Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world, and the fact that they offer two types of cloud storage platforms, each built to accommodate a certain market niche, stands as living proof of this statement. While many people might think that Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Web Services are one and the same, in reality, there are many differences between these two. Stick around for this article,and you will find why.
Amazon Cloud Drive
Before delving deep into the subject of the article, let us take a look at each service and analyze them. In this way, the differences, as well as the similarities, will be easier to understand. First, let us talk about Amazon Cloud Drive. Despite offering competitive pricing plans and lots of useful features, Amazon’s cloud storage service has been overshadowed in the last few years by the likes of Google Drive, OneDrive and even Mega.
The reason why Amazon Cloud Drive does not get as much attention as it deserves is not related to the quality of service itself, rather due to the fact that the market is overcrowded with tens of platforms. However, as far as personal cloud storage services go, Amazon’s platform is amongst the most flexible and user-friendly, even more so than iOS and Google Drive.
In terms of storage capacity, Amazon Drive offers unlimited space for photos and around 5 GB of backup space for other types of files for users who register for a basic account. We will go through the features briefly, but if you want to see Amazon Cloud Drive reviewed more in-depth, you can check out the linked article. Here are some of the features that you can expect from the platform:
- Photo and video preview
- Tight and easy video and photo management
- File backup on the cloud or local drive
- A neat timeline function that helps users organize their files chronologically
- Full sync with all the devices that you own
- File restoration from the cloud, which is supported both by the desktop manager and the Web-based platform
As for the pricing plans, the subscription tiers are quite flexible and competitive. Amazon puts forward two pricing methods: a basic one with unlimited photo storage together with 5 GB of free space, and a pro one, which we will discuss below:
- $11.99 per year unlocks access to 100 GB of space for files, music, photos, In terms of features, you can unlock files from any device (including Fire devices), backup and view files from them and Amazon security.
- $59,99 per year gives users access to 1 TB of space, with the same features as the previous pricing plan. So, if you do not need the extra space, there is no use in subscribing to this plan.
Amazon Web Services
Now that we have taken a brief look at the company’s cloud platform, it is time to switch to Amazon Web Services. Amazon Web services is not a cloud storage platform per se, rather a Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution space meant for middle to big businesses. Launched in 2006, Amazon has had lots of time to tinker and improve the platform, and their technical maturity and competence shows.
AWS offers an unmatched variety of features and services. It contains a large menu of associated services as well as value-add partners, which allow businesses to build and customize their internal infrastructures according to the company’s corporate realities. Everything from cloud databases, storefronts to menus and websites can be created and maintained by using AWS.
As a result, Amazon Web Services has a plethora of functions that support the creation of custom infrastructures. Amazon Web Services has three core features, namely computing, storage and content delivery, networking and databases. All the aspects related to these three components can be controlled through the use of the admin commands supported by a secure web client. In terms of tools, the platform offers monitoring, logging, encryption key creation, storage, control as well as identity management (meaning the creation and management of company-wide usernames, passwords and the like).
We realize that this might sound a little bit too technical for some people, so let us put all of this into context. Let us assume you have a Windows Laptop and you want to train yourself in Linux. Since buying a new laptop is expensive, you can use Amazon Web Services to create your own machine with a Linux operating system. Then, all you have to do is login, install open source software such as Ubuntu and Redhat, and train in Linux.
Let us switch to another example, this time from the perspective of a business entity. Many companies whose activity is based around running websites use Amazon’s cloud-computing platforms to handle all logistical aspects related to data filtering and handling for three reasons:
- It is much cheaper and time-efficient to rent Amazon servers, because they will take care of maintenance aspects such as upgrades, security updates and the like. In other words, companies save a lot of money by renting servers rather than purchasing and running their own.
- Amazon Web Services has a high number of security experts and features that their client’s servers from being hacked.
- AWS is a great backup solution for big-data as it copies and stores files at several data centers spread across the globe. Therefore, companies are at no risk of losing their precious data in the event of a natural disaster.
This concludes our article about the differences between these two services. As you can see, there is a huge distinction between Amazon’s cloud storage service and Amazon Web Services. While the former is a service catered to individual use with features supporting casual file backup, the latter is suited either to companies that need reliable solutions to store critical data, or people with specific needs (see the Linux example).