When it comes to data storage, many people think of online storage because, in this tech world, everything happens on the cloud. Two giant tech companies offering free cloud storage for their users, Google Drive and iCloud, are two great services. How do both differ? The blog post takes a look at both and covers Google Drive vs. iCloud (2020).
Table of contents
Quick Google Drive vs. iCloud comparison
|Main use||Back-up and personal use||Mostly for back-up|
|Platforms||Desktop, and mobile||Desktop, and mobile|
|Supported files||Over 60 file types||Very few known|
|Max upload limit||5 TB (except documents)||50 GB|
|Security||At least 128-Bit encryption||At least 128-Bit encryption|
|Plans||100 GB, 200 GB, & 2 TB||50 GB, 200 GB, & 2 TB|
|Price range||$2 to $10||$1 to $10|
Both are used for personal stuff, mostly. Individuals use both to store photos, videos, documents, etc., and both are used to back up the phone data. Google Drive offers 15GB of storage, whereas Apple gives 5GB across all the platforms.
Google Drive is pre-installed on Android devices to back up and restore the phone data. An app to upload, share, and to preview files is also available on Android and iOS.
The software titled Backup and Sync is available to download on Windows and macOS. The tools work like other tools where you upload and download from a sync-able folder.
The software can also be download as a Progress Web App (PWA) on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. PWA takes less space than the actual desktop app, and it uses the browser’s resources to work fine. For example, if you download Google Drive on Google Chrome while using the drive, in task manager and battery settings, you will find Google Chrome.
To download Google Drive on Google Chrome, one can go to drive.google.com and click on the install button visible in the address bar.
On Microsoft Edge, the app can be downloaded by going to the website and then going to the apps section in the right-side menu. For supported websites, the message “install this site as an app” is visible under the apps section.
iCloud is pre-installed on Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Mac, while it can be installed on Windows PC from Microsoft Store. You can install the app as PWA on Microsoft Edge on Windows PC too. Just like Google Drive, you can go to the website and follow the steps.
iCloud is not officially available on Android, but some other third-party apps allow syncing of contacts and calendar.
In terms of supported files, I believe that Google Drive is the winner. Google Drive supports below extensions:
- Image: JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, SVG
- Audio: MP3, MPEG, WAV, Ogg, opus
- Video: WebM, MPEG4, 3GPP, MOV, AVI, MPEG-PS, WMV, FLV, Ogg
- Web: HTML, CSS, PHP, C, CPP, H, HPP, JS, Java, PY
- Office: Excel, PowerPoint, Word
- Adobe: Photoshop, Illustrator, PDF
The full list can be found on the official support page. iCloud, on the other hand, does not support many file types. The names and numbers were not listed on the official site, but below are some of the most common:
- Image: GIF, JPEG, HEIF, HEVC, MP4, PNG, RAW, TIFF
- Audio: MP3
Max upload limit
According to the official website, Google Drive supports to upload files of up to 5TB at max, as long as they are not the document. For specific document formats below are the suggest file sizes:
- Documents with a maximum of 1.02 million characters. That’s roughly about 3400 pages.
- Google Docs document can be up to 50GB in size.
- Spreadsheets (Google Sheets) can have up to 5 million cells or 18,278 columns.
- Each spreadsheet cell must have 50,000 or fewer characters. Otherwise, that cell will be skipped.
- Presentation (Google Slides) can be 100MB at max.
iCloud, on the other hand, takes a lower approach. You can upload any type of file except app folders, libraries, or .tmp files, but each file must be 50GB or less.
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What security measures do both offer? Starting with Google Drive, according to the official post, the data is stored in Google’s secured data centres. The takeaway from the previous sentence was the word ‘Google’s’. Google owns the data centres, and Google uses AES256 level encryption, which is the strongest to date.
Apple doesn’t have their own data centres, and they use Amazon Web Servers (AWS) and Google Cloud Platforms. Breaking down both services:
- According to the official website, AWS uses FIPS 140-2 Level 3 security, which is one of the best in the world. They also use the SSL/TLS certificates to protect the data following from and to the data centres.
- We have already talked about Google Cloud Platform. Google Drive also uses Google Cloud Platform.
Other than above, Apple has also mentioned that neither of the above services has the required keys to decrypt the data.
So after putting all into one place, we can say that both use one of the strong technologies to protect your data.
Google Drive offers 100GB of storage for $2 per month. There is also a medium size plan of 200GB for $3, which would suit YouTubers and bloggers like me. The whole drive can also be maintained with Google One app, which allows managing the data across Google platforms, including Gmail, Drive, Photos etc. It also comes with other great benefits such as discounts on hotel prices and discounts and rewards on Google Store.
iCloud, on the contrary, comes with 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB plans, where you pay $1 for 50GB, $3 for 200GB, and $10 for 2TB. You can also share the 200GB and 2TB plan storage with family members. Google Drive also offers to share your storage with your family members.
Still not sure? Watch the Google Drive vs. iCloud video to see both in action.
The way both services work is different. The primary goal of iCloud is to back up and restore data on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, while Google Drive is an all-rounder tool which has multiple usages and works on all the platforms. Anyway, thanks for reading Google Drive vs. iCloud. I hope the blog post helped. Please let me know your views in the comments down below, and subscribe for future updates.