In days past, carrying around physical media was the only way to take your files with you. Floppy discs became CD-ROMs, which then became USB drives – with the first two obsolete and the latter quickly going that way.

Taking their place is cloud storage – the ability to take almost any type of file and store it on the internet, available to retrieve by any number of parties with permission. Both for personal use and for business, cloud storage is incredibly useful and time-saving. There are several cloud services out there you can use, but which one is the best for you?

Let’s take a look at a few of the “big dogs” in the cloud storage world. We’ll examine the strengths of each, and let you decide which is the best for you.


Box was one of the first startups to hit it big with cloud storage. Close to 10 years old, Box has maintained a focus on creating a product for business professionals, with less of a focus on consumer use. Box shines most in a workplace, with the ability to heavily customize sharing and privacy options on a number of levels throughout a network.

Storage Ability: 10GB free, 100GB for $10 monthly. File size is capped at 250MB for free plans, upgraded to 5GB with paid plan.

Available On: Windows and Mac OS, iOS and Android devices, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.

The Down-low: If you run a business with heavy collaboration between multiple people, it’s hard to find a better service than Box for your cloud storage.


Dropbox was another one of the early players in the cloud storage game. With a heavier focus on individuals than Box, Dropbox has become the largest startup in the cloud category. Dropbox’s strengths are in its simple interface and easy learnability, as well as its ability to be used on almost any device.

Storage Ability: 2GB free, and more free storage can be earned by completing tutorials or referring others. 1TB for $10 monthly.

Available On: Windows, Mac and Linux OS, iOS and Android devices, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices, Kindle Fire.

The Down-low: There’s a reason Dropbox is the product leader. If you’re only using cloud storage for personal use on multiple devices and want an easy solution, Dropbox is for you.

Google Drive

Google’s cloud storage is a strange breed. If you have a Google account, you already have Google Drive. That said, anything stored in your Google account, be it your Gmail, Google Photos, or Google+, has to share the same 15GB of storage. The upside to this is that it is incredibly easy to move files across the different parts of the Google suite. In addition, Google Drive contains a basic office-suite, with a word processor, spreadsheet manager and presentation builder, making it ideal for those that crave versatility.

Storage Ability: 15GB free, paid plans start at 100 GB for $2 monthly.

Available On: Windows and Mac OS, iOS and Android devices.

The Down-low: If you’re already a heavy Google user, there’s no reason not to choose Drive, and it’s a complete necessity for Chromebook users.

Microsoft OneDrive

OneDrive’s biggest strength is that it’s built right into the Windows OS – if you have Windows 8 or 10, you already have OneDrive. While not as seamless as Google’s integration, OneDrive has a pretty robust party of other applications it interacts with: Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and even Xbox Live. If you’re a veteran of Microsoft products, there’s almost zero learning curve with OneDrive.

Storage Ability: 15GB free, paid plans start at 100 GB for $2 monthly.

Available On: Windows and Mac OS, iOS and Android devices, Windows Phone

The Down-low: Just like Google Drive, Microsoft’s cloud service most benefits those who are already part of the Church of Microsoft. If you’re a Windows Phone and Surface user, there’s no choice to be made: OneDrive is for you.

The differences between these cloud storage services may seem negligible, and for many they are. However to get the most use out of your cloud storage, knowing which one is best for your devices, your type of files and who you need to share them with will go a long way in saving you headaches down the road.