iCloud vs. Google Drive: Pros, Cons, and Features Compared

icloud vs google drive featured image

iCloud vs. Google Drive: Pros, Cons, and Features Compared

Key Points

  • iCloud has been around since 2011, but it’s only recently been adopted by a vast number of people.
  • iCloud is a cloud storage service owned by Apple. It allows users to store their files in the cloud to access them from any device.
  • Google Drive is a cloud storage service that’s available for free to all Google users.
  • Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage space, while iCloud offers 5GB of free storage space.
  • Google Drive can provide a paid storage space of a maximum of 30TB, and iCloud can provide a paid storage space of a maximum of 2TB.

Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular. This technology gives users access to storage, files, software, and servers through their internet-connected devices: computers, smartphones, tablets, and wearables.

In simple terms, it allows you to store your data while backing it up to the cloud. This means that if you lose your computer, files are automatically stored on another one that is available anywhere you are, so that no matter where in the world you are, you’ll be able to access them.

Google Drive and iCloud are two of the most popular online storage services that allow you to store files and access them from any computer or smartphone. One of the main differences between these two services is how access can be limited.

Google Drive and iCloud are part of larger online ecosystems, allowing you to manage almost all aspects of your digital life in one place, but they do have some differences that you’ll want to consider before choosing one over the other.

In this iCloud vs. Google Drive comparison, we’ll look at both services to help you decide which cloud storage option will meet your needs best.

iCloud vs. Google Drive: A Side-by-Side Comparison

iCloudGoogle Drive
Year Released20112012
OwnerApple, Inc.Google
Available Free Storage           5GB15GB
Encryption     128-bit128-bit, 256-bit
Supported OS Desktop: Windows, Mac Mobile: iOSDesktop: Windows, Mac Mobile: Android, iOS
Paid Storage   2TB30TB
Bandwidth Limitation           No bandwidth limitationBandwidth limitation, i.e., 200, 400, or 600 per month
IntegrationsHipChat, PagerDuty, iCalendar, Microsoft OfficeGoogle Suite, Microsoft Office, Slack, Adobe, Zoom, Autodesk, Canva, AWS
SupportPhone, email, training, ticketsPhone, training, tickets

iCloud vs. Google Drive: Overview

Launched on October 12, 2011, iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage, which is owned by Apple, Inc. It is a service that allows users to store files on iCloud, which can then be accessed from any device and computer. Users on the same network can share content between devices and keep all their data in one place, which is better for security than having it spread across various devices.

iCloud lets you store photos, videos, and other documents on iCloud’s servers. It also allows you to access those files from any device, even if you’ve gone offline. The best part? iCloud automatically backs up all your content every time you take a photo or video and uploads it to the cloud!

Google Drive is a cloud storage service created by Google. The service allows users to store files online, access them from any device, and share them with others. Each user has a personal Google account that they can use to access their files from anywhere, as well as create new ones.

Google Drive is available on computers and mobile devices, including Chromecast, Android phones, and tablets. It also has functionality for other devices, such as laptops, tablets, and smartwatches. Google Drive is currently available in approximately 60 languages and can be accessed via a dedicated website or app.

iCloud on iPhone
iCloud is most compatible with Apple devices.

iCloud vs. Google Drive: What’s the Difference?

It’s easy to think of cloud storage services as being interchangeable. After all, they’re just ways to store your files remotely on a server somewhere, right? That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the same.

iCloud and Google Drive have some key differences that make them better suited for different types of users.


Overall, Google Drive is the more compatible and widely supported of the two platforms. Apps are available for iOS, macOS, iPad, Windows, and Android platforms. The web app for Google Drive is also the best we’ve seen. We frequently use it in place of desktop and mobile apps because it is easy to use and responsive even in poor network conditions. In short, Google Drive works equally well on Apple and Windows devices.

Apple iCloud, on the other hand, and perhaps unsurprisingly, is best suited to iOS, macOS, and iPadOS devices. This is because the platform is completely integrated with these operating systems and operates almost entirely in the background. It ensures that all of your data is secure and accessible when you use an Apple or iCloud-enabled device.

Unfortunately, iCloud is limited to the Apple ecosystem. The platform’s apps work well with other Apple users but struggle when a PC is added to the mix. Moreover, while iCloud clients for Windows and Android devices are available for download, using them is a clumsy and, at times, frustrating experience.

iCloud is a much less appealing option if your primary devices are not Apple products. On the other hand, it’s safe to say that Google Drive is the more trustworthy provider across all platforms. It rarely crashes and can handle heavy usage even when connection speeds are slow and multiple applications are running simultaneously.

Dropbox vs Google Drive
Google Drive works well with Apple and non-Apple devices, and offers more free storage than iCloud.


In terms of cloud storage, iCloud and Google One have similar features. Both services allow you to upload, sync, and store your data in their cloud storage. You can enable file syncing, which syncs your online folders with your Mac and allows for real-time data backups.

Both services support integration with productivity apps, family sharing, file versioning, and custom file sharing links.

However, one additional advantage of Google One is that it allows you to log in to multiple accounts and easily switch between them. This greatly simplifies collaborative work and working on various accounts.


Google now uses HTTPS on all of its services, which is commendable, and it also employs “internal measures” to detect potentially compromised account login activity. Google also provides two-step verification. This means you have a third layer of login security in the form of Google Authenticator. Your data is encrypted in transit using SSL but only stored at rest using 128-bit AES, as with iCloud.

iCloud also boasts that it encrypts files, claiming that all files are protected by at least 128-bit AES encryption. TLS 1.2 is used to encrypt all iCloud.com sessions. On the server, all data accessed through iCloud.com is encrypted. TLS 1.2 encrypts all traffic between your devices and iCloud Mail.

Following industry standards, iCloud does not encrypt data stored on IMAP mail servers. All Apple email clients support S/MIME encryption.

Pricing and Plans

Google offers users 15GB of free storage, whereas Apple only offers 5GB. However, if you intend to store anything other than the bare necessities, you will need to upgrade to a higher-capacity plan.

The most affordable iCloud plan gives the user an additional 50GB of storage for a total of 55GB with a monthly fee of $0.99. Google Drive’s most affordable plan costs $1.99 monthly and includes 100 GB of storage.

On both platforms, a 200 GB storage plan costs the same: $2.99 per month. At the high-capacity end of the spectrum, the situation is similar. Both Apple iCloud and Google Drive charge $9.99 per month for 2TB of storage.

This means there is very little difference in pricing between the two platforms, and both are affordable.

Google, on the other hand, wins for three reasons. To begin, if you pay annually rather than monthly, you will receive a 16% discount. Apple does not offer a comparable discount. Second, with 15GB of included storage, Google is slightly less expensive per GB than iCloud. Finally, all of Google’s plans can be shared with your family, whereas iCloud only allows for the 2TB plan to be shared.

Accessibility and Ease of Use

In terms of accessibility, Google appears to have the upper hand. It works on all platforms, including Android (usually pre-installed), Windows, iOS, and Mac OS. Both mobile platforms have dedicated apps that can be downloaded from the Play Store and the Apple Store, whereas desktops require the installation of the Drive for the desktop client. You can also use the browser to access Google Drive. As a result, accessing Google Drive is fairly simple whether you’re an Apple or non-Apple user.

Furthermore, Google Drive has a simple interface that makes it simple to create, upload, and download folders and files. It even includes a Chrome extension called, “Save to Google Drive,” which allows you to save content from your browser to Google Drive quickly.

When it comes to accessibility, iCloud offers both app and web versions. Apple users have easy access to iCloud, and you can always get the most up-to-date files from any iOS device. The iCloud app, on the other hand, is only available on Apple devices. If you are not an Apple user, you can go to the iCloud website. Unfortunately, it frequently fails to function properly in mobile browsers.

However, its incompatibility with other operating systems (such as Android) makes it difficult for users to use it extensively on other devices. In terms of usability, Google Drive’s interface is crisp and clean, allowing users to figure it out quickly, even for the first time.


A dedicated technical support team is usually available to assist customers with cloud storage services, and Google Drive is no exception. Therefore, it is important to consider whether or not the cloud storage provider you choose has excellent technical support.

Google Drive’s customer service options include electronic mail, telephone, training, and support tickets. In addition to English, German, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Russian, and 14 other languages, Google Drive supports a wide variety of languages.

There does not appear to be any clear advantage to using iCloud in terms of technical support, as it currently only offers English-language phone, training, and ticketing support.

Pros and Cons of iCloud

The Best Dropbox Alternatives
iCloud does not offer as much free storage as Google Drive.
Easy to usePrices could be cheaper
Integrates well with the Apple ecosystem
You need a lot of storage to use every iCloud+ service
The iCloud+ package comes with extra featuresiCloud can be slow to sync
iCloud storage makes file recovery easyiCloud storage is highly dependent on internet connection
Costs less per GB than physical storage

Pros and Cons of Google Drive

Free storage space of up to 15GBHas a limit on the file size you can upload in a day
Compatible with various devicesRequires an internet connection
Instant access to edit filesPotential security risks
Quick files search
Character recognition feature
Solid data backup
Excellent user interface
Compatibility with Microsoft
SSL Encryption
Easy sharing
Ability to view different file types

iCloud vs. Google Drive: Which One is Better?

If you only want to use cloud storage for your Mac, there’s no doubt that iCloud Drive is the better choice. Because it was created by Apple and is so well integrated into macOS, it is the clear winner in this case.

However, if you want to use it on multiple devices, it’s a different story. You might have trouble using iCloud services outside of the Apple ecosystem because they don’t work as well as Google Drive does across devices.

The good news is that you can use both cloud services in a hybrid workflow. All your personal data (documents, photos, and so on) on your Mac is synced with iCloud Drive, allowing you to access it from your iPhone or iPad, if necessary.

For collaborative files or files you need to share with others, Google Drive will be the best option as the platform makes it much simpler to share files. You don’t need to invest money in it because it comes with 15GB of free storage.

iCloud and Google Drive in the News

On March 6, 2023, Google announced that it would be releasing a new interface for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. In Google Drive, the new design will allow users users to select multiple files at the same time and perform batch operations. It will also feature new search chips which will allow users to find specific files much quicker.

On December 7, 2022, Apple announced three new security features to help users protect their information in the cloud. One of the features is advanced data protection for iCloud users which includes end-to-end encryption. The new features provide users with the opportunity to further protect the data and files that they store in iCloud.

Up Next

icloud vs google drive infographic

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Google Drive Better than iCloud?

Although Google Drive has recently made several necessary steps forward, iCloud remains the more secure platform. Both platforms support multi-factor authentication, which we strongly recommend. Almost all data stored on iCloud servers is encrypted using the 128-bit AES standard, both in transit and at rest.

Does iCloud work the same as Google Drive?

While both iCloud and Google Drive are among the most popular and widely used cloud storage solutions available, Google Drive has a slight advantage. Google Drive is available on all major platforms and offers significantly more free storage space than iCloud.

Can I transfer photos from iCloud to Google Drive?

You can transfer your entire library from iCloud to Google Photos or import specific albums from Apple Photos. The transfer, however, does not remove your photos and videos from iCloud. Following the transfer, new photos and videos added to your Apple Photos library will not automatically sync to Google Photos.

Is iCloud storage worth buying?

Cloud storage is a necessity in this age of cloud computing and digitalization. iCloud storage, in particular, is extremely beneficial. It not only backs up your entire iPhone, which is useful in the event of a disaster, but it can also store photos and videos from your phone, files from your Mac, and so on.

Is Google Drive safe from hackers?

Google Drive is more dependable for most computer users, as it is automatically backed up, relatively safe from ransomware, and almost certainly more secure from theft. In general, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Files uploaded to Google Drive are stored in Google’s secure data centers.

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