Wow only a year or so ago Clouds were just that, today however we seem to encountering a thunderstorm of Cloud options. As they have come out I have been trialing each one. I cannot remember if I signed up to Microsoft’s LIVE Skydrive as it was formerly know or Dropbox first but those two kind of set the benchmark. SkyDrive never really had a lot of features and was a bit…bleggh so I used Dropbox which had so many more sharing options and it encouraged me to share with my friends so I could get more space, after a lot of sharing I ended up with something like 58GB.
So how do they compare against each other?
Comparison between Amazon Cloud vs Dropbox vs Google Drive vs iCloud vs SkyDrive
|Dropbox||2GB + 500MB per referral|
|SkyDrive||7GB / 25GB if you used Live SkyDrive|
|Amazon||Free for 250 Songs (whoop!)|
|iCloud||250,000 songs + Whatever you download from iTunes|
|Dropbox||Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry (lol), Kindle, Web|
|Google Drive||Android, iPhone, iPad|
|iCloud||iOS, iPhone, iPad|
|SkyDrive||Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Surface, 3rd party Android Apps|
|Amazon||Windows / Mac / Web|
|Dropbox||Windows / Mac / Web|
|Google Drive||Windows / Mac / Web / Chrome OS|
|SkyDrive||Windows / Mac / Web|
ADDITIONAL STORAGE * Per Year
|Additional Storage Per Year||Amazon||DropBox||Google Drive||iCloud||SkyDrive|
FILE SIZE LIMITS
|Dropbox||No Limit, 300MB For Web Uploads|
Amazon – They have matched if not beaten everyone on price and storage, they are definitely entering the market with enough of a hook to capture those not yet signed up. If you are an Android user, then this is definitely an option. I will probably look at syncing this with my Droid, although the 250 song limit on Amazon Cloud player is a bit shnoop.
Dropbox – Ye Old Faithful. They have just implemented 2 Factor Authentication… That’s a plus, other than that I am not sure where to go with this, they lose on price, functionality is matched by SkyDrive and other clouds and I cannot see a benefit of continuing with this service? Please if I am missing something let me know. I really do want to be missing something after all it is Dropbox, who doesn’t love Dropbox?
Google Drive – This is another Google service which promises the world, delivers, but somehow misses the Wow factor or Standard usability that all other clouds (Bar iCloud) deliver. Its kind of like GMail, you either love it or hate it. I love that I can use it like a normal folder on any of my computers, both Mac and PC. But it’s when you go to the web interface that it all falls apart, its like navigating using a Command window or Win 3.11? I suggest they get the Google Doodle guys in to show how things should work on the web. One major upside to Google Drive though is its security, Google have for a long time now used 2 Factor Authentication and whilst not 100% foolproof, this should be the standard for ALL Cloud Services everywhere.
iCloud – If you are using iCloud, then you may want to consider using another cloud services. BUT before you go racing off to use another Cloud, the Cloud you are in has a bit of a silver lining. Apple have cleverly or craftily I cannot decide, deeply integrated iCloud into your iPhone, iPad and Mac so they all work together sharing photos and documents etc. It also has extras like backing up of your mobile so the premium may be worth it to you. You could also just stick with the 5GB free and use it for Mobile backups and switch to another plan. But how you sync your music without physically connecting to your machine again will be a problem. As I said in the beginning, switching from iCloud is complicated, think about it carefully or just pay up.
SkyDrive – I have completely switched over to Skydrive, partly because I am running Windows 8 everywhere now and party because they have given me HUGE amounts of storage. Even if I had to pay for the storage I think they are still one of the most reasonable only comparable to Amazon. The web interface is easy to use, its quick and navigating is a breeze. My Office Documents all appear to be office documents so the visual reference is easy to make and it just works. I can also choose who to share or collaborate with on a folder or document level. I have found sharing large zip/rar files to be a lot less painful than before. one small annoyance though is I would like the ability to right click and say “share with” when working on my desktop.
I used to be a Die Hard Dropbox fan but slowly over time I have completely swung to SkyDrive. If you are a Windows user I couldn’t recommend this more. If you are a Mac user then I still recommend this but hold on to that free 5gb iCloud storage and use it for your music only. In October when we start seeing Microsofts Surface Tablets appearing I know I’m already set, SkyDrive and Windows 8 RT is a perfect pair and I don’t have to share my info with third parties. ( Not that MS is less evil but less is more)
On a final note, if you are in the need of slow moving storage then perhaps Amazon Glacier is what you need? its something like $0.01 per gigabyte per month so 1 TB would cost $10.24 – more info is available here -> http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/