Cloud storage has always been dominated by Amazon for the simple reason that it offered unlimited storage to users for a meager amount of $60 a year. But sadly, the company has now decided to discontinue that and has come up with new schemes instead.
Amazon still offers the best deal
Amazon is now offering two different plans: 100GB for $12 per year and 1TB for $60 per year. The second plan costs the same as the unlimited one, but users now get only 1TB of storage. While 1TB data is not small, there could definitely be some who need more storage space. The maximum amount of storage allowed is 30TB, and each TB costs another $60.
While these pricing tiers are good and competitive, they might put off those who believed that the unlimited storage deal would last forever. Despite suspending the unlimited storage offer, Amazon still offers the best price to backing up 1 TB of data online, but only marginally.
Microsoft offers a package with 1TB of storage and a subscription to Office 365 at an unbeatable price of $69.99.Other offers are somewhat on the higher side: Dropbox offers 1TB of storage space for $99.99 a year, while Google Drive charges $99.99 and Apple iCloud charges $9.99 monthly ($120 yearly).
What about users?
The changes went into effect yesterday, but users who already opted for the unlimited storage part will continue to enjoy it until their contract expires. At the end of the contract year, subscribers to the unlimited plan will automatically have their subscription changed to the $60/year plan if they have auto-renew turned on, notes The Verge.
Meanwhile, all Prime members will continue to enjoy unlimited photo storage, and those who sign up for Amazon Drive will get 5GB of additional free storage. For users who don’t want to subscribe to the new plans, Amazon is offering a window of 180 days to to download their data. After the grace period, the company will begin deleting the files (starting with recent uploads).
Why has the unlimited storage option been killed?
The fact that Amazon has killed the unlimited storage option does not come as a surprise. It was launched for a special purpose in 2015, and that was to compete with the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive. It seems the offer served its purpose by getting Amazon a large number of customers, and thus, it needs to be dropped.
Microsoft did the same thing when it introduced OneDrive storage in October 2014 for Office 365 subscribers and then revised it in November 2015 to 1TB. According to Amazon, 82% of its customers use only a small portion (100 GBs) of their available storage, so it made sense to scale back the limit to save on costs.
Cloud storage is of utmost importance in today’s digital era when there is a host of data comprising of photos, videos, documents, etc. that keeps accumulating each day. While hard drives come handy in such cases and cost much less, they come with reliability issues and need to be carried along for access everywhere.