The best cloud storage will back up all of your files and folders to the cloud, whether for business or personal use.
Whether you like it or not, cloud services have become essential in today's work environment. Fueled by the rise in remote working and the need for online collaboration, cloud storage and online file syncing services have become a part of most people's everyday workflow.
These online services include everything from the best photo cloud storage to cloud storage for business. Offering plenty of storage capacity, they make it easy to secure, access, and share files wherever you are, online, on desktop, and on mobile.
It's not just for online working that cloud services have become important for - cloud backup services have become integral to many people's and organizations' backup process, in order to ensure they have a safe and secure off-site backup to complement on-premise ones, as part of a 1-2-3 backup strategy.
To help you find the right one for you we’ve reviewed the best cloud storage services, looking at set-up, security, sync speeds, and sharing performance. We’ve checked file recovery and versioning options, so everyone’s always on the same page. Accounting for budget is as important for us as it is for you, so we've also listed the best free cloud storage services to try out, plus lifetime cloud storage deals, which charge a large one-off sum for unlimited access to a hefty data allowance.
1. IDrive: 10TB of storage for $3.98
Cloud storage veteran IDrive offers an incredible amount of online space for a small outlay across a wide range of platforms. 10TB of storage for $3.98 for the first year is unmatched and so is the support for unlimited devices and the extensive file versioning system available.
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2. pCloud: Save on lifetime cloud storage is more expensive than the competition, but the one-off payment means that you won't have to worry about renewal fees that can be horrendously expensive. 2TB for life for under $400 while the 10TB plan costs only $1,190.
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3. Reader Offer: Sync.com: Save $50 off yearly plans
Solo professionals can access Sync cloud storage for just $24 a month (dropping to $20 when billed annually). Teams, meanwhile, can access unlimited storage for $18 per user, per month (or just $15 if billed annually) - only with our exclusive deal.
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The best cloud storage services in 2023
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See how our top picks compare in the following analysis and reviews as we discuss reasons to subscribe, reasons to avoid, our test results, and what we liked most about each cloud storage platform.
The best cloud storage overall
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✔️ You want a cloud storage service that is feature-rich: IDrive boasts a significant number of features, including Snapshots, which lets you store up to 30 different versions of your files and a physical recovery option.
✔️ Flexible backup options: With IDrive, users can back up an unlimited number of devices – computers, mobile phones, servers – to a single account.
✔️ You need cloud storage you can trust with your life: With IDrive’s end-to-end encryption protocols, you can rest assured that any files you store are safe.
❌ You're on a strict budget: IDrive isn't the cheapest cloud storage on the market, with some of the more appealing price points only available for a “limited time only”
❌ You've got ambitious growth plans: There's no unlimited storage options, which could be an issue for some enterprises.
❌ You want a slick interface: The user interface of the desktop client does leave a little to be desired.
IDrive is a terrific cloud storage solution - a fantastic all-rounder with an easy-to-use backup option. It offers a great balance between security, usability and performance.
Check out our in-depth IDrive review for a closer look at the service, and see why it's our top cloud storage pick for 2023.
IDrive tops our best cloud storage charts with its appealing mix of easy-to-use desktop and mobile apps, excellent backup features, strong security and great value.
Signing up gets you from 10TB (personal) to 50TB (business) , but pure storage is just the start. Sync support keeps files up-to-date across all your hardware, and excellent backup features enable protecting everything from individual files and folders to full SQL, Exchange, SharePoint and other servers. We found this was very easy to use, and our tests revealed iDrive's performance was a close match to Google Drive and the other top contenders.
The service is strong on the security fundamentals, with end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication to protect you from attack. But it also excels at extras, such as an option to transfer your data to iDrive on a physical device, ideal if you've a slow internet connection and 50TB to protect. IDrive sends you the drive, pays return postage (in the US), but it's still free once a year for personal users (three times for business plans.)
The free tier gives you a decent 10GB of storage, more than enough to try the apps and get a look at what iDrive has to offer. And if you like what you see, right now there's a spectacular deal offering 10TB storage for only $3.98 for the first year, little more than $0.01 a day.
Read our full IDrive cloud storage review.
Performance: This is an area where IDrive really shines. It boasts fast upload speeds and a file recovery feature that is especially handy if you think you’ve lost some important data. IDrive also provides block-level syncing when you are syncing files from a device, such as a smartphone or tablet, to the cloud. Other backup features, including disk image backup, NAS backup and server backup, are useful additions depending on what you’re looking for from your cloud storage.
Security: IDrive is certainly no slouch on the security front. It comes with two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption to protect your data. This works via a private key that is unique to you, so look after it! There’s also the offer of standard encryption, which although not as secure as end-to-end encryption, still provides protection against most potential breaches. It also means a bit less responsibility for the end user as iDrive keeps hold of the encryption key, so you can restore your data whenever you need to, without having to remember a private key.
Expand to read our expert technical analysis of IDrive ↓
IDrive's Express service lets you put your data on all the best hard drives and post them off - for when you want the added protection that comes with physical storage.
Customer support: IDrive has several support options so you should be able to contact the company should an issue arise. There’s live chat functionality, as well as the option of contacting support via either telephone or email. As with many companies, some users have complained that response times vary, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by some fast remediation whenever a problem emerged.
Features: First of all, IDrive offers users the possibility of backing up their files across an unlimited number of devices, from computers to mobile devices, as well as NAS drives.
There’s also the possibility of real-time syncing and backup scheduling, both of which are great for ensuring you never forget to back up the latest version of your files. You can also opt to receive desktop or email notifications informing you when your backups are completed.
You can also share files simply through links. You can configure these links to expire after a set period - up to a maximum of 30 days - or a number of downloads. All of your active share links are also visible through the IDrive dashboard so there’s complete clarity over what you’re sharing with, say, external partners.
Usability: IDrive does boat some good usability on the whole, although a revamp of its design and interface in certain areas could improve this. Menu and setting screens are pretty clear, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble configuring IDrive exactly to your liking.
There are some differences here depending on the type of device you are accessing IDrive through. For instance, there are fewer options if you’re using the iOS version. While the Android app lets you backup SMS messages, this isn’t possible with the iPhone and iPad versions, which are limited to contact, calendar, photos and videos. While this may be more of an Apple issue than an IDrive one, it will still affect usability for certain users.
Price: IDrive offers 5GB of free storage - no credit card required. After that, you’ll probably want to look at the Persona, which costs $59.62 a year for 5TB, and there’s the option of a $15 upgrade for twice the amount of storage (10TB).
If the Business plan is more likely to suit your needs, you can gain cloud storage fpr an unlimited number of users and devices. This is available from $74.62 a year for 250GB, increasing to $8699.62 for 50TB of space per user. Alternatively, there’s the Team plan, which comes in several versions. Here, the cheapest plan starts at $74.62 for one year.
It’s also worth remembering that TechRadar readers can get 10TB of cloud storage for $3.98 for the first year. You can grab this exclusive deal by clicking here.
|Design||A bit lacking in places - especially outside the desktop version||⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||Not always the most intuitive, but worth the effort.||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||Fast upload speed and great feature set.||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||IDrive offers end-to-end encryption||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Customer support||24/7 live chat, telephone and email support||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Additional features||Single sign-on, server cloud backup, remote computer management||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Time to upload 1GB||4m22s - very fast||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Time to download 1GB||2m27s - still very respectable||⭐⭐⭐|
|Platforms||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Price||Not the cheapest but a great free plan||⭐⭐⭐|
Best for security
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✔️ You want advanced security features: Internxt is a zero-knowledge file storage service focused on absolute privacy
✔️ You need reliable customer support: Chat support is responsive and the Help Center is extensive.
✔️ You want an easy-to-use interface: An intuitive interface most users will be instantly familiar with.
❌ You want free storage without limits: The download limit on shared files, for example, isn't included in the free plan.
❌ You need more advanced features: Features like file versioning, offered by some rivals, aren't available here.
❌ If collaboration is important to you: In-app collaboration isn't on offer.
Internxt has a clean interface and first-rate security credentials. Although some advanced features are lacking, reliable support means this is a cloud storage platform well worth a look.
Check out our in-depth Internxt review for a closer look at this cloud storage platform's excellent security credentials.
Internxt is a security-focused cloud storage provider who applies multiple technologies to ensure your data stays safe. End-to-end encryption shields your data from snoopers; the service stores files in chunks spread around its networks, protecting it from hardware failures; a virus scanner checks your files for malware, a password generator to protect your accounts, and a temporary email.
You can be sure of this as, unlike other 'secure' cloud providers, Internxt is committed to open source. This means that the source code for their apps are available on Github so developers can check that end-to-end encryption and other features have been set up correctly.
Paid plans start at just €0.99 a month for 20GB, a low total but also not much storage. Fortunately you get 2TB for a reasonable €9.99 per month, and the business plans offer up to 20TB for €190 per month (to cover two users.) You can also enjoy annual and lifetime plans of up to 10TB, and checkout using various payment methods such as credit and debit cards (including Mastercard, VISA, American Express, and more), PayPal, bankcontact, iDeal, and SOFORT.
We found Internxt's well-designed web view and apps did a good job of helping us find and manage files. Windows Explorer and Mac Finder integration made uploading as simple as a drag and drop. Sync support keeps files up-to-date across all your devices, and you can share files with others via custom links.
Internxt can't quite match the advanced features you'll find with OneDrive or Dropbox, and it has one or two small unexpected hassles. Although there's a free 10GB plan, for instance, to get it all you must install both the desktop and mobile apps (1GB each), share a file via a link (1GB) and invite five friends. (1GB each). Still, Internxt's security-first approach and quality apps give it a lot of appeal, and if that's what you're after, it more than deserves a place on your shortlist.
Read our full Internxt cloud storage review.
Expand to read our expert technical analysis of Internxt ↓
Performance: During our speed tests, Internxt held up well and it was especially impressive to find that the encryption process didn't have a detrimental effect on speed at all. During our performance tests, the upload of 625MB of data took just 1 minute 55 seconds, which holds its own against other cloud storage services we've reviewed that don't offer encryption.
Security: Perhaps the main reason you'll want to choose Internxt as your cloud storage platform. All of your data is instantly encrypted upon being transferred from your device, only being decrypted when it is downloaded back to the device in question. Also, your data isn’t stored in a single location - it’s broken up and spread across multiple servers. This means even if a server was to suffer a data breach, your entire file won’t be compromised - making it of limited use to cyberattackers. Internxt has also passed an independent security audit by Securitum.
Customer support: Internxt users will find that the first port of call for customer support is live chat, which appears whenever you navigate to the Internxt site. For users that prefer to solve their challenges independently, the Internxt Help Center is on hand with numerous support articles. On the other hand, if you’ve exhausted all your other options, the Internxt support team can be contacted by email 24 hours a day, offering support in English, Spanish, and Russian and the website is available in seven languages.
Features: Available on desktop, mobile, or tablet, Internxt comes with many of the basic features that users have come to expect from a cloud storage service. You can enjoy media streaming of your video and audio files without downloading the files to your computer. There’s automatic syncing functionality and offline access, both of which will be much appreciated by business users who can’t afford to be without access to their files. Of course, security should also be mentioned here too as it’s one of Internxt’s features that received the most praise.
Usability: Set up is clear and among the fastest we’ve experienced while reviewing cloud storage providers. There’s even an introductory guide to ensure you don’t experience a steep learning curve when getting to grips with the platform. The dashboard is clean and well-designed and the drag-and-drop process for uploads means there’s little opportunity for any issues to arise.
Price: The free plan on offer initially sounds too good to be true, giving users 10GB of storage for no cost, and I suppose, it is. Reading the fine print reveals that the free plan offers “up to” 10GB of storage. You’ll actually start with 2GB of storage and can unlock the rest by completing certain actions. Many of these aren’t particularly taxing, however, such as downloading the mobile or desktop app. Then there are seven other subscription plans available, with businesses able to choose from price levels of $5, $10, and $95 a month for 200GB, 2TB and 20TB respectively.
|Design||An intuitive interface that gives the user plenty of support||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||An introductory guide offered straight away||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||Good speeds even with encryption enabled||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||A real strong point. Robust encryption offered here.||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Customer support||Email support on-hand 24/7||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Additional features||Nothing of note, really||⭐|
|Time to upload 1GB||4m24s - very fast||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Time to download 1GB||2m29s - very respectable||⭐⭐⭐|
|Platforms||PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Versions kept||1 - "working on making that more competitive"||⭐⭐|
|Price||Free plan may be a little misleading, but lots of options herel||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
The best value
|Cloud storage services||Free plan||Best plan||Storage capacity||Online editing and collaboration||Offline access||Device backup||File versioning||Platforms available|
|IDrive||10GB||$3.98 for one year of 10TB storage||Up to 50TB||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Web, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android|
|Internxt||10GB||2TB (currently 90% off for personal and business plans)||20GB-20TB||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Web, Windows, Mac, Linux, Android|
|pCloud||10GB||$399 for 2TB for life||500GB - 10 TB||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Web, Windows|
|Sync.com||5 - 27GB||Teams Unlimited ($15 per user a month), Solo Basic ($8 a month for one user)||2TB-6TB for individuals, potentially unlimited for businesses||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Web, Windows (64 and 32 bit), iOS, Android|
|Backblaze||10GB||Free unlimited storage for a year with ExpressVPN||Potentially unlimited||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Web, Windows, Mac, IOS, Android|
|Icedrive||10GB||$15/month for 5TB, or $999 for 10TB lifetime||150GB-10TB||Yes - local changes are synced||No||Yes||Yes||Web, Windows, Mac, Linux|
|Nordlocker||3GB (personal plan), 2 week free trials for business plans||$19.99 for 2TB (Personal), $18.99 a month for 2TB (Business Plus)||500-2TB - custom plans also available||No||No||Yes||Yes||Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android|
|Microsoft Onedrive||5GB||A Microsoft 365 Personal subscription, 1TB for $70year||100GB-6TB||Yes - with Microsoft Office files||Yes||Yes||Yes||Row 7 - Cell 8|
|Google Drive||15GB||100GB for $15.99 a year for individuals and teams of up to 5||200GB-2TB, Unlimited Business Plans available||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Web, Windows, Mac, IOS, Android|
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✔️ You want a free plan without restrictions: pCloud implements zero limitations on file size or speeds for their plans.
✔️ You need social media integration: You can back up images and videos on your accounts, like Facebook and Instagram, directly within pCloud.
✔️ You want block-level syncing: This means upload speeds will be much quicker as only the parts of your files that have changed will be synced.
❌ You need a built-in document editor: This isn't included in pCloud, so if you need one you might be better off going with a rival like Google Drive.
❌ You use a lot of devices: With pCloud, it's recommended that no more than five devices are connected to a single account - this may not be enough for individuals with a lot of devices on the go at once.
❌ The user interface is important to you: This can feel a little old-fashioned but there's a six-step wizard to help you get started.
pCloud is a great value cloud storage service with a fantastic free plan and the kind of social media integration that few of its rivals can match.
Check out our in-depth pCloud review to see why this cloud storage service is worth your consideration.
Swiss-based pCloud stands out from the cloud storage crowd for its hugely advanced file sharing features. If regular download links aren't enough, you can create special download pages with custom messages, build slideshows of shared images, even stream audio or video files directly from your storage space.
There's no monthly pricing, but annual plans are fair value at $49.99 for 500GB, $99.99 for 2TB. Even better, pCloud's lifetime plans give you 500GB forever for a one-off $199, 2TB for $399, or 10TB for $1190. There's a 10GB free plan, too, though beware: like Internxt, you must sign up friends, install the app and more to get the full amount.
We found the service very easy to set up and use. Sample folders and files helped us immediately try out its powerful file management and sharing features. We had no issues connecting our account to Facebook, Instagram and other social media accounts, and backing up their content. The desktop app adds a Dropbox-like virtual drive to your file manager, simplifying operations, but Internxt's mobile app can make life even easier by (optionally) automatically uploading pictures and videos direct from your phone.
There's also offline functionality on offer here, so you can access your shared files via your computer or mobile even if you don't have a working connection. Then, as soon as the connection is restored, there'll be an automatic sync. Browser extensions are also available for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, allowing you to save audio, video and pictures directly from a web page to your pCloud account.
There's a lot to like here, but we also noticed one or two issues. The desktop interface is a little dated - not quite as slick as some of the competition. 2TB isn't a lot of storage by today's standards, either, and iDrive's Personal plans can give you up to 20TB for only a little more.
Read our full pCloud Cloud Storage review.
Expand to read our expert technical analysis of pCloud ↓
Performance: Our tests found that pCloud’s upload speeds compared well against some of its competitors, including iDrive, Internxt, and Apple iCloud. File recovery also performed well but it’s worth keeping in mind that the free version of pCloud only stores file revisions for up to 15 days. If you need longer than this, you’ll have to select a paid plan.
Security: All file transfers involving pCloud use a TLS/SSL encrypted channel for added protection and files are stored across five different server locations as a safeguard against data loss. In fact, pCloud is so confident regarding the security credentials that it offered a $100,000 reward for anyone that could crack their defenses as part of the 'pCloud Encryption Challenge'. No one was successful.
Customer support: This is an area where pCloud can find itself lacking. Response times can vary a lot and if you want to contact pCloud directly, you have to pick up the phone. Unfortunately, the head office is in Switzerland, so US customers have a sizeable time difference to battle against. You can also send an email, but the addition of a live chat option would help speed up their customer service.
Features: Sharing files is straightforward with pCloud and there are a couple of additional features worth talking about too. One of these is Extended History, which extends the time that pCloud retains deleted files to 360 days. Another is pCloud Crypto, which adds client-side encryption to your account. These features do have to be paid for, however, costing $80 a year and $50 respectively.
Usability: Some users have complained pCloud’s software is not short of a bug or two, which diminishes its usability significantly. When things are working well, however, the desktop client is pretty intuitive so as long as you aren’t scuppered by a technical mishap, this is a cloud storage platform that is pretty easy to get to grips with.
Price: A strong point for pCloud is its competitive price points. There’s a generous free plan offering 10GB of storage (although you will have to complete a few simple tasks to unlock the full amount, such as recommending friends). In terms of paid plans, the Premium subscription comes with 500GB for $50 a year while the 2TB Premium Plus is priced at $100 a year. Interestingly, pCloud also offers one-time payment plans valid for 99 years. These cost $200 and $400 respectively for Premium and Premium Plus plans.
|Design||Some bugs aside, pretty intuitive||⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||Clear, and a set-up wizard to get you started||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||Holds up well against competitors, but versioning is restricted somewhat||⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||Good security protocols and confident about its safeguards||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Customer support||Somewhat lacking. A live chat option would be handy.||⭐⭐⭐|
|Additional features||Extended History, crypto drive, file manager||⭐⭐⭐|
|Time to upload 1GB||4m4s - very fast||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Time to download 1GB||1m15s - rapid||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Versions kept||-||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|Price||Reasonable and the lifetime-options are a bonus.||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
The best out of the box security
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✔️ You need a team-friendly platform: Microsoft 365 integration allows for live editing and there's strong control regarding who can see your files.
✔️ You need strong security protections: End-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication are both on offer with Sync.
✔️ You want a cloud platform that's easy to set up: Recently revamped desktop clients and mobile apps make it straightforward to get going with Sync.
❌ You want more advanced interface options: Aside from progress indicators and a recent changes list, there's not much going on with Sync's desktop dashboard.
❌ Single folder syncing is an issue: Some competitors provide block-level syncing but not Sync.
❌ You need reliable customer support: While there is user forum and knowledgebase to help with troubleshooting, the only way to directly contact Sync is via email.
Sync is a competitively priced cloud storage platform that has some solid features. It's only let down by limited customer support and the absence of block-level syncing.
Check out our in-depth Sync cloud storage review for insights on why this cloud storage platform offers such reliable out-of-the-box security.
Sync.com may not have the range of features you'll see elsewhere, but (as the name suggests) it excels at simple file syncing, delivering an easy-to-use, speedy and secure service that works for personal and business users.
There's still plenty of power here. Sophisticated file sharing allows creating read-only, password-protected or expiring links, set download limits and more. Sync.com's versioning supports restoring files from at least the last 180 days (most providers stop at 30.) The mobile apps can automatically sync photos and videos as you take them, while two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption keep your account and data safe.
We found Sync.com's apps and web interface slick and easy to use, and performance was a real highlight, with both upload and download speeds amongst the best we've seen.
Sync.com particularly impressed us with its team-friendly features, including the ability to add comments to file-sharing links, share folders with groups of people, open and edit Office documents direct from your Sync space (if you've Office 365) and manage all your users from a central console.
There are the rudimentary file and folder sharing features you'd expect here but there's also support for more advanced sharing controls, including the option of adding password protection and expiry dates on any links you do share. In addition, if you subscribe to a team account, you'll find that your files gain added security from protocols like HIPAA, GDPR, and PIPEDA. PIN code locks are also provided for the Sync mobile apps.
Prices start higher than most, with a 2TB personal plan costing $96 a year. But demanding team users can get unlimited storage for only $360 per user per year (minimum two users). This works out at $15 per user per month. You can also choose to pay a monthly fee of $18 per user instead. There's a 5GB free plan to try it out, and you can expand this to 27GB by carrying out various tasks (some as simple as creating a folder.)
Read our full Sync cloud storage review.
Expand to read our expert technical analysis of Sync.com ↓
Performance: Sync offers some impressive upload and download speeds - although this is, of course, just for a single folder. A nice feature is the way it lets users control these speeds, throttling them where necessary. This means you can ensure that Sync doesn’t affect your other commuting tasks if you haven’t got the best connection. This added control you have over Sync’s performance is a handy addition.
Security: Sync takes cloud security very seriously. It doesn’t work with third-party apps and doesn’t make its API available for others to use externally. While this may limit the number of integrations, it also reduces the possible attack vectors for outside actors to exploit. Sync has even published a white paper explaining how it uses 2048 Bit RSA encryption keys to keep your data safe. Two-factor authentication is also easily enabled for your account.
Customer support: Starting with the positives, Sync does come with an extensive Help Center that provides support regarding setting up your account, creating shared folders and more. Unfortunately, finding help any other way is more of a challenge. There’s no community forum and you can only get directly in touch with Sync via an online form. When we did go down this route, however, we did receive a helpful response pretty quickly.
Features: On a fundamental level, Sync’s primary feature is the way it lets users maintain a single folder on their device, or devices, of their choosing that is automatically synced with the cloud. In terms of other features, versioning is offered but the length of time that files are kept for will vary depending on your subscription. The lack of more advanced features may disappoint some but Sync has chosen to focus on its core functionality instead.
Usability: Sync is an easy-to-use cloud storage platform with an intuitive interface. This is true of both the web and mobile versions, which although not the prettiest and clear and straightforward. There’s also an option to store files online only, without taking up space on any of your devices. This is also simple to employ and provides a handy way of saving more space.
Price: Sync’s free plan comes with 5GB, but does include the option of raising this to 27GB by inviting friends and completing other tasks. In terms of paid plans, personal users can access 2TB of storage for $8 a month or 6TB for $20 per month (when paid annually). For businesses, on the other hand, there’s a Teams Standard plan that offers 1TB at a cost of $5 per user per month. Enterprises may need the Teams Unlimited plan, however, which delivers unlimited cloud storage for $15 per user per month.
The best of the rest
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✔️ You want unlimited cloud backup: For just $7 a month or $70 a year, you get unlimited cloud backup so you can keep all the files you need.
✔️ You need straightforward operation: Everything is simple and clear - even if you need to recover your entire computer.
✔️ Affordable pricing is important to you: Even before you commit, you can try Backblaze for free for 15 days without giving up any payment card information.
❌ You need fast backups: Backblaze isn’t particularly fast - although it does intentionally throttle its speeds to avoid user disruption - but this could be a problem for some.
❌ You need more than one device backed up: Backblaze works on a one-device-per-license approach. You can purchase multiple licenses, of course, but you won't receive a discount for doing so.
❌ You want support for network drives: These aren't included, although you can back up external hard drives and portable SSDs.
Backblaze is a great backup tool that is comprehensive and secure, working just as well for personal or business devices.
Check out our in-depth Backblaze review to find out more about this popular platform.
Backblaze is a high-powered cloud backup service that provides unlimited storage with no file size limits for a very fair price.
Install the Backblaze desktop app and it immediately scans for important files, and begins uploading them. You're able to take manual control, if you like, but we found it simpler to let Backblaze handle everything automatically.
The initial transfer of data to the web can take a long time, but our tests found impressive upload speeds kept delays to a minimum. And on the download front, if you need your data in a hurry, Backblaze will ship up to 8TB to your door on a USB drive.
The focus on backups means there's no file syncing, no clever collaboration tools, and only the simplest of file-sharing options. You can only protect one computer per account, too, and network drives aren't supported.
If you're just looking for an ultra-simple high-capacity backup service, though, Backblaze is a must-see. Prices start at a good value $7 billed monthly, $5.83 on the annual plan. There's also a free 15-day trial, which you can access without having to hand over your financial details. After that, though, there's no free plan, however.
The Backblaze interface is another strength of the platform. While the options are somewhat limited, there’s a real clear focus apparent when engaging with the user experience. This includes a useful file manager feature, which makes it easy to search and sort through the files you have stored in the platform. The interface is minimal, which is both a strength and a weakness - especially if you are used to some of Backblaze’s competitors that offer more advanced functionality.
If you also need a VPN to protect yourself online, you can alternatively get Backblaze completely free for a year when you sign up to our #1 favorite, ExpressVPN (and you get three extra months of ExpressVPN protection, too).
Read our full Backblaze review.
|Design||A straightforward design with clear navigation.||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||Simple and clear.||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||Not the quickest, possibly due to deliberate throttling||⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||Encryption and 2FA make this a strong point.||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Customer support||Backblaze operates a ticket system, with business-hour live chat, and additional paid support options||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Additional features||Choose storage location (US and EU),||⭐⭐⭐|
|Time to upload 1GB||7m21s - a little slow||⭐⭐|
|Time to download 1GB||2m52s - not bad||⭐⭐⭐|
|Platforms||PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Price||Competitive and zero discrepancy between personal and business users.||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✔️ You want reasonable pricing plans: IceDrive's pricing is attractive, with a 10GB free plan, in addition to three subscription tiers: Lite, Pro, and Pro+.
✔️ You need a virtual drive: Assigning itself the letter 'I:' in Windows, IceDrive can be used as a virtual drive, with all operations feeling as fast as they would for files on your own hard drive.
❌ You're a Mac or Linux user: IceDrive's virtual drive offering, one of its standout features, is only available with the Windows version.
❌ You need more collaboration features: IceDrive has little to offer in the way of collaboration, outside of setting passwords and expiry dates for shared content.
IceDrive is a decent cloud storage platform, boasting a virtual drive for Windows users to employ.
Check out our in-depth IceDrive review and see why this cloud storage platform is so highly rated.
UK-based IceDrive has only been in the cloud storage business for a very few years, but its groundbreaking file management features more than justify its place in our 'Best...' list.
Windows users can browse their storage space from Explorer, for example, moving, renaming, opening, and even editing files, just like working on a local drive. Install the Windows, Mac or Linux app and you can also preview documents and stream media files without having to download them first.
The clean and easy-to-navigate browser interface is so simple that even newbies will figure it out in moments. The desktop and mobile apps have similar functionality, but we found inconsistencies in design and layout made them a little more awkward to use.
Security is a highlight, with IceDrive encrypting data on your device before it's transferred, and its zero-knowledge approach ensuring only you can decrypt and view your data. We like the addition of two-factor authentication, which works with an authenticator or a physical key. SMS authentication is available to premium customers but we don't recommend using this, as text messages are far easier to intercept than one-time passwords generated by reliable authenticator apps.
A 10GB free plan gives you an easy way to get started, although with some restrictions (no client-side encryption, a 3GB/ day bandwidth limit.) If you need more, annual plans range from $1.67 a month for 150GB, $4.17 for 1TB and $15 for 5TB. IceDrive even offers lifetime plans, including 150GB for a one-off $99, and 10TB for $999.
Read our full IceDrive review.
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✔️ You want a slick interface: One of the simplest cloud storage platforms to use, Nordlocker's drag-and-drop functionality makes this software extremely straightforward for novice or experienced users.
✔️ You like free storage: 3GB of storage is offered completely free of charge. And subscription plans are reasonable too.
❌ File recovery is important to you: There's no trash folder with NordLocker, so when files are deleted, they are gone for good.
❌ You need mobile access: Although there are now Android and iOS apps, these are somewhat misleading. In fact, these apps simply redirect users to a Safari-based browser portal. Users may find the lack of a dedicated mobile app disappointing.
NordLocker is a reliable feature-rich cloud storage platform that business owners will particularly enjoy.
Check out our in-depth NordLocker cloud storage review and see why its gaining rave reviews for its security and interface.
Wondering which cloud storage providers you can trust? Choosing a company with a strong track in privacy is a good place to start, and NordLocker is hard to beat: it comes from the people behind NordVPN, one of the best and most successful VPNs around.
We've reviewed more than 20 cloud storage platforms recently, and NordLocker is one of the easiest to use. The desktop apps enable uploading, downloading, and managing your files with little more than a drag and drop. The mobile apps are a little more basic, just a browser that redirects to NordLocker's browser portal, but they're also easy to use.
The service scores well on the fundamentals. We found NordLocker's leading-edge encryption extremely quick, upload times were reasonable, and the addition of multi-factor authentication protects your account from attackers.
With its zero-knowledge encryption system, not even a NordLocker security worker can decrypt your stored files. But that shouldn't be a problem - such is NordLocker's confidence in its security protocols. In fact, the vendor even offered a $10,000 reward to any individual that could break into its encrypted locker.
Prices for the personal plans seem low at $2.99 a month (billed annually) for 500GB, $6.99 for 2TB, but beware: they leap to $4.99 and $14.99 on renewal. Fortunately, a free plan gives you 3GB of storage to play with. That’s a little disappointing when you often get 5-10GB elsewhere, sometimes more, but it's still enough to see how NordLocker works for you.
Read our full NordLocker review.
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✔️ You're a big Windows user: Microsoft OneDrive offers close integration with Windows and Microsoft 365
✔️ Design is important to you: An excellent interface from the people that know a thing or two about what tech users like and what they don't.
❌ You're a macOS user: Although OneDrive does work with Apple's operating system, it's simply not as seamless.
❌ Free storage is important to you: Although the 5GB offered here for free isn't meagre by any means, it's beaten out by many other cloud storage platforms.
Microsoft OneDrive is well-designed and is certainly worth a look if you're a big Windows user.
Check out our in-depth Microsoft OneDrive review to find out more about this popular cloud storage platform.
Microsoft OneDrive doesn't have the features of some of the cloud storage competition, but its Windows and Microsoft 365 integration, XBox support, and extreme ease of use, make this a great solution for anyone committed to the Microsoft world.
OneDrive comes built into Windows 10/ 11, for instance, so there's nothing to install. It shows up in Explorer, and you can drag and drop files to sync them to the cloud and your other devices. Microsoft 365 support includes auto-saving to the cloud, and collaboration options include the ability to work on documents simultaneously with others, or share them via OneDrive-generated links.
Microsoft hasn't forgotten other platforms, but we found they delivered mixed results on the usability front. The web interface covers the basics, for instance, but doesn't have the simplicity or style of Google Drive or Dropbox. The Mac client is more straightforward, though we found some conflicts with iCloud. The elegant and intuitive mobile apps are the real highlight, though, with strong photo and video syncing tools and solid security.
OneDrive's free plan offers only 5GB, half the allowance you'll get with some providers. You can pay $19.99 a year to upgrade, but that still only gets you 100GB. Microsoft 365 users get the best value, with Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and 1TB of OneDrive storage from as little as $70 a year.
Read our full Microsoft OneDrive review.
9. Google Drive
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
✔️ You want a free online office suite: The likes of Google Docs and Sheets have become commonplace, for firms that don't want to pay for Microsoft's proprietary software.
✔️ You want a large amount of free storage: Google Drive allows for 15GB of free storage - for some businesses, that may be enough.
❌ You don't want to be tied into Google's ecosystem: If you're more of a Windows or macOS user, this may not be the right cloud storage platform for you.
❌ You need top-level security: There's no end-to-end encryption offered with Google Drive, which may be a deal-breaker for some organizations.
Google Drive comes with a great pedigree and a name you can trust. Its generous free plan is another huge draw.
Check out our in-depth Google Drive review to find out more about the cloud storage offering from this tech giant.
Google Drive's Android and Google Workspace integration make it an ideal cloud storage platform for Google fans, but a generous 15GB free tier, and a host of desktop, mobile and Drive-supporting third-party apps, ensure it also has plenty of all-round appeal.
If you are thinking about subscribing to Google Workspace, you'll essentially gain access to all of Google's apps, including Drive and Gmail. In terms of pricing, you can choose between 30GB, 2TB, or 5TB storage plans, which are priced at $6, $12, or $18 per user per month respectively.
The service more than delivers on the cloud storage essentials, with versioning support, offline access, syncing, file sharing and more. But there's much more here. Business users will love the Google Sheets, Docs and Slides integration, for instance, where you can create, edit and share cloud files with others, without ever downloading anything.
Whatever platform you choose, we found Google Drive to be intuitive and easy to use. The Android and iOS apps are a close match for the browser view, ensuring smooth operations even when you're regularly switching devices. We've been a little disappointed by previous versions of the desktop apps, but the latest edition is just as easy to operate as the rest of the Drive family.
Drive doesn't have end-to-end encryption, which means that, in theory, Google could see your files. And if you're not a Google fan, tying yourself so tightly into the company's ecosystem may not appeal. But for everyone else, it offers a slick and powerful free service, and plenty of benefits if you upgrade. The $99.99 upgrade to Google One doesn't just get you 2TB of storage but also includes 10% off Google Store purchases, access to Google experts, and even an Android and iOS VPN.
Read our full Google Drive review.
TechRadar's cloud storage rankings
There are hundreds of cloud storage platforms out there, and you've likely heard the names of many of the big hitters. Check out our rankings below of popular services and see some honorable mentions that can't currently compete with what's on offer with our top services.
|1. IDrive||The overall|
|2. Internxt||The best for security|
|3. pCloud||The best value|
|4. Sync,com||The best out-of-the-box security|
|5. Backblaze||The best cloud storage for back ups|
|6. Icedrive||The best cloud storage for Windows file management|
|7. NordLocker||The best for security and ease of use|
|8. Microsoft OneDrive||Best for Windows and Office users|
|9. Google Drive||Best for Google Workspace|
|10. Dropbox||Best for file-sharing|
|11. Tresorit||Best for solid connection speeds|
|12. Apple iCloud||Best for Apple fans|
|13. Amazon Drive||Best for Prime users|
|14. Box||Best for admin tools|
|15. Mega||Best free offerings|
|16. TeraBox||Best for generous free storage|
|17. G Cloud Unlimited||Best mobile app|
|18. SugarSync||Best for unlimited device support|
|19. Egnyte||Best for third-party integrations|
|20. Degoo||Best for consumer focus|
How to choose the best cloud storage service
Finding your perfect cloud storage solution starts by thinking about your needs. What are you hoping the service will do?
If your goal is to protect all your data from harm, then look for a service with solid backup tools and the ability to access your files from anywhere.
If you'd like to share a group of files - photos, say - across multiple devices, then you'll need quick and easy syncing abilities.
If you're more interested in sharing individual files or folders with others, look for a platform that supports password-protected or time-limited links, anything that helps you stay more secure. Businesses will benefit from collaboration tools, too, allowing users to work on files together, add comments and more.
Pay attention to the figures. Most cloud storage keeps previous versions of your files for up to 30 days, for instance, but that's not always the case. If your provider says it supports 'versioning', that's good, but check the details, see how it really compares to the competition.
You'll want to consider a provider's cost and capacity, too, but be careful. Don't simply opt for a high-capacity plan just because it seeks better value: think about whether you really need that much space. And when it comes to price, browse the small print, look out for hidden charges or fees which jump on renewal, make sure you know exactly what you're getting.
Our experts have reviewed hundreds of cloud storage platforms and curated this list of the top services, but it's up to you to choose which one fits with your own needs and budget.
Given the number of cloud storage providers on the market today - from tech giants like Google to smaller, more niche players - choosing the solution that’s right for you isn’t easy. One of the first things you’ll probably want to consider is cost. While the capital expenditure for cloud storage is usually very low (or nonexistent), the operational expenditure can add up when you factor in additional storage requirements and premium features. Be sure to check your cloud contract carefully to ensure you don’t receive an unexpectedly large bill.
Credentials around service and security standards are also key. Look for a cloud storage provider that can boast the certifications that promise an SLA you can rely on - and safeguards that protect your data. In addition, make sure your storage provider offers the scalability you need should you grow - and a flexible pricing model to accompany it. Perhaps the best thing to do when choosing a cloud storage provider is simply to shop around. There’s bound to be a solution that suits your needs - but don’t simply go with the first cloud provider you find.
How we test cloud storage services
When we test a cloud storage provider, we look at the upload and download speeds of file transfers but this is a minor component of the overall rating as there are scores of other factors that affect your download or upload speeds that cannot be easily mitigated (contention rate, time of day, server load etc). We also check to see if the storage provider can recover deleted files, as well as if they keep multiple versions of files in case users need to undo changes
The other thing you’ll probably want to consider is cost. While the capital expenditure for cloud storage is usually very low (or non-existent), the operational expenditure can add up when you factor in additional storage requirements and premium features. Be sure to check your cloud contract carefully to ensure you don’t receive an unexpectedly large bill.
Credentials around services and security standards are also key. Look for a cloud storage provider that can boast the certifications that promise an SLA you can rely on - and safeguards that protect your data. In addition, make sure your storage provider offers the scalability you need should you grow - and a flexible pricing model to accompany it.
Last but certainly not least is the level of support that a cloud storage service will provide to its customers, whether it's 24x7 over the phone or web-based only. Our reviews include all this and more details including usability, and platform compatibility, and compare each cloud storage service to similar rivals, across key features and pricing, so you can make an informed decision based on as much data as possible when it comes to the time when you will choose the best cloud storage provider for you.
For more detailed coverage, read: Cloud storage reviews: how we tested them