Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

The cheapest cloud storage options in 2018, both free and paid-for

Advertisement

Great cloud storage doesn’t have to cost a bomb, but which provider has the right deal for you?

There’s a huge range of cloud storage services out there, running all the way from the free deals the major companies use to suck you in, to the ever-larger, ever-cheaper options Microsoft, Apple and Google are using to grab a bigger chunk of the market.

There are cloud storage services aimed at business, cloud storage services aimed at media professionals and cloud storage services that focus on privacy or security. But what if you’re looking for something really simple: ample storage for your files, music, home videos and photos, with the ability to sync between computers, all at the lowest possible price? Which cloud storage service is offering the best deals?

That’s where we’ve come in. While you’ll have to look elsewhere to find our rundown of the best cloud storage services, we’ve combed through the available providers and plans to find out who offers the best low-cost deal for a given amount of storage.

How much storage do you need?

It really depends on what you want to do. If you’re simply looking for a service where you can sync a few photos and documents between different computers – and make them accessible on your phone and tablet – then even the free 5GB to 15GB plans will do the job. If, however, you’re looking to back-up and share all your documents and photos, or keep a backup of your phone or tablet, then you really need to move up to the 200GB to 500GB options.

And what if you want to go further, storing and syncing not just documents and images, but music and videos as well? In that case, the 1TB and 2TB plans start looking good, giving you enough storage for all but the most demanding users. Don’t worry if you need a service to store and sync even more data. There are some 4TB and 5TB files around for you as well.


To find out more about cloud storage and what to look for in a service, read the best cloud storage 2018.

READ NEXT: How to send large files online

The cheapest cloud storage 2018

pCloud: The best free cloud storage

Price: 10GB Free, 500GB for $4.99 per month, 2TB for $9.99 per month

pCloud gives you 10GB of storage free which you can easily boost to up to 20GB by referring friends or downloading and installing the iOS or Android mobile app. It’s a good service too, syncing folders on your PC with paired folders in the cloud, and enabling you to sync those folders to further PCs or even share them with other pCloud users. You can preview many common office and media files from within your Web browser, or stream videos and music. And if you need more storage, the 500GB and 2TB plans are still very affordable. Dropbox and OneDrive beat pCloud on ease-of-use, but if you want maximum space for minimum cost it’s hard to beat.

Try it now at pCloud

Google Drive: The cheapest low-capacity cloud storage

Price: 15GB Free, 100GB for £1.59 per month, 1TB for £7.99 per month

Looking for a little more space than the free services can offer, but not looking to store all your music, photos and videos online? Well, sign up for Google Drive’s 100GB option and you’ll get exactly what you need – and for less than you’d expect. Just £1.59 per month nets you the extra space, along with all the goodies you associate with Google Drive, including great integration with Gmail, Google Docs and Chrome, superb file preview features, support for up to 30 days worth of file versions and easy file and folder-sharing. Google Drive is set to be replaced by the new Google One service in the near future, but the 100GB plan will carry over, while the new 200GB and 2TB plans will be fantastic value for future upgrades.

Try it now at Google Drive

Sync.com: The cheapest 500GB cloud storage

Price: 5GB Free, 500GB for $49 per year, 2TB for $96 per year

There are several contenders once you hit the 500GB mark, with pCloud looking very tempting. However, at $49 per year if you pay annually, Sync.com is our pick of the plans, working out at roughly £3.10 a month at the current (pretty poor) exchange rates. It helps that Sync.com is one of the best of the newer cloud services, giving you a similar experience to the more expensive Dropbox with a few enhancements, like a Sync Vault folder where you can store files without syncing them to other devices, and end-to-end encryption to ensure your privacy and security.

Try it now at Sync.com

Microsoft OneDrive: The cheapest 1TB cloud storage

Price: 5GB Free, 50GB for £1.99 per month, 1TB for £5.99 per month

You used to pay a fortune for 1TB of online storage, but Microsoft has brought the price crashing down to under £6 a month. For that, you get one of the best and easiest-to-use cloud storage services around, with seamless integration for Windows users and good apps for MacOS, iOS and Android. OneDrive meshes with Microsoft’s other online services to give you excellent file-preview and even document editing features and, if you already use Windows 10 or Outlook.com, then you already have the free account – and paying £5.99 nets you the full Office 365 Personal package, including the Word, Excel, Outlook, OneDrive and PowerPoint desktop apps. That’s a bargain.

Try it now at Microsoft OneDrive

iCloud Drive: The cheapest 2TB cloud storage

Price: 50GB for 79p per month, 200GB for £2.49 per month, 2TB for £6.99 per month

iCloud Drive is, as you might expect, Apple-centric and most useful if you have a Mac, an iPad and an iPhone, but while it won’t work with Android devices it’s still perfectly usable as a cloud storage service across MacOS and Windows. You can get to your files and folders through the browser, while the iCloud Drive app makes syncing files and folders easy, even if you’re not working on a Mac. And this is a good thing, because Apple has some of the most competitively priced cloud storage around, with 2TB of space for only £1 more than Microsoft charges for 1TB. Android users and Apple-haters might prefer pCloud’s $9.99 per month (roughly £7.60) 2TB plan or wait for Google One to launch over here, but this might be one of those rare occasions where Apple undercuts its rivals.

Try it now at iCloud

LiveDrive: The cheapest cloud storage for over 2TB

Price: 2TB for £10 per month, 5TB for £15 per month

Sadly, Microsoft and Amazon have shut down their unlimited storage plans, while Dropbox only goes unlimited on its high-end business plans. That leaves the New Zealand-based Mega, at £17.79 for 4TB, and LiveDrive at £15 for a bargain-tastic 5GB plan. In fact, LiveDrive’s offer is even better than it sounds, giving you unlimited storage to backup up to five Macs or PCs, plus 5TB of space for storing and syncing files through the Briefcase, which acts as a Dropbox-style synced folder. If you want to backup everything and share the same files across all your devices, LiveDrive makes it look easy.

Try it now at LiveDrive