Cloud Storage Report: Google Drive Tops Dropbox in Speed and Reliability

cloud storage performance

cloud storageAre your important files floating around somewhere in the cloud? Which cloud storage service do you fancy? Storing data on the Web is convenient because you can access it from anywhere on the go – as long as the service is reasonably fast and reliable, that is.

Last year the Royal Pingdom investigated the reliability and performance of the four most popular storage services: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive. Royal Pingdom was kind enough to repeat the study again this year in 2013 and share their new findings with us! Below, see how the cloud contenders clock in.

Uptime – Reliability

During June, Pingdom’s monitoring service connected once every minute to the same file stored in an account on each of Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive. Any downtime observed was verified from two different monitoring locations to avoid any false positives.

In terms of uptime and reliability, the winner was clearly Box, the only service to actually provide 100% uptime (which was also the case last year).

Cloud Storage uptime (most reliable first):

The other services weren’t too far behind Box in providing perfect reliability, especially with Google Drive and SkyDrive both logging in 99.99% uptime. With these high uptimes, the downtime over a month would be negligible and post a problem for only several minutes during the entire month. Dropbox, however, did see slightly higher rate of outage at 48 minutes.

cloud storage services uptime 2013


Although these services are built more for reliability than performance, the bottom line is that when you need a file, you’re not trying to wait too long to access it. Interestingly, Dropbox was the overall performance leader last year but has now passed that title over to Google Drive. The average response time for Google Drive was 549 ms compared to 708 ms for Dropbox. And even though Box was 100% reliable during June, its service was considerably slower than that of the performance leaders. It’s also worth noting that all the services exhibited faster access times from North America compared to from Europe, with the exception of Dropbox. Also, similar to last year, Google Drive had the smallest differential between American and European performance times.
cloud storage performance


In terms of performance, Google Drive has taken this year’s cloud storage crown and made significant gains year-over-year compared to other services. For second place, both Box and Dropbox produced a slightly worse performance this year than they did last year, but since Box has proven to be the most reliable I’d choose Box for runner-up.

Given that the performance and reliability doesn’t change drastically from one service to another, I use a combination of both Google Drive and Dropbox. Google Drive offers 15GB of free space, but that also includes your Gmail and Google+ photos. While Dropbox only offers 2GB of free space, it is heavily integrated with most mobile devices and apps like WordPress and social image sites including Instagram and Flickr. Plus, it’s fairly easy to gain up to 18 GB of free space on Dropbox.

What cloud storage site do you prefer?

Daniel Zeevi

By Daniel Zeevi

Daniel is a social network architect, web developer, infographic designer, writer, speaker and founder of DashBurst. Full-time futurist and part-time content curator, always on the hunt for disruptive new technology, creative art and web humor.


  1. Wow, interesting. Do they have anything on throughput/bandwidth, splitting seconds on response time doesn’t strike me as the sole measure of performance.

  2. Guys, Copy is excellent and cheaper than Dropbox. Copy is the new Dropbox now. I use both currently, but Copy offers you more space for free than Dropbox. Both are good and both come with the desktop client to sync your files to their cloud servers.

    Check it out and use this link to sign up for Copy to get 20GB free instead of the regular 15GB.

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