As the competition heats up, cloud providers are sending the cost of online storage into a freefall.
Google is the latest to lower the prices on its cloud storage subscriptions, one by up to a whopping 80 percent. Under the new Google Drive plans, customers can fill up to 1 terabyte (TB) of storage for $9.99 per month (versus $49.99 previously) with their files, documents and photos.
Scott Johnston, Director of Product Management for Google, boasted in a blog post that a full TB is "enough storage for you to take a selfie twice a day for the next 200 years and still have room left over for... shall we say... less important things."
The search and cloud services giant indicated that the lower-priced plans were made possible by efficiency gains in its data centers. "Today, thanks to a number of recent infrastructure improvements, we’re able to make it more affordable for you to keep everything safe and easy to reach on any device, from anywhere," stated Johnston.
Google Drive officially launched nearly two years ago, in April 2012. Paying $2.49 per month added 25 gigabytes (GB) to the included 5 GB of free storage. As a perk, Google bumped Gmail's inbox capacity to 25 GB.
Alternately, subscribers could pay $4.99 per month for 100 GB, the aforementioned $49.99 for 1 TB or up to 16 TB for $799.99. Google Drive integrates with users' Gmail and Google+ Photos accounts. Google Drive apps are available for iOS and Android, enabling users to access their content with their smartphones and tablets.
Now, Google Drive users are entitled to 15 GB of storage for free. Per-month pricing is $1.99 for 100 GB , a savings of 60 percent, while 10 terabytes and above plans start at $99.99. Existing customers are being transitioned to the better plans at no additional cost, according to the company.
By comparison, Microsoft's OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) charges a yearly fee of $25 -- essentially $2.08 per month -- for an additional 50 GB over the 7 GB that is freely offered by the company. A 100 GB plan costs $50 per year while 200 GB costs $100.
Dropbox, the popular cloud storage startup, charges $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for 100 GB. Box, the business-flavored cloud storage service, offers $100 GB per user per month on its Starter plan.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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