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iCloud vs. Google Drive: Which Cloud Is Better?

a cloud shaped object with text

File storage is supremely important today, especially since many of us have hundreds (okay, thousands) of photos we love to share with our friends and family members. But online storage is also important for storing school documents, business paperwork, tax documents, and much more.

While there are many different options, many people choose between the two biggest companies in the industry: iCloud vs. Google Drive. Both of these storage services operate via the cloud, allowing you to retrieve your stored data and documents from anywhere you can connect to the Internet.

But which of these two storage services is better? Today, let’s look at iCloud and Google Drive to determine which cloud storage solution is best for your needs.

iCloud: What You Need To Know

Let’s begin the in-depth comparison by looking at iCloud and everything it includes.

Is iCloud Secure?

Yes, iCloud is very secure. iCloud is even more secure than Google Drive. This is because, in a nutshell, all the iCloud servers encrypt data both in transit and when they receive it. This is encrypted with 128-bit AES standard protocols.

Furthermore, all of the categories of data used on iCloud are encrypted separately from end to end. Only the user can access this information; not even Apple can decrypt it without the user's passcode. Apple's approach to data privacy and its business model is also generally less reliant on data mining for advertising purposes compared to Google. Apple emphasizes user privacy as a core aspect of its brand identity, which includes making it harder for third parties to access user data.

In simple terms, that means that from the moment your data leaves your device until it arrives at iCloud, and while it resides there, it is protected against unauthorized access. By comparison, Google Drive encrypts data in transit and at rest but does not offer end-to-end encryption for all types of data stored in its cloud, potentially making it more accessible under certain circumstances, such as lawful requests.

Is iCloud Free?

Yes, up to a certain point. iCloud is available with a 5 GB free plan. However, you get five gigs each for iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Backup, and iCloud Mail.

You can alternatively pay for higher tiers of iCloud storage. These plans range from 50 GB for $.99 a month to 2 TB of storage for $9.99 a month.

How Much Base Storage Comes With iCloud?

You only get 5 GB of storage with iCloud, with 5 GB for iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Backup, and iCloud Mail. However, you can expand this up to 2 TB of storage should you choose one of the paid plans.

Can You Use iCloud on Windows?

Yes, you can use iCloud on Windows, provided you have an Apple ID. You can then access any of your iCloud data, ranging from documents to photos and more, on a PC.

How Do You Share Data on iCloud?

iCloud allows you to share data through iCloud Drive. Then, anyone you invite to the iCloud folder can view, work on, or edit your documents. Sharing is pretty quick and simple.

But iCloud goes above and beyond and allows Family Sharing. This enables you to share a subscription to iCloud+ with others in your family or friend group. This way, you could set up iCloud for your whole family with a few buttons and a single subscription.

Is iCloud Good for Businesses and Teams?

iCloud can be very advantageous if you have a business or several teams that need to work in conjunction with each other.

Apple’s iCloud can integrate with software infrastructures and business systems like Microsoft Office, Pager Duty, iCalendar, and more.

Since it’s very easy to share files between other iCloud users and members, this doubles down on its collaborative suitability.

Google Drive: What You Need To Know

Now let’s look at Google Drive and see whether it’s better than Apple iCloud.

Is Google Drive Better for Businesses and Teams?

Yes. While you can share information on iCloud, Google Drive is a little better for businesses and teams because it’s easier to collaborate on this platform.

It has many extensions, tools, and plug-ins you can add to your sharing experience to increase productivity. For example, you can integrate your Google Drive files with services like Salesforce, YouTube, Slack, Trello, MailChimp, and so much more. Any business endeavor you want to undertake is made easier with Google Drive.

On top of that, you can share files and folders with other Google Drive users through simple invitations and download options. Any other Google Drive users can share files, folders, or documents with you in a matter of seconds.

For this reason, Google Drive is a slightly better choice for larger teams or organizations. Naturally, it works very well with Google Docs and Google-owned apps, making it the best cloud storage service if you already use those tools for your business and just need a bit of additional storage for collaboration.

How Much Is Extra Google Drive Storage?

Google Drive starts with a 15 GB free plan, which automatically makes it a little better in terms of value than iCloud. However, you can purchase extra storage at the following prices:

  • 100 GB for $1.99 per month
  • 200 GB for $2.99 per month
  • 2 TB for $9.99 per month

Seen in this light, it’s clear that extra Google Drive storage isn’t that expensive, especially since you can share that storage space with others pretty easily.

Is There a Google Drive App?

Yes. In fact, you can download the Google Drive app for either Mac or PC desktops fairly easily. Just visit this link, then click on "get started with Google Drive for desktop." You'll need to download the client and install it on your computer, but then you'll be set.

You can also download the app on Android devices and iPhones/Apple devices, like iPads.

Is Google Drive Secure?

Yes. But its security features aren’t as good as those offered by iCloud. Google does encrypt all the data it receives and sends out, but there isn’t any end-to-end encryption like the kind iCloud provides. In theory, any data you store on the Google Drive platform could be accessed and/or modified by either Google employees or by those that Google provides your data for advertising purposes (or law-enforcement personnel).

Do You Need a Google Account?

Yes, Google Drive requires you to make and use a Google account to take advantage of its storage features and collaborative tools. However, practically all businesses or entrepreneurs already have a Google account, so this is not much of a downside. You also need an Apple ID to use iCloud storage.

The Bottom Line

Google Drive seems to be a better choice for businesses, teams, and larger organizations. It has slightly better collaborative tools and better integrations with common business platforms and software.

However, Apple iCloud can also be an excellent storage solution depending on your needs. It's easy to use and has slightly better security, making it a better choice for privacy-minded individuals who just want storage for personal projects or family photos. While other options exist, like DropBox and Microsoft OneDrive, you’ll be best off picking between these two.

Even better, Google Drive and Apple iCloud both work with various high-quality smartphones. Navi can help you find the perfect smartphone for your needs, whether accomplishing school work on time, sharing family photos with your extended clan, or something else.

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