useful extras like expert help and access to Google VPN.

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.

Read more: Best free cloud storage services

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 and Mega. 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 20GB of free space is unmatched, 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).

What is your cloud storage service of choice? Let us know in the comments.