how much storage needed from cloud server
How much storage do I need? With so many different cloud storage plans and services, it can be quite difficult to choose.

In premise, you only need as much as you need. Ok, but what does that really mean? And how does one quantify it?

Well, in this article, we will cover exactly that. From confusion to clarity, from lack of storage to plenty of space.

If you’re interested in figuring out how much cloud storage you need, keep reading.

How Much Storage Do I Need?

First and foremost, the amount of storage that you will need will vary based on how you will be using it. Yet, you already know that.

Are you simply an average user who needs some space for some music and photos? Or are you a service professional who backs up all of your work files?

These are just some general outliers that can drastically change the answer to the question above. Unlike physical hardware, cloud storage is upgradable. This means you can’t really make a wrong decision.

So how much storage do you need? Well, why not start with the lowest-tier plan, see how it goes, and upgrade if necessary?

Should I Get Extra Storage to Start?

It’s not necessary. If you are coming with a physical storage mindset, you probably think – “Why not opt-in for the most spacious storage plan that I can afford?”.

This approach is completely understandable because people still cannot believe that you can unlock 2 terabytes of storage with one click of a button. And as we’ve mentioned, cloud storage is very flexible.

You can cancel (learn how to cancel iCloud storage here), upgrade, and downgrade. There is no need to waste money on a 2 TB plan when you only need 40 GB of space. With that being said, if your profession requires lots of file backup, you can start with a higher-tier plan.

If you’ve been in the industry long enough, the likelihood of you not using cloud storage is slim to none.

How to Determine an Optimal Quantity of Storage?

As you’ve gathered, it’s not a one size fits all type of scenario. Nonetheless, the process of determining the optimal quantity of storage for all individuals remains the same.

For starters, as difficult it may be, you will have to look through all of the files that you want to backup and determine their entire size.

If you haven’t done so already, you should organize your files by folders/categories. Such as music, movies, work, photos, etc.

This will make the process so much easier. We know how hard it can be to get organized, but it’s well worth hit. Once you’ve estimated the approximate size of all of the files, add about 5GB on top of it.

The number you end up with is how much space you need on the minimum scale of things. Go with a plan that goes beyond this by some.

If that’s not enough, there’s another way for you to know much storage you need.

Files You Are Likely to Back Up

The type of files you choose to load onto the cloud will also help determine how much storage you need. You can completely skip the prior process if you wish, as this approach is as efficient for coming up with a result.

cloud storage services


Photos can be quite confusing. This is because their size is dependent upon the format extension they are stored in. For instance, a professional photographer will have RAW format photos. They are uncompressed.

RAW images can be over 20MB each, whereas, a picture taken with a phone is stored as JPG. They are sized at about 5MB each.


Audio files come out to about 4MB each. They are usually stored as MP3. Take that number and multiply it by all of the songs that you wish to backup. You should end up with a rough ballpark of how much storage you need.

However, some audio files, such as AIFF and WAV are much larger. These formats are used by audiophiles and musicians. The rest of us use simpler formats.


Documents don’t take up lots of space. If you need to back up all of your Excel, Word, and PowerPoints, then 10 GB plan is probably enough.

For reference, 1GB of storage equals about 64782 pages of a document in Microsoft Word. In fact, if you’re only storing documents, you might not need to spend money at all.

Most cloud storage providers have free plans provided for account creation. Different software store files differently, so your documents may or may not be sized differently.


As you know, videos take up lots of space. A single minute of a 4K video can get as big as 2 GB. Imagine having a 20-minute video to backup, that’s 40 GB of storage.

youtube marketing
If money is not an issue, you should get a great storage plan from the get-go. You will be able to access your videos from any device at any time, and that’s important for people who work with large data sets.

Storage Galore

Now that you have answered the question of “How much storage do I need?”, you are well on your way to get the plan that you deserve and need. In any case, you don’t have to opt-in for a large plan if you don’t need it. And if you do end up needing it, you can always upgrade.

If you’re interested in similar content, check out some other tech articles on our sidebar.