The Best iCloud Alternatives For 2022

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iCloud storage provides a convenient way to store, backup, and share files and media. It effectively acts as a virtual drive that you can access from any one of your Apple devices. But there are other cloud storage services that offer similar functionality and sometimes even greater storage space (and for a cheaper price). Here are the best iCloud alternatives ⇣ right now.

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Here is a summary of the best iCloud alternatives currently available for iPhone, iPad and Mac, and I will assess their performance, usability, and security credentials.

Quick summary:

Best iCloud Alternatives in 2022

And so, without further delay, here's my curated roundup of the best Apple iCloud alternatives right now that give you more and better features, and for a cheaper price.

1. pCloud

Main Features

  • TLS/SSL Encryption
  • Unique client-side encryption
  • Zero-knowledge
  • Swiss Data Protection
  • 10 GB free storage
  • iOS and macOS compatible
  • Website: www.pcloud.com
pcloud

pCloud cloud storage claims to provide Europe’s most secure cloud storage.

Featuring pCloud Crypto, a unique client-side zero-knowledge encryption functionality, that may well be the case. To further boost the security of your data, pCloud stores your files on at least three server locations.

pcloud dashboard

In terms of usability and integration, pCloud is accessible through most devices and channels, ranging from web right through to mobile, meaning you can access your files anywhere, and at any time.

Sharing options include, shared links, invites to shared folders, and file requests. There's even a Public Folder that allows you to create Direct Links to files and folders. A great way of turning your cloud storage into a hosting service for static websites, embedded images, etc.

pcloud shared links

Pros

  • Multi device usability
  • Top notch “Crypto” encryption
  • Secure server locations
  • File versioning
  • Free storage

Cons

  • Free plan lacks some major features
  • pCloud Crypto is a paid addon
  • Good pCloud alternatives to consider

Plans and Pricing 

pCloud offers three paid plans: Individual, Family, and Business.

The individual plan comes in two flavors: Premium 500 GB and Premium Plus 2 TB in annual/lifetime payments of $47.88/$175 and $95.88/$350

  • pCloud Family has 2 TB storage and allows for up to 5 users. Subscriptions are made with a one-off lifetime payment.
  • pCloud Business offers 1 TB per user and is available in yearly or monthly subscriptions.
  • Basic pCloud accounts are “Free Forever” and come with up to 10 GB of free space.

Why pCloud is Better Than iCloud

pCloud is a seriously secure cloud storage service that boasts plenty of sharing options. Accessible through every device and with an ingenious Public Folder for file hosting, pCloud has the credentials to compete with any cloud storage out there.

Learn more about pCloud and how their cloud storage services might benefit you. 

… or read my detailed pCloud review here

2. Sync.com

Main features

  • Unlimited Data Transfer
  • Full support for Microsoft Office
  • End-to-end encryption (E2EE)
  • 5 GB free storage
  • iOS and macOS compatible
  • Website: www.sync.com
sync.com

Sync.com is a cloud data storage solution that lets you store, share and access your files with complete freedom.

Boasting end-to-end encryption and unlimited data transfer, Sync offers 100 percent privacy combined with the ability to send files of any size, to anyone you wish, even if they don't have a Sync account – which provides a real boost to collaboration.

sync dashboard

As the name suggests, Sync cloud service really comes into its own when syncing its services across all your devices, allowing you not only to access your files and folders from anywhere but also to automatically back them up.

Other features, including password protection, notifications, and expiry dates guarantee that you are always in control of how your data is transferred and received.

sync share folders

Pros

  • Unlimited data transfer
  • Excellent syncing and file backup
  • Multiple user collaboration tools
  • Healthcare HIPAA compliant

Cons

  • Billed annually, no monthly options

Plans and Pricing 

Pricing plans for individuals include Free, Pro Solo Basic, and Pro Solo Professional, at 0 (obviously), $8, and $20 USD respectively.

While business plans include Pro Teams Standard, Pro Teams Unlimited, and Enterprise, per user at $5, $15 USD, and price on demand.

In terms of storage, the Free plan gives you 5 GB, Solo Basic 2 TB, Solo Professional 6 TB, Teams Standard 1 TB, and Teams Unlimited as the name suggests unlimited.

Rather than offering a free trial period, Sync instead boasts a free version, known as the Starter Plan, which incorporates all the basic features, never expires, and doesn't require a credit card to be activated.

Why Sync is Better Than iCloud

Sync is an impressive all-around performer in the world of cloud storage. With strong security credentials and unlimited transfers, it is a credible contender to iCloud and is worthy of serious consideration as an alternative.

Learn more about Sync and how its cloud storage might benefit you. 

… or read my detailed Sync.com review here

3. Icedrive

Main Features

  • Twofish encryption
  • Virtual Drive
  • Intelligent cache control
  • 10 GB free storage
  • iOS and macOS compatible
  • Website: www.icedrive.net
icedrive homepage

Icedrive is a full-featured cloud storage solution that allows you to “share”, “showcase” and “collaborate” via the web, PC and mobile devices. 

Nothing unusual in that, you might say? It’s what you've come to expect from a cloud storage service. But Icedrive incorporates a unique feature to set it apart from other services.

icedrive dashboard

Icedrive’s unique “drive mounting” software allows you to access your cloud storage space from your desktop, as though it were a physical hard disk or USB. Thereby marrying all the features and feel of your operating system, with all the benefits of cloud storage – i.e. your files don't take up any physical space on your computer.

Another benefit of this virtual drive is that no syncing is required, which eradicates any lag. Combining this with Icedrives’s intelligent cache control means that editing, uploading, deleting, and opening files has never felt so frictionless.

And if you're wondering about security, Icedrive has got your back. It claims to be the only cloud service to incorporate Twofish encryption – one of the most secure encryption protocols out there. 

icedrive encrypted folder

Pros

Cons

  • The virtual drive feature is only available for Windows

Plans and pricing 

Icedrive is available in 3 plans, Lite, Pro, and Pro +.

Lite costs $19.99/$99.99 annual/lifetime and gives 150 GB of storage, while Pro is $4.99/$49.99/$229 with 1 TB and Pro + 5 TB is $17.99/$179.99/$599, month/annual/lifetime.

The free version gives you 10 GB of storage.

Why Icedrive is Better Than Apple iCloud

Cloud storage services need at least one differentiator to set them apart from the competition. With a virtual drive and Twofish encryption, Icedrive has two.

Learn more about Icedrive and how their cloud storage services might benefit you. 

… or read my detailed Icedrive review here

4. Google Drive

Main Features

  • Google tools integration
  • AI search technology
  • Drive encryption
  • Priority – for rapid file access
  • 15 GB free storage
  • iOS and macOS compatible
  • Website: www.google.com/drive
google drive

Offering the same “store” and “share” features of other cloud storage and file hosting services, Google Drive really scores in the areas of collaboration and integration.

Seamlessly integrating with a plethora of google tools, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Google Forms, Drive lets you go straight to work without the need to migrate from existing productivity tools.

In terms of security, Drive encrypts, scans, and proactively removes malware, spam, ransomware, and phishing.

Combine this with Google’s AI and search technology, which is embedded in Drive, and you have a powerful ally in cloud storage services. 

An example of this is Google Drive’s Priority feature. Priority uses artificial intelligence to predict what you’re looking for, helping you to find files significantly faster than would otherwise be possible.

google drive dashboard

Pros

  • Access anywhere
  • Great compatibility
  • Simple collaboration tools
  • Great UI
  • Content is never used for ad personalization

Cons

Plans and Pricing

Individual plans are Free, while Team (now part of Google Workspace) will cost you $8 USD per user, per month.

Google Drive’s Enterprise plans fall under the auspices of Google Workspace and are available in 4 varieties: Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus and Enterprise. The pricing for these plans is $6, $12, $18 USD per user/per month, and price on demand.

Each paid plan has a free 14 day trial period attached and comes with a suite of Google tools.

iCloud vs Google Drive – Which One is Better?

With its host of cloud-native apps and its ability to integrate with existing tools, such as MS Office, it’s difficult to argue with Google Drive. While it does not possess some of the airtight security of other cloud storage, it is extremely user-friendly and integrates with just about everything.

And for that reason alone it is a worthy competitor to iCloud.

5 Box.com

Main Features

  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • AI powered Shield
  • KeySafe and Box Sign feature
  • 10 GB free storage
  • iOS and macOS compatible
  • Website: www.box.com
box.com

Box boasts frictionless security and collaboration to give you the very best in business cloud storage.

As well as AES 256-bit encryption, Box features the AI-powered Shield. Thanks to Shield’s machine learning capabilities, it is able to manage security policies and even detect threats. While KeySafe takes care of the potentially fraught business of encryption keys.

box dashboard

Box.com is very much geared to the business user who wishes to streamline workflows and with automaton tools such as Relay to speed up tasks such as contract management or asset approvals – the potential of Box is clear.

In fact, Box claims it can integrate with upwards of 1,500 tools to seamlessly marry its services with your own. The idea is to connect your stored content to the rest of your “tech stack” in a coherent and workable way.

box file sharing

Pros

  • Excellent security and privacy
  • Office 365 and Google WorkSpace integration
  • HiPAA compliant
  • Best in class OS integration

Cons

  • Can be expensive
  • Too business centric, not ideal for individuals.

Plans and pricing 

Pricing comes in 2 tiers.

The first of which has 3 options: Individual, Personal Pro, and Business Starter. Which are Free, $10, and $5, respectively

Then we have the full-on business plans, Business, Business Plus, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus, at $15, $25, $35, and custom.

All prices quoted are per user, per month on an annual subscription basis.

Why Box.com is Better Than iCloud

Though Box offers an individual plan, its focus is very much on the business user. A feature like Box Sign, which enables secure e-signatures, is evidence of this approach. And that would be our one reservation: does it have the same universal appeal as iCloud?

Learn more about Box.com and how their cloud storage services might benefit you. 

… or read my detailed Box.com review here

6. NordLocker

Main Features

  • State-of-the-art ciphers
  • Zero knowledge encryption
  • Automatic syncing and backup
  • Encrypt any number of files
  • 3 GB free storage
  • iOS and macOS compatible
  • Website: www.nordlocker.com
nordlocker

NordLocker cloud storage incorporates some pretty impressive heavy-duty security and collaboration features.

Drag and drop functionality means encrypting your files with state-of-the-art ciphers. AES 256, Argon2, and ECC couldn't be easier.

While sharing files with friends, family, and colleagues is just as secure, allowing you to set permissions on access.

Other features include automatic syncing and backing up across all your devices, to ensure you can work with total peace of mind, wherever you happen to be.

nordlocker dashboard

Pros

  • Extremely secure
  • Easy to use, drag and drop functionality
  • Secure file sharing with permissions
  • NordVPN and NordPass integration

Cons

  • No live chat for free users
  • No two factor authentication

Plans and Pricing 

Nordlocker takes a simple three-stage approach to pricing. Starter 3 GB, Premium 2 TB, Premium 500 GB plans are Free, $9.99 and $3.99 respectively.

The two paid Premium plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The free version does not require a credit card to activate.

Why NordLocker is Better Than iCloud

Nordlocker offers excellent security and user-friendliness. The entry-level free version comes with 3 GB of storage space, which though not as good as some of the competition, does serve as a gateway to a very capable cloud storage service.

Learn more about NordLocker and how their cloud storage might benefit you. 

… or read my detailed NordLocker review here

7 Microsoft OneDrive

Main Features

microsoft onedrive

And now for Microsoft’s foray into personal cloud storage territory – OneDrive.

OneDrive offers all the “anywhere” access, backup, protection and sharing features you would expect from the likes of Microsoft, as well as complete integration with Word, Excel and other Office apps.

microsoft onedrive dashboard

Innovative features include File on Demand, which allows you to access files in Windows 10 as you would locally, but with the added benefit of not taking up any space, and Personal Vault which stores your most precious files and photos behind an extra layer of security.

What’s more, a OneDrive Mobile App gives you all the flexibility to send and store files with barriers.

onedrive vs icloud

Pros

  • Integration with Microsoft Office 365
  • Easy organization
  • Excellent interface

Cons

Plans and Pricing 

Pricing can be broken down into 2 groups, “For Home” and “For Business”.

For Home comes in 4 flavors: OneDrive Basic 5 GB, 365 Personal, 365 Family, and Standalone 100 GB, with the corresponding prices of Free, $69.99 a year, $99.99 a year, and 1.99 a month.

For Business includes Plan 1, Plan 2, 365 Business Basic, 365 Business Standard. Their respective prices being; $5, $10, $5, and $12.50 USD.

Business prices are calculated on a monthly basis.

iCloud vs OneDrive – Which One is Better?

It would be tempting to directly compare OneDrive with iCloud. After all, the Microsoft versus Apple rivalry is age-old. And it's true that in both cases the appeal is partisan rather than independent. Be that as it may, OneDrive has enough features and a free version to tempt those with less of a loyalty stake into using their cloud service.

8. Mega.nz

Main Features

  • User controlled end-to-end encryption
  • Two factor authentication
  • MegaDrop feature
  • 20 GB free storage
  • iOS and macOS compatible
  • Website: www.mega.nz
mega.nz

MEGA is an extremely generous cloud storage service that boasts top-notch zero-knowledge security.

The user-controlled end-to-end encryption of MEGA is backed up by two-factor authentication, link permissions, and an anti-ransomware feature, which allows you to revert back to uninfected versions of files.

mega.nz dashboard

Collaboration features like MEGAdrop, which enables any authorized person to upload files to your Mega account, boost engagement. While MEGA Desktop App keeps everything in perfect sync – across all your devices.

As well as Mobile Apps, MEGA also features MEGAcmd, a command-line platform for those who want greater integration and control and aren't afraid of using terminal prompts.

There are even Browser Extensions to reduce loading times and improve download performance – something not normally associated with browsers and large files.

mega link sharing

Pros

  • 20 GB Free storage
  • Top-notch security
  • User-controlled end-to-end encryption
  • Two factor authentication
  • Command line options
  • Browser extensions

Cons

  • Not the best in terms of collaboration tools

Plans and Pricing 

Plans come as Individual or Business. The individual is available in Pro Lite, Pro I, Pro II, and Pro 3, at €4.99, €9.99, €19.99, and €29.99.

While business is €5.00 per month per user (minimum of 3 users).

Mega also offers a free version that comes with a very generous 20 GB of storage, with no strings attached.

Why Mega.nz is a Good Alternative

If security and storage space are the characteristics you are looking for in cloud storage, then it’s difficult to see beyond MEGA.

With a free version that has a good deal of the functionality of the paid versions and a generous 20 GB of storage thrown in, it really is a viable alternative to iCloud and the other contenders on this list.

Learn more about Mega.nz and how their cloud storage services might benefit you. 

… or read my detailed Mega.nz review here

9. Backblaze B2

Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is optimized for developers who wish to integrate the benefits of cloud storage into their existing business systems.

Backblaze B2 lets you seamlessly connect with S3 compatible storage through APIs, CLI, and a multitude of third-party integrations, to give you the very best in scalability, cost, and reliability.

backblaze dashboard

Innovative features such as Buckets allow you to upload any size, type, and any number of files, while Snapshots facilitate the downloading of multiple files in a single zip.

Other business-specific innovations include Caps & Alerts, to permit the capping of data, and Reports to help protect that bottom-line with all the necessary insights. 

Featuring a simple user interface, Backblaze B2 can transfer files over your existing internet bandwidth with multi-threading, Cloud-to-Cloud, or via Backblaze's Fireball device – in batches of up to 70 TB.

backblaze reports

Pros

  • Exceptional third-party integrations
  • Detailed reporting
  • Unlimited storage
  • No hidden fees
  • For more features see my Backblaze B2 review

Cons

  • Lacks customization features

Plans and Pricing 

Backblaze’s pricing prides itself on its straightforwardness: $5/TB/month.

Why Backblaze is Better than iCloud

Backblaze is a cloud storage option that plays to the particular requirements of businesses. So it's strong on integrations and price but lacks something in the overall usability of other cloud storage on this ist. That said, with a Free version that gives away 10 GB of storage, there’s no reason not to give it a go.

What is iCloud?

icloud alternatives

So much for the alternatives. Let us now turn our attention to iCloud itself.

iCloud is Apple's cloud storage service, and as every Apple user knows, it is built into every device.

Apple's iCloud boasts 5 GB of free storage and secures data with two‑factor authentication. This extra layer of security means your account can only be accessed on trusted devices, like your iPhone, iPad, or iMac.

Innovative features like iCloud Photos, and Shared Albums, let you store, browse, search and share photos and videos in a highly curated and selected way. In return, those shared with can view, comment, and add photos and videos of their own.

When it comes to collaboration iCloud Drive does its utmost to make it fast and easy to work with others from anywhere. iWorks apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are all integrated. While Private Links mean that recipients will get instant access to folders and files you’ve chosen to share. 

iCloud allows Apple users to store, browse and share their files across all their devices.

Well, that's all very well for the Apple device owner, you might say? But what about the rest of us?

apple icloud

That's where iCloud+ comes in.

iCloud+

Not only does iCloud Plus offer greater storage – 50 GB, 200 GB, and 2 TB – but also improved functionality,

Additional features such as iCloud Private Relay provide enhanced web privacy, while Hide My Email, does just that, conceals your real email from prying eyes.

There's even something called HomeKit Secure Video to give you the ultimate in smart home security – letting you record, analyze, and view your home security footage from anywhere.

iCloud Main Features

  • iCloud Photo Library
  • Shared albums
  • Private Relay (iCloud+)
  • HomeKit Secure Video (iCloud+)

iCloud Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Access photos, videos, files and folders across all your devices
  • Edit photos from any device
  • Excellent for sharing photos and videos
  • Access to iWork productivity suite

Cons

  • Lacks selective syncing. All or nothing
  • Apple centric

iCloud Plans and Prices

iCloud+ is available in 3 plans: iCloud+ 50 GB, iCloud+ 200 GB, iCloud+ 2 TB. The prices are $0.99 USD, $2.99 USD, $9.99 USD, per month respectively.

The Free version of iCloud comes with 5 GB of storage.

FAQ

What is the best iCloud alternative?

The answer to that question very much depends on what you expect from cloud storage. 

If it's free space and security, for example, then MEGA.nz might be the best option for you. However, if business integration is what you are looking for then Backblaze B2 would be a good choice.

As an all-around contender, I chose Sync.com cloud storage because it ticks all the boxes by incorporating end-to-end encryption, unlimited data transfer, and a user-friendly interface.

Is Google Drive better than iCloud?

Any head-to-head comparisons ultimately depend on how you intend to use your cloud storage. iCloud versus Google Drive share many common features. These include integration with productivity apps, device backup and sync, family sharing, file versioning, and custom file and folder links. 

In terms of collaboration and overall compatibility, Google Drive might have the edge. But when it comes to file security, iCloud is the better of the two. There is very little to distinguish them when it comes to price.

Is Microsoft OneDrive better than iCloud?

Essentially they both preach to the converted – the Apple and Microsoft user. Both offer the same amount of free space, whereas OneDrive syncs better and iCloud is more secure. It won't surprise you to hear OneDrive is office 360 friendly and iCloud likes to pair with iWork.

Is iCloud free?

Every Apple device gives you access to the full set of iCloud features and 5 GB of free storage. For more storage and access to premium features, you will need to upgrade to iCloud+. iCloud+ is not free and is available in a 3 tier pricing plan.

What is iCloud+?

iCloud Plus is the upgrade for Apple's iCloud storage. Apple's iCloud+ is available in three different storage plans, 50 GB, 200 GB, and 2 TB. As well as additional space, it also includes premium features like Private Relay and Hide My Email, for increased data protection and privacy.

Can I use iCloud if I do not have an Apple product?

Yes, even if you don’t have an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or iMac, you can still use iCloud Drive and iWork apps, such as Pages, Numbers, or Keynote, Contacts, and Notes, with a “Web-only” account. It is worth noting that Web-only accounts give you limited access to iCloud and come with only 1GB of free storage.

Best iCloud Alternatives – Summary

If you're an Apple user the chances are your sympathies already lie in that direction – for obvious reasons of integration and ease of use.

But they needn't.

This article demonstrates that there are viable alternatives to using iCloud, which in some cases offer greater storage space and security, as well as excellent compatibility with all your Apple devices and apps.

DEAL

Get 65% OFF 2TB lifetime cloud storage

From $1.67 per month

References

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