Amazon announced recently that it will no longer offer an unlimited storage plan for the company's Amazon Drive storage solution.
The company launched Cloud Drive Unlimited back in March 2015. Users who signed up for an "Unlimited Everything" account back then were not restricted in terms of online storage space.
The company did offer another plan, "unlimited photos", which provided customers with options to store an unlimited number of photos on Amazon's cloud servers. Amazon Unlimited Photos has been part of Amazon Prime as well for no extra cost.
Back then we concluded that Amazon's Cloud Unlimited plan gave customers more storage for the money than any other service out there. The biggest gripe we had was not related directly to the unlimited storage plan, but to the Amazon Cloud Drive client that customers had to use to sync data with the cloud.
The program was inferior to the sync clients of companies like Dropbox. Another issue was that Amazon's Cloud Storage service lacked online viewers for common file formats such as Office documents.
Amazon shuts down unlimited storage plan for Drive
The frequently asked questions page on the Amazon website highlights the change. Amazon makes it clear that it will shut down the Unlimited Storage plan.
Amazon is now providing options for customers to choose the storage plan that is right for them. Amazon will no longer offer an unlimited storage plan. Instead, we'll offer storage plans of 100 GB for $11.99 and 1 TB for $59.99, up to 30 TB for an additional $59.99 per TB. Any customer that signs up for storage with Amazon automatically gets 5 GB for free, and Prime members receive free unlimited photo storage.
Customers get 1 TB of storage under the new structure instead of unlimited storage for $59.99 per year. This moves Amazon's offering closer to other providers. Here is how much other services charge for 1 Terabyte of online storage per year:
- Google Drive: $99.99 per year
- Dropbox Plus: €99 per year
- Microsoft OneDrive: $69.99 (includes one-year Office 365 Personal subscription)
Amazon's offering is still less expensive if you just look at the price and ignore other features that may be available when you sign up for a paid plan.
Amazon announced that the change will happen on June 8, 2017. Existing customers will keep the unlimited storage plan for the entire period of the contract, but won't be able to extend it anymore. The following happens when the subscription expires:
- Customers with less than 1 Terabyte of online storage space, and with auto-renew enabled, will be migrated to the 1 Terabyte plan for $59.99 per year.
- Customers with more than 1 Terabyte of online space, or with auto-renew disabled, need to select a new plan manually on the Storage page.
Customers who are over-quota enter a 180 day grace period. This happens for instance when no new plan is selected if manual action is required. This makes the storage read only in that time period. If nothing is done in the period, content will be deleted automatically at the end of the grace period until the account is no longer over quota (starting with newest content).
Prime members will retain the unlimited storage for photos, but the plan is no longer available to non-prime members.
Now You: are you affected by the change? What is your take on it?