Amazon Cloud Drive gives you access to your digital content everywhere you go. Provided from the tech geniuses at Amazon, it is a trusted name in cloud storage. And, it is automatically built in to all Amazon devices (such as the Kindle Fire) – making accessibility a breeze. But, it operates more like a storage service than a true backup service. High capacity storage and the potential for free storage as an Amazon Prime member.
- Free 3-month trial
- Free photo storage for Prime members
- Unlimited storage
- Accessible even on the TV
- External hard drives
- No bandwidth restrictions, file type or file size restrictions
- No NAS drive support
- Desktop apps are limited
- No sharing
- No file versioning
- No scheduled backups
- No file syncing
Access: (Rating: 7/10)
While Amazon does boast about all of their app access, their apps work better on devices. For computer, their Windows and Mac apps are not user-friendly, difficult to get to function properly and do not automatically backup. Instead, you are manually instructing them to. You can, however, access all backed up data via your mobile phone, tablet and even your TV as long as it has the Amazon app installed. Cloud Drive is already built into Fire phones and tablets, similar to how iPhones have Apple iCloud and Windows Phones have OneDrive. If you have an Amazon Fire TV, then you already have the app built-in as well.
Backup: (Rating: 7/10)
Amazon Cloud Drive does get credit for how fast and easy their backups are. While the desktop applications are not impressive, you can still drag and drop files into them to upload to the cloud. The web app offers better backups. Using the uploader tool you just drag and drop files in and they upload extremely fast. But, there are no automatic or scheduled backups. Instead, you only backup the file you put in the cloud. If you update it, you're responsible for adding it back to the cloud – otherwise you'll have only the outdated version saved. For photos, however, Amazon Cloud Drive excels. Photos are automatically backed up from mobile devices.
Restore: (Rating: 8/10)
Restoring via Amazon Cloud Drive is more impressive. Their desktop app has a one-touch button for downloading all of the files you need to restore, but because there is no versioning, you cannot access changed files or restore to a past date. The web app also has a full restore feature just by clicking the restore button.
Share: (Rating: 5/10)
To their credit, Amazon Cloud Drive does let you share, but it is limited. You cannot add people to folders or even collaborate on your files. But, you may send a link via email to share a particular file or folder. You cannot create a password or set limitations. And, even if you unshare the file, the user can access it via email. Cloud drive does let you connect to your Facebook account to share from the cloud straight to your Facebook page.
Sync: (Rating: 5/10)
Technically, files you upload are synced across all devices. But, the backups are not automatic, so changes made to files are not synced or even stored. Unlike cloud backup providers such as Box or Dropbox, you must manually upload every time you change a photo. When it comes to photos, it is a different story. Amazon Cloud Drive does automatically update and sync photos from your devices.
Security: (Rating: 7/10)
While Amazon Cloud Drive has world-class security, including encrypted files, hardened facilities, etc. They have one big gaping hole in their Terms and Conditions. The privacy-related clause states that Amazon has the right to inspect your files. They can then retain, use or disclose your account information – including your files – to investigators or as they determine it is necessary. So, it is up to the user if they like their cloud storage provider having access to their files.
Help & Support: (Rating: 8/10)
Amazon Cloud Drive's help and support is complex. They do offer an in-depth online guide, but it takes awhile to navigate and find answers to your questions. They do have a General Help Forum you can search for answers in, and they have their online help request, which lets you choose between email, phone and chat. Chat is not always available for Cloud Drive issues – and it all depends on the options you select. Phone requires you to submit your phone number and they call you – and you do not know exactly when that will be.
There is a free three-month trial for all plans.
Unlimited Photos: Offers unlimited photo storage and 5GB of file and video storage. Starts at $11.99 per year. This is free for Amazon Prime members.
Unlimited Everything: Offers unlimited storage for videos, files, photos, and documents. Starts at $59.99 per year.
No Bandwidth Caps
No File Size Restrictions
No File Type Restrictions
Help and Support
Restore Individual Files
Version History: 0
External Drive Support
Encrypted File Transfer
Encrypted File Storage
What we Like About Amazon Cloud Drive
Photo Storage: Amazon excels at photo storage, and we give them credit for that. They automatically backup and sync photos – and can backup existing photos rather quickly. You can share your photos via email and automatically with Facebook.
Free for Prime Members: If you are an Amazon Prime account holder, you get to automatically enjoy unlimited photo storage space – no extra charge.
Automatically on Amazon Devices: If you have an Amazon phone, Kindle tablet or Amazon Fire TV, the app is automatically integrated into the system. Even if you don't, you can add the Amazon app to your device.
Quick Backups: The drag-and-drop online feature does include relatively fast backups. When it comes to uploading your photos and videos, they have impressive speeds – and no file size restrictions is always a nice perk.
Long, Free Trial: Unlike some companies who offer 15 or 30-day trials, you get three months to try out Amazon Cloud Drive before committing to their storage.
Unlimited Storage: It is always nice when you are not limited on storage. When you upgrade to the unlimited plan for $59.99 per year, you can store unlimited photos, videos, and files.
What we Don't Like about Amazon Cloud Drive
No True File Syncing: While Amazon does automatically update and sync your photos, that's all they offer. Your documents, files and even videos must be manually uploaded and then they sync across devices with the Amazon app. They will not continue to update if you edit them.
Limited Sharing: You can share via a link with Cloud Drive, but you cannot set permissions, create passwords, etc. There are no collaborative folder capabilities either.
Amazon's Share Policy: While for some people this is not a big deal, the fact that Amazon reserves the right to monitor what you store and will give it to the authorities when asked, may be a deal for some people. Other cloud storage providers do not have access to the files you store in their cloud – giving you a sense of privacy.
Useless Desktop Software: The desktop software, for some, is not worth using. It is almost easier to just go online and use the uploading tool via the web than deal with the limited software.
How to Backup with Amazon Cloud Drive
While they have a desktop software, it is easiest to just use their web application for backups.
1. Go to Amazon Cloud Drive. Sign in using your account information.
2. Select the tap on the top navigation bar for the type of file you wish to upload.
3. Click + Add and follow the onscreen instructions.
If you prefer, you can select the files and photos within your computer's desktop, then drag and drop them into the web tool for uploading.
How to Restore with Amazon Cloud Drive
To restore files, it is also best to use their web tool rather than the downloaded software. For restoring multiple files, you can select the one-touch restore button.
To Recover a Deleted File:
1. Go to your Amazon Cloud Drive account.
2. Select on Deleted menu.
3. Select the deleted files and folders you wish to restore.
4. Click Restore and they will be restored to their original location.
Amazon Cloud Drive gives you access to your digital content everywhere you go. Provided from the tech geniuses at Amazon, it is a trusted name in cloud storage. And, it is automatically built in to all Amazon devices (such as the Kindle Fire) - making accessibility a breeze. But, it operates more like a storage service than a true backup service.