The world is increasingly getting technologically advanced, and Cloud Computing is growing more and more popular. The hard drive is not the only store of information, and most people are using one form or another of storing their information online, be it personal photos on Facebook, or contacts in Gmail account. But there are many free dedicated cloud based storage services to choose from. However, the major competitors in this area are SkyDrive, DropBox, and Google Drive, which we talked about yesterday. They all provide similar functionality. So how well do they fare against each other? Let’s find out.
Storage Space and file sizes
Additional storage and prices
SkyDrive is somewhat less powerful in this area, but it still can search for text within your documents. DropBox, however, is once again trailing the other two. It only allows you to search files by file name.
All these services offer support for most common files, such as PDF, image JPEG etc. Google Drive, however can display a lot more. Due to its integration with Google Docs, it can view Photoshop files, AutoCAD drawings, and more. Google Drives more than 30 file formats, and it has only just started.
History and backup
Now it’s SkyDrive’s turn to take a hit. Both DropBox and Google Drive keep backup for 30 days. They can also save any revisions in your documents, so that you can restore a previous form of a document that you edited. And even if you delete a file, you can restore it within 30 days. SkyDrive has no such feature though. Once you delete a file, it’s gone forever!
Google provides an extra layer of security with Google’s 2-step protection. Hence, even if someone knows your username and password, they still can’t access your files. No such feature is available for DropBox or SkyDrive though. DropBox, however, keeps a log of all the changes that were made to your files. And so does Google Drives. Which makes SkyDrive lose to the two again.
All the services provide reasonable sharing options for communicating files to your friends and family. They also support collaborative work, meaning that all members can work on group project files at the same time and in the same place, hence no need for sending big and bulky attachments with emails.
Google Drive is the best overall in terms of social integration, and ease of use. The searching is smart, the interface is elegant and pleasing, and it allows you to cut down on your attachments, and send people a link to the file(s) instead. Hence, Google Drive is perfect for you if you live in the ‘Google Ecosystem’.
SkyDrive is the best overall in terms of storage space, and accessing file. The SkyDrive web app is pretty smart and lets you integrate with all other computers you might have. You just need to install the app on those machines, and you can easily access files and folders from any system. And if you use Microsoft Office a lot, then SkyDrive is a must-try for you.
DropBox is best when it comes to third party functionality. It has a large developer ecosystem built around it, while Google and Microsoft are their own developers. DropBox also offers powerful functionality. True that it only offers 2GB of space, but you can crank it up to 18GB by referring friends.
In the end, I would say all the services have pros and cons. By hey, who said you could use only one of these services? I use all three of them for different purposes. It might make things a bit confusing, but who am I to care? I am getting free storage online, which is more than I can say of my hard drives 🙂