Meet the best alternative to Cloudinary

How does Upload compare with Cloudinary? Which platform is better for file & image uploading? What is the best Cloudinary alternative? We'll answer all these questions, and will show you why Upload is a great alternative to Cloudinary.

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Two people comparing Cloudinary with Upload

Looking for Cloudinary alternatives?

Cloudinary was established in 2012 by Itai Lahan (CEO), Tal Lev-Ami (CTO) and Nadav Soferman (CPO). Founded in Israel, Cloudinary also has offices in Poland, Singapore, England and California. Initially famous for its image hosting APIs, Cloudinary has since expanded into Digital Asset Management (DAM) and now serves a larger, mixed audience.

Upload and Cloudinary both started with similar products: a set of developer APIs to simplify the file & image upload process. Cloudinary has since gone upmarket to offer its Digital Asset Management (DAM) services to larger media organisations.

Upload continues to focus on developers & startups. We have been developer-centric since day one, and continue to serve our audience each day by prioritising new features, bugs and documentation, rather than new products for alternative markets. We promise to keep our core platform modern and bleeding-edge.

Here's a few more reasons to consider using Upload:

BrowserUpload Dashboard

Reason #1

A modern, streamlined dashboard.

Upload has a sleek, modern, and intuitive web interface that makes key metrics and common operations very easy to access.

With Upload, you can look up monthly and daily bandwidth usage, storage usage trends, and CPU usage trends for file transformations with the blink of an eye.

All of our plans support team access, allowing you to share your account with your trusted colleagues.

Cloudinary Lightweight Alternative

Reason #2

Lightweight developer SDKs.

Our developer SDKs are smaller, which means they load faster:


Our upload widget is 3% the size of Cloudinary's.


Did you know: webpage speed is a ranking factor for Google.

import { Upload } from "upload-js";
// Call once per app.
const upload = Upload({ apiKey: "free" });
// <input type="file" onchange="onChange(event)" />
async function onChange(event) {
const [ file ] = event.target.files;
const { fileUrl } = await upload.uploadFile(file);
console.log(`File uploaded: ${fileUrl}`);
}

Reason #3

Faster to integrate.

With Upload, you get clear and simple documentation. Our READMEs tell you exactly what to do, and how to do it. No long manuals. No initial configuration. Everything just works.

You can integrate with Upload in about 60 seconds, right now, simply by copying these code samples:

Core SDK Demo Upload Widget Demo

Traffic Management

Reason #4

Advanced traffic management.

Being able to quickly add file uploads to your website is great.

However, what about preventing abuse? How many file uploads per IP address is acceptable? What about the total size of those files? What about the size of each of those files? What about blocking users and IP addresses?

Cloudinary's support here is limited. By contrast, Upload allows you to control each of these independently, with its state-of-the-art traffic management system, which is fully customizable and seamlessly integrated into the Upload Dashboard.

Upstream servers

Reason #5

Support for upstream servers.

Upload allows you to add existing website URLs as sources for file and image transformations.

This means you can transform files without needing to move them to Upload. Simply put: you can use Upload as a CDN, and keep the original files hosted externally.

An additional benefit is reduced vendor lock-in: if you store files on Upload, and later decide to move away (e.g. to AWS S3), you can continue to use Upload for its file processing pipelines, while handling the file hosting yourself.

Run custom code on Upload

Reason #6

Support for custom code execution.

Upload is built for developers, and our support for custom code execution is testament to that.

Both Cloudinary and Upload support image transformations, but only Upload supports file transformations using custom code.

This allows you to grow with the Upload platform, giving you the ability to build transformations that can invoke native binaries like TensorFlow, FFmpeg and ImageMagick.

Live support chat

Reason #7

Expert help from skilled developers.

Need help? We let you talk directly to the development team.

We don't use support technicians or summer interns to handle technical requests: these questions get routed straight to the development team, so you'll always be speaking with a person who is capable of solving your problem.

More affordable pricing

Reason #8

We're cheaper, too*

While Cloudinary offers a free tier, its middle and upper tiers are less affordable and less economical than Upload's:

Affordability: Upload's middle tier is $35pm whereas Cloudinary's middle tier is $99pm.

Economics: Upload's middle tier is $0.23 per credit* whereas Cloudinary's middle tier is $0.44 per credit.

* We've used Cloudinary's credit-based pricing to compare the two plans. We've converted the Upload plan to Cloudinary's pricing model by summing its storage, bandwidth and CPU quotas to arrive at a Cloudinary-style credit quota.

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Simpler pricing

Cloudinary vs Upload

Let's see how Upload compares as a Cloudinary alternative:

CloudinaryCloudinary

UploadUpload

Highest plan The highest plan the vendor lists on their pricing page.

Both offer a custom plan with effectively unlimited usage, available on request.
$249/month$195/month
Middle plan The middle plan offered by this vendor.$99/month$35/month
Lowest plan The lowest tier offered by this vendor.Free$7/month
Price of storage For Upload, this is calculated by dividing the middle plan's price by 3 (to account for storage, bandwidth and transformation quotas), and then dividing that number by the plan's storage quota in GBs.

For vendors that use a single/shared resource quota, like Cloudinary, the storage quota is derived by dividing the shared quota evenly by the number of resources it abstracts (e.g. divided by 3 in Cloudinary's case, as their credit system abstracts storage, bandwidth and transformations).
$0.44 per GB$0.23 per GB
Invite team members Invite multiple team members to manage your account.Paid Plans Only
Removable branding The ability to remove the vendor's branding from UI components, such as Upload Widgets, that your users will see.Paid Plans Only
Cloud-based file storage Store and host files with the vendor using their cloud storage.
URL-based file transformations Run URL-based file transformations to transform your files in real-time.
Custom code transformations Upload supports custom code execution using Node.js, allowing you to transform your files with your own custom business logic. Supports native binaries (e.g. TensorFlow).
Perma-caching Serve transformed files (e.g. resized images & thumbnails) to users via a perma-cache to avoid processing delays on all subsequent requests, forever.
Worldwide CDN A content delivery network (CDN) serves your files from many locations around the world, ensuring minimal download latency for your users.
Image optimization Optimize images, e.g. by producing small WEBP thumbnails from larger JPEG photographs.
Image conversion Convert images to other formats, e.g. WEBP, PNG and JPG.
Image resizing Resize images in real-time via the URL.
Image cropping Crop images in real-time by manually providing crop dimensions.
Image cropping with AI Crop images in real-time using automatic AI-based smart cropping.
WEBP support The ability to read WEBP images, and to save images as WEBP.
Extract image metadata (EXIF) The ability to extract the EXIF metadata embedded within JPEGs.
Usage monitoring Monitor your storage, processing & bandwidth usage over time using our beautiful dashboards.
SSL (HTTPS) All uploads, downloads and file transformations run over HTTPS, keeping you and your users safe.
Expiring links The ability to expire files after a period of time has elapsed.
Expiring links with custom messages After a file expires, the ability to redirect users to an alternative URL, or to display a custom error message.
Max file size management The ability to set limits on the size of the files your users can upload.Client-Side OnlyClient-Side & Server-Side
Rate limit management The ability to rate-limit uploads using custom dimensions and frequencies. For example: "100 uploads per day per IP" or "5 video uploads per hour per user"
Advanced traffic management The ability to limit upload traffic using custom dimensions and frequencies. For example: "1 GB per day per IP" or "100 MB of images per hour per user"
IP blacklist management The ability to reject upload attempts based on custom dimensions, including the source IP address.
Authenticated URLs Upload supports federated access control, meaning you can authenticate & authorize access to your files via your application's own security system.
Proxy support The ability to transform files (e.g. resize images) that are hosted on existing websites, without needing to move the files to the vendor's storage.
Custom CNAME Make Upload your own by using a custom CNAME: your users will never know we're here.
Video transcoding Convert uploaded videos to streamable formats.Coming Soon
Custom S3 bucket Bring your own AWS S3 bucket to store your files.Enterprise Plans Only
REST API Upload, list and delete file via a REST API.
Core JavaScript SDK The ability to build a custom file upload UI, using a minimal amount of JavaScript code from the vendor.
Core JavaScript SDK (size) The size of the core JavaScript SDK (smaller is better).21KB6KB
File upload widget Add a file upload UI to your website using a drop-in widget.
File upload widget (size) The size of the file upload widget (smaller is better).974KB33KB
Support via email Friendly and professional support with an expert team, via email.
Support via Slack Friendly and professional support over Slack.
Compare Compare the pricing for yourself: we've provided a link to the price page for each option.See pricingSee pricing

Ready to try Upload?

We believe we've built a superior product to Cloudinary. We think you'll agree. Create your account today to play with our intuitive dashboards and advanced features, and then decide for yourself:

✓ No credit card required. Try free for 14 days.

No hidden fees
Storage & CDN, built-in.

Upload provides cloud-based file storage, file transformations, and a worldwide CDN, all fully integrated.

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API Reference

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