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How Much is Your Cloud?

How Much is Your Cloud?
by Gary Woods

The latest version of OSX 10.10.3 and iOS 8.3 brought into being an App called Photos, which did away with iPhoto and Aperture and further unified handheld devices and desktop computing. What this app does is save your pictures to iCloud instead of separately so it got me to thinking about how much I spend on Cloud Storage.

iCloud is free for the 1st 5GBs but I pay 99 cents a month extra for a total of 20 GBs of space. Dropbox on the other hand has the 1st 2GBs free but you can get extra free storage up to 16GB for free by referring people to Dropbox. Amazon Cloud storage just offered unlimited photo storage for $12 per year, which includes 5GB of non-photo storage for such things as videos that Amazon counts separately from still images.

Then, there’s Google drive, which gives you the first 15 GBs for free with 100GBs costing $2 per month. And finally, Microsoft OneDrive offers 15GBs for free and has three tiers. They are 100GBs for $2 per month, 200GBs for $4 per month and 1TB of space for $7 per month.

After much hemming and hawing I decided to keep my iCloud account because any photo I take or upload to iCloud gets transmitted to all 5 of my iOS devices and the 3 Macs running OSX 10.10.3. But I’ve also got Microsoft OneDrive with 1TB of space because I have a $99 per year subscription to Office 365 that gives me 5 installs on any combination of Macs and PCs as well as all my iOS devices. Then to round it all out I still have my free Dropbox account with about 4GBs of space.

Just on the basis of cost Amazon Cloud or Google Drive are the best deals but when I look at how I work and overall usability the combination of iCloud, Dropbox and OneDrive work best for me.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and he is a Broker/Associate at Sotheby’s International Realty.