Amazon gave a sweet gift to its prime users when it launched a free, unlimited photo storage for them on Cloud Drive. Today, the company is expanding that service as a paid offering to cover other kinds of content, and to users outside of its loyalty program. Unlimited Cloud Storage will let users get either unlimited photo storage or “unlimited everything” — covering all kinds of media from videos and music through to PDF documents — respectively for $11.99 or $59.99 per year. (those who want to test drive it can do so for free for three months.)
$11.99/year for photos and $59.99/year for everything
Before today, Amazon Cloud Storage offered 5GB of storage for free, with a tiered pricing structure thereafter. This ran from 20GB for $10/year all the way up to 1TB/year for $500. So not only does this news today effectively scythe its top-tier offering by 10-fold, but it ups the top-level storage from 1,000GB to unlimited.
For those who were on the free 5GB plan before, it’s not clear whether Amazon will allow users to remain on that plan, or will be upgraded to the $11.99 tier. But the company does say “Existing Cloud Drive customers can change their plans now by simply logging into their Cloud Drive accounts,” which definitely suggests old plans are being made obsolete, though no timescale is given for this.
Amazon wants to compete against the likes of Dropbox, Google, Microsoft and the many more in the crowded market for cloud-based storage services. It’s not the first to offer “unlimited” storage.
For comparison, Dropbox charges $10 for 1TB/month, with 2GB available for free; Google charges $9.99/month for 1TB and up to $299.99 for 30TB, though it does offer a generous 15GB completely gratis; Apple charges $19.99/month for 1TB, with 5GB available for free; and Microsoft charges $6.99/month for 1TB, with 15GB for free too. However, Microsoft also offers a pretty good deal of its own if you know where to look — for $7/month you can subscribe to Office 365, and part of that package includes unlimited cloud storage on OneDrive.
Amazon : $ 5/Month , UNLIMITED
Microsoft : $ 7 /Month , 1TB
Dropbox : $ 10 /Month , 1TB
Google : $ 10 /Month , 1TB
Apple : $ 20 /Month , 1TB
While the Amazon move is undoubtedly brilliant value for money, it’s really just for those who store a lot of stuff in the cloud. The free 15GB that’s available through the likes of Google and Microsoft is actually plenty if it’s just photos and other non-media files that are being stored. However, for those with large movie files, games, and so on — this is where “unlimited” really starts to shine, and $5/month is a really ridiculous price point.