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Public Cloud Storage Providers

Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are the most popular cloud storage providers today. Picking between them to determine which one is the best cloud storage provider is no easy task. Each has strengths and weaknesses that don’t always overlap.


By the numbers, Google Drive has the advantage. In early 2017, the company announced it had passed 800 million monthly active users. By now, it’s probably the first cloud storage service to have passed the one billion mark.


Dropbox, once the leader in active users, last reported 500 million registered users. Of those, 11 million are paying users, including 300,000 business subscription customers (read our Dropbox Business review).


OneDrive, meanwhile serves a measly 115 million users worldwide. Then again, it’s reported that over 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies use OneDrive, which isn’t surprising given the popularity of Office 365.


Numbers aren’t everything, though. Each of the three tech giants has taken a different approach to marketing and developing their storage service, helping to define the cloud storage market along the way. Which one works best for you will depend on which approach aligns most with your needs.

What Is Dropbox?

Dropbox is a standalone cloud storage solution designed for users ranging from individuals to businesses. The storage platform offers a variety of desktop and mobile applications for easy integration with your computer and smartphone, as well as robust file syncing and sharing capabilities.

What Is Google Drive?

Google Drive is a cloud storage solution closely linked to Gmail and Google’s entire G Suite of products. With Google Drive, you have access to Google’s native office applications to edit documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations directly on the cloud. Google Drive also offers a desktop client that allows you to sync files between your computer and the cloud.

What Is OneDrive?

OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution and the platform is well integrated with the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office applications. OneDrive allows documents, spreadsheets, and other Office projects stored on the cloud to be shared and edited simultaneously. Note that while OneDrive is available for iOS systems, there is no Linux client for Microsoft OneDrive at this time.

What Is iDrive?

IDrive is an automated backup application that runs on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Once installed, users select folders and files to be backed up at user-specified times. IDrive offers incremental and compressed backups so users only upload modified portions of a backup file, and files may also be updated in real time with a continuous backup option.

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