Cloud Storage vs Online Backup: What’s The Difference

ref: Cloudwards

The Difference

I curated my own list of pricing plans of cloud storage and online backup services.

Cloud storage solution:

  • The vital purpose of cloud storage is to supplement your hard drive. Cloud storage is an extension of the physical storage capability of your device
  • Sync: cloud storage feature that lets you edit a file on one device and have those edits reflected on another device in near real-time
  • Share: the ability to let others view, edit or download files you’ve uploaded to your cloud storage space
  • Cloud storage solutions are not really suitable for hard-drive backup since they don’t retain your file-system structure because you end up having to put everything into a sync folder.

Online backup services:

  • Aim to replicate your hard drive, for disaster recovery.
  • Retain your file system structure and let you restore everything back the way it was in case you need to rebuild your hard drive

Another funny written marketing piece from Backblaze comparing their backup solution vs other sync services, might give the reason to consider to buy their subscription

A summary table of 3 best Online Backup services by Wirecutter

BackblazeIDriveArq Premium
Price (per year)$70$80$60
Amount of storageUnlimited5 TB1 TB
Number of computersOneUnlimitedFive
File versioningUnlimited30Unlimited
Backup from external driveYesYesYes
Backup from mapped driveNoYesYes
File restoreFrom web browserIn softwareIn software
File size limitsNoNoNo
File sharingYesYesNo
File syncingNoYesNo

Multi-cloud management app


Spacedrive is a FREE app that allows you to manage files across all devices, drives and clouds at once.

Spacedrive consolidates files and the metadata associated with them. If you have external hard drives, cloud accounts and more than one device—you'll get a birds eye view of every file you own. With the ability to create folders, tags and albums that contain files from all different locations.

Spacedrive is not a storage provider. Spacedrive is simply a database that exists on top of existing storage layers, from cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud to physical devices and external drives you already own. It doesn't provide you more storage, rather a supercharged view of your existing storage.


CloudMounter is a multi-cloud management service that lets you mount your cloud services to your computer in the form of local hard drives. This way, you can upload, download and otherwise manage these cloud files directly from your computer without having them take up any space on your physical hard drive.

CloudMounter has a free version, as well as a free trial for the paid version.


  • Lifetime Personal License (1 Mac) is USD 45

NB: version provided by MacLife

Mountain Duck

Mountain Duck lets you mount server and cloud storage as a disk in Finder on macOS and the File Explorer on Windows. Open remote files with any application and work like on a local volume.


  • Mountain Duck is licensed on a per-seat basis. You have to buy a license for everyone who wants to use the software. One license can be used on any number of computers as long as it is the same user accessing the software
  • The license is valid for one specific major version. For future major versions, we provide upgrade discounts between 40% and 100% depending on the date of purchase
  • License for 1 user is USD 39


  • Open and revert previous versions of files 1 version
  • Interoperable with Cryptomator 2

NB: version provided by MacLife


ExpanDrive gives you seamless access to cloud storage from many storage service providers within any application.


  • Lifetime Personal License (1 user) is USD 50
  • Yearly subscription for future updates: USD 24.95/year
  • Lifetime one-time payment for future updates: USD 75

NB: version provided by MacLife


RaiDrive lets you mount server and cloud storage as a disk in Finder on macOS and the File Explorer on Windows.


  • Free plan available with ads
  • monthly subscription: USD 2/month with 7-day free trial