Why the New Amazon Unlimited Backup Plan Does Not Matter

March 27, 2015 13:07 EST • Alexandre Vallières-Lagacé • 3 minute read

Amazon has announced two new plans for those in need of a backup solution. A photo-only unlimited plan for 11.99$/year and an all-you-can-eat, any file types, plan for 59.99$/year. People are quick to scream this means business on the part of Google and Apple, but they forget one simple thing. A big storage space is not a solution, but only a tool.

Amazon is offering the hosting at a very low cost, but what they are missing is the actual tools to easily manage that big cloud.


I think most companies can offer unlimited cloud storage at the moment and the reason why they do not is because they are in the opposite situation of Amazon. Amazon has the architecture and server space in place, but not the right tools. Apple, Google, Backblaze all have the tools for people to actually use up a lot of that storage.

Dropbox can be installed on multiple computers, under the same account, and selectively backup all this data to the cloud. The Dropbox app takes care of all the job for you and I can see people easily using 1-2 TB of data if it was unlimited. Backblaze is offering unlimited storage on a per computer basis and they do not offer NAS backup because if they were, people would be using a lot more resources. They have the tools for one computer, imagine if they had the right tool for all computers plus anything else?

iCloud with the new Photos app is in the same situation. Apple is offering limited plans because they know that once Photos is out of beta, users will upload many gigabytes of data with the iCloud share feature across devices (again, the right tool).


Let’s take a particular scenario where Amazon’s unlimited plan could be used. Let’s say I have 1TB of photos and files I want to move out of my house. I get on that 60$ plan from Amazon and upload like a crazy person all my stuff.

Let’s use Amazon S3 pay per user service instead. At 0.03$/GB, it comes up to 30.72$. That is per year. There is another new player in the field, RunAbove, an OVH spinoff that is hosting data in either France or our pretty south-shore town of Beauharnois. Their price is 0$ for hosting the data, all you pay is the transfer fee of 0.01$/GB. So effectively only once and you are safe. Total fee would be, for 1TB, 10.24$.

Amazon Unlimited: 60$/year
Dropbox: 10.99$/month iCloud: 20$/year
Amazon S3: 30.72$/month
RunAbove: 10.24$ once

As you can see, the lower the fee, the less integration and tools you have to make that backup easily. This is why we will not see a response from Apple, until Amazon ships Dropbox-like tools to really use that storage by the masses. I don’t see that many lambda users hop on that service, many geeks used to S3’s bucket and architecture yes. But they should checkout RunAbove which has a similar architecture for a much smaller fee.

Dropbox-like software from Amazon? We will not see it soon if you ask me. It would put up way to much load on the infrastructure at one.

And not everybody has an unlimited Internet plan, so uploading 500GB or 1TB is going to cost you on your monthly bill!