Cloud storage comparison – SPEED TEST

Google drive, Dropbox, Mega Upload, Zoolz

There are many “cloud storage” solutions out there, and I’m using a few of them. I decided to do a simple speed test consisting of uploading 1.8 gb mp4 file.

I did several tests of each service to see if the results were consistent, and they appeared to be. My home network has a theoretical bandwidth of 40 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload, though in practice I never get that throughput.

Also, note these tests may vary depending on your location relative to the cloud storage centers.

Currently, I’m not actually paying for any cloud storage service; I have been using the free version of each of each. But as my cloud storage needs grow I’m trying to decide which I might invest in more and actually pay to use!

Rank
1. gdrive already finished it took about 40 mins to upload 1.8gb file.
2. mega 1h25
3. dropbox failed!! it encountered a problem , ….
4. zoolz more than 2 hours, almost 3 hours @@!

 

Review cloud storage

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Google Drive

In much the same way as OneDrive links into Microsoft products and iCloud to Apple, Google Drive is at the heart of the various online services that Google currently offers.

You get 15GB of free space when you create a Google account – or link to an existing one. In fact, you already have a Drive account if you use Gmail, Google Calendar, or even YouTube.

The storage space is shared across all these services, so if you have large attachments on emails then they will count in the 15GB, and enabling the automatic photo backup to Google+ from a smartphone acts the same way.

Google used to exempt any photos below 2048×2048 resolution and videos shorter than fifteen minutes, but now it has two options for uploading photos and videos. “High quality” is free and doesn’t count against your storage and offers “Great visual quality at a reduced file size”. Or you can opt for “Original” and have the photos and videos count against your storage. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Presentations, Drawings and files that others have shared with you don’t count against your allocation either.

There’s no way of adding storage through referrals but you get 100GB free for two years if you buy a Chromebook. There are similar deals with certain Android phones. Google Music – a separate service – allows you to keep 50,000 songs in the cloud for free and not count against your Drive storage.

Drive works in the same way as most cloud storage solutions, with a local folder on your PC linked to a duplicate cloud version. Versioning is supported, as is real-time collaboration on documents via the Google Docs app. Clients are available on PC and Mac, with mobile versions for Android and iOS, but Google and Microsoft’s supposed ongoing feud looks to keep the service off Windows Phone for a while to come.

There’s selective sync, so you can choose which folders sync on each PC or laptop.

On the whole, the interface across the apps is smart and simple to navigate, with a basic file tree showing where your data is kept. You can choose specific files to be available offline on the mobile versions, and these can be edited – if they were created in Google Docs – then synced when you return online. For other formats (such as Word) you’ll need to open them in another app – thus creating a duplicate copy.

Data stored on Drive is, similarly to Apple, encrypted in 128-bit AES rather than the 256-bit employed by Box, OneDrive, and Dropbox. Google asserts that it won’t pry into the content of your Drive folder unless compelled by law enforcement agencies, and you can set up two-step verification on your account to add another layer of security.

Verdict

If you live in the Google universe then it really is an excellent storage option.

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Mega is a New Zealand-based company that was set up by the German-born entrepreneur Kim Dotcom in 2013, who now has no involvement with it. Mega puts its security credentials front and centre. Unlike some of its rivals, this service provides encryption in every part of the process. So anything you send to the cloud is encrypted locally, on-route, and on the destination server.

Mega itself doesn’t have any way of accessing your information, as you hold the encryption key. The upshot of all this is that anything you store on Mega is only able to be opened by you. To achieve this there are local clients for Windows, OS X, and Linux, plus there are also secure browser plugins for Chrome and Firefox. Apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and even Blackberry.

The standard free package affords a whopping 50GB of space. If this isn’t enough you can have 500GB (99 Euros per year), 2TB (199 Euros per year), or 4TB (299 Euros per year) and increased bandwidth with each package so you can share files back and forth with friends.

Sharing is easy with other members of Mega, behaving in much the same way as Google Drive and Onedrive, by allowing you to send an invitation to a friend and set the level of actions they can complete (view, edit, etc.) You can also send links to non-Mega users, but this involves also privately sending them an encryption key so they can access the files.

A few secure communications features are coming in 2016: video chat, voice calling, email and IM. These are encrypted end-to-end, making them more private than Skype or Google Hangouts.

Verdict: With its generous free account, fast service, cross platform appeal, and highly secure nature, Mega is a very good choice for most people looking for an online storage solution.

 

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Dropbox is one of the only services to offer clients for Linux and Blackberry, alongside the usual Windows, Mac OS X, Android and iOS standards. There’s an official Windows Phone app too.

The free Basic account comes with a paltry 2GB of storage. For documents this is huge, but if you want to store any kind of media – photos, music, or video – it will disappear very fast. You can upgrade to the 1TB plan for £7.99 per month, but Dropbox offers 500MB of additional free storage for each friend you get to sign up to the service – with a limit of 16GB.

You can gain 1GB more by setting up a Mailbox account and you’ll get 250MB just for taking a tour of the Dropbox basics, too. Enabling the camera upload feature will gain you 3GB, and automatically backup your smartphone/tablet photos to the cloud. We’ve seen deals where you get 50GB of Dropbox space for two years when you buy certain phones and tablets.

Dropbox works by creating a local folder on your device or PC that then syncs with an online version. This means you have all your data available whether you are on or offline. This doesn’t apply to mobile devices, though: you can make select files available offline on your tablet or smartphone (they’re all offline by default), and offline editing is among the best we’ve seen.

Folders and files can also be shared with others but you can’t set permissions on the Basic account, so files can be edited (and even deleted) by other users. The Basic account isn’t a total disaster, though, as Dropbox backs up any changes to files for 30 days. So if you need an older version or want to undelete a file, it’s still there.

If you pay £7.99 per month to get the Dropbox Pro account, you will be able to enable read-only permissions as well as setting passwords and expirations for shared links.

Security features include two-step authentication (always worth turning on) and all files held on the Dropbox servers are encrypted by AES 256-bit encryption, albeit employed from Dropbox’s side rather than the user, with SSL for the data being uploaded and downloaded.

Verdict

Dropbox remains a benchmark against which others must compete. It may lack a few of the whistles and bells of its rivals, but it’s rock solid and compatible with so many applications.

Get Unlimited Lifetime Storage With Zoolz

Zoolz offers unlimited lifetime storage to back up your computers, external and network drives. What makes Zoolz unique is that it stores data lifetime, meaning they do not delete your files after a certain period if you have deleted them from your backup. That differentiates Zoolz from services like Backblaze or Carbonite where the software deletes files if it can’t find an equivalent on your hard drive for 30 days.

Especially, when backing up external hard drives that can be a problem because you might want to backup a hard drive that is not going to be connected to your computer all the time.

Zoolz Pricing

Plan Price Plan Storage Details
Basic
$14.99 1 Year
100 GB One user. No external drives. Standard support.
Plus
$49.99 1 Year
500 GB 3 users. 1 external or network drive.
Family
$79.99 1 Year
1000 GB 5 users. 3 network drives. Premium support.
Heavy
$299.99 1 Year
4000 GB 5 users. Unlimited external drives.

Zoolz uses Amazon Glacier

Zoolz certainly is one of the cheapest cloud backup solutions for consumers out there and that is possible because they make use of Amazon Cold Storage system “Glacier” which allows them to archive files at a very low cost. Why wouldn’t you use Glacier? Well, you could but it is fairly complicated to set up. Zoolz gives you an easy to manage software client that even your grandma can use.

Using Glacier not only makes Zoolz cheap but it also makes restores very slow because file retrieval can take a couple of ours. Other services are a lot faster because they use their own file storage and server infrastructure.

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