Got iCloud? Of course you do. At least, if you’re an Apple customer and need to synchronize certain files and settings and configurations. iCloud may not be the largest cloud service on planet earth, but Apple has nearly a billion customers these days, and while I would prefer a free tier up to, say, 20GB, iCloud storage prices remain competitive.
How do you use iCloud? Do you have Google Drive? Dropbox? Box? Microsoft OneDrive? How about Amazon Drive? Yes, I have all those and a couple of more. The two I use the most are iCloud and Dropbox. In that order. Of the two, I prefer Dropbox. Why not iCloud?
Simply put, iCloud is too slow to synchronize between Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Dropbox is almost instant. So, why not Dropbox all the time?
Dropbox has multiple pricing tiers but none at the lower price poinits. The Business version starts at 2 TB for $12.50 a month (for three users). That one is packed with features, including encryption, file recovery, and live chat support.
At the other end of the scale, downtown where I play the most, Dropbox for the rest of humanity is free. Up to 2 GB of storage. That is not enough for most cloud storage requirements, but it is sufficient to handle more critical applications, including 1Password. Dropbox Plus is about $10 a month for 1 TB of storage.
Compare that price tag to Apple’s iCloud. 5 GB is free. $50 GB is 99-cents monthly. 200 GB is $2.99 (that’s the tier I use for Photos and iTunes). And a whopping 2TB is a penny less than $10 a month. Apple is competitive with Dropbox, Google, Microsoft et al, with very good iCloud storage prices, and a wide ecosystem that supports iCloud sync.
Another reason to put both iCloud and Dropbox on top of the list of available storage options is obvious– both are used within applications more than competitors. Many Mac, iPhone, and iPad apps provide access to both iCloud and Dropbox, but seldom to OneDrive, Drive, Box, or others. Dropbox does not have a tier between the free 2 GB option and Dropbox Professional at 1TB, which is priced the same as iCloud’s 2TB option.
Both have file sharing options, retrieve and restore options, but the critical factors for me are simple. Sync speed and price. Price trumps all beyond the free tiers. I keep Dropbox around because it works better than iCloud to sync files quickly between devices. I use iCloud’s larger storage tier (with a plan to increase that to 1 TB).
Simple math, right?