Exclusive: Has Google won the cloud storage wars?

Google Drive logo on phone
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / rafapress)

As we all take a much-needed break over the Christmas period, we can start to reflect on what a year this has been – and how we can hope next year is better. One company that hasn't had a bad 2021 is Google and, specifically, Drive. 

An exclusive TechRadar Pro poll carried out by OnePulse shows that Google Drive is by far and away the most popular cloud storage provider going, used by around 44.1% of respondents. (Unsurprisingly, it also features in our list of the best cloud storage providers).

While this might not come as a surprise, there is a lot of competition in the cloud storage market at the moment. Apple, for example, has been expanding the scope of iCloud this year, introducing a bunch of privacy-focused features. Dropbox and OneDrive, too, are long-time competitors biting at Drive's heels. 

One provider to rule them all 

But the extent of the domination is impressive and worth pondering for a while, driven at least initially by Google's willingness to give away generous services for free, alongside the overall ecosystem lock-in for its services and Android.

According to OnePulse, around 44% of respondents use Google Drive's free or paid services, followed by iCloud (31.2% across free and paid), OneDrive (11.2% across free and paid), Dropbox (6.8% across free and paid), and then everyone else makes up the remaining 6.8%. 

So not that surprising overall but you can clearly see the influence of Apple's iPhone and Mac customer base electing to use the tightly integrated iCloud services. 

Digging deeper, the poll found most people (48.7%) have been using their service for between one and five years, with the rest either under a year (16.3%) or over five years (35%). 

In terms of storage, around 55.4% use between 1GB and 100GB, 30.8% have no idea how much storage is left, and 13.8% use between 101GB and 1TB or more. 

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.