For many, the primary goal is to find the cheapest cloud storage. In this article, we look specifically at “hard drive” storage. They can replace a real external physical hard drive, while still having the advantages of cloud storage.
In short, for those in a hurry, here is a summary of the 4 cheapest online storage. The first one, kDrive, offers monthly or yearly subscriptions at least half the price of the rest of the market. It is therefore far ahead as the cheapest online storage.
The next two are Icedrive and pCloud. They offer lifetime cloud storage deals (a one-time payment rather than a monthly or yearly subscription) which are both excellent long-term investments, since they pay for themselves in only about 3-4 years. You may prefer them if your goal is not to pay the cheapest subscription possible, but to invest for huge savings over the next few years.
Depending on what you are looking for (the cheapest possible subscription, or the best savings on the long term), you will find your happiness among these 4 solutions.
2 TB for 59,88€ / year
kDrive. The cheapest monthly or annual subscription on the market
A monthly or annual subscription at very low prices for an excellent European service. KDrive subscriptions are about half the price of its main competitors, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Mega, ..
5Tb for 499€ for life
Icedrive. A very economical investment in the long term (lifetime purchase)
The cheapest cloud storage on the long term, with a very large space of 5Tb! The 499€ is a significant investment, but it pays for itself after only 3 years
2Tb for 400€ for life
10Tb for 1200€ for life
The second option for a long term investment
A slightly more complete service than Icedrive, but for a slightly higher price and 2TB (or even 10TB) of storage space. Like Icedrive, it’s a one-time payment that quickly saves money without paying a subscription for years.
|1||kDrive||2 TB||59,88€ / year||The cheapest monthly or annual subscription on the market|
A monthly or annual subscription at very low prices for an excellent service. KDrive subscriptions are about half the price of its main competitors, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Mega, …
|2||Icedrive||5 TB||499 for life|
(100€ / To)
|A very economical investment in the long term|
The cheapest cloud storage on the long term, with a very large space of 5 TB! The sum of 499€ is an important investment, but it pays off after only 3 years. It also offers smaller storage spaces of 150 GB (89€) or 1 TB (199€).
|3||pCloud||2 TB||400 for life|
(200€ / To)
|The second investment option for the long term|
A slightly more complete service, but for a slightly higher price and a smaller storage space. As with Icedrive, it’s a one-time payment that quickly saves money without paying a subscription for years. pCloud also has a lifetime storage space of 500 GB for 200€ or 10 TB for 1200€!
This storage category is not the one you are interested in, because you are looking for cloud storage under 1TB? We’ve also covered the cheapest cloud storage for the 200-500GB category.
1st. kDrive from Infomaniak: An excellent service at least half the price of its competitors!
kDrive is a cloud storage created by the Swiss cloud service provider Infomaniak (hosting, servers, online tools, etc.). As an online storage, kDrive is perfectly suited to both individuals and companies.
- Subscriptions globally half the price of competitors for the same cloud space
- Suitable for professionals and businesses
- 30 days free to try the whole service
- Data hosted in Switzerland
- Discounted prices (up to -20%) depending on the commitment of 1, 2 or 3 years
- No Zero-Knowledge safe to protect your files yet (but soon available according to kDrive)
The offer we are interested in here is the kDrive Solo offer , which gives access to 2 TB of data. In terms of features, kDrive is very complete and has almost nothing to envy to other options on the market.
The only big flaw is thelack of a digital safe (a place where your files are privately encrypted, so that even kDrive cannot read their content). Both Icedrive and pCloud offer this feature, unlike kDrive (for pCloud, it is a paid option). kDrive promises, however, to work on this feature to make it available soon. As for Sync.com,
Unlike Icedrive and pCloud, kDrive does not have “lifetime” plans, but only more traditional subscriptions to offer. However, the price of these subscriptions is so low compared to the qualities that kDrive has, that it has a good place in this ranking.
KDrive subscriptions half the price of competitors
Now let’s talk about kDrive’s prices. It’s simple: overall, kDrive offers subscriptions that are at least half the price of its competitors for the same amount of storage space!
Let’s detail the prices of the Solo 2Tb offer:
- 5.54 € / month for a monthly billing without commitment.
- 59.88 / year with a 1 year commitment, i.e. 4,99€/month (-10%).
- 56.52 / year with a 2-year commitment, i.e. 4.71€/month (-15%).
- 53.16 € / year with a 3 years commitment, that is to say 4,43€/month (-20%).
In comparison, the subscriptions of pCloud or Icedrive are twice as expensive, around 9.99€ per month for 2Tb. It’s simple: kDrive has subscriptions at least twice as cheap as all competitors (Google Drive, Mega, Dropbox, iCloud, …)! To convince you, check out our comparison of cloud storage.
Another thing to note is that kDrive offers a lot of flexibility on its subscriptions, with monthly subscriptions, or 1, 2 or 3 year commitment periods for annual subscriptions. This option allows you to get even lower rates (up to -20%) if you are ready to commit to the medium term.
A 30-day free trial to convince us
To finish convincing those who are hesitating with kDrive, Infomaniak has had the excellent initiative of offering a free 30-day trial for all its paid offers (a payment card is however required to register, but no debit will be made).
This is a very good idea, and even more reassuring than the periods with a promise of full refund from Sync.com (30 days), pCloud (10 days) and Icedrive (14 days) since it is not necessary to pay to test the service in good conditions.
kDrive as an alternative to the web giants
In this period where the web giants Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft seem to have more and more power, many are looking for effective alternatives.
kDrive and Infomaniak are positioned in this niche. Indeed, it is a European (Swiss) service, which remains sovereign over the data that it stores only in its own data centers. Its entire policy is centered on this aspect and on the respect of privacy that is so problematic with the American giants.
Also, kDrive and Infomaniak have good support in many languages, both by email, chat, or phone.
Review of kDrive by Infomaniak
In summary, kDrive is an excellent service, although it is still slightly inferior in terms of functionality to pCloud for example. In particular, the lack of a digital safe is regrettable.
If you’re not keen on paying for cloud storage for life but prefer a more traditional monthly or yearly subscription approach, then kDrive is probably the most interesting option for its very attractive price, but also its other qualities detailed above.
2nd. Icedrive: A perfect online storage for those who want to invest for the long term
Icedrive is a recent entrant in the cloud storage field. Founded in 2019 in the UK (Wales), it is coming to the market in a big way with the aim of being a modern and cheap player. Its very low rates make it potentially the cheapest cloud in the long run, thanks to a very economical lifetime offer over time.
- Very low prices, especially in lifetime payment
- Very good security and privacy (private encryption included)
- 14 days money back guarantee
- 10 GB of free cloud space
- Website and applications in English only
Icedrive provides its users with three storage spaces of 150 GB, 1 TB and 5 TB. In this article, we are interested in the 1TB and 5TB offers
The first one of 1Tb is offered at 4.99€ / month with a monthly subscription without commitment, and at 49.99€ / year for an annual subscription (i.e. 4.17€ / month).
The second one of 5Tb is proposed at 17,99€ / month with a monthly subscription, and at 179,99€ / year with an annual subscription (that is 15€ / month).
So far, we are in the low range of what other cheaper competitors offer, but nothing exceptional. What allows Icedrive to become the cheapest cloud storage is its “lifetime” offers at the extremely low prices of 199€ for 1Tb and 499€ for 5Tb.
If you are not familiar with the concept of “lifetime” online storage, this price may seem excessive. However, to evaluate it, you have to consider its interest on the medium or long term. In this case, it is an unbeatable offer.
A quick calculation is all it takes to realize this. Here, the price of 499€ for 5Tb corresponds to less than 3 years of annual subscription at 179,99€. In other words, the price of the one-time payment is amortized in less than 3 years. Once these 3 years have passed, you have made your initial payment profitable. Use then becomes “free”: the online space belongs to you and you can continue to use it, but you have already paid for it.
For the 1TB cloud storage, it is true that the offer is slightly less interesting since it pays for itself in 4 years. The offer is still very attractive for those who want less space.
Is Icedrive a good online storage?
Apart from its price, are there any other qualities that would make you use Icedrive rather than another cloud storage service?
Overall, Icedrive hasa very good service, which has a good position in our ranking of the best cloud storage. Still young though (created in 2019), it unfortunately does not yet excel in the area of real-time file collaboration, as detailed in our review of d’Icedrive. It does, however, have a very good interface, and the still too rare quality of offering private encryption, which is very important for the privacy and security of your data.
A digital safe for sensitive data
This private encryption on the client side is offered in the form of a digital safe: a folder in which you can put your most confidential files to ensure that no one but you (including Icedrive) can read their content. This feature is included in Icedrive’s service, unlike pCloud for example (2nd in this ranking) which makes it a paid option.
As far as available applications are concerned, no problem, Icedrive has applications for all common systems(Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS) and can also be used via a simple web browser.
On the other hand, some may regret that both the website and the application interface are only available in English, or that the collaborative work options are not as complete as those of its main competitors.
Another drawback is that, although Icedrive has servers in Europe and in the United States, it is not possible to choose where your data will be stored (unlike pCloud, which gives you the choice, or kDrive, where all data is stored in Switzerland).
When to choose Icedrive?
Icedrive is a very good online storage, whose price makes it an excellent deal.
It will be very well suited for those who are looking for a large storage space at a very reasonable price due to its one-time payment. The 5TB offer at 499€ is indeed extremely interesting. If you hesitate, don’t forget that Icedrive promises a full refund of your offer within 14 days after purchase if you are not satisfied.
If you have more complex needs in terms of syncing and sharing features that Icedrive doesn’t have, and you’re willing to pay a bit more but still with a one-time payment, then look at pCloud, detailed below.
3rd. pCloud: the top online storage
pCloud is overall the best cloud for storage. With a very interesting pricing policy, it is high up in this ranking of the cheapest cloud storage. Its offer in this category is 2TB for €9.99 per month, or €99.99 per year (17% savings for an annual payment). But as with Icedrive, the real saving with pCloud is the lifetime online storage offer.
- Uncompromising security
- Service and data hosted in Europe (Switzerland) or the United States of America
- Configurable personal encryption
- 10-day money back guarantee
- Free 10GB of space
- Very economical lifetime plans (one-time payment)
- PCloud Crypto personal encryption as a paid option
- Collaboration tools need improvement
LIFETIME ONLINE STORAGE: long-term savings
This package allows you to pay once to enjoy online storage space for life. It is a one-time payment of €400 to use the 2TB in the cloud, unlimited in time.
Let’s do the same calculation as for Icedrive. At its current price the offer pays for itself rather quickly. A quick calculation shows that the lifetime payment pays for itself :
- in a little over 3 years when compared to the monthly subscription.
- in 4 years when compared to the annual subscription.
So it’s an easy plan to pay off if you plan to use such a cloud storage service for a few years at least. However, it is a bit more expensive than what Icedrive offers (price per TB of storage).
It is necessary to point out though that the pCloud website communicated this price as a temporary 65% promotion, the actual price being €1140 for 2TB. It is not very clear if this promotion will last or not.
For those who want more: 10TB of online storage for life!
For those who are looking for even more online storage space, pCloud recently launched a 10TB lifetime cloud storage! This is offered at a price of €1200 (or €120/TB). This price of 1200 € is displayed as a promotion of 80% compared to the actual price of 6000 €.
Monthly and annual payments
pCloud is also among the best prices for monthly and annual payments. Although in this category the competitors are very close to each other, except for kDrive (1st in this ranking), which is still much cheaper.
In the form of monthly payments with no time commitment, the 2 TB offer costs €9.99 per month.
That works out to 200 GB per euro invested, which is twice as good as the best prices for light online storage from 200 to 500 GB.
For annual payments (one payment to use pCloud services for 12 months), the price is €99.99 per year. That’s 17% lower than the monthly price.
Conclusion about pCloud
pCloud is already first in the overall ranking of the best online storage.
For those looking for foolproof cloud storage, the savings offered by a one-time payment to buy 2TB or 10TB of storage space for life will be a big argument.
In addition, pCloud has a 10-day money back policy. This reinforces our belief that this is a very inexpensive online storage and the best overall (see our review of pCloud).
Cloud storage “hard drive”: from 1TB to 5TB
Why a “hard drive” cloud storage?
With this amount of storage (starting at 1TB or 1000GB), many people can synchronize all of their important data. It’s really theequivalent of a reasonably sized physicalhard drive.
As you can imagine, this provides a real convenience over lightweight online storage (200-500GB).
First of all, these offers have the advantages of an online backup to secure your data in case your hardware fails. The large storage space allows you to consider synchronizing all of your data, instead of an incomplete selection.
Moreover, the synchronization and data sharing features of online storage promise you a convenience you didn’t have before: all your data is shared and available from all your devices (phones, tablets, work or laptop, …).
Also, the sharing features take a totally different dimension. The fact that you can send a link to any of your files at any time (assuming that all your data is synchronized) sometimes makes life easier.
Conclusion on the 3 cheapest cloud storages
kDrive, Icedrive, and pCloud are all excellent cloud services.
kDrive is a great solution for those who want a monthly or yearly subscription, with prices that are simply half the price of all the competition! Plus, the ability to test the service for free for 30 days is a great incentive to try it out.
Icedrive and pCloud potentially fare better in terms of savings, due to their lifetime cloud storage offers: you pay a one-time fee giving you access to the service for life. These offerings are particularly easy to pay for, but require a sizable investment.