Which Cloud Service? iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Other?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by dmk1974, Dec 1, 2015.


Which Cloud Service? iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Other?

  1. iCloud

    31 vote(s)
  2. Google Drive

    8 vote(s)
  3. OneDrive

    13 vote(s)
  4. Dropbox

    33 vote(s)
  5. Other

    1 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. dmk1974, Dec 1, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015

    dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    So, as of December 2015, I wanted to see which is the cloud service of choice. I bounce between all of them and would prefer to settle on 1 or 2. I use Macs, PC, and Chromebooks as well as an iPhone.

    iCloud I'm not quite sure is there yet.
    Google Drive seems pretty good and reasonably priced and ties in with Google apps
    OneDrive for a 4-5 person family is a great deal if you want MS Office included in the subscription. Kinda slow though.
    DropBox seems to be the fastest and most versatile, but unless you get a lot of free small upgrades in space, it's the most pricey.
    Amazon Drive I have not tried, but read it was buggy.

    Which one/ones (limit 2) do you prefer? Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. Erdbeertorte Suspended

    May 20, 2015
    Never tried Google Drive, because Google is bad. :rolleyes: And I don't know Amazon Drive.

    I prefer Dropbox over OneDrive because almost everything what I copy or move in the Dropbox folder on my Mac can be uploaded without getting an error messages like folder or file names are to long or have signs in it that are not supported (for example my iTunes Library), file is to large (for example my Windows 8.1 Parallels VM) and it does not upload a whole several GB file again if it was changed (for example my Photos Library), I can sync with 1Password, better Finder integration (I can see if folders/files are already completely uploaded/downloaded or not), better and faster synching.

    That's why I paid 99€ for one year Dropbox Pro with 1TB after I got Office 365 with 5 x 1TB OneDrive for 69€.
    I don't need 1TB, but there has been no other option. 100GB had been enough.

    I am using iCloud only to sync Contacts, Notes, Safari, Keychain and for find my iPhone/Mac. Calendar and Reminders are also active, but are empty, same for iCloud drive.
  3. whodatrr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    iCloud is certainly the easiest, form the Mac, but it's expensive. I now just use a basic plan for my phones, but may even drop that.. again, expensive.
    I use Drop for work, and it's great as doc sharing platform.
    I use OneDrive for home, because the price is right (1TB with Office), and it's good enough.

    What I hate most about iCloud is how Apple is trying to push us further in that direction, with every subsequent relate of iOS and OSX. I hate,m for example, how they've tripled family sharing capabilities in iPhoto/etc. in favor of apps where cloud sharing is preferred over the old local sharing model. This is actually pushing me off the ecosystem.
  4. AlteMac macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2011
    New York suburb
    I am very partial to Sugarsync, with the ability to send any document from any folder and ios apps too. I have a legacy plan so I am not sure about current pricing.
  5. splifingate macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2013
    USD 0.99/month for 50GiB of iCloud, and gratis Google Drive: what's not to like?

    2GiB on my personal server for those things over which I want complete control (and selective privacy).

    Still, I use only a fraction....
  6. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    I've never had any problems with Dropbox when I still used it. Still a fantastic service and the fact that it is independent from the big three makes it that more likeable. Dropbox is only expensive when you think that 1 TB is just too much. Other than that it is competitive in terms of pricing to iCloud Drive and Google Drive and works across platforms. Only OneDrive is cheaper of course. iCloud Drive has both a big advantage and a big disadvantage: Apple doesn't mine your data, at least not for advertising purposes, but the service is overall qualitatively bad with a confusing user interface and lack of a good native iOS app and web app.
  7. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Bummer you didn't ask this last week. I posted in the Buyer's Advice forum that Amazon Prime members could buy one year's worth of UL data storage for $5 (not the Photos-only storage) - I did. And, I bought AC for a Mac Mini Server a couple of months ago - it was on sale for $50, and Amazon gifted me a free stackable year of the Amazon Cloud Drive. So, 2 years of Amazon Cloud Drive Storage makes it my new favorite file depot in the cloud.

    I use Office 365, and it's pretty slick getting additional storage, but I'm still frosted that MS reduced my 10TB allotment to 1TB because of the tools that were uploading everything. So, Amazon it is for me.
  8. dmk1974, Dec 1, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015

    dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Wow, that sounds like a great deal! Bummer I missed it...I have had Prime for years too.

    I just ran a little comparative sync test from my Mac Mini. Uploaded a ~300MB MP4 file to each of the 4 other services. Original file had never been synced to any of them and was uploading from my desktop (internal SSD drive). I then ran a test of syncing another folder from my desktop that had 100 photos totaling 405.6MB. Some strange results for the upload rates. MP4 first, photo folder second. All units in Mbps (yes, mega BITS per second).

    iCloud Drive: 10.0 / 50.7
    Google Drive: 4.4 / 10.5
    OneDrive: 8.1 / 11.6
    Dropbox: 7.6 / 162.2

    Finally, I ran speedtest.net which resulted in 86.3 DL and 12.4 UL (Mbps). How can any upload exceed this??? All of the photo folder uploads were faster for each service, but Dropbox especially and iCloud as well don't make sense to me as to why each is so much faster.
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I use DropBox and iCloud primarily. Both with the free storage allotment. I have 1tb of space via my Office subscription but don't need that much space online. If my wife and I decide to move to the photos app we are going to need a lot of iCloud space.
  10. NoBoMac, Dec 2, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015

    NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    I can see the appeal of zeroing down to 1-2 services, but at least for me, can't do that without replacing apps/workflow elsewhere and/or spending money to upgrade accounts. So, I'm using all four options. Right tool for the job type thing.

    Google Drive and One Drive for desktop encrypted (I encrypt with super strong key before uploading) records: lots of space for my needs at only $5/yr (Google grandfathered plan), and free (One Drive).

    iCloud for stock Apple syncing (Calendar/Reminders, Contacts, Notes, etc). Not a lot of space needed there.

    Dropbox: several iOS apps of mine only sync through there, so, need to have that. Other nice thing with Dropbox, it understands symbolic links, so can keep files in the locations I want them to be, yet still access from Dropbox service/apps. Some of my apps might also do iCloud, but like that basically all the rest of my mobile data is in one place and syncing with desktop automatically, and easily manageable via app, web, desktop. And only once had issue with Dropbox being down vs iCloud being fairly hit and miss on working properly, not fouling up data, being online (And in the case of Dropbox being down once, got a large Box account that I mirror select [mostly static] items automatically once a month from Dropbox to it, as well as archive select photos).
  11. dmk1974 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Same boat. Google Drive useful especially for using Docs or Sheets. OneDrive useful for using Word or Excel Online versions. Haven't used iCloud much yet as a storage drive since I hate the Apple "Office" variants. But as you said, Dropbox is overall the fastest and most integrated to many apps and really is my favorite (just the least space for free).
  12. kazibole macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2015
    I have a Windows desktop, Macbook Pro, iPhone and iPad. I am using Dropbox for files, starting to put documents and notes into Evernote, and use iCloud for pictures, mail, calendar, tasks and reminders. I use the cheapest paid option for all services.
  13. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2006
    DropBox doesn't support opening documents on iOS, only copying it, so for example you can't open a document directly in Pages, but you have to copy it, so it will be copy -> edit -> copy back to DropBox. With iCloud, OneDrive and Box you can just open the document and avoid to copy it twice.
  14. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Forgot to mention. I've used Amazon Cloud Drive in the past. No complaints. Worked. Now, currently not a fan of their newish pricing. Playing with the unlimited photo storage for $11.99/yr. Free for one year, and the $11.99 plan comes with 5GB of file storage, so, gives me time to see if willing to pay down the road and have Amazon as my online backup of my photo library. Appears to not recognize my RAW files (Olympus), but was having the same issue on other services that I thought about using for backup, so, a wash and just need to keep doing current process of exporting the RAW to JPG and uploading those as backup.
  15. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Dropbox is by far the fastest and most reliable in my experience. I don't pay for their service, ironically, but keep my most important documents that I want to remain in sync there. I use iCloud drive only for pictures and music, and while it basically works, it is ridiculously slow and the feature set leaves a lot to be desired. I have a TB of Onedrive storage that I basically don't even use because I've found their sync engine to be so unreliable. Slow and even had problems with corrupted files.

    Our business uses Sharesync which works a lot like Dropbox integrated into our domain and seems to work fine, although again a little bit slower. My wife's employer uses Box which seems to work great for them even at their very large scale.
  16. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I'm guessing you're not a Prime member? I hunt around for their membership deals that get offered every once in a while - a few months ago I snagged one of their unlocked 32GB Fire Phones for $99, which included a year of Prime, and then I sold the Phone for $75 on CL. Last week, Amazon offered new members a $67 for a first year, and to everyone $1 for UL photo storage and $5 for UL file storage on their Cloud Drive. Prime members get UL photo storage.

    BTW, read this link as it may help you a bit with getting RAW files into back up space - we upload converted DNG files from our Olympus shooter to both OneDrive and Amazon's Photo storage and it works perfectly: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201649930
  17. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I have no complaints with iCloud. I'm not a heavy cloud user aside from my photos and mobile back ups but 1 dollars a month for 50gb seems reasonable for me.

    I used to use Dropbox, but since I only save photos iCloud is much more streamlined for me and with all my Apple devices the seamless syncing is much appreciated.
  18. BradWould macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2015
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I use Dropbox and iCloud. Dropbox I use solely for ebooks. My father in law and I share a library. We each set our Calibre library as the same shared Dropbox folder. So when one person adds a book to Calibre it automatically goes into the other persons library. It works great and the limited free storage is fine when you're talking 500kb files. iCloud I use for photo library and music. 200gb tier.
  19. Max(IT), Dec 3, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015

    Max(IT) Suspended


    Dec 8, 2009
    My primary choice is iCloud, where I have my backups and my photos, mainly.
    As an Office365 subscriber I'm using OneDrive 1Tb plan included in my plan.
    I have also a Dropbox free account, just to share some documents with my colleagues.
    Google Drive ? Not even if they offer me 10 Tb for free. It's Google, I won't relay on them regarding any serious sensible data....

    0.99€ per 50 Gb seem to be more than acceptable for me.
  20. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I use iCloud for the automatic OS X and iOS file saving and backups and Dropbox for when I actually need to access the files. I also use a shared Dropbox folder for sharing stuff with my band mates.
  21. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Mainly Google Drive as I have an unlimited Google work account so I'm heavily invested in the Google ecosystem, but also use Dropbox, OneDrive (mainly for OneNote storage and photo backup) and iCloud (device backups and iCloud Photo Library only)

    I also use CloudHQ to sync data across various providers, and Spanning Backup to backup the Google Drive data
  22. Shirasaki macrumors 604


    May 16, 2015
    I use OneDrive for Business and Dropbox, as well as iCloud. I somewhat use Google Drives but not my main client.
    Business has 1TB storage, speed is OK. If OneDrive client can integrate with business side, things would be really great, at least the old business client is very hard to use.
    Dropbox has the best file syncing/sharing capability, in consumer side.
    iCloud, I solely use it as my remote backup disk. Plus stores some files and share them between other Apple devices.
  23. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    I use Copy.com (run by Barracuda Networks) for everything. It works exactly the same as Dropbox, but offers more space to start with, and the ability to earn a LOT more free space.

    With COPY, you start with 15GB of free space. I currently have 1.8TB of free space. Yes, you read that right. 1,800 Gigabytes of free space.
  24. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I use a mixture of iCloud and OneDrive. While I have a Dropbox account, its mostly dormant at this point. I get a full terabyte of storage with OneDrive vs. the 9GB of free storage I get with Dropbox. Dropbox is faster and does offer more imo, but I'm finding OneDrive to be adequate.
  25. pcgeek12345 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    I use DropBox for file syncing, Google services for email, contacts, and calendars, and iCloud for Safari data, reminders, notes, etc.

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