Storj vs DropBox : Cost


Even neglecting privacy, Storj can easily beat Dropbox’s prices. Dropbox’s free plan limits users to 2GB of cloud storage, but users can pay a monthly or yearly fee for a larger capacity. 

Let’s look at Dropbox’s $99 per year plan, which provides users up to 100GB of cloud storage. [1]. This is roughly $1.00 per GB per year or $0.083 per month. It is worth mentioning that it doesn’t matter if the user stores 100 GB or 1 GB on his account; he or she will still have to pay $99 a year for the whole 100 GB capacity, not the actual usage.

Dropbox is known to use Amazon’s S3 cloud storage services for their backend [2]. Amazon charges $0.0275 a month per stored GB after its client has used more than 5,000 TB of data [3], which should be more or less what Dropbox is paying. Therefore, after hosting expenses Dropbox is making about $0.06 per GB per month, or $72 per year per subscriber. One should also note that Amazon charges for the amount of capacity used, not for total capacity like Dropbox does.

Storj plans to drop the cost of cloud storage dramatically. Storj will only charge for storage used, not capacity. The Storj network will run on the users’ existing computers, so operating costs will be much cheaper than a centralized provider. The network will have no full-time employees, no offices, no heating and cooling expenses, and no shareholders to demand profits.

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Whereas Dropbox’s $99 per year plan provides 100GB of storage for $8.25 per month, a VPS provider like Digital Ocean could host a Storj node with 1 TB of monthly transfer capacity for $5 a month. This is about $0.0049 per GB at full utilization, or $1.47 per GB at 100 GB of use. With the 3x redundancy standard (i.e. data is backed up three times after being uploaded to a storage service) and $0.49 to download the stored data, a user would only have to pay $2.96 for the bandwidth at the time of use.

Storj could also make use of dedicated service providers, such as Hivelocity, which has 125 MB/s and 324,000 GB of transfer capacity for $638 per month. Taking 3x redundancy into account and charging Dropbox-like prices, a node-operator could reach $8,528 of monthly gross profit using Hivelocity.

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A person running a public Storj node at home could (assuming world-average 2.1MB/s bandwidth, 3x redundancy, and Dropbox-like prices) reach as much as $150 in profits per month [4].

References

[1] “Upgrade to Dropbox Pro, Dropbox”, https://www.dropbox.com/upgrade , 2014
[2] “DropBox : Review, Invites, and 7 Questions with the Founder, Dave Drager”, http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/dropbox-review-invites-and-7-questions-with-the-founder/, 2014
[3] “Amazon S3 Pricing, AWS”, http://aws.amazon.com/s3/pricing/, 2014
[4] Without taking monthly bandwidth and upkeep expenses into consideration.