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Best cloud storage apps for your Android device

Update: Refreshed for 2017

Cloud storage allows you to upload and back up the contents of your Android to an online source, saving you precious space on your phone or tablet. Here are some of the best cloud storage apps available to back up your Android device.

Best value: Amazon Drive

The Amazon Drive service comes in two flavors: Prime Photos and Unlimited Storage. Prime Photos, as you can probably guess, gives Prime subscribers unlimited free photo storage and the annual Unlimited Storage lets you keep an unlimited of any files you like.

AmazonDrive
Amazon Drive offers great value and a simple way to manage your storage space. / © Amazon Drive

The Prime Photos option is interesting if you're a Prime subscriber perhaps, but it does little to stand out from Google Photos. It does, however, offer 5 GB of non-image storage for free too. There's also an easy way to see where your storage space is being used within the app's settings menu.

Amazon's Unlimited Everything offer will probably be more interesting though. For $60 per year, you can store unlimited amounts of anything you want for less money than Google Drive ($100 per year for 1 TB), Dropbox ($99 per year for 1 TB) and most other unlimited yearly subscription services. 

It's secure, supports automatic backup, and is accessible on all your devices. The only real disappointment is that mobile and browser-based uploads are restricted to 2 GB file sizes, but larger files can be uploaded via desktop software if necessary.

Amazon Drive Install on Google Play

Best for Microsoft users: OneDrive

This one probably isn't a huge surprise, as Microsoft has been working hard to make sure OneDrive is closely integrated into many of its products over the last few years. At its most basic, OneDrive is free online storage similar to that offered by Google Drive.

Onedrive androidpit2
OneDrive is a no-brainer choice for anyone that needs Microsoft's Office tools.  / © AndroidPIT

OneDrive, however, is primed for use with Microsoft products like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It has also been integrated into third-party and Microsoft apps for easier access (like Microsoft's Arrow Launcher app for Android) and to provide storage for all your files. It features (optional) automatic photo and video backup, as well as simple sharing features. It also integrates with Android Wear, if flicking through pictures on your wrist is useful to you. 

It's free for limited (up to 5 GB of storage) personal use, but you'll need to pay some cash to up that limit. The $100 per year package includes 5 TB of file storage and access to Office 365 Home edition. If you don't need up to five users, the $70 per year option offering 1 TB of storage and Office 365 Personal will be ideal. 

Microsoft OneDrive Install on Google Play

Best for the average user: Google Drive

This might feel like a bit of a no-brainer for an Android user, but Google Drive offers a range of worthwhile features, as well as being the de-facto cloud storage option available on a new phone.

GoogleDrive androidpit
Google Drive offers such solid integration and features you need a good reason not to use it. / © AndroidPIT

With 15 GB of free storage, its range of integrated document, spreadsheet and presentation platforms and straightforward collaboration settings, it's versatile enough to present a convincing argument for most users.

With deep integration throughout Android, as well as Google and many third-party apps, Google Drive is the logical choice for the average user that doesn't need to store their whole life in the cloud.

Perhaps the best part about using Google Drive for storage, however, is the Google Photos storage, which allows you unlimited image backups at a reduced resolution or choose to back up full-resolution snaps that count towards your overall storage quota. 

Google Drive Install on Google Play

Best for simplicity: Dropbox

Dropbox has been a firm favorite on Android for many years now, despite its somewhat limited free storage capacity of 2 GB – this can be expanded though by doing things like leaving feedback, following the company and referring friends without spending any cash.

dropbox androidpit
Dropbox offers various ways to increase free storage.  / © AndroidPIT

For up to 1 TB of space, it'll cost $99 each year or $9.99 each month on a rolling agreement. If you want more than 1 TB, you'll need to spring for a business plan. The Android app is largely glitch-free, fast and intuitive, plus it recently added an 'Offline' section that lets you access documents and files when you don't have a connection.

It's by no means the cheapest storage option available, but a wide-range of desktop apps, integration with other services and its own set of business-focused tools are all designed to make sharing files and collaborative work a whole lot easier than it was in the past. If you're a business user that's not already tied to Microsoft or Google's tools, Dropbox picks up the slack.

Dropbox Install on Google Play

Best for small businesses: Box

Box is free from the Google Play Store and similar in approach to Dropbox as a proposition. It offers 10 GB of free space with a 250 MB upload limit. Beyond this, you can pay $10 per month for up to 100 GB of cloud storage and a 5GB file upload limit.

Box
Box offers some handy business-focused plans and features. / © Box

If that's not enough space, business plans that cost from $5 per user per month offer the ability to add more space, but come with the requirement of having a minimum of three users subscribed.

Where Box's Android app was once a feature-free affair, it now offers all the options you'd expect to see in a cloud storage app, including offline access to specific files and a particular focus on making it easy for you to collaborate on documents while away from a desktop.

Box Install on Google Play

Best for people willing to earn free space: MediaFire

MediaFire offers up to 50 GB of free space, which is a good amount of free storage, but you only get 12 GB to begin and have to earn the rest through things like referrals, if you don't want to hand over any cash.

mediafire
50GB of free space, if you're willing to earn it. / © MediaFire

The Android app offers automatic camera backup for photos and videos, and you can preview documents and listen to audio files from within it too. It's not perfect, however, and is by no means the simplest or most pleasant to use.

If you want to spring for up to 1 TB of storage, it costs $3.75 per month currently if you choose an annual subscription, or $5 per month for a rolling payment plan.

MediaFire Install on Google Play

Best signup bonus: MEGA

MEGA gives you a generous 50 GB just for signing up, but also offers a focus on privacy that the others in this list don't shout as loudly about.

mega
Mega gives you 50 GB of storage just for signing up, and encrypts all transfers. / © Mega

In short, what that means is that all your files are encrypted and decrypted on your device and not by MEGA's servers, keeping your private information private. It does come with the added complexity of bandwidth limitations though.

If you need more than the 50 GB of storage that's available for free, you can pay between €4.99 and €29.99 per month for up to 4 TB of space and 8 TB of bandwidth. If you value your privacy and don't need more than 50 GB, it's worth checking out as a free user.

MEGA Install on Google Play

Best for creating a private cloud: Resilio Sync

If you want the functionality of cloud storage without actually entrusting your data to remote cloud storage systems, Resilio Sync is one way of creating something that approximates a private cloud that works without a connection to the internet.

resilio sync
Resilio Sync's storage capacity is limited only by your devices.  / © Resilio Sync

Resilio Sync lets you use peer-to-peer technology to connect your Android, PC, NAS device or other server for automatic backup and syncing of various file types without sending your files to a third-party for storage. The downside, perhaps also the upside however, is that there are no file storage limits - only what you have available across your connected devices.

The drain on battery life will put some people off, but given that you tend to use this app when in your home or office, that shouldn't really be too much of a problem. Resilio Sync is free to download for device-to-device transfers, but if you want to hook up all your devices, use selective sync options and the ability to change file permissions on the fly, you'll want to make the one-time $39 payment for the Pro package - this is for lifetime access, not monthly or annually.

Resilio Sync Install on Google Play

Best for people that can't decide on one service: Unclouded

If, in reality, you end up using a combination of many of these services for different reasons or to maximize your free storage, what you'll really need to do is keep on top of all those different files and folders, and what's stored where.

Unclouded androidpit2
Unclouded keeps track of many different cloud storage options. / © AndroidPIT

Unclouded for Android is a great way to do that without spending any money, though you'll need to pay to connect more than one cloud account. Happily, the app does allow you to pay only for the features you need, or you can unlock them all for a few dollars.

Unclouded - Cloud Manager Install on Google Play

What's your favorite Android cloud apps? Let us know in the comments.

40 comments

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  • Dean L. 1 month ago Link to comment

    Nice list. I'm going to have to checkout Mega. But as of now I use Google photos to back up my pictures and videos and Google drive for docs.

  • Mark G. 1 month ago Link to comment

    Dropbox no longer does photo backup on the free account, and Mega is hit or miss whether it backs up photos or not

  • Being a casual user, Google drive and Google photos just works for me.

  • Pat Nuzum 2 months ago Link to comment

    I keep all my photos and videos on free OneDrive, Drive, DropBox, and Box Accounts. I then use www.mysite10.com to professionally display them.

  • I use Degoo Backup...it gives you 100gb just to sign up, and an option to buy more space...it is also easy to use.

  • The last Mega for android v.3 is worst version ever. Camera upload didn't work for subfolders. After installing v3, camera files are uploading again, instead they are already uploaded. I have not checked "Leave file names as in device", but file names of uploaded files are same as in device.

  • Where's google photos?
    Photos and videos are most important as they are memories.

  • Copy is shutting its doors.

  • I'm using dropbox and Google drive.Have to try Amazon cloud storage

  •   18
    anshul Mar 4, 2016 Link to comment

    Something to store apps and accessing them without any delay or difficulty. App opens with in fraction of second when tapped as they are stored in phone, want something similar with cloud storage also.

  • There's also Flickr by Yahoo! for pictures and videos. They provide a 1000GB of free storage. Please include it on your list.

  • I use OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive for various purposes - I like the offline folder (on my big fast microSD cards) sync aspect of the first two and especially that Dropbox supports my Linux PC boots as others don't.

    It's been a while since I checked the "official" apps for OneDrive and Dropbox, but as of a couple of years ago I found the substitute apps for synching them - DropSync and OneSync (by developer MetaCtrl) were smaller, more functional and configurable. There are other substitute interfaces for cloud storage / sync services, including some that unify several services within one app, but I haven't tried them.

  • I think you'll find that Copy is going down the chute on May 1 2016. See their home page

  • Check CM QuickPic it gives you 1000GB basically for free ...

  • This needs an update so bad!

  • To me FileResort.com looks very promising. They say, all the uploaded data is stored in very safe encrypted form. One can precisely define, how much data space is needed for how long. No forced selection from one from three predefined packages but virtually unlimited number of combinations. They even offer possibility to upload files without account and of course they have time-unlimited free membership program. The uploaded data can be managed in transparent dual-pane file manager.

  • Grosp Nov 20, 2015 Link to comment

    I discovered another cloud service: it's called Hubic, it's servers are based in France and the company who owns it is very realiable. Gives 25 GB of free space that can get up to 50 GB inviting 5 friends (yes 5 GB each). If you're interested, using this referral DYXHNU in the last field, you'll get 5 GB extra (so you'll start with 30 and you'll be able to get up to 55)

  • I use a few that you mentioned. I also use Syncplicity to sync a few document directories between devices, with cloud backup.

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