Android

Google One vs the competition


Google’s updated subscription plans for cloud storage now fall under its new Google One program. Announced back in May, Google One is currently available for everyone in the U.S. and rolls out to users across the world in the coming months.

What does Google One have to offer and does it prove to be a better option than the numerous popular cloud storage services out there? We find out in this quick look at Google One vs the competition!


What is Google One?

google one Google

The basic idea here is to bring all your storage needs under one banner — Google One. The cloud storage you buy with Google One — or even the free 15GB available to anyone with a Google account — will be shared across Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail. Apart from the new moniker, Google One also introduces a few new storage plans to make it a more compelling option.

You continue to access all your saved files via those respective apps as well, so nothing changes as far as file interaction goes. The Google One app is for managing your subscription, contacting Google experts, and accessing a host of other benefits like hotel discounts, Google Play Store credit, discounts on Google hardware, and shopping offers (via Google Express), with many more to come.

Anyone with paid Google Drive storage will also automatically be moved to Google One.


Google One vs. the competition

Google One is not the only option when it comes to cloud storage services. There are too many to consider all of them in this comparison, but a few popular ones are worth taking a closer look at. These include Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud, Mega, and pCloud.

Subscription plans

  Google One   Dropbox   Microsoft OneDrive  
Free 15GB Free 2GB Free 5GB
$1.99/month
$19.99/year
100GB $9.99/month
$99/year
1TB $1.99/month 50GB
$2.99/month
$29.99/year
200GB $19.99/month
$199/year
2TB $6.99/month
$69.99/year
1TB
$9.99/month
$99.99/year
2TB $9.99/month
$99.99/year
5TB
$99.99/month 10TB
$199.99/month 20TB
$299.99/month 30TB

Available storage and price are usually the deciding factors in picking a cloud storage service. Also really important is the number of tiers a service offers. Basically, users shouldn’t be forced to pay a premium for 1TB of storage when something like 200GB is all they need.

This is where Google One does an excellent job, offering tiers starting from 100GB and going all the way up to a whopping 30TB with multiple steps along the way. You can be picky about exactly how much cloud storage you’ll need. ICloud also does a good job in this regard, but the maximum available storage stops at 2TB.

Google One also has a leg up when it comes to free storage, offering users 15GB of space as long as they have a Google account and also includes saving high-quality photos (compressed down to 16MP and video down to 1080p) for free with Google Photos. Dropbox offers the least amount of free storage, but it’s possible to earn enough free storage to get at least triple the storage.

  iCloud   Mega   pCloud  
Free 5GB Free 15GB Free 10GB
$0.99/month 50GB 4.99 euros/month (~$5.70) 200GB $3.99/month
$47.88/year
$175 lifetime plan
500GB
$2.99/month 200GB 19.99 euros/month (~$22.83) 4TB $7.99/month
$95.88/year
$350 lifetime plan
2TB
$9.99/month 2TB 29.99 euros/month (~$34.25) 8TB

Mega offers the same 15GB of storage for free, but you can drastically increase the free storage available, even if for a limited time. Just creating an account gives you an additional 35GB for a month. Downloading the Mega mobile and desktop (MegaSYNC) apps will give you 15GB and 20GB of added storage respectively, but only for 6 months. There are also referral bonuses available.

PCloud is one of the new premium cloud storage services that offer lifetime plans that are relatively affordable, with the potential for huge savings in the long run. There aren’t a lot of tiers to consider, but you can get a lifetime of 500GB or 2TB of storage for just $175 or $350 respectively.

Google One and iCloud also more affordable than the rest as far as the monthly plans go. However, options like Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive, while more expensive, offer more in terms of certain features, app integration, and more.

Supported platforms

  Google One
(Drive + Photos)
Dropbox Microsoft OneDrive iCloud Mega pCloud
Desktop Windows
Mac
Windows
Mac
Linux
Windows
Mac
Windows
Mac
Windows
Mac
Linux
Windows
Mac
Linux
Mobile Android
iOS
Android
iOS
Windows Phone
Android
iOS
Windows Phone
iOS Android
iOS
Windows Phone
Android
iOS
Windows Phone
Others Xbox One Apple TV Thunderbird Mail Lightroom

While the amount of storage and pricing are often the most important considerations, there are other factors that matter as well. After all, there’s no point subscribing to an affordable service with lots of storage if you can’t access your files across all your devices.

You’ll generally not have too much trouble using any of these cloud storage services across various platforms. The main exception here is iCloud. It is definitely geared towards users who are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, and while a Windows app is available, there isn’t one for Android.

Likewise, Google One is ideal for users who rely on Google products (Drive, Photos, Docs, Gmail). You can’t even sign up without a Google account to get access to the 15GB of free storage. Similarly, OneDrive is great for dedicated Windows users.

Third-party services like Dropbox, Mega, and pCloud are available across all platforms and they’re great choices depending on price, available storage, and any additional features you may be looking for. Of course, all these services have robust web apps as well.

Productivity

google drive third party apps

Google Drive third-party apps supported

Apart from being excellent cloud storage services, some of them also come with quite a few productivity and collaboration features, either built-in or easily accessible. Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive take the lead in this regard. With the first two, the key integration is with Microsoft Office Online, while Google Docs powers your productivity needs with Google Drive and Google Photos handles photos and videos.

The main advantage of OneDrive is its complete integration with Microsoft products like OneNote, Office 365, Outlook, and Skype. In fact, the higher tier plans (1TB and 5TB) include a full subscription to Microsoft Office 365 for PC or Mac as well, which is fantastic.

However, Dropbox and Google Drive take a huge lead in third-party app integration, with hundreds of supported apps. All three are collaboration-friendly as well, and the best options if you are looking for a cloud storage solution for a team.

ICloud will sync all your pictures stored in Apple Photos. On MacOS, both the documents folder and desktop are synced by default. Other Apple services sync through iCloud as well, including Reminders, Notes, Calendars, and Siri.

Mega and pCloud are purely storage services, with no editors available. Both come with excellent photo viewers though, and you can also stream video instead of needing to download it to another device. Granted, viewing photos and streaming video are possible with the other storage services too.

Storage sharing

Google One family sharing feature

Google One family sharing

One of the exciting new features of Google One being able to share storage with friends or family by creating a family group. You can add up to five additional users to your subscription plan. While one account will be the manager responsible for payment and managing the storage, no user will have access to what another group member is storing unless it’s specifically shared.

Apple offers a similar Family Sharing plan with iCloud, which also lets you share storage with up to five additional users. The group Organizer chooses the features to share like iTunes and App Store purchases, Apple Books, and Apple music subscriptions. Cloud storage sharing is available with both the 200GB and 2TB plans and of course, one user cannot see what the others are storing.

Only the highest tier (5TB) comes with a provision for storage sharing — up to 1TB each for 5 users. Individual Dropbox plans don’t allow storage sharing. For teams, your best bet is to upgrade the subscription plan to Dropbox’s enterprise solutions option. Similarly, there’s no multiple-user sharing possible with Mega and pCloud.


Final thoughts

Google one features

Additional Google One features

That’s how Google One stacks up against the competition! Unsurprisingly, all of them have pros and cons. There’s no absolute best option out there — it depends on individual preferences.

Google One offers a lot of tiers, but the higher options (more than 10TB) are only for very select users. Storage sharing, Google Docs, third-party app integration, and multi-platform access to Google Drive and Photos are all great. However, Google One is definitely ideally suited for those more invested in the Google ecosystem, or at the very least in Docs over Office 365.

Office 365 is a big part of what makes OneDrive a favorite. Access to either Office Online and the included Office 365 subscription for PC or Mac (with the higher OneDrive plans) is great. You may not get most plan options or the lowest prices, but OneDrive is still the best way to go for the dedicated Windows user.

The story goes the same way for iCloud. The storage service isn’t a collaboration or productivity powerhouse by itself. However, the plans are affordable, Family Sharing is great, and there’s no better option if you are an Apple user.

There are quite a few excellent third-party cloud storage services as well, like Dropbox, Mega, and pCloud. Dropbox is a bit of an oddity. The subscription plan options aren’t great, it offers the lowest amount of free storage, and the best security features are available with the highest tier. That said, Dropbox is one of the best options for productivity and collaboration, which is what has made it such a fan favorite.

Mega is a great option if you are looking for tons of free storage. The base 15GB of free space is matched only by Google, but simply downloading mobile and desktop apps, or even just creating an account will give you up to 50GB of free storage (though only for 6 months). Finally, pCloud is one of the most secure cloud storage services around, and the availability of a lifetime plan promises incredible savings in the long run.

What is your cloud storage service of choice? Let us know in the comments section below!





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