Ant Pruitt: Pitting Amazon Cloud Against Google Drive, iDrive and Dropbox (first look)

Amazon Cloud Drive Login

Amazon released its new desktop app for Windows. Our Ant Pruitt kicks the tires and tests how Amazon’s overall cloud solution stacks up against the rest.

So little time, so many free online cloud storage options. Now that Amazon has released its desktop Amazon Cloud client, it’s time to do a little comparing — to Google Drive.

Amazon and Google are latecomers to an arena Dropbox has quietly dominated for a couple of years. Now everyone’s in the game. Recently, on The Report with Gina Smith and Dan Patterson, we checked out this excellent comparison chart that also takes into consideration Apple iDrive and Microsoft Skydrive. Now let’s add Amazon against this.

Cloud Comparison Chart From Engadget
Image credit Engadget

Amazon offers up competitive pricing plans for consumers, too. But look at its pricing chart below. (More discussion after the break).

Amazon Cloud Rates

After you hit 100GB on the Amazon annual storage plan, as you can see from the above, the Amazon option gets ridiculously expensive.

Why would anyone pay twice as much for the same amount of storage? It’s true that anything you purchase doesn’t count toward the 100GB allotment, but that doesn’t necessarily make it more valuable.

Assuming that Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google are each capable of delivering robust and reliable service through their infrastructure, this is a war that will be waged on cost and user experience.

I tried out the desktop client for Amazon Cloud Drive, advertised as an easy syncing method, and I did so with only mixed results. Here’s how it went.

After launch, the installation wizard advises on how to get items from your computer to your cloud with two options. One option is to right-click in Windows and just select a particular file to upload it.

Right click upload

Or you can drag and drop files from Explorer to the system tray.


When all was said and done, I found the Amazon desktop client to be less intuitive than the experience you get with Google Drive. With the Amazon Cloud Drive desktop application, you can’t see files unless you access the web interface.  But with the Google Cloud Drive desktop application, you’re able to explore and sync their files through a specified system folder.

I found Google’s option more efficient, too. Check out my Google Drive file explorer view.
Google Drive explorer
Image credit Ant Pruitt for aNewDomain

Everyone will differ in terms of what usability experience, cost and package is right for them. Theoretically, anyway, you could sample all the plans for free, getting nearly 20GB of free storage as a result.

Our John C. Dvorak proposed a script or program to tie them all together if it could be done within the terms of use for each provider. Good idea.

As for me, I’m sticking with Google. That’s the ecosystem my data is already living in anyway. Those tied into Apple, Amazon or Dropbox products will likely stay in their camps, too.

At any rate, online storage is available for the taking. A gigabyte here, a gigabyte there, gigabytes for everyone. For, I’m Ant Pruitt.