Google Drive vs. the competition: pricing plans and perks, compared

Sometimes a table says a thousand words. Now that Google has finally announced its cloud service, Google Drive, we're sure more than a few of you are crunching the numbers in your head in an attempt to figure which is the best deal. Far be it for us to tell you which service to use when we've barely had a chance to poke around Drive, but for now, better if we lay out those gigabytes and dollars in number form, rather than squeeze them into a crowded paragraph, don'tcha think? Follow past the break for a brief breakdown of what you'll get from Google, along with Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive and iCloud.

Google Drive


Microsoft SkyDrive




Apple iCloud


Free storage


7GB (25GB for existing users who opted in)

2GB (with referral bonuses, as detailed below)


Pricing plans:

25GB: $2.49 per month; 100GB: $4.99 per month; 1TB: $49.99 per month. Maximum plan is 16TB for $799.99 per month

20GB: $10 per year; 50GB: $25 per year; 100GB: $50 per year (in all cases, this storage comes in addition to the 7GB of free space)

50GB: $9.99 per month / $99 per year; 100GB: $199 per year / $19.99 per month; 1TB and up: starts at $795 for five users

10GB: $20 per year; 20GB: $40 per year; 50GB: $100 per year (in all cases, this storage comes in addition to the 5GB of free space)

20GB annual cost

$29.88* ($2.49 per month for 25GB per year)




100GB annual cost

$59.88 ($4.99 per month)


$199 ($19.99 per month)


Maximum file size



300MB via the browser; unlimited if you upload from your desktop

25MB for free accounts; 250MB for paying subscribers

Desktop apps

Windows and Mac (free)

Windows and Mac (free)

Windows, Mac and Linux (free)

Windows and Mac (free)

Mobile apps

Android (free), with an iOS version "coming soon"

iOS and Windows Phone (free)

Android, iOS and BlackBerry (free)


Talking points

SDK available; deep Google search, Google+ and Google Docs integration; public sharing; OCR technology; if you sign up for a paid account your Gmail storage expands to 25GB.

SDK available; remote file access; users can create Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets and OneNote notebooks in the cloud with group editing; public sharing; Bing search integration.

Dropbox recently made sharing easier by adding a public link for every file; customers with free accounts get half a gigabyte per referral, and can expand their service to up to 18GB; paying customers get 1GB per referral and can add up to 32GB in additional storage this way.

Deep iOS (and Mountain Lion) integration; iTunes Match, which costs an extra $24.99 a year, allows you to store music you did not purchase through iTunes, such as ripped CDs.