Is Dropbox cloud storage too expensive?

While Dropbox is leading the cloud storage and syncing landscape with 175 million users, other services are offering similar features for less money.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Dropbox pricing plans. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

As Dropbox hosted its first developer conference on Tuesday, conjuring up images of a future without hard drives and announcing its plans for cloud domination, some users still aren't happy.

Despite people being more or less satisfied with the actual service, many users complain about Dropbox's pricing. It's just too expensive, they say.

CNET performed a cost comparison with Dropbox and some of its main competitors to find out if the cloud storage and synching service is pricier than what else is out there.

CNET looked at similar plans for Google Drive, Microsoft's SkyDrive, Apple's iCloud, Copy, SpiderOak, SugarSync, and Box. While there are a lot of other cloud storage services out there, these seem to be some of Dropbox's biggest competitors.

With the cost comparison, it appears that those users looking to get the most storage for free should look into Google Drive or Copy. Those users who want to pay the least amount for 100 GB per month should look into Microsoft's SkyDrive, Google Drive, or Copy (however, users can't store all types of documents on Google Drive). For users who want to buy lots of space for less, it appears Copy has the best deal.

While some Dropbox packages are more expensive than those offered by competitors, many are actually within the same price range. For example, 100 GB on Dropbox is $8.25 per month, and on SpiderOak it's $10 per month, and on SugarSync it's $9.99 per month.

Here's a breakdown of the numbers:


  • 2 GB free
  • 100 GB $8.25 per month
  • 200 GB $16.60 per month
  • 500 GB $41.60 per month
These prices are based on paying for the whole year; if users want to pay monthly the price goes up a couple dollars per month.

Google Drive

  • 15 GB free
  • 100 GB $4.99 per month
  • 200 GB $9.99 per month
  • 400 GB $19.99 per month
While Google is charging half that of Dropbox, it's more of a storage service and doesn't have all of the same features as Dropbox, such as photo storage and sharing.

Microsoft's SkyDrive

  • 7 GB free
  • 50 GB $2.08 per month
  • 100 GB $4.20 per month

Apple's iCloud

  • 5 GB free
  • 25 GB $3.30 per month
  • 55 GB $8.30 per month
Apple only lets users store Backup, Documents, and Mail for free. Purchased music, movies, apps, books, TV shows, and Photo Stream can't be included in free storage.


  • 15 GB free
  • 250 GB $9.99 per month
  • 500 GB $14.99 per month


  • 2 GB free
  • 100 GB $10 per month
If users want to add on more space, it costs an additional $10 per month for each 100GB.


  • 5 GB free
  • 60 GB $7.49 per month
  • 100 GB $9.99 per month
  • 250 GB for $24.99 per month


  • 5GB free
  • 25 GB $9.99 per month
  • 50 GB $19.99 per month