In March 2015, Amazon launched an unlimited cloud storage plan, priced at $59.99 a year, along with an unlimited photo storage tier for $11.99 a year. Today, Amazon has announced some big changes to its cloud storage service, killing off its unlimited data offering entirely.
Amazon Drive will now offer two general storage tiers. For $11.99 a year, you'll get 100GB of online storage. For $59.99, rather than getting unlimited storage, you'll now get only 1TB; if you need more space, you can purchase up to 30TB, priced at $59.99 per terabyte.
That's a big difference for those who took Amazon up on its promise of unlimited cloud storage. For example, if you currently have 5.5TB of data stored on Amazon Drive - which would previously have cost $59.99 a year under the unlimited plan - you'll have to pay almost $360 a year for 6TB of storage if you want to continue storing your files there once your current subscription ends.
If you don't want to pay that kind of money after that, Amazon will give you "a 180-day grace period to bring your total content within the free quota, or to sign up for a paid storage plan" of your choosing. After 180 days, Amazon says it will delete your files, "starting with the most recent uploads first". The free storage allowance on Amazon Drive is 5GB, just like Microsoft's OneDrive.
The revisions to Amazon Drive's storage tiers are reminiscent of similar changes that Microsoft made to OneDrive. In 2014, Microsoft announced unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 subscribers, declaring that "storage limits just became a thing of the past". But a year later, it ditched the unlimited offer, reducing the storage allowance for Office 365 customers to 1TB. Microsoft said it had chosen to do so because some of its customers were using too much 'unlimited' storage.
While Amazon's $60 unlimited storage deal is no more, it is offering unlimited photo storage at no additional cost to those who subscribe to Amazon Prime.