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What Is Google Drive?
Google Drive is much more than just a cloud-based storage and syncing service with an excellent free storage plan. It also lets users create, edit, store, and share documents easily, giving users the biggest storage space for the free plan.
Its functionality and features increase significantly when you upgrade to one of the paid plans, with added storage space, among other benefits.
Easy to use and with plenty of storage available, Google Drive is a very solid cloud storage provider and a particularly good choice for users of Google's integrated office apps. Indeed, Google Drive is the universal primary storage for all of the productivity tools in the Google Workspace suite, allowing users to work on documents, PDFs, and sheets.
The most significant disadvantage of using Google Drive, however, is that it can be lacking on the security front, with hackers able to gain access to your essential data in some isolated cases. This is not good enough for a service so popular, especially as this only takes them installing malicious hardware in your server for the files to disappear. The good news, however, is that the password recovery feature is pretty robust.
Best Google Drive Alternatives
Despite all these features, there are multiple reasons to consider switching to another cloud storage account. Here are the best Google Drive alternatives you should use instead.
- SpiderOak One Backup
- iCloud Drive
Dropbox is an easy cloud storage and file-syncing solution to use and has one of the most intuitive interfaces on the market today. It boasts an excellent storage service that enables permanent file storage in the cloud and is especially excellent at handling larger files, especially images and documents.
Given the Dropbox dashboard is entirely unobtrusive, it ranks as one of the easiest cloud storage solutions to get started with, unlike the clanky user dashboard in similar services like Microsoft 365.
Dropbox is also very compatible with third-party applications, including a range of great integrations with a range of image editing tools to support its standing as a leading image cloud storage service.
This added compatibility and integrations have proved most attractive to small businesses clients with under 50 employees. Dropbox is also very popular within the computer software industry because it's actually great for anything and everything as well as being an exceptional asset management software.
Compared to its rivals, however, Dropbox isn't the flashiest cloud storage service around. Its appeal lies in the ability to work quietly, reliably, and effortlessly in the background in support of core business operations.
- Apps for just about every operating system
- Supports multiple ways to collaborate
- Good features for paying subscribers
- Digital signing tool included
- Excellent support for integrations
- Free account is skimpy on storage
- Paid accounts are expensive
- Poor privacy with zero-knowledge encryption
- No full device backups
Tresorit is an easy-to-use cloud storage and file-syncing service that boasts high levels of security and good collaboration features. While it has a free plan with fairly limited features, Tesorit’s individual plans are more expensive compared to rival services making it a poor choice for personal use.
For instance, the free plan has 3GB of cloud storage, can be used with two devices, and enables users to send up to 50 encrypted file-sharing links per month. Each such file must not exceed 250MB in size.
By comparison, the Solo and Premium individual paid plans usually cost between $10.42 and $24 per month, and allow for between 10GB and 500GB of storage space respectively.
However, Tresorit offers one hell of a business storage solution that beats its competing products hands down. Outside of a decent free plan for personal use, the business plans are almost tailored to suit the diverse needs of small businesses.
The platform provides a secure and foolproof way of storing your sensitive data. However, the lack of proper collaboration tools is palpable and enormously stifles group productivity levels.
- Proper security with end-to-end encryption
- Neat, intuitive apps plus third-party integrations
- Solid connection speeds
- All paid plans have a 14-day trial period
- Swiss privacy laws and client-side encryption
- More expensive than the competition
- Free plan has limited storage space
- Relatively expensive compared to rivals
- Few add-ons/extras
pCloud ticks several critical boxes. It has fairer prices than most competing cloud storage solutions, has a dedicated media player that lets you play media files online, and offers a pretty decent free plan.
pCloud also offers a range of storage plans and gives its users significant control over their file and data security. It is also one of the fastest solutions on the market, making pCloud uniquely suitable for both personal and business clients.
One thing that sets pCloud apart from some of the big-name players in the game is zero-knowledge encryption. Having total control over who can access your files is a must in this day and age. There's a catch, however, in that pCloud requires users to pay extra for access to its so-called "pCloud Crypto."
The premium plans also come with a lot of storage space, with pCloud allowing up to 500GB storage on the $3.99 per month and up to 2TB on the $7.99 per month pan. This is more affordable than Apple iCloud's 2TB for $9.99 offer or virtually anything on offer from Google Drive and Dropbox.
External sharing is also easier when using pCloud than its rivals. Once you're inside your desktop folder or virtual drive, you can share any pCloud from a right-click menu choice with such sharing options as "invite to folder," "copy upload link," and "copy download link," among others.
- 10GB free online storage
- Can play your media files online
- Supports advanced file versioning
- Locally encrypted secure option
- Useful features lacking in the free version
- Appears as a removable disk in desktop file explorer.
- No collaboration options
- Some essential features are paid add-ons
- Limited user support options
Box.com is a well-established cloud storage and file-syncing service very similar to Google Drive. Like its competitors, it offers users a reliable and feature-rich product that's perfectly suited for businesses that rely on collaboration. However, Box.com can also serve personal and family users well.
Box.com provides users with a clear interface, a simple integration with multiple PC and mobile OS, as well as both free and paid plans. With advanced sharing capabilities, the Box.com file syncing service is especially useful for sharing files and collaborating with your team members.
In fact, Box's business packages are some of the best in the market. The file syncing capability is very robust, while the service allows users huge storage space quotas to meet their needs. This extends to the free plan, which gives users up to 10GB in storage capacity with no single-file limits applied.
Box integrates with a lot of third-party services, including Google Workspace apps, Office 365, Slack, and Evernote, among others.
- Easy to set up and use
- On-demand file syncing
- Well-designed for collaboration
- Integrates with many third-party services
- Generous free storage allotment
- Paid plans have low storage space
- Too many, cluttered desktop app options
- Can get pricey
- Limited consumer options
- Some feature overlap
Sync is a cloud storage provider that puts a particular emphasis on security, promising that your data in the cloud will always be 100 percent safe and with measures in place to help you recover your data easily.
In fact, Sync.com comes with a great deal of out-of-the-box security features, including two-factor login authorization and end-to-end encryption across all of its plans. It is also a breeze to sync your files across devices and still enjoy lots of access control as well as the propensity to share your documents.
The Sync.com free plan allows users 5GB of free storage space compared to just 2 GB of space for the Dropbox free plan. However, the paid plans have far better specifications, including between 2TB of storage space on the Solo Basic plan.
Sync.com provides a zero-knowledge ecosystem suitable for users of all technical levels, real-time backup and file syncing, as well as cross-platform user support with relevant mobile applications.
Sync's file versioning system supports up to 30-day rolling backups on the free plan, all shared links are password-protected, and support for shared folders improves collaboration. Pro users also get access to advanced document sharing controls, file requests, and several others.
- Strong security features
- 100% online storage vault with cross-device syncing
- File versioning
- Supports slack integration and fully featured mobile apps
- Compatible with all Microsoft Office apps
- Single-folder syncing only
- Basic interface options
- Payments billed annually
6. SpiderOak One Backup
SpiderOak One Backup is a cloud storage backup solution with a clear emphasis on security and user data privacy. Thus, its plans feature great data encryption technology, a zero-knowledge policy to aid newbie users, as well as file syncing and sharing capabilities.
SpiderOak One Backup offers some of the best, top-notch security features to go with its flexible backup options. It is also very good at conserving your device resources using a block-level transfer algorithm that only saves changes to your documents rather than the entire new version of a document.
Despite missing some essential functionality, SpiderOak One Backup is still a feature-rich service you should explore. It grants users a great degree of control over their file storage and backup process, complete with backup scheduling, proxy settings, and the ability to sync files across multiple devices and share them with other people.
Unfortunately, SpiderOak One Backup’s quirks are more prominent than most. It costs a lot more than many of its rival services even though it does not limit how many computers use the same account. The service also has unimpressively low speeds and a sparse selection of features, while image-based, mobile, and hybrid backup features are lacking.
SpiderOak One Backup Pros
- Excellent security and privacy
- Unlimited devices
- Sync functionality
- Responsive customer support
- Unlimited retention of old versions
SpiderOak One Backup Cons
- No unlimited plans
- No mobile backup
- No disk imaging
- No phone or chat support
- No two-factor authentication
At just 5GB of storage space, OneDrive's free plan is miserly for its significance to Microsoft 365. This is certainly far less than the 15GB storage space allowed for the Google Drive free plan, but it has more features and better security than its peers.
Indeed, OneDrive's functionality and design have reached a point of slick usability and reliability with a rich feature set, online office apps, and wide platform support. OneDrive has attractive and capable web and mobile interfaces, photo AI tagging, real-time collaborative editing, and powerful search.
OneDrive suffers some major shortcomings, however. The cloud storage account only supports limited document sizes, with the OneDrive for Business files limited to file sizes less than 15GB.
Unlike Google Drive, Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage is also too limited in terms of supported third-party app integrations. Further, users have limited offline access to any files stored in their OneDrive accounts.
- Excellent interface
- Clients for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows
- Well integrated with Windows 10 and Office 365
- Strong online photo presentation and management
- Powerful file-sharing and document collaborative editing
- Less free storage than some competitors
- Only allows syncing of specific folders
8. iCloud Drive
The iCloud Drive storage and file-syncing service is a worthy cloud solution for users committed to Apple's ecosystem of tech products.
As the default cloud storage service for Apple devices, iCloud Drive is built directly into every compatible Apple product. As such, it is one of the easiest cloud services to set up and can work seamlessly in the background. iCloud Drive stores images, videos, audio, and every other file format, but its wholesale syncing feature contributes to generally poor file management capabilities for the device owner.
The iCloud Drive has one major difference from its rivals: All plans have exactly the same features, with available storage capacity as the only variable factor. This is not the case for the Family plan, however, where file-sharing was considered for both the 200GB and 2TB plans to enable one iCloud subscription with up to four other people.
Granted, iCloud Drive is highly functional with lots of features and enhanced compatibility with different Apple products. However, we find that this cloud storage solution does not quite measure up to the competition from Google and Microsoft, but its limitations are not terminal.
iCloud Drive Pros
- Well-designed app and web interfaces
- Compatible with Windows as well as macOS and iOS devices
- Includes 5GB storage when you buy an Apple device
iCloud Drive Cons
- Less straightforward than competing services
- Web interface lacks search functionality
- No Android app
- Collaborative editing lacks expected capabilities
- No file versioning aside from iWork documents
Did I miss out on any other alternatives to Google Drive? Let me know in the comments section.
© 2022 Rahul Pandey