Amazon Cloud Drive undercuts Dropbox
Amazon is making a bold grab for the file synchronisation market with its aggressively priced Amazon Cloud Drive.
The Cloud Drive service follows the Dropbox and SkyDrive formula, offering sychronisation of files across PCs and Kindle devices. However, it undercuts Dropbox and Google, and matches Microsoft’s SkyDrive pound-for-pound when it comes to paying for extra storage.
Amazon Cloud Drive offers 5GB of free storage, which is 3GB more than Dropbox initially offers for free, but 2GB less than Microsoft gives away with SkyDrive.
Like SkyDrive, Amazon charges £6 per year for 20GB of storage, £16 for 50GB or £32 for 100GB, although it should be noted that Microsoft adds any free storage allocation to paid-for packages. Unlike SkyDrive, which tops out at 100GB of storage, Amazon offers plans running all the way up to 1TB of storage for £320 per year.
Amazon’s service is significantly cheaper than Dropbox, which charges $9.99 (£6.56) per month for 100GB of storage, more than double the cost of Amazon Cloud Drive over the course of a year. It’s also slightly better value than Google Drive, which charges $4.99 (£3.28) per month for 100GB.
Cloud Drive limitations
There are notable restrictions with Amazon Cloud Drive, however. Firstly, mobile support is limited to Kindle devices, unlike its rivals, which offer apps across both iOS and Android, and Windows Phone in Microsoft’s case.
Amazon is also drawing a dividing line between Cloud Drive and its similar Cloud Player service, which allows you to store music bought from the retailer in the cloud. Cloud Player allows users to store only 250 songs (less than 1GB in most cases) for free, and charges £22 per year for extra storage.
Although Amazon does allow you to upload audio files to Cloud Drive, it warns that “music owned by others, purchased on Amazon.co.uk, or purchased on another music service can’t be shared” using the service.
Amazon is, of course, no newcomer to the cloud storage market as a whole. Amazon Web Services has long offered enterprise-grade cloud storage and hosting solutions.