1. The Most Generous Free Cloud Storage: Google Drive
Pricing: 15GB for free
The cheapest online storage doesn’t get any more cost-effective than free. If you don’t want to pay, Google Drive provides the most storage at no charge with a generous 15GB.
However, you should note that this storage is shared across your Google account. Thus, if you also use Gmail or Google Photos, you may find your storage disappears faster than you’d like.
If that’s the case, give pCloud a look. The service provides 10GB of free space, but you can easily increase that to 15GB by completing simple tasks after signing up. These include verifying your email address, downloading the software on your computer and phone, and enabling automatic photo upload.
2. The Best Budget Cloud Storage: iCloud
Pricing: 50GB for $0.99/month ($0.0198 per GB)
Our next category is budget cloud storage, meaning the lowest price you can pay (aside from free) for any amount of storage. That distinction goes to iCloud, which is the only major cloud storage provider to offer a 50GB plan.
50GB isn’t much space, but a dollar per month is the lowest absolute price you’ll find for cloud storage. This is probably enough to back up your iPhone or give you some room to move files between devices. Of course, being an Apple product, it’s best-suited for those who primarily work on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Its price per GB is one of the highest on the list, but that’s to be expected for such a small amount. If you purchase one of the plans with more storage, you can share the storage among your family. See the best uses for iCloud storage if you go with that.
3. The Cheapest 100GB or 200GB Cloud Storage: Google One
Pricing for 100GB: $1.99/month ($0.0199 per GB) or $19.99/year ($0.01666 per GB)
Pricing for 200GB: $2.99/month ($0.01495 per GB) or $29.99/year ($0.0125 per GB)
In case 50GB isn’t enough or you don’t use Apple devices, Google Drive (through Google One) provides the cheapest cloud storage for the next step up.
If you’re interested in a 100GB plan, you can save 16% over monthly pricing by signing up for an annual plan and paying just $1.67 per month. Meanwhile, the 200GB tier works out to just $2.50 per month when you pay annually.
4. The Cheapest 500GB Cloud Storage: pCloud
Pricing: 500GB for $4.99/month ($0.00998 per GB) or $47.88/year ($0.00798 per GB)
We gave pCloud’s free plan a shout-out earlier, but it’s also the only major cloud storage provider to offer a 500GB plan. This is the first storage tier where prices fall below $0.01 per gigabyte, making it more cost-effective.
Of note is that pCloud limits you to 500GB of download link traffic, which is used when people stream or download content from your public links. As long as you don’t primarily use your cloud storage to host files for others to access, this shouldn’t pose an issue.
We’ve looked at pCloud in detail before, so take a look at that for more info. If you really like it, you can upgrade to a lifetime 500GB plan for a one-time fee of $175.
5. The Cheapest 1TB Cloud Storage: MediaFire
Pricing: 1TB for $5/month ($0.005 per GB) or $45/year ($0.00375 per GB)
Many people use MediaFire primarily for sharing files with others, but it works as a personal cloud storage solution, too. Its 1TB pricing is the cheapest you’ll find, but it unfortunately has some issues that might make you look elsewhere.
MediaFire doesn’t offer desktop apps, so you’ll have to sync everything using the website or mobile apps. Its security and privacy features are lacking compared to other providers, and it skips on some power features that make other cloud storage so handy.