An Overview of Cloud Storage for Video

Store and share video easily with these services

Creative using laptop in a cafe

Alys Tomlinson / Getty Images

Your choices among free cloud storage services for sharing and storing videos on the web are many. This overview compares the major services, their features, and how they handle video in the cloud.

How quickly you can upload, download, and play videos depends on your internet connection. You can expect these services to continue to expand their video features, but already, they're a great way to share video clips and collaborative documents with family, friends, and creative partners.

Dropbox

Using Dropbox on iPhone

Ian Lamont / Flickr

What We Like
  • Clean, uncluttered interface,

  • Apps for a variety of devices.

What We Don't Like
  • Free storage limited to 2GB, much less than that of some other services.

  • Additional storage is expensive.

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services on the web, despite the fact it's not affiliated with any specific operating system or computing environment. As one of the original cloud storage providers, Dropbox works in all major browsers and offers apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. All Dropbox accounts get 2GB of free storage, plus 500 MB for every friend you invite to the service. Through a clean, simple operating system, it features streaming video playback so you can watch your videos in the cloud without waiting for a download.

Google Drive

Google Drive for the Mac
Set Up Google Drive for Mac.

Coyote Moon, Inc.

What We Like
  • Compatible with in-cloud editing apps.

  • Versions available for both Android and iOS.

  • Content is easy to share.

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks comprehensive security options.

Google's cloud storage offers exciting video integration options. You can add cloud video editing apps such as Pixorial, WeVideo, and Magisto to your Google Drive account and edit your videos entirely in the cloud. In addition, Google offers a streaming media service similar to iTunes that lets you rent and purchase movies and TV shows and store them in the cloud. In addition to access through a web browser, Google Drive has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It provides in-browser playback for video files and supports video uploads of most file types. Users get 5GB of free storage.

Box

The Box logo
What We Like
  • Apps available for most devices and platforms.

  • Good version control.

  • Files are encrypted.

What We Don't Like
  • Online playback available only with Enterprise account.

  • Syncing can be slow for some users.

Although Box gives you more free storage than Dropbox at 5GB, it doesn't have as much support for video as the other cloud services listed here. In addition to its free account for personal use, Box offers business and enterprise accounts for collaboration and filesharing among coworkers. The only version of Box that includes online video playback is the Enterprise account, which requires 10 or more users. Box has a web app, mobile apps for most mobile devices, and a Windows app that integrates with your file directory.

Amazon Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon Cloud Drive.

Amazon

What We Like
  • In-browser playback.

  • Fast upload/download speeds.

  • Unlimited photo storage.

What We Don't Like
  • Credit card needed to set up account.

  • No file versioning.

Amazon Drive offers 5GB of free storage for videos, photos, music, and documents, with increased storage options available for a fee. It accommodates most file types and includes in-browser video playback. In addition to the web interface, Amazon Drive offers apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Apple iCloud

iCloud Logo
What We Like
  • Syncs with iPhoto and iTunes.

  • Included with every Apple device.

  • Works on any platform.

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat confusing on some devices.

  • Additional storage options expensive.

iCloud is integrated into most Apple devices and syncs with Photos and iTunes. The most popular use of iCloud is storing media that Apple users purchase from the App Store; anything you buy can be stored in the cloud so you can watch your movie collection from an Apple TV, Windows computer, or Android and iOS device as long as you have an internet connection.

YouTube

YouTube Logo

commons.wikimedia.org

What We Like
  • Unlimited storage.

  • Social interaction.

  • Easy to share videos.

What We Don't Like
  • Restrictions on some types of content.

  • Ad supported.

YouTube is the most popular video-sharing service today, offering unlimited storage and platform-agnostic accessibility. Built-in, easy-to-use editing capabilities allow you to tweak your videos as you like, and privacy settings allow you full control over who can see your videos. You can even create playlists of your videos for seamless video streaming to an audience of one (yourself), a chosen group, or the entire internet.