The Cheapest Cloud Storage Services of 2020 for All Your Files

There are plenty of cloud storage services out there, but which one is the best? And how do you even define “best,” because that word, to me, means “the most I can get without having to pay anything.”

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Whether you’re a cheapskate like me, or you you don’t mind putting up some monthly cash to host your critical files on a company’s server somewhere, there are plenty of cloud storage providers to pick from. And since these providers change their pricing and plans somewhat frequently, it’s important to keep on top of this stuff so you know you’re getting the best deal.

Here’s a quick look at some of the major cloud storage players and how their services stack up, based on what you’re willing to pay. On our list: Amazon, Apple, Box, Dropbox, Google One, Mega, and OneDrive / Office 365.

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Best free cloud storage plan

Winner: Google (data/transfer limits are annoying)


Best cloud storage plan for less than $5/month

  • Amazon: 1TB for $5/mo (paid annually, so $60. Also available: 100GB for $1.60/mo if you pay annually or $2/mo if you pay monthly.) 🔥
  • Apple: 200GB for $3/mo (Also available: 50GB for $1/mo.) 😐
  • Box: DNE ❌
  • Dropbox: DNE ❌
  • Google: 200GB for $3/mo (or $30/yr, which drops it to $2.5/mo) 😐
  • IDrive: 5TB ($5.79/mo or $69.50/year, though they might have promos for your first year of service) 🔥 🔥
  • Mega: DNE (400GB for 5€/mo, so your final price in USD, as of when we wrote this, is just around $6/mo) ❌
  • OneDrive: 100GB ($2/mo) ❌

Winner:  IDrive, though it’s really more a service designed for online backups than anything else. If you want more basic cloud storage, Amazon is a great alternative.


Best cloud storage plan for less than $10/month

  • Amazon: 2TB for $10/mo (paid annually, so $120; if paid monthly, $12/mo) 🔥
  • Apple: 2TB for $10/mo 🔥
  • Box: 100GB for $10/mo (5GB limit on individual files) ❌
  • Dropbox: 2TB for $10/mo (if paid annually; if monthly, $12/mo) 🔥
  • Google: 2TB for $10/mo (or $100/year, which drops it to $8.33/mo) 🔥
  • IDrive: 10TB ($8.33/mo or $100/year) 🔥 🔥
  • Mega: 200GB for 5€/mo (around $6/mo; 1TB plan is around $12/mo) ❌
  • OneDrive/Office 365: 1TB for $7/mo (or $70/year, which drops it to $5.80/mo. You can also add additional storage for $2/200GB, billed monthly.) 😐

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Winner: IDrive again, if you don’t mind fussing with a service that’s more backup-oriented. Otherwise, go with Google for the slight annual discount


Best cloud storage plan for less than $20/month

  • Amazon: 4TB for $20/mo (paid annually, so $240) 🔥
  • Apple: 2TB for $10/mo 🔥
  • Box: 100GB for $10/mo (5GB limit on individual files) ❌
  • Dropbox: 3TB for $16.58/mo (if paid annually; if monthly, $20/mo) 😐
  • Google: 2TB for $10/mo (or $100 a year, which drops it to $8.33/mo) 🔥
  • IDrive: 10TB ($8.33/mo or $100/year) 🔥 🔥
  • Mega: 1TB 10€/mo (around $12/mo, and a 4TB plan is around $24/mo) ❌
  • OneDrive/Office 365: 1TB for $7/mo (or $70/year, which drops it to $5.80/mo. You can also add additional storage for $2/200GB, billed monthly.) 😐

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Winner: IDrive (sensing a pattern here). Google and Amazon are a close second if you want basic cloud storage and friendlier apps.


A special bonus: lifetime storage

I wasn’t quite sure where to slot pCloud on our list; it’s regular plans aren’t very competitive, but it’s one of the only cloud-storage services I’ve come across that offers lifetime storage plan. Assuming pCloud sticks around for the long haul—and I have faith there, given that it started up in 2013 or so and recently announced in 2019 that it was profitable—its lifetime plans are a pretty intriguing deal. At $480 for lifetime access to 500GB or $980 for 2TB, their regular prices are a bit much, but pCloud is currently running a promotion that cuts these costs down to $175 and $350, respectively. Take advantage of a sign-up promotion and use the service for multiple years, and you’ll save a ton of money compared to other cloud services out there.

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Update August, 2020: I refreshed all the pricing in this guide and added in an analysis of IDrive which, go figure, swept all the categories. I’m not in love with its interface compared to something like a Google Drive, but if all you care about is lots of storage on the cheap, this service can’t be topped. I also talked a bit about pCloud’s lifetime plans, which could be a compelling alternative to everything else on our list.

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Update June 26, 2019: Microsoft has announced its new OneDrive Personal Vault, a protected section of your existing OneDrive setup that requires stronger security protections to access (like a secondary PIN, fingerprint, or authenticator code). The company is also boosting the storage of its OneDrive plans, and we’ve updated our article with the new details.