The term “cloud,” as it refers to the internet, can mean many different things. One meaning relates to how and where an individual or group can store digital material on a server accessed via the internet, rather than on a computer server or personal hard drive that’s in your office. For those who have constant, broadband access to the internet, storing large quantities of digital content (text files, databases, video, photography, etc.) can be an efficient, low-cost alternative to self-hosted options. (There are other types of cloud services that allow users to do everything from host websites to develop web applications or store video and photography. While some of the services we cover in this post can be used for such purposes, we’re primarily referring to their role as a backup or collaborative file storage option.)

The falling price of cloud storage in comparison to the price of the hardware and software one would need to spend to maintain the equipment and service internally, is making migration to cloud storage services likely in the future for most small businesses, especially for those with dependable broadband internet access. When Dropbox, the dominant player in easy-to-administer cloud storage, announced recently that they were increasing by 10x the space available for their Dropbox Pro account (1 terabyte (TB) for $10 per month), they were matching Google Drive, temporarily at least, in setting a standard pricing model (1 TB for $10 per month). Microsoft’s OneDrive challenger is even less expensive, $2.50 per user per month for 1 TB, as the chart below shows. (Sidenote: The price should continue to fall, however. According to Kryder’s Law, the cost of storing 14 terabytes (TB) and will be about $40 by the year 2020.)

For the past two years, Dropbox has been aggressively marketing Dropbox Business, its “enterprise” (i.e., “company-wide”) version. As we’ve noted earlier, before a small business reaches the size of having an IT department that can dictate such things, it’s difficult to convince a small business owner to force any sort of company-wide change in technology without incurring a great deal of hassle expense.

The enhanced DropBox Pro product should appeal to such small businesses: the ability to have a large storage account, without all the expense or bells and whistles of the Dropbox Business product.

Here is a pricing comparison of some of the leading cloud storage services. There are many others and each of these have unique features and services included in addition to storage, so refer to the resources included at the bottom of this page for more information in selecting what’s right for your company.


  • Free Version: 15GB
  • Paid Versions: 1 TB – $2.50/month per user
  • OS’s Supported: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS

Dropbox Pro

  • Free Version: 2GB
  • Paid Version: 1 TB – $10/month (single user)
  • OS’s Supported: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Kindle Fire

Google Drive

  • Free Version: 15GB
  • Paid Versions: 1 TB – $10/month (single user)
  • OS’s Supported: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS


  • Free Version: 10GB
  • Paid Versions:  Unlimited Storage, $15/month, 5 users minimum)
  • OS’s Supported:  Windows, Mac, Android, Blackberry, and iOS


  • Free Version: 15GB
  • Paid Versions: $10/month for 250GB
  • OS’s Supported: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS

Additional resources

While the pricing and plan features may have changed, these comparisons can provide a snapshot of the features with each service listed above, plus others.

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