Although there are tonnes of cloud-storage services out there, hardly anyone will argue that Apple iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive are among the top players.

Each service offers a distinct set of features, along with a variety of storage plans at different price points. We'll readily admit that the whole thing can get a bit confusing whether you're new to putting your stuff in the cloud or even a seasoned cloud-saver.

Which offers the most amount of storage for the least amount of money? Which offers the best multi-platform support? Which has all the features you need? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself before choosing the service best suited to you.

Not to worry. We've done a lot of the leg-work for you and detailed everything you need to know. Once you're done reviewing this handy overview, you'll be all set to ditch those external hard drives piled in the corner of your office and get with the 21st century.

Apple

First and foremost, you should think of iCloud as an external hard drive...only all your content is securely saved online rather than on a physical hard drive. Because devices don't have to be wired to iCloud, you can access all your content from anywhere in the world.

iCloud lets you backup important stuff - like photos and videos - from your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. iCloud automatically backs up anytime your device is plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi. And iCloud.com lets you access all your iCloud-saved documents from the web.

You can also use iCloud.com to access features like Photos, Find My iPhone, Mail, Calendar, Contacts, iWork for iCloud, and more.

Also with iCloud, whatever you buy in iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store is immediately accessible on all your devices. Up to six members of your family can also share their purchases, along with family photos, calendars, locations, etc, thanks to iCloud's Family Sharing feature.

And finally, iCloud has this nifty little feature called iCloud Drive. It helps you manage documents and other types of files across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It further works with compatible iOS and OS X apps, allowing you to sync and save files made with those apps in iCloud.

Pocket-lint has an iCloud guide in which we detail iCloud Drive. We also have a guide for iCloud Photo Library, a new iCloud-based feature that automatically saves all your photos and videos from your iPhone and iPad to iCloud.

Visit Apple's support page for even more information about iCloud features.

Website: www.icloud.com

Free storage: 5GB to start, for all users

Paid storage plans:

  • 20GB for £0.79 a month
  • 200GB for £2.99 a month
  • 500GB for £6.99 a month
  • 1TB for £14.99 a month

Visit Apple's support page for information about pricing outside of the UK.

Platform availability: Web, Mac, iOS, and Windows

Apple iCloud requires an Apple ID and offers several features, some of which are limited to certain devices and platforms.

iCloud Drive, for instance, is only available to mobile devices running iOS 8, Macs running OS X Yosemite, and PCs running Windows 7 or 8, while the web client is accessible to any device via web browsers like Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer.

Visit Apple's support page for more information about iCloud system requirements.

Google

Just like Apple iCloud and the other services listed in this overview, think of iCloud as an external hard drive that saves everything online. Google Drive also works with Gmail and Google+ Photos (among other Google products), so you can save attachments and backup photos.

Google Drive has its own cloud-hosted productivity suite that's just like Apple iWork for iCloud. It includes Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings, etc. All your documents are saved to Drive and accessible through the web, their respective apps, or the Google Drive apps.

Speaking of the Google Drive app, it is free and provides drag-and-drop syncing and the flexibility to continue working even when offline. For those of you using a Chromebook, you will notice Google Drive is built into Chromebooks, so files and photos are automatically backed up.

One unique feature for Drive is the ability to use your Android device to scan documents and automatically convert them to PDFs. You can also make files and photos available offline, so you can view them when your phone or tablet loses service.

And because Google Drive comes from a search engine, you can expect impressive search capabilities. Google Drive recognises objects in your images and text in scanned documents, for instance, so you can search a word like “Eiffel Tower” and get related files and images.

Visit Google's support page for even more information about Google Drive features.

Website: drive.google.com

Free storage: 15GB to start, for all users

Paid storage plans:

  • 100GB for $1.99 a month
  • 1TB for $9.99 a month
  • 10TB for $99.99 a month
  • 20TB for $199.99 a month
  • 30TB for $299.99 a month

Visit Google's support page for information about pricing outside of the US.

Google sometimes offers incentives or ways to earn free storage space. If you buy a Chromebook, you will get 100GB of free cloud storage for two years. The same thing goes for an HTC One M8, though you will only get 50GB of free space for two years.

Platform availability: Web, built-in Chrome OS integration, Android, Mac, iOS, and Windows

Google Drive requires a Google ID and offers several features, some of which are limited to certain devices and platforms.

The Google Drive desktop app only supports computers running Chrome OS, Windows Vista or later, and Mac OS X Lion or later. The web client supports the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari (not on Windows), and Internet Explorer.

The Google Drive desktop app isn't currently available for the Linux operating system, for instance, though Linux users can still access Google Drive on the web or through the Google Drive mobile app for Android and iOS.

Visit Google's support page for more information about Google Drive system requirements.

Microsoft

Microsoft OneDrive is actually very similar to Google Drive. OneDrive is built into Windows 8, so Windows PC users have exclusive access to features like smart syncing, camera roll and PC backup, and Windows Store integration.

Keep in mind anyone can use OneDrive on the web or by downloading the desktop app or mobile app. You can store any kind of file in the service, including photos, video, and documents, and then access them from any of your Windows PCs or mobile devices.

OneDrive also works closely with Microsoft Office apps like Word or PowerPoint, so you can save documents to OneDrive. If you have an Office 365 subscription and open a document saved in OneDrive, you can collaborate in real time with other people and see changes instantly.

Visit Microsoft's support page for even more information about OneDrive features.

Website: onedrive.live.com

Free storage: 15GB to start, for all users

Paid storage plans:

  • 100GB for $1.99 a month
  • 200GB for $3.99 a month
  • 1TB for $6.99 a month (includes access to Office 365 at no extra cost)

Visit Microsoft's support page for information about pricing outside of the US.

Microsoft sometimes offers incentives or ways to earn free storage space. You could get up to 5GB more free storage by referring friends or an additional 3GB free OneDrive cloud storage space by activating your camera roll backup to save photos automatically.

Platform availability: Web, Windows, Windows Phone, Mac, iOS, and Android

Microsoft requires that a user join and create a Microsoft account to use OneDrive.The OneDrive desktop app supports computers running Windows Vista or later and Mac OS X lion or later, while the web client supports Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

The OneDrive mobile app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. Visit Microsoft's support page for more information about OneDrive system requirements.

Dropbox

Unlike Google Drive and iCloud and OneDrive, Dropbox doesn't have a productivity suite. It's just a cloud-storage service. It lets you upload any type of file, such a document and photo, and access that files from a variety of platforms. It even works offline.

You might not be able to use a Dropbox-branded word editor, but you can bring in and edit files. You can even create shared folders that allow people to work together on the same projects and see changes instantly. Dropbox also offers collaborative photo galleries.

Dropbox is best known for its virtual syncing capabilities. It holds anything you put into folders, for easy sharing and access on any device. You can add files by dragging and dropping them into your Dropbox folder on a Mac or the Dropbox website and mobile apps.

The files in your Dropbox folder on a Mac will automatically be synced online and to your other computers. And the Dropbox mobile app has a feature called Dropbox Camera Upload that will automatically sync photos from your camera on a mobile device. Simples.

Visit Dropbox's support page for even more information about Dropbox features.

Website: www.dropbox.com

Free storage: 2GB to start, for all users (called Dropbox Basic)

Paid storage plans:

  • 1TB for $9.99 a month (called Dropbox Pro; it's Dropbox Basic, plus 1TB of space)
  • "As much as you need" for $15 a month, per user (called Dropbox for Business)

Visit Dropbox's support page for information about pricing outside of the US.

Dropbox sometimes offers incentives or ways to earn free storage space. You can get 1GB of free space by linking Dropbox with your Mailbox for iOS account. You could even refer a friend or submit feedback to get additional free space.

Platform availability: Web, Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows

Dropbox requires a user to join and make a Dropbox account. The desktop applications supports computers running Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems, while the web client supports Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and even Opera.

Dropbox is also accessible via mobile browsers and mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry. Visit Dropbox's support page for more information about Dropbox system requirements.

Microsoft OneDrive is your best bet, but only if money vs storage space is your primary concern. It offers the most amount of space for the least amount of money, with the 1TB for $6.99/month plan.

On the other hand, if you just want free storage space, Google Drive is on par with Microsoft. Similarly, if platform availability is an issue for you, than you'll also have to decided between Google Drive and OneDrive.

Both services are available on the most platforms, though Google Drive doesn't have a dedicated Windows Phone app nor does Microsoft have a Chrome OS desktop app. But don't forget you could always just access both services via a desktop browser or mobile browser.

And finally, if you want all the latest and greatest cloud-storage features, than you should be honest with yourself and determine which company's products you own or use the most. Chromebook users should go with Google Drive, for instance.

And Windows users should go with OneDrive, while Apple users should of course use iCloud. Dropbox is for those of you who just want access to cloud storage but could care less about all the other faff.