Its cloud storage everywhere! You have your files, pictures, videos on your home or office computer that you would like to access from other locations on different devices while on the go. Or you want to maintain a copy of all your data on somewhere on the Internet as a backup so that you can quickly access them from anywhere. This is where the cloud storage is useful.
Dropbox has been the leading cloud storage vendor from long time but this may change soon as the software giants Microsoft and Google entered the market with the launch of SkyDrive and Google Drive (it just launched yesterday) respectively.
While all above three major three services does the same thing like – provide plenty of online storage, file sync across computers. The main question – which one I have to choose? Even though there are other service providers like Box.net, Apple’s iCloud, SugarSync which provide almost similar features compared to Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive – those are used for altogether different purposes. In this post, I am going to provide you some basic comparison and which is right for you?
- Dropbox free account starts at 2 GB of space. You can increase your free space to 18 GB (2 GB + 500 MB per referral) by referring your friends.
- SkyDrive offers 7 GB of free space for new users. There is an exciting offer going on if you are an existing SkyDrive user, you can increase this storage limit of 7 GB to a whooping 25 GB right now. Go to https://skydrive.live.com/ManageStorage to avail this offer before it expires!
- Google Drive free storage offers you 5 GB of storage
- Dropbox is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Blackberry. The web app can open most required file formats like Office documents, PDFs, videos and images.
- SkyDrive is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Windows Phone. The desktop client is not supported on Windows XP and also there is no native mobile app for Android devices yet. SkyDrive also supports files similar to Dropbox in its web version.
- Google Drive is currently available for Windows, Mac and Android. But what separates it from the rest is the brilliant file support. It can open 30 different file types inside the web browser and can even open Photoshop files even if you don’t have Photoshop files on your machine. It even has an Evernote like OCR scanning feature, which scans text from an image.
- There is a recycle bin in Dropbox and Gooogle Drive where the accidentally deleted files reside for around 30 days. I could not find a trash folder in SkyDrive.
- All the three services maintain file revisions so that you can quickly revert to older versions.
Well, it really depends on your usage and requirement.
- SkyDrive and Google Drive can soon become leaders in the cloud storage and can kill DropBox soon, at least for now, both do not have as many developer APIs and services as Dropbox does. Some fantastic exclusive apps of Dropbox are – you can host a website using your Dropbox storage, save attachments in Dropbox, save web screenshots clippings direclty in Dropbox, download files directly from URLs to Dropbox, etc. All these apps works on OAuth and developers across the cloud system are building more and more apps for Dropbox.
- If you are a regular Microsoft Office and Windows user who rely on formatting especially in Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, I highly recommend you to go for Microsoft SkyDrive cloud storage. It has plenty of storage (7 GB for new users and 25 GB for existing users) which is more than enough to sync all your important folders across computers. Microsoft just announced yesterday releasing SkyDrive APIs asking developers to build apps for its cloud ecosystem. We will have to wait and watch how well it goes.
- And lastly, if you rely on Google ecosystem and services like Documents, Gmail, Picasa, Google+, Android and do not have Microsoft Office on your computer, you can simply say good bye to Dropbox and Skydrive. Google Drive has all new plenty user interface where you can simply use its awesome inbuilt search feature, edit online and do more. It just works!