OneDrive vs Google Drive vs Dropbox: The best cloud storage service of 2017
Dropbox vs OneDrive vs Google Drive: paid-for subscriptions
Tier one price (£s)
Dropbox offers only one paid tier for consumers: 1TB for £7.99 per month, or £79 per year.
OneDrive previously offered three additional tiers to its free service (100GB, 200GB and 1TB) but replaced the first two with a single 50GB plan for £1.99 a month. The 1TB option will set you back £5.99 per month, but comes with Office 365 for Home, Personal or University subscribers. An additional 5TB version will set you back £7.99 per month or £79.99 per year – but again, it comes with an Office 365 Home subscription, and allows you to use more devices (five PCs or Macs and five tablets or phones.)
Google Drive, meanwhile, has five premium subscriptions, starting at $1.99 (£1.54) per month before tax for 100GB and going up to a wallet-wounding $99.99 (£77.25) per month before tax for 10TB. Note, Google Drive only charges in dollars.
Dropbox vs OneDrive vs Google Drive: supported platforms
In terms of supported platforms, OneDrive is the most comprehensive of the three services. It’s the only one that has a native client for Windows PC and Mac, and native apps for Android, iOS, and, of course, Windows Phone. You can even run it on your Xbox.
Dropbox also has native support for iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, and Windows Phone. It’s also the only service here that has a native app for Amazon Kindle Fire and BlackBerry.
Google Drive has no native app for Windows Phone but does for Windows PC, Mac, iOS and Android.
Of course, you can also access all three services online through your browser, and there are third-party Windows Phone apps for Dropbox and Google Drive.
Dropbox vs OneDrive vs Google Drive: business products
All three services also offer a business version, but, as with their consumer offerings, what you get for your money varies significantly.
Google Drive has two tiers with Google Apps for Work costing either £3.30 per user per month or £6.60 per user per month.
The cheaper tier includes 30GB Gmail and Drive storage, video chat, calendar and document editing, security controls and customised email addresses.
The £6.66 tier, however, offers 1TB storage per user if there are five accounts or fewer, or unlimited storage if you have more. It also includes audit and reporting tools, as well as Google Vault for eDiscovery, which is the process of identifying and delivering electronic information to be as evidence in a criminal or civil case. In Google Vault, this covers emails, chats, docs, files and email archiving.
Dropbox Plus is the company’s offering for individuals or small businesses with up to two people. It costs £7.99 per user per month or £79 per year and offers 1TB of space.
Alongside the basic Dropbox features, customers have access to priority email support and the option to add unlimited file recovery and version history to their account, although they cost £29 each per year.
Dropbox for Business is charged at £10 per user per month, with a minimum of three users required. There’s a 2TB limit on storage, and file recovery and versioning are included in the monthly price for up to 120 days. Other additional features include the ability to prevent file sharing outside of the team and remote wipe. If you want more features, such as single sign on and active directory support, you’re looking at a higher priced tier – with the advanced package starting at £15 per user per month – but that does include unlimited storage.
OneDrive for Business costs a flat £3.80 per user per month and offers 1TB of storage per user per month. However, if additional storage is required, the £7.50 per user per month package offers unlimited storage, along with additional security and compliance features.
In addition to basic OneDrive features, like document creation and mobile access, you also get auditing and reporting, SSO, ADFS and Directory sync support for Active Directory, plus advanced administration controls.
(Please note, we’ve looked at OneDrive for Business as a standalone product for the purposes of this review. However, it is also available as part of Microsoft Office 365)
Dropbox vs OneDrive vs Google Drive: our verdict
Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive are all decent services. However, Dropbox falls behind when it comes to value for money and service tiers offered. It also has limited integration with other cloud services.
The products offered by Google Drive and OneDrive used to be quite similar, but the recent cuts to OneDrive ultimately make Google Drive a more appealing option. That said, choosing between them will depend on how much money you have to spend, how much data you want to back up, and the ecosystem with which you’re more integrated.
If you’re a Windows 10 user, OneDrive is preinstalled and, as previously noted, if you have a Microsoft email account then you have a OneDrive account. However, Google Drive has a greater range of tiers and pricing options available and is cheaper gigabyte-for-gigabyte than OneDrive, although it does leap from 100GB to 1TB.
So if you have deep pockets and need 1TB+ of storage, Google Drive is the obvious choice. However, if you don’t need to upload more than 200GB to the cloud, and you’re a Windows user, we’d recommend OneDrive.
Alternatively, you could always buy an external hard drive and make your own personal cloud server. We recommend the 3TB WD My Cloud.