What is the best online storage in 2022? With the advent of technology and data increasing in our lives, people have started moving their files to cloud solutions so they can be saved securely without any hassle or cost associated with it; but there is a ton out on different providers available — which could make finding your perfect match difficult if not impossible!
In this article, you will be able to see a comparison between the well-known cloud providers such as Dropbox and Google Drive to the rapidly growing new stars in the market like MEGA or pCloud. Beyond the simple price/capacity ratio, not all services meet the same needs in terms of functionality, cross-platform integration, security, and performance. Here is our complete comparison of the best services on the market in 2022.
Ranking of the best online storage 2022:
- Google Drive
1. pCloud: TOP secure online storage
The Swiss cloud storage service was launched in 2013 and currently, due to the high security and an excellent reputation more than 14 million users have trusted pCloud. Тhe fact that its location in Switzerland, the service benefits from one of the strictest privacy protection laws in the world. It offers reliable synchronization and backup features while guaranteeing its user’s first-class security, confidentiality, and user-friendly interface across the web, Virtual Drive, and mobile app. Are you wondering what else makes pCloud very attractive? They have Lifetime Plans with a single payment, no need to worry about a subscription on an annual/ monthly basis.
Why is pCloud so secure?
The company operates data centers located in the United States in the city of Dallas and in Europe in Luxembourg. When registering, users are free to choose either location. In terms of security, pCloud encrypts data in AES 256 during and after the transfer (at rest) and uses the TLS/SSL protocol to protect information as it travels between devices and the cloud. No less than 5 copies of the data are stored on at least 3 different servers.
For those who are interested in zero-knowledge encryption, pCloud offers that as well as an extra feature. This encryption means that your files are encrypted before they even leave your device. Noone except you has the Crypto Pass. Like most of its competitors, two-factor authentication is offered. By default, old versions of files and those put in the trash are kept for 15 days for free accounts and 30 days for paid ones, there is an extra option with which the trash files and old version could be kept for 365 days.
No speed or file size limits for transfers are imposed by pCloud.
pCloud: top features
pCloud is suitable for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS users, as well as web extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The service is full of advanced features such as the automatic back
up not only on any folder that you wish, but also of third- parties (Google Photos, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Facebook), an integrated music player, or even the sharing of folders and files, including with people who do not have pCloud.
Like Dropbox, there is a virtual drive, which can be used for direct work in the cloud or sync. All data added to the folder is automatically replicated to the cloud and other applications. pCloud also has an automated backup for all of your memories on your mobile device.
Last, but not least, pCloud is a great collaboration tool – you can not only share links and request files from others, but you can also actually create shared folders, which allow all of the invited participants to actually modify a file and upload data to your folder.
pCloud plans and pricing
The Swiss service offers a free plan including 10 GB of storage space, which is not limited in time. There is also Premium 500GB Plan for $175 and Premium Plus 2TB Plan for $350 with a single payment. For the people not ready for this commitment, the company offers an annual/ monthly plan.
On top of this pCloud also offers Family Lifetime Plan with 2TB storage space for up to 5 people and Business Plans.
2. Google Drive: efficient and complete
With over a billion users worldwide, Google Drive has become one of the leaders in the cloud market for individuals and businesses. Natively integrated into all Android terminals and associated in particular with the most popular messaging service on the planet, Gmail, its success comes as no surprise. The web giant offers one of the most generous free storage spaces of 15 GB (shared between Gmail, Photos and Drive). It has developed a particularly rich ecosystem with a wide range of fun and professional features.
What makes Google Drive a great option?
The company’s state-of-the-art security, Google Drive leaves all of its competitors, including Dropbox, behind in terms of performance. All files at rest hosted on Drive are encrypted in AES 128, while files in transfer are protected by the TLS protocol and AES 256 encryption. A two-factor authentication mode protects connections.
Despite all its qualities, it suffers from significant privacy issues. Unlike MEGA or pCloud, Google Drive does not have end-to-end security with so-called zero-knowledge encryption. As with all Google services, all data passing through Drive is analyzed and used, in particular for advertising purposes. This is the price to pay to take advantage of the services of the Web giant.
Google Drive: top features
Drive does not restrict free accounts which can access almost all of its features. In addition to optimal integration in Android, it is accessible online and via ultra-complete applications for Windows, macOS, and iOS. Once installed, desktop clients install a local sync folder that identically replicates all data added to it to the cloud and all devices where Drive is installed. Google Drive offers backup tools with a selective synchronization mode allowing you to choose the folders to be backed up.
Interconnected with Gmail, Calendar, Photos, Play Music, Hangouts, Keep, etc., Drive works seamlessly with the Google Workspace home office suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.). In fact, it has an impressive number of advanced online sharing and collaboration tools.
Google Drive plans and pricing
Google’s free plan that includes 15GB of online storage is one of the most generous around, but beware, as it’s shared between Gmail, Photos, and Drive. Through its offer for Google One individuals, the firm offers formulas at very advantageous prices, which starts at €1.99/month for 100 GB, is one of the most attractive on the market. The other two consumer storage plans are with 200GB and 2TB storage space.
3. Dropbox: best cross-platform cloud storage
Founded in 2007 in the United States, makes Dropbox one of the market pioneers. Compatible with countless platforms (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, BlackBerry…) and accessible from any web browser, it integrates better and deeper than any other cloud service.
What stays behind the success of Dropbox?
Dropbox now has no less than 500 million users and 300,000 companies, like GAFA – Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Google – it has developed its own network infrastructure. The only downside is its data centers are located in the United States, the company is subject to the abusive laws of the American authorities in terms of data confidentiality.
All files hosted on Dropbox are AES-256 and SSL encrypted during transfer. A two-factor authentication service is also offered to protect connections. Unlike pCloud or MEGA, however, the online storage service does not provide end-to-end security with zero-knowledge encryption. This means that Dropbox teams can decrypt and access user data. A privacy issue that arises with all US cloud services.
Dropbox: top features
From synchronization by blocks and via the local network, to the compression of files before their transfers or even partial synchronization, the technological arsenal of Dropbox has no equivalent on the market. Unsurprisingly, it is still one of the most reliable and successful cloud services. Once installed, it creates a synchronization folder called “Dropbox” at the root of the main hard drive. It works in the background in a totally transparent way.
Much more than a cloud storage service, Dropbox is a true online ecosystem with in-house editing and collaboration tools such as “Paper”, Showcase”, “Transfer”, etc. Not to mention the “App Center” which allows it to interface with countless third-party applications: Office, Google Workspace, Adobe, Slack, Zoom, Teams, YouTube, etc.
Dropbox plans and pricing
In addition to the basic “Dropbox Basic” offer comprising only 2 GB of free online storage space, which can be extended via a referral system, the service offers 5 paid plans, including 2 for individuals. Their prices vary from €9.99/month for 2 TB to €16.99/month for 3 TB.
4. MEGA: best free online storage
Founded in New Zealand just a year after Megaupload’s high-profile closure in 2013, MEGA got off to a flying start. Taking full advantage of the notoriety of its founder, the Mega.nz site had registered more than 1 million registrations just 24 hours after its launch. MEGA’s promise was to offer both the largest free online storage space on the market (20 GB) and end-to-end security.
How the global success started from the beginning?
MEGA’s early days proved rocky, as not only did download speeds prove to be extremely slow, but several experts revealed major security flaws. The management denies it and MEGA starts again on a new basis. Since then, security issues are a distant memory, and service has improved significantly.
MEGA is one of the only cloud services on the market to offer zero-knowledge end-to-end encryption for free. It allows users to encrypt their data themselves and obtain a private decryption key. In case of loss of the password, however, it becomes impossible to recover its data. To overcome this problem, MEGA has created a recovery key system to reset it.
Mega: top features
Like Dropbox, MEGA has clients for the main OS on the market (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS), as well as extensions for Chrome, Edge and Firefox web browsers. In addition to a now classic synchronization folder installed locally on the desktop, MEGA offers the possibility of performing full or selective backups. Devoid of differential and partial synchronization technologies, the service is not as efficient as Dropbox or pCloud
On the functional side, MEGA gives pride of place to sharing functionalities with the possibility of defining read/write rights, setting up a password, solid security options and the possibility of setting up a password, or even an expiration date. It also integrates powerful encrypted communication tools, a MEGAbird messaging client to send large files by email, file preview and history (Office, PDF, JPG…). Devoid of third-party applications, MEGA is however not cut out for online collaboration.
MEGA offers and prices
20 GB online storage is offered free of charge. Four paid plans at attractive prices are offered: from €4.99/month for 400 GB to €29.99/month for 16 TB.
5. OneDrive: great value for money
Microsoft is one of the pioneers of consumer cloud services. OneDrive is one of the most attractive cloud storage solutions on the market. Cross-platform compatible, it is much more stable and efficient than in the past. Its main advantages are the deep integration into Windows as well as the Microsoft Office office suite.
Initially integrated only into Windows Phone PCs and later, it has since opened up to other platforms with well-known clients. packaged for macOS, iOS, and Android. In addition to necessarily optimized integration in Windows, it is distinguished by the integration of the web versions of Office (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) for free accounts, and full access to Microsoft 365 with its paid plans.
Why makes OneDrive one of the leaders?
OneDrive was for a long time one of the most advantageous free cloud services on the market. The company offers 5 GB Free storage. Once slow and unstable, the storage service has since come a long way.
Like Dropbox, a synchronization folder installed locally on computers allows data to be automatically backed up to the cloud and other clients. Thanks to the “Files on demand” function, it can fill a storage gap by downloading only the metadata of files locally. When updating files on the cloud, it uses differential synchronization which saves only the modified parts in order to reduce the download time. On the other hand, it ignores the compression of files before their transfer, LAN synchronization (via the local network), or even selective synchronization allowing you to save the files of your choice.
OneDrive: Top Features
Although less complete than Google Drive or Dropbox, OneDrive stands out with advanced collaboration and productivity tools. The integration of Office software offers great ease of use, whether for working on documents, co-editing projects with other people, or even sharing all kinds of data in one click. The service includes version history (30 days), preview and support for over 300 different file formats.
Equipped with a modern and very user-friendly interface, the web console and OneDrive clients give pride of place to the management of multimedia content with, in particular, an integrated audio and video player, as well as artificial intelligence technologies for searching and sorting photos by similarities. OneDrive, on the other hand, ignores the integration of third-party applications.
OneDrive plans and pricing
OneDrive’s free plan offers 5 GB of free online storage space. Microsoft offers 3 paid plans. Particularly attractive, the “Microsoft 365 Personal” plan costs €59.99/annual for 1 TB.
How to choose the best online storage?
This list has our current top 4, but there are other good-quality providers that didn’t make the list.
pCloud is a great, privacy-focused option for most users, as well as this we are taking into consideration the current global situation with Covid-19 and prices rising across all industries. Therefore, paying a fixed price once sounds like an awesome benefit. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in document collaboration, you can’t go wrong with bigger players like Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive. However, MEGA offers more free storage, plus excellent security.