Although most of our favorite apps and services are free, some of our most favorite online services are the ones we’re willing to upgrade or pay for. Doing so supports the developers and also gets us some terrific premium features. Here’s a look at some of the best online services that are actually worth the price tag.
Netflix: This movie rental and streaming service was the top recommendation by far, and it’s not hard to see why. Netflix is affordable, has a vast movie library, and can stream to so many different devices. It was also recently readers’ top pick for best web video service.
Amazon Prime: Fast 2-day shipping from the Amazon superstore is also a great value if you and your family purchase a lot of merchandise from Amazon. The added bonus of instant video streaming for Prime members is an added incentive. (You could also get Prime for free with a student EDU address or by being a parent, though.)
Dropbox: The file syncing tool we’ve mentioned quite a bit. Besides syncing and backing up your stuff everywhere, there are also other handy ways to use Dropbox. Upgrade to a higher plan ($10/month for 50GB; $20/month for 100GB) for more storage than the free 2GB provided (or see our cheapskate guide to getting more Dropbox space).
Xbox Live: Gold and family memberships for Xbox LIVE let you play games online with friends, watch movies from Netflix and Hulu Plus, view live sports from ESPN, and more. So it’s pretty much a given for Xbox fans.
Google Storage: If you need more space for your Gmail, Google Docs, and/or Picasa Web Albums, adding additional Google Storage is pretty cheap. For $5/year you can get 20GB of storage, and plans go up to 16 TB of space.
Images from tomshardware.com