iCloud vs GDrive vs Dropbox vs AWS Glacier

I’ve compiled a small table for myself to check what’s best suited for me. Thought I’d share if someone tries to make the same decision.

iCloud GDrive Dropbox AWS Glacier
Possible to store in Cloud but not on local machine? Yes (append .nosync to file or folder in iCloud-WebView) Yes (pref -> google drive -> only sync these folders…) Yes Yes
Share Files by Link Yes (“Add People”, works local and in webview) Yes Yes No
Price for Storing 100 GB / month 3 2 10 0.5
Price for Storing 200 GB / month 3 10 10 1
Price for Storing 1 TB / month 10 10 10 5
Price for Storing 2 TB / month 10 20 20 10
Product Discontinuation Risk Low Low Medium Low
Tool for managing on Mac iCloud Pref Pane, Context Menu, iCloud Drive Backup and Sync App Dropbox App Freeze for Mac ($30) or CrossFTP
Configurable which folders to sync Semi: iCloudDrive synced (if selected), also an option to sync “Desktop & Documents” Yes (pref -> google drive -> only sync these folders…) No (just the dropbox folder is synced)
Possible to sync files? Yes Yes Yes No
Retrieval costs / 100 GB 0 0 0 $10
Lock In High Medium Medium Huge (because retrieval is so expensive)
Need to switch when I switch to Linux? Yes No No No
Quality of the Web Interface Medium High Don’t know Low

iCloud

Most things with iCloud are fine and the functionality to backup your iPhone and sync photos when you’re a Mac user are of course cool. However, it’s not the best solution if you want to free disk space on your mac, since everything on iCloud is also synced on your Mac. You could use the ‘myfolder.nosync’ trick, but since the web-interface of iCloud isn’t that good it’s a bit problematic. For example, if you have a lot of photos, that you’d like to have in the cloud only and you have folders like 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 on your local machine, each with sub folders of events. Then moving this to iCloud is a bit an awkward process, since you can’t just drag and drop folders to iCloud (it’ll say that’s not possible through the web interface). So you’ll have to move those directories locally to iCloud, and then add the nosync extension. If you had the photos on an external harddrive and they consume more disk space than you have on your machine, you’re a bit out of luck.

GDrive

I use Gdrive every day for my work, including Docs, Sheets, Drawings and everything. The web interface sometimes is a bit slow, but all in all solid. You can also upload directories, so it would be easy to move things from an external drive to GDrive by drag and drop.

Dropbox

I really don’t have much experience with Dropbox, so I’ll leave this part to someone else.

AWS Glacier

For the love of god, don’t use this as your personal storage solution. Downloading stuff is really slow (5h queue) and expensive, so not worth it unless you know what you’re doing!

Summary

For me as a Mac User a good setup is the following combo: get the 200 GB from iCloud to back up my Desktop, Documents, Photos and my Phone. To free disk space on my Mac, I’ll consider purchasing more space in GDrive, once I need it.

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