Microsoft SkyDrive Best Cloud Storage CrashPlan Cost Expensive


The cost of cloud storage.

Looking online to see what would be the best way to backup my documents, photos, videos and music, I can’t believe how much cloud storage costs compared to traditional external hard drives. Although services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Skydrive give you free options (2GB, 5GB, and 7Gb respectively) I’d argue that, especially in the long-term, that storage level is way too low.

Why cloud storage is so expensive?

But, why is the cloud so expensive?

The cheapest online storage provider that I have found is Skydrive, offering 100GB for £32 a year. Google is slightly more at £38, Dropbox is £63.

In terms of external hard-drives, Amazon offer a WD Elements 500GB drive for £40, a Samsung 1TB drive for £59, and a Seagate 2TB drive for £63.

How can the storage level and price be so hugely different?

I can understand how cloud storage may be a little more expensive for companies like Google and Microsoft to run, but the online storage provider fees are not one-offs either, they are yearly subscriptions packages.

So, while the standard Seagate 2TB hard drive would only cost you £63 for 5 years, say, the cheapest provider with the most amount of storage (Skydrive at 100GB), would cost you £160 – for 20x less storage.

Why won’t online storage providers provided one-off fees? Why are Google’s and Microsoft’s storage and fees similar? With more people opting to store their data online, cloud storage costs should be reduced, in order to benefit consumers (lesser cost) and providers (more paying customers).



  • SnakeG

    Seriously? You’re comparing a $100 Seagate drive to an enterprise SAS, SCSI, or SSD drive in a server?

    Pull the drive out of it’s external enclosure and plug it into a server, I bet the drive will last about 6 – 12 months in one of these storage solutions.

    You also seem to forget about the fact that your external drive also has a yearly cost associated with it. It’s probably only about $5 in electricity, but it’s still a cost.

    Also, what happens when your external drive dies after 3/5/10 years? What happens to the data on that drive? It’s gone. Forever. What happens if your house burns down? Your data is gone forever.

    A cloud storage solution is supposed to provide a few things: Ability to access your files from anywhere, redundancy (physically and geographically) on your data storage, and redundancy on your access to the data.

    If the DC burns down, your data should be available in at least one other geographically dispersed location (depending on the provider). Your data should also be safe from corruption/data loss (again, depending on the provider).

    You should really ask yourself as to why you are bitching about the cost of something you obviously know nothing about. Comparing consumer based electronics (and not even expensive stuff, but the cheap shit you find at Best Buy no less) to enterprise grade storage solutions…

    Also, you shouldn’t keep your data in a single location (physical disk or geographic location). If you care about not losing your data, you can do a few things: First, backup your computer regularly. Go out and use a service such as Backblaze or Crashplan or one of the many others. Backup any and all drives it will let you backup.

    Next, anything you store in the cloud, always make sure you have a local copy as well. If the cloud service provider has screwed something up (e.g. when amazon’s S3 had that issue on the east coast a while back and lost a bunch of data which was completely irrecoverable).

    Personally, my solution is: I have a couple of external drives (1TB & 3TB) that is plugged into the eSATA and USB ports on my computer. I backup these drives and my computer (SSD on the system drive, 2x 1TB drives in a RAID1 configuration) to a backblaze account (I only have a total of about 150GB being backed up, backblaze excludes DLLs and EXEs from being backed up by default, and I’ve left that on most folders).

    As for cloud storage, I use Google Drive and only put files up on cloud storage after ensuring there is a copy available on my local computer.

    So no, I don’t agree with your assessment. Cloud storage will get cheaper overtime, especially as there is more adoption, especially from corporate/enterprise solutions which often buy cloud storage solutions in the Terabyte and Petabyte sizes.

    • Whereisthejustice1

      Are u serious , U think this guys are going to provide u SAS , SCSI or that Matter SSD to store u pretty picx . It cheap SATA Disk with Amazon Technology for Redundancy .

      The Author of this Article is an idiot. PLZ RESEARCH WHAT THESE COMPANY OFFER. Its not only space , but REDUNDANCY and easy of mind not to lose ur precious photos

      • SnakeG

        Not sure why I’m bothering to respond to you, but here it goes.

        Yes, a lot of them do provide enterprise solutions. Most are not some cheap JBOD solution, but the companies spend a fair bit of money in expensive controllers to reduce their overall costs.

        For instance, Microsoft’s cloud services (skydrive) operate on top of enterprise SSDs to help increase performance. Amazon’s infrastructure is on top of SCSI or SAS drives, but they do have cheaper storage.

        No enterprise company in their right mind is going to buy cheap SATA drives to run their shit on top of. They may buy higher end consumer grade SATA drives, but buying the “Blue” or “Green” tier drives from Western Digital is asking for problems.

        The reason why you don’t put cheap consumer drives in your infrastructure is mainly about cost. If you factor in the cost of identifying a shit drive, replacing the drive, rebuilding the array, it is a hell of a lot cheaper to spend more money up front on a quality drive, then a POS drive and the extra work it takes to resolve issues.

        Short term savings vs long term savings. The big “cloud” providers understand this difference, and so do a lot of the smaller guys. Spend a little more upfront, save in the long term and get better performance while you’re at it.

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  • Ben Michael Nash

    Errr… Now I know that livedrive hasn’t had the best of reviews, but I’ve been using the service for almost a year now and have never experienced any crashes, loss of file access, slow transfer speeds etc.

    I have 5TB of storage costing me £15 per month. To me I find it a pretty reasonable price.

    • onlinebackupservices

      You are right @facebook-509908265:disqus livedrive hasn’t had good reviews some say it is an scam or some called it is useless. I have been using livedrive since few months, its service is pretty much good seamless backup, user friendly interface many other features makes it different from others.

  • Michael Herauf


  • Healing Toolbox

    For docs, pics and videos, external hard drive is by far cheapest and easiest. The Other World Computing (OWC) external drives were recommended to me and I like them very much, if bought new, come with backup software. Backing up Firewire to Macs is a whole other matter whose problems consume thousands of forum pages online. I don’t know any good solution yet to the problems with backing up videos form a Mac to external drives with firewire. Nothing seems very stable or sustainable.

    What cloud storage is practical for, as opposed to merely glamorous, is collaborative work using archives and automatic website backups.

  • AltDrive Backup

    AltDrive is unlimited backup for $4.45/month. Prices may increase soon.