Dropbox, I love you but you're bringing me down

Skip the prose and get straight to the cloud storage comparison data here.

Also read my followup post on SpiderOak here.

Dear Dropbox,

We’ve had a long and fruitful six year relationship, you’ve helped me through some tough times. Times of disaster, times of worry, times in the wee hours approaching a deadline.

You’ve been there in the background, quietly and gently delivering my files into the cloud without question. You’ve really set me free from the traditional practice of offline file storage.

You have opened my eyes to the cloud and shown me all it has to offer. It has been thoroughly sublime.

It started off as a simple 2GB. We took it slow, but as time went on, my needs grew. I needed more out of this relationship. You agreed and offered me an extra 2GB, 500MB at a time through referrals.

Life was good. I went to university and you were there to support me. You let me have space, lots more infact.

We had a thing going. You gave me 12GB and I embraced it with open arms. It was all rosy for a couple of years…

And then you snatched it away from me. Just like that. Asking for a ransom to the tune of £79 if I wanted to stay for one more year, along with an alluring 30% off.

Fearing for my files, I seeked others. I wanted to go solo with my dedicated server and its 500GB HDD. But I feared it didn’t offer the saftey net you and your big cloud did.

The next best option was with Google, despite my lack of trust. I get 15GB to start, and can upgrade to 100GB for not a lot of money, and upgrade again when I need the space. This is much better than your 1TB all-or-nothing affair. One which I cannot afford. If you’d have had lower priced tiers, I may have stuck around.


For now, this is where my story ends. Tied up to yet another Google product. Below is a tabular comparison of popular cloud storage providers.

Cloud Storage Providers Comparison

In all seriousness though, here’s the data I’ve gathered about cloud file storage service so you can make up your own mind! I think it’s clear to see that whilst Google may not be your most favourable company, they’re likely to stick around, at least as a company, if not a cloud storage provider, and they offer the most upgradable storage plans at the minute.

Service Free Storage Max Filesize Encryption Upgrade Cost (per month)
30GB 100GB 200GB 1TB 5TB 10TB 20TB 30TB
Google Drive 15GB 5TB Server-side 128-bit AES - $1.99 - $9.99 - $99.99 $199.99 $299.99
Dropbox 2GB* None Server-side 256-bit AES - - - £7.99 ($12.19) - - - -
SpiderOak 2GB None Client-side layered 256-bit AES $7.00 - - $12.00 $25.00 - -
MS OneDrive 15GB 10GB Transfer only 256-bit AES - £1.99 ($3.03) £3.99 ($6.08) £5.99 ($9.13) - - - -
box 10GB 250MB§ Server-side 256-bit AES - £7.00 ($10.67) - - - -
* Extensible up to 18GB through referrals
† Extensible up to 20GB through referrals
‡ Extensible to 5GB upon upgrade
§ Extensible up to 10GB through referrals

PS: I am fully aware that as a non-paying customer I should expect nothing. Unfortunately the pricing model was not there for me to become a paying customer. Google, unfortunately now has (more of) my business.

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