Amazon launches really cheap unlimited cloud drive storage plans

Published: Fri, 27 Mar 2015 by Rad

Amazon's a new cloud storage plan that's ridiculously cheap. You can now store an unlimited number of files in the cloud for $60 a year. That's 5 dollars a month for everything.

So how does this standup to the competition? Well, unlimited is a huge amount of space. Today, the going benchmark is 1TB of space, which services offer for between $2.50 per month (MediaFire) and $10 per month (Dropbox, OneDrive).

Service Provider Price Note
Amazon Cloud Drive $59.99 per year Unlimited, translates to $5 per month
Dropbox Business £11 / $16.36 per month Unlimited
Microsoft OneDrive $6.99 per month Unlimited for Personal, Home, University Office 365 subscriptions
Box £11 / $16.36 per month Unlimited for Business plan
Media Fire $2.49 per month 1TB, $24.99 for 100TB Plan
iCloud storage - Apple $19.99 per month 1TB

Last year, Amazon gave a boost to its Prime members 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.

Disrupting cloud storage services

The move is a clear attempt by Amazon 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, but it looks like it's the first to market this as a service to anyone who wants it.

Dropbox, for example, offers unlimited storage as part of Dropbox for Business, Google has unlimited options currently at specific verticals, with its enterprise version, Drive for Work, its closest competitor; Microsoft also offers a business user-focused service for those who subscribe to Office 365.

"Most people have a lifetime of birthdays, vacations, holidays, and everyday moments stored across numerous devices. And, they don't know how many gigabytes of storage they need to back all of them up,"

Amazon is after new users

It seems that the idea here is not to convert consumers already using other services, but to pick up new ones from the masses who have yet to adopt anything.

Free 3 months trial starts March 26

Unlimited Photos Plan (free 3-month trial, then $11.99 per year – equivalent of less than $1 per month): Store an infinite number of photos in Cloud Drivewithout worrying about taking up space on phones, cameras, or other devices. Customers can upload existing collections and store all future photos taken. This plan also includes 5 GB of additional storage for videos or other documents and files.

Unlimited Everything Plan (free 3-month trial, then $59.99 per year–equivalent of less than $5 per month): Store an infinite number of new and existing photos, videos, files, documents, movies, and music in Cloud Drive.

Cloud Drive Fetaures

Aside from its media-playing tie-ins, Cloud Drive is as basic an online storage service as you'll find: There's no syncing of folders like you'll find in other providers products, nor can you even share a link to a file for a friend to download. Forget about any kind of automated backup capability.

For basic online file storage, Amazon Cloud Drive is clean, simple, convenient, and fast. Just don't expect a lot of extras - or airtight privacy and security.

It's very much focused on being a place to store your documents, photos and videos. The desktop app is available on PC & Mac and once downloaded it will take the form of a folder that sits quietly in the background waiting for you to drag files into it.

Before you can actually upload anything, however, you have to agree to the contract. It states that Amazon has the right to access your files, copy them e.g. for backup purposes, modify files to enable access in different formats and access them to provide technical support. However, it also states Amazon respects your privacy and your files are subject to the respective country Amazon Privacy Notice.

Also note that the service is offered in some countries and access can be restricted from other locations: "**The Service is offered in the United Kingdom. We may restrict access from other locations.**" Click to link to T&S

Not bothered with transparency reports

In the light of above please note that there's something unique about Amazon: of all American Internet companies listed on the Fortune 500, it's the only one that still hasn't bothered releasing any transparency reports discussing how many user-data demands it's received from the U.S. government.

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