Which is the best cloud storage service: Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive?

Best cloud storage service among Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive
Best cloud storage service among Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive

So far, seriously, I have used three cloud storage services: Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive? Which are the best cloud storage/ virtual data rooms services among these three that I have used? Not in the sense of “playing around” but for managing my important files, files I wouldn’t like to lose or misplace?

As it happens with any service or product, which is the best one depends on your personal preference and where you stand vis-à-vis the importance of that service and the same goes with the cloud storage services I have mentioned above. These are not the only cloud storage services available, there are many more, but these are the ones that I have used for a particular amount of time so I have gained at least some level of experience and point of view regarding these.

Dropbox is the first-ever cloud storage and syncing service that I ever used. If I remember correctly I started using the service just a few months after it was launched. I used my mailing list to quickly increase my cloud storage space to more than 20 GB (otherwise they offer 2 GB of free space for just opening up an account with them) by getting them more subscribers through my mailing list and Twitter/Facebook followers. For every member that signs up through you, they add 500 MB to your account. Right now I have around 25 GB. Among the cloud storage service providers, the promoters of Dropbox are the most aggressive. Almost with every Android phone, the Dropbox application is pre-installed (as far as I have seen). Many Samsung and HTC phones give you a free Dropbox account with a decent amount of storage space. Many mobile apps give you the option of saving the files you create through them directly to Dropbox. It runs almost on every device. It’s syncing is quite efficient.

After that I started using Google Drive because I was heavily using Google Docs around a few years ago. As anything from Google, you have got nothing to complain when you use Google Drive. It has a decent interface and it is available pretty much on every platform. Just like Dropbox on all Android devices, Google Drive is pre-installed and if you have signed in to your Google account, you’re automatically logged into your Google Drive account on your device. You get plenty of space when you sign up for free and even their basic package is quite affordable. It has some quirks and it is not as good as Dropbox, but it is one of the best cloud storage services available.

Then I started using OneDrive. I don’t remember why I started using it but suddenly, in recent months, it has become my main cloud storage service, especially when I started subscribing to MS Office 365. Here is my review of MS Office 365 and also my review of OneDrive. Once I started using it full-time, my main reason of using it was that it was providing plenty of space – 1 TB – and this space comes free when you subscribe to MS Office 365. By any comparison this is a good deal especially when for $ 9.99 per month you get just 1 TB of space with Dropbox and with the same amount, you get the subscription of MS Office 365 and 1 TB of free space and in the Home package, with every member that uses your MS Office account comes another 1 TB of free space. But this is as far as the party of free space goes.

It seems Microsoft treats its free cloud storage space as a side-service. Since the service is free, you constantly get a feel of using a free service. This is where it depends when it comes to choosing the best cloud storage service, which one you choose.

Among the three cloud storage services that I have used so far, Dropbox is the best and OneDrive is the worst.

If you simply want to upload files somewhere then OneDrive is fine for you but if you actively use your cloud storage service to sync files across devices and access those files on an ongoing basis, then OneDrive is not for you. For best experience, I would recommend Dropbox. It integrates well with almost every device and every mobile as well is computer application. It’s very easy to install it. OneDrive on the other hand is full of problems when you want to install it in your own way and even their support is not good.

Among these three cloud storage services, Dropbox is the most expensive but then they are also taking their service seriously because that is the only service they are promoting. Providing space is not an option for Dropbox. It is their bread-and-butter. For Google and Microsoft, providing cloud storage service is just an afterthought. They started providing similar service because people were using Dropbox. Since they already have resources, so they started providing cloud storage services, otherwise, they are not as serious as Dropbox.

Why do I think that Dropbox is the best and OneDrive is the worst and Google Drive is somewhere in the middle?

My opinion has got nothing to do with the fact that Dropbox is the premium service and OneDrive is a free service – at least that was not the criteria in the beginning. But the more I use OneDrive the more I realise what I’m missing with Dropbox.

Dropbox is seamless. While setting up the Dropbox app I have never faced a problem whether it’s Windows, Android or iOS. It just starts working the moment you set it up, just the way you want to set it up. On your PC you can set it up on any folder or any drive you feel like. You can sync as many folders as you want. The syncing is extremely fast and the files can be opened on any device without any problem as long as some application is associated with the file. Aside from the fact that it is expensive compared to other cloud storage services, there is nothing to complain, as of now, with Dropbox. It is THE BEST cloud storage service in the contemporary arena.

Google Drive is not as good as Dropbox but it is almost there. In fact while setting up on various devices including Windows, Android and iOS I have never faced a problem with Google Drive. The file syncing is fine, not as good as Dropbox. The packages are good and its basic package is quite affordable compared to Dropbox. Provided you have a Google account you already have a Google Drive account. The only problem so far that I faced with Google Drive is that sometimes the files don’t open. The files that I store in Google Drive cannot be recognized by my phone or by my tablet sometimes due to some weird reason. For example, if I have just created a PDF file and then have stored the PDF file in one of the Google Drive folders, and then when I try to open the file on my tablet, it simply says that the file is not of the right format. If I save the same file in my Dropbox folder, the file opens up immediately. In fact, this is the reason the confusion regarding which other cloud storage service I should try out and perhaps this is why I ended up using OneDrive.

As I have mentioned in the review of OneDrive on TechBakBak.com I started using OneDrive primarily because I started using MS Office 365. The web-interface of OneDrive is quite lousy. The app interface is also not as good as Dropbox and Google Drive. The syncing is slow. Recently I was trying to open a PDF file of around 29 MB and on my MI Pad it took more than five minutes to download the file and then open it. Both in Dropbox and Google Drive, the file opened within a few seconds.

As I have mentioned in one of my reviews, it was a total pain to install OneDrive on a drive other than C:. I tried to seek support but didn’t get any aside from some absent-minded tweet responses on Twitter. On my MI Pad the OneDrive folders simply refuse to open; I can see just the root folder and that’s it. Strangely, OneDrive works quite nicely on iPad.

So this is my opinion on which is the best cloud storage service among Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. Again, the opinion depends on how seriously or casually you use your cloud storage service. Since Dropbox is a commercial service and they make their buck just with cloud storage service, I think perhaps this is the reason why it is the best service in this category.

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About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of TechBakBak.com. He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

2 Comments

  1. Great post, Amrit. I’d like to point you to an indispensable tool for backing up your memories automatically – PicBackMan http://www.picbackman.com – a multi service bulk uploader for photos and videos that allows you to automatically keep all your photos and videos backed up on the service or services of your choice including Flickr, SmugMug, Google Photos, Amazon S3, Box, Dropbox and more. Users in 130+ countries have backed up 55M+ photos and counting. We would love to hear your feedback.

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