cloud storage services are so convenient these days because it saves space on your portable hard drive, smartphone or computer; it syncs your files across all your devices, its cross-platform compatibility and best of all, you can get a free storage. Sharing large files or multiple is also easy as it keeps your files safely away from public computers.
Note: This article is going to involve a lot of depth in the information could be long to read; if you want a critical comparison of the three services, see the comparison table.
Each service offers different amounts of free storage and a variety of high-end storage spaces.
Dropbox you started with 2GB of free storage, but you get the reference benefits, 500 MB of additional space for each friend you refer to Dropbox. More than 35 references later you will be able to earn a maximum of 18GB, giving you a grand total of 20GB including your original 2GB.
For more storage, you can opt for the Pro account Dropbox offers 100GB, 200GB and 500GB for $ 9.99, $ 19.99 and $ 49.99 per month, respectively, or save 17% by paying $ 99, 199 $ and $ 499 per year.
The Dropbox team provides a solution for large user groups, between 5 and 50 users. The whole team comes with administration tools for centralized management of files and is very flexible depending on the number of users or the storage space you need.
Google Drive is easily available in Gmail. From there, you start with a value of 5 GB of storage space. Additional space can be purchased with a variety of planes (from 25GB to 16TB). Upgrading to an account will also give you the same amount of storage in Picasa while your Gmail storage is upgraded to 25GB.
Google Drive Plans
SkyDrive comes with 7GB of free storage. They have the lowest plans upgrade between service 3 you can see in the image below. They classify their upgrades as add-ons to your 7GB of space; unlike the previous two services. As they are relatively new to the scene, there is no more storage plans to offer yet.
2. Support Platforms
We will now look more closely at what the platforms of each cloud service currently supports Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone.
The Dropbox desktop application is available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Dropbox is also available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Dropbox is the only service that now natively supports Linux; and also the only service to support BlackBerry.
Google Drive is available for Windows and Mac OS; However, unlike Dropbox, it has no native support for Linux and is based on third-party programs. In terms of mobile, Google Drive is only available on iOS and Android.
Google Drive Platforms
SkyDrive is easily available for Windows and Mac OS; as Google Drive, it relies on third-party programs for it to be used on Linux. To support mobile platform, SkyDrive is the only service that has its own application for Windows Phone; it is also available on iOS and Android.
Speaking of Windows Phone support, there is a third Windows phone app that supports Dropbox, unlike Google Drive that has yet to enter the Windows Phone scene.
We now take a look at the unique and common features that can be found in each cloud service.
Besides’ save storage space through referrals, you can get more free space using the camera function Download Dropbox to your desktop or smartphone. Dropbox also has an undo function (version) of unlimited history for an extra $ 39 per year, only available with a Pro account Dropbox.
Transferring files via Dropbox website has a limit of 300 MB, which is the same for the SkyDrive website. Whereas downloads via the Dropbox app Office no file size limit (unlike file limit of 2 GB on SkyDrive).
Dropbox has also successfully integrated with the Facebook groups where you can share files from your Dropbox files to your Facebook groups.
Dropbox Facebook Groups
Google Drive lets you disable automatic deletion of old versions which means you can keep all file revisions as long as you do not mind doing that maxes out your storage space quickly.
Google Drive Sharing
Google Drive is an online document editor which converts your Microsoft Office document (.doc / .docx) in a Google document (.gdoc) before editing.
There is a limit of 10GB file upload size on the desktop application and the version of the site.
Installing the SkyDrive desktop app allows you to access all the files on this PC it is installed in; as long as your PC is on, connected to the Internet with SkyDrive running, you’ll be able to access all your files via SkyDrive website.
SkyDrive remote access
SkyDrive also Microsoft Web Apps that include Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote Web browser. Although it does not have all the features available on the desktop application, it is sufficient for quick assembly work.
SkyDrive Web Apps
An additional feature is the mobile application OneNote works with SkyDrive, where you can take notes that synchronizes and automatically uploads to SkyDrive.
Some common features
Version History. A feature available on all services, deleted files are kept intact for 30 days before being permanently deleted. In Google Drive, you get to keep 100 documents revisions while SkyDrive offers 25.
Selective synchronization folder. Available in Dropbox and Google Drive, allowing you to synchronize only the files or folders you need when you access your files from another computer. Not included in SkyDrive.
tracking events. Another feature not yet found in SkyDrive, allowing you to monitor activities on files or changes to files.
custom share the authorization. Google Drive and SkyDrive, you can not only customize who gets to see which files, users also benefit from simultaneously edit documents online and comment on files. Share on Dropbox is limited to only the download link for access to the file.
file type 4. Support
You can download any type of file to the cloud, but you can view the file types that are supported. Iif the service does not support the file, all you can do is download to your computer for viewing and editing. Videos and images are supported on the three services, but we need to wait longer for audio playback as it is against the copyright law (yet). Each service has different file support levels.
Dropbox does not have an online document editor, which means that files can not be downloaded. However, for the Dropbox app on your smartphone or tablet, you are able to view Microsoft Office files, Apple iWork files, audio / video files, images and PDF files. The documents can not be changed with the application, but can be opened with another editing application.
The Google Drive site supports single files as Adobe Illustrator (.ai) and Photoshop (.PSD) files, Autodesk AutoCad and scalable vector graphics files. You can also view Microsoft Office documents, but you can not change it after the conversion to a type of Google Docs file.
The application Google Drive does not completely take the display of single files like its counterpart site is. However, you can make basic changes to Google Docs and view video files through the application.
Most types of Microsoft Office files can be viewed and edited through its Web App Microsoft. The site version only supports playback to .MP4 and .WMV video files, while other video and audio formats can be downloaded. The site also supports slideshows for images and PowerPoint files.
The SkyDrive app only allows you to view files in a manner similar to Dropbox.
The use of cloud storage services means that your files are online. This situation is much more vulnerable than having your files confined to your home computer. But rest assured that these services have solutions to your security problems.
Dropbox and Google Drive has an audit function in 2 steps when connecting to your account on the website. E-mail and standard login password is followed by a second punch in a security code sent to your smartphone via SMS or using the Google Authenticator App (iOS / Android).
Moreover SkyDrive handles security differently by sending a security code to your secondary email address when accessing sensitive information like editing your contact information or connect your PC to the remote access.
In terms of security of the mobile application, Dropbox is the only application that has a 4-digit code. Although this is a fundamental characteristic of safety, it is a step forward that Google Drive and SkyDrive.
Dropbox App Security
Here is a short overview of each service to help you determine which service to choose.
Dropbox is a powerful and simple sharing tool that has been around the longest of these services 3. The reference system to gain storage space is also unique and great crowdpuller. It is also very secure with check in 2 stages, and a locking 4-digit code for the mobile application. Other benefits include natively support Linux and Blackberry unlike other services 2.
Google Drive has unique file type support (Adobe files, AutoCad) which makes it easier to view these files online. Although you can edit documents online, you’ll have to convert it to a Google document that could spoil the formatting of the original Microsoft Office file. It is also secured with check in 2 steps is connected throughout your Google account and other services.
SkyDrive is a bit in the early stages of being a slightly improved service Google Drive because of Microsoft Web Apps for online editing, sharing with similar parameters and simultaneous editing functions. SkyDrive also starts off with the greatest amount of free space. The unique features found in SkyDrive (not found in the other two) is remote access to files on your PC, native support for Windows Phone and the ability to take notes sync to your mobile via the OneNote application .
Each service has its strength and weakness which is why a service is not necessarily better than the other. If you are not sure who to start using, go ahead and try all 3. After all, they do not cost anything and you get a total of 14GB of online storage to begin on!