Updated June 2022
Ever since we have added Amazon S3 as a storage option, we keep receiving questions on what storage is better - Amazon S3 or Google Drive”.
We’ve even written a post comparing the two cloud options. And this indeed improved the situation. Our users grasped the key differences between Amazon S3 and Google Drive, as well as their main features.
As the main competitors in the storage market, Amazon and Google offer various product packages. And thus, users can’t tell heads or tails of their pricing, with so many plans and fees available.
But don’t worry, our Pics.io team is going to give you a hand right now & sort out cloud storage pricing for you.
Cloud Storage for Small Business: Google Drive and Amazon Drive
For individual users, small and medium teams, the best options would be either Google Drive or Amazon Drive. Both offer plenty of storage with affordable pricing.
Google Drive Pricing
Google Drive is a to-go option for many users due to its 15 GB of free storage. But don’t forget that your emails & Google Photos count into these 15 GB. As of recently, paid Google Drive plans are bundled under Google One umbrella.
Google One pricing tiers are based on the storage amount. So you pay $1.99 per month for 100 GB, $2.99 per month for 200 GB, etc., etc. Keep in mind that pricing may differ per region.
For pricing in your region, visit Google One plans page. Down below are the prices for the US region:
As Google One is meant for personal and small-team usage, you can share that storage between up to 5 different accounts.
For enterprise clients, Google offers Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite). With Workspace, you are not paying for storage but per user. Price and storage per user and various extra perks vary depending on a chosen tier.
For a full breakdown of pricing, visit Google Workspace pricing page.
100 video meetings
30 GB storage space per user
Security and management controls
150 video meetings + recording
2 TB storage space per user
Security and management controls
|Emails + eDiscovery, retention
250 video meetings + recording, attendance tracking
5 TB storage space per user
Enhanced security and management controls
|Emails + eDiscovery, retention, S/MIME encryption
250 video meetings + recording, attendance tracking, noise cancellation, in-domain live streaming
Unlimited storage space
Advanced security and management controls
In the past, G Suite users had unlimited storage. But Google killed this option with its transition to the Workspace. Google Photos users were enraged as the company promised to keep unlimited storage forever.
This is another thing to keep in mind when using Google services. The company is notorious for abruptly altering or outright canceling services that users had grown to love. So, no one can really tell how Google One and Workspace will end up looking a few years down the line.
Speaking of Google Photos: if you were eyeing Google Photos as another option to store your media files, we would advise you to reconsider. While it works great for storing your personal collection of photos, Google Photos for business does not work at all.
Amazon Drive Pricing
Amazon Drive is a much simpler & less popular alternative to Google Drive. Although launched a year earlier, this solution lacks advanced Google Drive functionality like editing and reproducing text and media files.
Realistically, Amazon Drive works only as simple file storage. Amazon itself does not recommend using Drive for anything else.
Designed for individual use, Amazon Drive gives you 5 GB for free. Then, the price grows to $11.99 per year (or $1.99 per month) for 100 GB. For the full breakdown of Amazon Drive pricing, see below:
You can save up extra if you also buy Amazon Prime subscription. With $12.99 per month, you get unlimited storage space for your images and 5 GB for video and other file formats. (This is actually the reason why some say that Amazon Drive won’t work for anything else except for storing photos.)
Cloud Storage for Enterprise: Google Cloud and Amazon S3
But if you’re looking for a more advanced solution, Google Cloud and Amazon S3 are the right alternatives for you. Both are server-based cloud storage and cloud computing solutions, which suit enterprise-level businesses.
Unlike Google Drive or Amazon Drive, these two alternatives offer you more than data storage. An advanced & more complex infrastructure for deploying your app, enhanced security, and developed service tiers.
Besides, this enterprise-level storage has a higher load-bearing capacity. And so you can store terabytes of data, while also benefitting from server backups and hosting.
Google Cloud Pricing
Google Cloud is available as an enterprise-level storage option as a part of the Google Cloud Platform. Google Cloud Platform is a suite of cloud computing services provided by Google.
For most businesses, buying a Google Drive / Google One subscription plus Google Workspace should work perfectly if they’re looking for a storage solution. Consider Google Cloud if you also need backups, app integration, etc., etc.
Like many enterprise-tier solutions, Google Cloud has a pay-as-you-go model, without fixed pricing. Be aware that Google Cloud charges you not only for the space you use but also for the number of operations & outgoing traffic.
To make life easier for you, there is a Google Cloud pricing calculator to help you determine a precise quota. For the rough estimate, view the table down below:
|Frequently accessed or “hot” data and/or the data stored for short periods
|Instant access to huge loads of data, optimized performance for the data located in one of associated regions.
|Infrequently accessed data (on average once per month or less)
|Slower response time but still good for storing large data sets. Also, suits for data backup, long-tail multimedia content, and in rare cases, archiving.
|Infrequently accessed data (once a quarter)
|Storing large data volumes at highly durable storage service, slightly low availability of data, and a 90-day minimum storage duration.
|Data archiving, online backup and disaster recovery (access maximum once a year)
|The slowest response rate so data kept for backup and archive purposes exclusive. Also, the highest costs for data access and a 364-day minimum storage duration.
Amazon S3 Pricing
A much better alternative in enterprise-level options is Amazon S3 storage, with its increased functionality, scalability, and advanced security measures. Prices in Amazon S3 are more or less the same as in Google Cloud, but you get improved functionality. And the range of pricing is wider so you could choose what suits you more.
Now the best part: the more data you store, the less you are going to pay. That is why Amazon S3 is good for huge companies, with terabytes of data to store.
Amazon S3 also uses a pay-as-you-go model, and there is also a free tier option for the first 12 months. You are also able to check whether this is the best solution for you by vising Amazon S3 pricing tiers page.
|Any type of data, mostly for those that need instant access
|First 50 TB per month
Next 450 TB per month
Over 500 TB per month
|$0.023 per GB
$0.022 per GB
$0.021 per GB
|For data with unknown and/or changing access patterns
|Frequent access / High response time – First 50 TB per month
Frequent access / High response time – Next 450 TB per month
Frequent access / High response time – Over 500 TB per month
Infrequent access / Slower response time – All storage per month
Archive access / The slowest response time – All storage per month
Deep archive access / The slowest response time – All storage per month
Monitoring & automation – All storage per month
|$0.023 per GB
$0.022 per GB
$0.021 per GB
$0.0125 per GB
$0.004 per GB
$0.00099 per GB
$0.0025 per 1000 objects
|For long-lived, infrequently accessed data that need instant access
|All storage per month
|$0.0125 per GB
|For recreatable, infrequently accessed data that need instant access
|All storage per month
|$0.01 per GB
|For long-term backups & archives, with access time from 1 minute to 12 hours
|All storage per month
|$0.004 per GB
|For long-term archives, accessed 1-2 times a year & can be restored within 12 hours
|All storage per month
|$0.00099 per GB
Prices may slightly differ based on your bucket location. For your convenience, here we included prices for eastern states in the US. But they’re a few cents lower than for the West, for example. Double-check that you're looking up prices in your region to avoid any surprises.
Again, use the Amazon S3 pricing calculator to get your pricing automatically. Just fill in your objects’ size, the timeline for your storage, etc., and get your price calculated for you.
Use Pics.io DAM Storage Cloud to enhance your media library
With more data accumulated in your storage, you cannot do without a workable digital asset manager. This solution will help you organize & centralize your data and access it in no time.
Pics.io is precisely the best data management tool you’re looking for. Choose our DAM library to:
- Get rid of a mess with your digital assets & create a centralized place for their storage;
- Access your files quickly & easily, with the best tools available for you: AI-keywording, custom fields, metadata search, etc., etc.
- Forget about duplicates with the simplest version control;
- Distribute your data in the most presentable way thanks to customizable public websites. There you just place your data & share a link to them;
- Be on the same page with your team by tagging & leaving messages for them directly in your DAM solution;
- Save your time on launching any solution & learning how to use it. Pics.io is an online platform with a very intuitive interface.
And here’s the best part: Pics.io works on top of your storage (Google Drive and Amazon S3). So it’s more affordable than other DAM solutions that offer you separate storage & charge you for this.
This also grants you an extra security level. Pics.io has no access to your data. And who else would take care of your assets better than Amazon or Google? Besides, you don’t have to worry about replacing all your data if you ever change your mind about using Pics.io.
As an alternative, you can also consider Pics.io as an all-in-one DAM solution. Not so long ago, Pics.io also released its own storage. So now you don’t need to go into the trouble of setting up storage or configuring permissions.
Google Drive vs Amazon S3: Price to Value Comparison
Of course, we’ve chosen Google Drive and Amazon S3 for a reason. And so these two are the best storage options for you to save up & get more space for your data.
The Pics.io team recommends choosing Google Drive when:
- You work as a freelancer or simply choose to be a lone wolf & 15 free GB will be enough for you;
- You’re a small or startup business with some budget restrictions. Consider also launching a Google Workplace account if your company has at least 100 GB of assets;
- You’re a middle-sized company – here Google Workplace will be a real finding for you;
- You’re a nonprofit or educational institution. Check Google Drive special offers (or don’t be shy to ask the GD support department). They usually have good deals laid up for this business sector;
- You’re looking for a storage-only & dead simple solution and don’t want to spend any time learning how to operate the storage;
- You don’t want to be charged based on traffic and the number of operations – the space only.
In turn, Amazon S3 will work for you if:
- You’re a large enterprise or at least a middle-sized company managing lots of assets;
- You’re interested in scalability as you know that the number of your assets will grow in their size & scale. As said, Amazon S3 gets cheaper the more you store;
- You’re considering Amazon for your development needs. If you rent a storage space there, it’ll be compatible with all the rest of your Amazon infrastructure.
- You’re tech-savvy. Although Amazon calls its storage simple, this solution is more technical in nature as compared to Google Drive. Still, you can always learn by using our guide. And your developers will be happy to work with Amazon ;)
To put it simply, when choosing your solution, consider the size of your company, including the number of your assets & teammates. Plus, don’t ignore the response time you need & the time during which you’ll store your assets.
In the case of Amazon, the location of your assets should also matter. And pay special attention to one-time deals like offers available to those operating as a nonprofit.
Don’t compare prices side by side (and you actually won’t be able to do it because Google Drive has fixed pricing & Amazon S3 works as pay-as-you-go). Remember that Amazon S3 is an enterprise-level solution, and its price reduces with more assets stored. But if you don’t have 100+ GB of assets, this solution could be costly for you.
Google Drive could seem cheaper for you at first glance. But consider this: you may require more than 500GB of storage but only slightly so. With Google, you'll have to pay for an entire 1TB worth, even if the majority of it would go to waste. With Amazon's PAYG system, you are going to pay only for the storage that you actually use.
A few takeaways
Choosing your storage is a very responsible & difficult task, especially in today’s saturated market. Storage price is the leading factor here. But giants like Amazon and Google have so many pricing options that you get more confused the more you read.
Since Pics.io supports both Google Drive & Amazon S3 storage options, we decided to prepare this post for you. And whatever option you choose, Pics.io DAM will help you manage your files with ease & in a timely manner.
Pics.io is an advanced digital asset management solution that helps you organize, access, and distribute your data. Looking for a top solution to manage your files? Order a free demo with us, and we’ll explain to you the benefits of Pics.io over other competitors.