Dropbox has been the top choice cloud storage platform for so many people over a long time. So much so, that as we Kenyans say, it has grown horns. That is, it has reached a point where it feels it can do whatever it want, and tomorrow you will still come back.
Well, guess what! There are alternatives; free alternatives. But before we get into that, let me remind you of the Dropbox disappointment. These days it limits you to just three syncing devices at one time. If you want it to sync on more than three devices at one time, you will need to part with money.
Unless of course, you turn to its alternatives; Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple iCloud. There are the best free alternatives for Dropbox. Well, sort of!
Chances are high you use Gmail email, and that means you are automatically assigned 15GB free storage by Google on its cloud storage Google Drive. The platform is well engineered and works seamlessly. Compared to the 2GB free storage you get with Dropbox, Google Drive sure seems like a huge freebie.
Google also released a Backup and Sync software that enables you to backup and sync all folders on your computers to the cloud. It is without a doubt, one of the best backup options available today.
The fact that it is integrated with Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, and the rest of G-Suite app makes creating, working, and sharing of documents much easier. It also has an equally seamless mobile app for both Android and iOS for mobile cloud computing. You can also access the platform via the browser.
Microsoft OneDrive gives you free 5GB cloud storage, which isn’t much compared to the free 15GB you get with G-Drive, but it is certainly better than the 2GB you get with Dropbox. And just like G-Drive, OneDrive comes with no limitation on the number of devices you can sync to like Dropbox.
You can sync across as many PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets you want. OneDrive also comes baked into Windows 10. You can also access it via the web on any browser.
Let’s say the truth. Apple is a stingy company, but they make up for it by released well-baked products. One of which is the iCloud Drive (that is 5GB-free-storage stingy) but at least it lets you sync your files across as many devices as you wish. So for that, we recommend it over Dropbox.
iCloud Drive is also inbuilt on the Mac OS X and offers you the first 5GB for free to be shared between your documents, backups, and photo library. Windows users can download the iCloud app, but there is no version for it on Android and other platforms. Well, except when using the browser.
Say the freemium storage isn’t enough, Dropbox is still a raw deal
Perhaps after reading the above, you still think these are not the best alternatives if you are looking to jump ship from Dropbox. Well, let us explore the premium package for each then.
For $99 you get 1TB cloud storage space on Dropbox for one year. Come go Google Drive, $1.99 gives you 100GB per month, and for $99.99 per year, you get yourself 2TB.
Come to Microsoft’s OneDrive, for $69.99 you get one year access to Office 365 Personal and 1TB storage space. Bump that to $99.99, you get access to Office 365 Home family plan, which you can share with six people and all of you get access to Office apps and 1TB cloud storage. Wait, that is 6TB for $99.99; quite a deal huh?
If you don’t need much storage, OneDrive also gives you the option of $1.99 for 50GB per month, but with no office.
As for the stingy Apple iCloud, the deal you get is still better than on OneDrive. For $0.88 you get 50GB cloud storage, and on a monthly $9.99 you get 2TB.
The three mentioned alternatives are all from (well) trusted companies. They also have a long history of giving free storage and incentives (such as Office suites) to subscribe to a premium package. Nonetheless, there are a plethora of other smaller cloud storage providers that out-compete all the above-mentioned options. But that will be a topic for another day!