Cloud storage has become an essential resource for businesses of all sizes in every industry. Storing documents, images, and other important files “in the cloud” makes them accessible wherever Wi-Fi is reliable. This can dramatically improve business productivity. Remote workers and in-office teams in different time zones can hand off work like relay racers.
It’s not surprising that Google and Amazon, two giants of the tech world, are the innovation leaders in cloud storage. Is one a better fit for your company? Let’s see how Amazon and Google compare when it comes to efficiently saving and sharing digital files.
Budgeting for cloud storage
Both Google and Amazon provide high-quality cloud storage options for individuals and businesses, including modestly priced plans. Google Drive offers 15 GB of free cloud storage, which is sufficient for many individuals. Upgrading to Google One will be worthwhile for most small businesses. The first tier Google One plan is 100 GB for $1.99 per month, scaling to 200 GB for $2.99 and 2 TB for $9.99 per month.
An Amazon Prime account, which costs $12.99/month, includes Amazon Photo with storage for unlimited photos and 5 GB of video. Additional storage is affordable. For a $19.99 annual fee Prime members can add 100 GB, sufficient to store about 50,000 photos or 14 hours of HD video. For $59.99 per year, a Prime member can add 1 TB, sufficient for about 500,000 photos or 140 hours of HD video.
Google Drive is more cost-effective if you need less than 100 GB, but Amazon Prime is a better deal if you need a terabyte or more.
Switching to cloud storage is an efficiency improvement well worth the trouble for all businesses. Research by cloud services provider MindSHIFT found organizations that move documents to the cloud save valuable time, noting that “56 percent of the companies surveyed reported an average of $75,000 saved annually when they moved operations to a cloud environment.”
Easy to use
Competition drives Google and Amazon to constantly improve their features. Both offer intuitive interfaces that are easy to navigate. This simplifies employee onboarding and training, with little ongoing need for IT services.
Compliance and security
Compliance and security are big concerns for cloud storage users, and rightly so. Though Google and Amazon both have advanced security features, the two largest cloud storage providers are big targets for hackers.
Google Drive files are encrypted with AES 128-bit while in motion and 256-bit while at rest, with optional two-factor verification. Laser grids and biometric scanners provide added security for all files. Amazon offers multifactor authentication for cloud storage.
The Amazon Cloud Drive user agreement allows Amazon access to files to scan for copyright infringement, wrote Stephanie Crawford in How Stuff Works: “In its user agreement, Amazon Cloud Drive declares its right to access your files and disclose account information to offer support and to ensure compliance with that agreement. Since the Cloud Drive offers streaming of MP3, this is largely to enforce copyright law regarding music.”
Google Drive uses a method called “hash matching” to reduce sharing of illegal content, explains TorrentFreak founder Ernesto Van Der Sar.
Document creation and file sharing
A major advantage of Google Drive is that your team can create and share Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly in their storage platform. Amazon doesn’t support document creation.
Google Drive effortlessly integrates with major third-party apps and offers in-app collaborations between multiple people at varying levels of security.
It’s easy to upload and share files on Amazon, which makes it a good option if you’re using cloud storage only for file sharing. Amazon offers fast file sharing by synchronizing content using block-level file copying that adjusts for changes without retransmitting the entire file.
Amazon Drive and Google Drive have distinctly different offerings, but both are excellent cloud storage options for securely storing and sharing digital files. It’s important to understand what your needs are before choosing one.