Amazon Drive isn’t the most feature-packed cloud storage solution on the market, but it’s still a good option for photo storage and for users who regularly update files through mobile apps. Compared to advanced cloud storage services like Sync and pCloud, though, there’s a lot to be desired. So if you’re okay with just the basics, like unlimited photo storage with Prime, it might be worth a look.
Comparing Amazon Drive to the Best Cloud Storage Services
Despite Amazon Drive’s affordable pricing and a few nice-to-have features, we couldn’t ignore the lack of several features that a reliable cloud storage service should have. That’s why Amazon Drive didn’t make the cut compared to its competitors.
If you’re looking for effective cloud storage solutions that offer optimal cloud storage features, rock-solid security, and unlimited backups, check out our carefully compiled list of the best cloud storage services. See all of our top picks here.
Amazon Drive: The Good and The Bad
User-Friendly Platform: Amazon Drive has done a fair job designing its cloud platform. You can access it through three different means: a desktop app, a mobile app, and the web browser client. While it takes a while to get used to the desktop client and web interface, the mobile app is simple and sleek. For instance, you see a view of each of your folders when opening the app and can use the bottom menu to navigate between files and settings. If you don’t want to manually upload new photos and videos, you can do so automatically from your mobile device when you first set up the app.
Unlimited Photo Storage: Amazon Drive is one of the selected few cloud storage services that offer unlimited photo storage. This does only extend to photo storage, though—not videos, documents, or music files. The service offers a wide range of storage plans for all file types that go all the way to 30 TB, however.
High-Resolution Image Previews: Amazon Drive allows users to view high-quality images through its image preview feature that supports JPEG, RRAW, and HEIC file types. As Amazon Photos is embedded in Google Photos, you can also make basic edits to images inside the web browser app. Video playback is also available inside the platform, so you can watch full resolution content if you have an Amazon Prime account. Keep in mind that you cannot edit videos through Amazon Drive or Photos.
Fast Speed: A good cloud storage device should be able to handle the uploading and downloading speed of the files, and Amazon Drive gives tough competition to other storage devices when it comes to the speed of uploading and downloading files. Now, it’s not like the results will blow your mind, but it’s still decent in terms of speed. In addition to uploads and downloads, Amazon Drive also offers amazing speed for file transfers. You can throttle the speed of downloads and uploads if you think it’s affecting your system resources, but this doesn’t happen most of the time as the syncing process is seamless and smooth.
Limited Cloud Security: Amazon Drive offers two-factor authentication, but that really isn’t enough considering the ever-increasing rate of sophisticated cyberattacks these days. There is no end-to-end encryption or at-rest encryption, plus the software has a very open way of managing shared links that doesn’t let you password-protect them or limit access from specific accounts. This is okay if you want to store a few pictures of you and your family on vacation. However, if you deal with important and sensitive documents, you’ll find tons of cloud storage options with much better security measures, including end-to-end encryption and password-protected links.
Restricted File Sharing and Syncing Abilities: Amazon Drive offers basic file sharing, but it’s limited to the mobile app and web browser client. This means you cannot choose different user permissions when sharing a file. The platform itself generates a shareable file, and anyone with that link can share, download, and comment on it. When sharing files through the mobile app, you can share them as an attachment. This will allow you to share images via WhatsApp, iMessage, email, and other similar platforms. You can use the web browser application to share files straight to Facebook and Twitter, but it offers no support for Instagram.
Inadequate Customer Support: Amazon Drive doesn’t have dedicated user support. If you face any issue, you’ll have to go to the centralized help center via the Amazon website to resolve it. You can use the search function to ask specific questions relating to your issue, but the results are mostly vague and require further clarification. If you want to speak to the Amazon support team, there’s no easy way to do so. While there’s a chatbot, it isn’t very responsive—and when you’re finally connected to a support agent, they aren’t very efficient and prompt when answering your queries.
Amazon Drive Pricing and Options
Amazon Drive offers a host of pricing options, each available with different features and storage.
Here is the complete list:
- 5 GB Plan — Free
- 100 GB Plan — $1.99 per month
- 1 TB Plan — $6.99 per month
- 2 TB Plan — $11.99 per month
- 3 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $15 per month
- 4 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $20 per month
- 5 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $25 per month
- 6 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $30 per month
- 7 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $34.99 per month
- 8 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $39.99 per month
- 9 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $44.99 per month
- 10 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $49.99 per month
- 20 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $99.98 per month
- 30 TB Plan (1-year plan) — $149.98 per month
Note: The paid plans marked (1 year) mean you’ll have to take the annual subscription to receive the minimum pricing.
How Amazon Drive Ranks
Amazon Drive has gone through several different incarnations over the years.
While some features have improved, others are just a confusing mess. It still feels like the tool is still in its beta stage but does a respectable job of backing up files and folders from your local computer and also automates it for certain folders. The Amazon Photos aspect of the tool is more impressive, especially if you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime. This gives you an unlimited amount of room in the cloud to store all your images.
If you are simply looking for a service to back up images, Amazon Drive won’t disappoint. But if you’re looking for a more sophisticated cloud storage solution, one with airtight security features, unlimited storage for all file types, and built-in productivity features, you should look elsewhere.
Start by looking at our list of the best cloud storage services that are worth your money.
- Sync – Best cloud storage service for most
- pCloud – Best long-term storage solution
- Icedrive – Best for personal cloud storage
- IDrive – Best for personal backups
- Zoolz – Best for automated backups from any device
Amazon Drive is a decent solution if you’re okay with a bare-bones photo storage service. But if you’re a professional or a business leader dealing with large volumes of sensitive files and want reliable cloud storage, we’ll recommend you try Sync and pCloud which offer a wide range of features, including longer recovery periods, granular user access permissions, and automated backups.