Amazon has recently announced that it will no longer offer an unlimited storage plan as part of its Cloud Drive online backup service. Introduced back in 2015, Amazon’s unlimited Cloud storage originally retailed at $59 a year, which was a very reasonable price, and much cheaper than what the competition charged for the same service. Two years later, Amazon is pulling the plug on unlimited storage altogether and introducing new storage plans – and pricing.
New Amazon customers will be given these options upon signing up for an account: 100 GB of storage for $11.99 a year, or 1 TB for $59.99 a year. Up to 30 additional TBs of storage will be available, at a whopping $59.99 for each additional TB. Compared to its previous pricing options ($11.99 a year for unlimited photo storage and $59.99 a year for unlimited everything), the new prices are nothing close to being reasonable.
But new customers at least start their Amazon journey knowing what the terms of the contract are and just exactly how much storage is at their disposal. Existing users won’t have it that easy. Amazon members who enjoyed the unlimited storage plan will be offered the same space and pricing options as new customers. If their current amount of stored files falls under their plan’s cutoff, all is well. If, on the other hand, their stored files exceed their chosen plan’s capacity, they will be asked to cull their Cloud storage within 180 days of their plan’s renewal. If they haven’t reduced the number of files to match their plan’s max storage, Amazon will reserve the right to start deleting files (newest files first) until the account is within regulation.
The only good news about all of these changes is that Amazon Prime customers will be allowed to keep their unlimited Cloud storage plan, but for picture files only. Oh, and the first 5 GB of storage are free. How sweet of them.
Existing customers beware: if your account is set to renew automatically, Amazon will assume that you want the 1 TB option and will charge you $59.99 upon renewal without asking you first. If you’d rather not have a surprise when you get your bill, you should probably change your auto-renew status and wait for Amazon to ask you what storage plan you’d like to sign up for.