Today we have quite some options when it comes to cloud storage services. Some of them are popular while others are new and yet to make a name for themselves. One such service is Amazon Drive. In a world which is mostly dominated by the likes of OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud, Amazon Drive is yet to leave a mark.
Most of us are familiar with Google Drive, a cloud storage platform that comes with a generous free and affordable paid plans with support for many Office productivity apps.
Let’s see what Amazon Drive has to offer and how it differs or matches with Google Drive that is currently leading the race, and probably winning it too.
When you download and install Google Drive for the first time, it will create a new folder called ‘Google Drive’ in a file location that you choose. You can later relocate it. You can also select other folders to sync with Google Drive.
Amazon Drive will not create a default folder automatically. Instead, it will ask you to either sync the default Photos and Videos folder or choose one that already exists. You can manually create and name a folder Amazon Drive and sync it. What is confusing is that Amazon decided to call their software Amazon Photos but accepts images as well as videos. It supports all file formats but won't play all of them online by default.
The web interface of both Google Drive and Amazon Drive is simple and minimalist with little to no learning curve involved. Same goes for their mobile apps. A drag and drop interface with ways to create and manage folders. In Google Drive’s case, you can also create Office documents.
A separate link on Amazon Drive will take you to Amazon Photos which will make you think it is a different product. This is because if you are a Prime subscriber, you can upload unlimited photos with no limit.
On the other hand, Google Pixel owners also get unlimited photo storage, so I guess they are even here. But where Google differs is in photo quality. If you accept to upload photos in 16MP and videos in 1080p or less, you can upload unlimited photos and videos even in the free plan.
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Amazon’s AWS solutions is a world leader when it comes to SMBs (Server Message Block) and offers advanced features like lifecycle management and version history of files. Sadly, both of these are missing in Amazon Drive. Taking a bare-bones approach, it will allow you to create folders, upload and sync files, and that’s it.
Google Drive takes the lead by offering users to create and edit multiple file formats like Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings, and even Sites. An entire suite of Office apps that will sync all files back to your system for offline access.
Google Drive also comes with a powerful API that means there are many third-party apps available in the store that will work with Drive like Pixlr, Zoho, PDF converters, and so on.
You can bookmark folders and individual files in Google Drive that you have to work with regularly. Makes life simpler when there are too many folders to work with.
Amazon Drive will let you share folders or individual files via an invite link, but there is no way to control permissions at all. Anyone with access to the link can download and comment on the files.
Google Drive takes things more seriously. You can control who can access the files — anyone with the link or specific people. Then you get to decide whether they can only view or edit these files. What about existing editors? You can block them from adding more people.
This level of control gives you peace of mind which Amazon Drive fails to offer, even for photos that can be misused on the Internet.
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3. Apps and Compatibility
Amazon Drive is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS platform. Google Drive follows suit and covers all those platforms along with support for Chrome and Firefox. The extensions for Chrome and Firefox help to clip web pages and save them to Drive.
I download and use a lot of mobile apps on Android and iOS. Most apps I have used support Google Drive and other cloud storage platform. I am yet to see an app that supports Amazon Drive right out of the box. Maybe AWS but not Drive. I like to edit my photos using mobile apps and save them back to Google Drive directly.
4. Pricing and Plans
Both the platforms are free to use. Amazon Drive offers 5GB of free storage while Google Drive will give you a generous 15GB space. Google drive doesn't count any document created using Office apps towards your space. It counts only the files you upload directly along with Gmail, photos and other media.
Google allows unlimited photo storage for Pixel users, and Amazon allows unlimited photos storage for Prime subscribers.
Coming to paid plans, Amazon Drive offers 100GB for $11.99 and 1TB for $59.99 paid yearly. There are no monthly plans at the moment. Each additional TB will cost you $59.99 for up to 30TB. Google Drive plans begin at $1.99 for 100GB and 2TB for $9.99 paid monthly. So Amazon is cheaper if you buy the 100GB plan. Google charges $299/month for 30TB which comes to an eye-rolling $3600 annually. Amazon Drive will cost about $1800 for the same. This makes Amazon the cheaper option.
Google recently unveiled Google One that provides storage plans for all Google products, plus additional benefits like deals, coupons, and special offers. Google seems to be working on them as only a few offers are available at the moment.
As Amazon Prime members, you also get other benefits like Amazon Music, free shipping, deals and offers on Amazon’s eCommerce platform.
Google Drive vs. Amazon Drive
The distinction between both is quite apparent. Amazon Drive is the best place to store all your photos and other files. It is also cheaper and if you are a Prime member, it works in your favor. Google Drive is more suitable if you want to use it as a more robust cloud storage platform for using it seamlessly with Google's bouquet of apps like Gmail and Office productivity ones.
Using Google Drive makes sense, but if you have a large volume of data, then Amazon Drive might work out better and cheaper but for storage purposes solely.
Next up: Did Google Drive catch your attention? Here are 5 Chrome apps to make the best of Google Drive.