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The weight of the cloud giants

In reality, it is often not really a choice since you already use these services elsewhere. For example, simply having a Google account gives you access to 15 GB of storage space. This is used to store your emails, Google Docs, and other data backed up at Google.

Similarly, some of you have a free 5GB iCloud account or a Dropbox account.

So these cloud storage services have the advantage that they are often already present in the daily lives of their potential customers. Thus, users are often already engaged with these services. Going further by entrusting all their personal data is then the easiest solution.

However, this is a mistake on many levels. This article explains why, and more importantly: Which alternative should you choose?

What are the best alternatives to GAFAM and Dropbox?

Before we get into a detailed analysis of the problems with the most popular cloud storage solutions, here’s a summary of the best alternatives.

pCloud: the best general purpose cloud storage

Logo de pCloud

Why is this a better alternative?

  • The best cloud storage according to our online storage comparison
  • Foolproof security
  • Data hosted in Europe (Switzerland) or the United States of your choice
  • Swiss service, which is not influenced by the US Patriot Act and Cloud Act policies
  • Optional personal encryption (unfortunately, a paid option)
  • Satisfied or your money back for 10 days
  • 10 GB free space to try the service without paying
  • Very economical lifetime plans (one-time payment) to buy online storage space without a recurring subscription

When should I choose pCloud?

pCloud is the default choice for the general public. It is overall the best online storage on the main criteria: security, features, price, etc. Lifetime offers (one-time payment) are very economical in the long run.

Sync.com: impeccable privacy protection and low prices

Logo de Sync.com

Why is this a better alternative?

  • Very good security and privacy. Private encryption is included: your data can only be viewed by you.
  • Very cheap 2TB or 6TB offers
  • Service and data hosted in Canada, more privacy friendly than the US
  • Satisfaction or your money back for 30 days
  • Unlimited file versions and recycle garbage can

When to choose Sync.com?

You will prefer Sync.com if your goal is to protect your privacy at a very low price, but losing slightly in features and ease of use compared to pCloud. All data in Sync.com is encrypted from end to end. You can store sensitive data there without worrying, only you will be able to access it.

kDrive: the cheapest subscriptions and a European service for an alternative to GAFAM

Logo kDrive
kDrive

Why is this a better alternative?

  • Subscriptions overall half the price of competitors for the same cloud space.
  • All service and data based in Europe (Switzerland), and is not influenced by US “Patriot Act” and “Cloud Act” policy.
  • Well suited for professionals and businesses.
  • 30 days free to try the whole service.
  • Decreasing prices depending on the commitment of 1, 2 or 3 years.

When to choose kDrive?

You should choose kDrive if you are looking for a storage service exclusively located in Europe (Switzerland) and with very cheap subscriptions. In fact, kDrive’s subscriptions are half the price of other online storages! But we regret that kDrive does not offer private encryption.

Icedrive: the most economical in the long term thanks to its lifetime offer

Logo Icedrive
Icedrive

Why is this a better alternative?

  • Very low prices, especially in lifetime payment. The 5TB offer is the most interesting in the long run and pays for itself in just 3 years.
  • Very good security and privacy (private encryption included).
  • Satisfied or refunded for 14 days.
  • 10 GB of free cloud space.

When to choose Icedrive?

Icedrive is a very good online storage. But its interest comes first and foremost from its lifetime offers which create tremendous savings in the long term. Indeed, with the current prices (a 33% discount on lifetime offers), buying a lifetime cloud storage costs less than a 3-year annual subscription. In other words, after only 3 years, the online storage space becomes “free”!
This offer is available for three storage spaces: 100 GB, 1 TB or 5 TB.

Why avoid Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, etc.?

Cloud storage to avoid

Security and privacy

The first issue to mention is data security and privacy. Even though most cloud giants incorporate satisfactory data encryption, they do not guarantee the secrecy of your data.

This is a big problem for data that should be confidential, like your personal or business data.

In the terms of use of Google Drive for example, it is clearly mentioned that the uploaded content is analyzed. This analysis has several purposes: to personalize the services with the information extracted from your private data, or to detect forbidden contents. Many other services use this kind of automatic analysis.

Besides the secrecy of your data, this is also a security issue. If your data is accessible to the storage provider, what will happen if the servers are hacked? Reading the data by hackers would not be easy because the data is encrypted before it is stored. But if hackers gain access to the decryption keys, then it’s a disaster.

The answer to this data privacy and security problem is private encryption. This process encrypts the data before sending it to the storage servers and leaves you the sole owner of the decryption key. The storage provider cannot read your data because it is in a format they cannot decrypt.

For various reasons, the most well-known online storage providers refuse to integrate this principle into their service. The solution is to choose a provider that integrates it directly (like Sync.com or Icedrive) or that offers it as an option (like pCloud). A more complex alternative is touse an encryption storage service.

The problem U.S. companies in the cloud have with privacy

The other potential invasion of your privacy by using U.S. companies comes from the country’s politics. Indeed, in recent years, the United States has changed its legislation through the “Patriot Act” and the “Cloud Act”. The result is that US authorities can more easily demand access to data stored by US companies (even if the data is hosted outside the US).

This policy goes against privacy protection and it is therefore considered desirable to avoid US companies to store personal or business data.

For more explanations, do not hesitate to consult our article dedicated to this issue.

Price

Many people think that because the cloud giants are “bigger”, they are able to offer lower prices. This is not true.

In reality, alternative solutions often have lower or identical prices.

Let’s take the example of an account with 2TB (2000GB) of storage space, offered by many providers.

pCloud, Sync.com or kDrive are in our opinion online storage alternatives. Their offers for such space are cheaper or the same as those offered by Google, OneDrive, Dropbox or iCloud:

  • kDrive is €5.54 per month, and around €60 per year. That’s almost half the price of all other cloud storage!
  • pCloud is $9.99 per month, and around $96 per year (20% cheaper than the monthly subscription).
  • Sync. com is $96 per year.
  • Google Drive, iCloud or Dropbox are all around €10 per month, either the same or more expensive.

Free offers

Another untruth is that these more well-known services have an easier time being generous with free storage. In reality, there is no rule.

pCloud and Icedrive offer 10GB of free space. That’s more than any of the aforementioned cloud giants, with the exception of Google Drive, which offers 15GB.

Sync.com and kDrive offer 5 GB of free space. That’s far less than Google Drive and pCloud, but still the same as what OneDrive and iCloud offer. It’s even more than the 2 GB offered by Dropbox.

Conclusion on the shortcomings of Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud

Beware, we are not saying that all competitors besides GAFAM or Dropbox are good solutions. There are a lot of companies that should definitely be avoided. But there are also excellent services that are serious, secure, privacy-friendly, and inexpensive.

These are the alternatives we highlight in this article.

The advantages of Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, etc.?

Although we believe that data security and privacy is an indispensable feature of a good online storage, there are not only disadvantages to using the services of Google, Dropbox, etc.

There is one aspect that the competition will have a hard time matching: integration with other services.

For example, Google Drive obviously offers unparalleled compatibility with its other tools: Google Docs, Google Photos, etc. The same is true for OneDrive and the Microsoft environment or iCloud and the Apple environment.

Dropbox has also been around long enough for many software programs to have integrated it in one way or another.

What strategy should you adopt when choosing an online storage?

Use the right tool for the right job

The fact that the cloud giants have both advantages and disadvantages over their competitors doesn’t make it easy for us to make a choice.

But we believe that using them can be complementary, at no extra cost. Why not use the services where they are the best and take advantage of the free offers when they are sufficient?

If you want to have a large storage and synchronization space in the long term (a few hundred gigabytes or a few terabytes), we clearly advise you to go for a paid plan with one of the best online storage companies. This will be the safest and most efficient approach in the long run.

Free or cheap offers for occasional needs

In your personal or professional life, it is likely that you use the services of the web giants.

For example, you might regularly need the power of Google Docs to write documents (especially in collaboration with others) or to manage tables in Google Sheets

In this case, Google Drive will come in handy. Fortunately, a storage space of a few gigabytes is more than enough for such use. The free offers are therefore more than sufficient in most cases.

Moreover, it is likely that you already have a Google account and in this case you have those few gigabytes needed! The same applies if you have an icloud email.

Operating multiple online storage services is not a problem. At least, as long as you know how to take advantage of them without mixing everything. In this case, it will probably be a boost to your efficiency!

Summary of the best alternatives

pCloud. The best general purpose cloud storage.

pCloud is the default choice for the general public. It is overall the best online storage on the main criteria: security, features, price, etc. Lifetime offers (one-time payment) are very economical in the long run.

See pCloud offers and prices
Sync.com. Impeccable privacy protection and low prices.

You will prefer Sync.com if your goal is to protect your privacy at a very low price, but losing slightly in functionality and ease of use compared to pCloud. All data in Sync.com is encrypted from end to end. You can store sensitive data without worrying, only you can access it

See Sync.com offers and prices
kDrive. The cheapest subscriptions and a European service for an alternative to GAFAM

You will choose kDrive if you are looking for a storage exclusively located in Europe (Switzerland) and with very cheap subscriptions. In fact, kDrive’s subscriptions are half the price of other online storages! But we regret that kDrive does not offer private encryption.

See kDrive offers and prices
Icedrive. The most economical in the long run with its lifetime offer.

Icedrive is a very good online storage. But its interest comes first and foremost from its lifetime offers that create tremendous savings in the long run. Indeed, with the current rates (a 33% discount on lifetime offers), buying a lifetime cloud storage costs less than a 3-year annual subscription. In other words, after only 3 years, the online storage space becomes “free”!
This offer is available for three storage spaces: 100 GB, 1 TB or 5 TB.

See Icedrive offers and prices