The Cloud Storage Showdown – Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive & More
Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp

cloud storage servicesThe cloud storage scene has heated up recently, with a long-awaited entry by Google and a revamped SkyDrive from Microsoft. Dropbox has gone unchallenged by the major players for a long time, but that’s changed – both Google and Microsoft are now challenging Dropbox on its own turf, and all three services have their own compelling features. One thing’s for sure – Dropbox is no longer the one-size-fits-all solution.

These three aren’t the only cloud storage services – the cloud storage arena is full of services with different features and priorities, including privacy-protecting encryption and the ability to synchronize any folder on your system.


Dropbox introduced cloud storage to the masses, with its simple approach to cloud storage and synchronization – a single magic folder that follows you everywhere. Dropbox deserves credit for being a pioneer in this space and the new Google Drive and SkyDrive both build on the foundation that Dropbox laid.

Dropbox doesn’t have strong integration with any ecosystems – which can be a good thing, as it is an ecosystem-agnostic approach that isn’t tied to Google, Microsoft, Apple, or any other company’s platform.

cloud storage services

Dropbox today is a compelling and mature offering supporting a wide variety of platforms. Dropbox offers less free storage than the other services (unless you get involved in their referral scheme) and its prices are significantly higher than those of competing services – for example, an extra 100GB is four times more expensive with Dropbox compared to Google Drive.

  • Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Web.
  • Free Storage: 2 GB (up to 16 GB with referrals).
  • Price for Additional Storage: 50 GB for $10/month, 100 GB for $20/month.
  • File Size Limit: Unlimited.
  • Standout Features: the Public folder is an easy way to share files. Other services allow you to share files, but it isn’t quite as easy. You can sync files from other computers running Dropbox over the local network, speeding up transfers and taking a load off your Internet connection.

cloud file storage

Google Drive

Google Drive is the evolution of Google Docs, which already allowed you to upload any file – Google Drive bumps the storage space up from 1 GB to 5 GB, offers desktop sync clients, and provides a new web interface and APIs for web app developers.

Google Drive is a serious entry from Google, not just an afterthought like the upload-any-file option 5 New Google Docs Features You Might Have Missed 5 New Google Docs Features You Might Have Missed Read More was in Google Docs.

google drive

Its integration with third-party web apps – you can install apps and associate them with file types in Google Drive – shows Google’s vision of Google Drive being a web-based hard drive that eventually replaces the need for desktop sync clients entirely.

cloud file storage

You can actually purchase up to 16 TB of storage space with Google Drive – for $800/month!


Microsoft released a revamped SkyDrive the day before Google Drive launched, but Google Drive stole its thunder. Nevertheless, SkyDrive is now a compelling product, particularly for people into Microsoft’s ecosystem of Office web apps Use Microsoft Office for Free with Microsoft Web Apps Use Microsoft Office for Free with Microsoft Web Apps Read More , Windows Phone, and Windows 8, where it’s built into Metro by default Accessing The Cloud With Windows 8 Consumer Preview Accessing The Cloud With Windows 8 Consumer Preview One of the key aspects in which Windows 8 differs from previous releases is its provision of access to cloud storage, particularly SkyDrive. While earlier versions of Windows require you to access SkyDrive via your... Read More .

Like Google with Google Drive, Microsoft’s new SkyDrive product imitates the magic folder pioneered by Dropbox.

cloud file storage

Microsoft offers the most free storage space at 7 GB – although this is down from the original 25 GB Microsoft Skydrive Gets Big Update - 25GB Of Cloud Storage Microsoft Skydrive Gets Big Update - 25GB Of Cloud Storage Microsoft SkyDrive has been around for a while, but was recently given a fairly significant update. We took some time to talk to Microsoft about the new features and play with it all, so here's... Read More . Microsoft also offers good prices for additional storage.

  • Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Windows Phone, iOS, Web.
  • Free Storage: 7 GB.
  • Price for Additional Storage: 20 GB for $10/year, 50 GB for $25/year, 100 GB for $50/year
  • File Size Limit: 2 GB
  • Standout Features: Ability to fetch unsynced files from outside the synced folders on connected PCs, if they’ve been left on.

cloud storage

Other Services

SugarSync is a popular alternative to Dropbox. It offers a free 5 GB of storage and it lets you choose the folders you want to synchronize – a feature missing in the above services, although you can use some tricks How To Easily Synchronize Folders Outside Dropbox Using Symlinks How To Easily Synchronize Folders Outside Dropbox Using Symlinks Read More to synchronize other folders. SugarSync also has clients for mobile platforms that don’t get a lot of love, including Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry (Dropbox also has a Blackberry client).

cloud storage

Amazon also offers their own cloud storage service, known as Amazon Cloud Drive. There’s one big problem, though – there’s no official desktop sync client. Expect Amazon to launch their own desktop sync program if they’re serious about competing in this space. If you really want to use Amazon Cloud Drive, you can use a third-party application How To Put Amazon’s Cloud Drive On Your Desktop How To Put Amazon’s Cloud Drive On Your Desktop Amazon’s recently released Cloud Drive service has been making waves, mostly due to the music streaming feature that lets users stream music files. Cloud Drive offers 5GB of free space by default, and that can... Read More to access it from your desktop.

cloud storage

Box is popular, but its 25 MB file size limit is extremely low. It also offers no desktop sync client (except for businesses). While Box may be a good fit for the enterprise, it can’t stand toe-to-toe with the other services here for consumer cloud storage and syncing.

cloud storage services

If you’re worried about the privacy of your data, you can use an encrypted service, such as SpiderOak or Wuala Secure Your Files: 3 Encrypted Dropbox Alternatives Secure Your Files: 3 Encrypted Dropbox Alternatives Dropbox brought cloud-based file synchronization and storage to the masses, but it's been hindered by high-profile security problems. Fortunately, you have another option — an alternative service that secures your files with local encryption and... Read More , instead. Or, if you prefer one of these services, use an app like BoxCryptor Encrypt Your Dropbox Files With BoxCryptor Encrypt Your Dropbox Files With BoxCryptor Dropbox is a great service, but its security track record is nothing to be proud of. We’ve previously written about encrypted alternatives to Dropbox, but let’s be honest -- Dropbox stands out among cloud storage... Read More to encrypt files and store them on any cloud storage service.

Which service do you use and why? Did we miss any important features here? Leave a comment and let us know.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Steven Groves
    October 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    There is great website called Otixo ( that allows you to get all your cloud applications at your finger tips. I have some of the accounts listed above and I use Otixo to keep track and have access to all my files.

  2. salim benhouhou
    October 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    thank you Chris for the explanation

  3. Shean Brighton
    October 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I actively use Google Drive. My work connected with docs that should be collaboratively edited, so it’s perfect. But to store more files online for free it’s not enough. They should make 25Gb of storage to be the first, or at least 15Gb, like 4Sync. And It also would be nice to have a social networks immediate posting like in Instagram or in abovementioned app. If they do all these they will have no competitors at all.

    • Chris Hoffman
      October 20, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Google Drive is definitely on the low end as far as storage goes. It's one of the big disadvantages.

  4. Yan Futerman
    September 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    What about MegaCloud?

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 29, 2012 at 8:14 am

      Never herad of it, but it looks decent at a glance. Why do you prefer it?

      • Yan Futerman
        September 29, 2012 at 9:56 am

        Nothing special - I discovered it before few days, they propose 8GB free storage and additional 16 after full registration... So I just want to know if somebody has an experience with it.

  5. Beyhan
    September 19, 2012 at 1:35 am

    I've been using dropbox for years and loved it until yesterday when all hell broke loose. I reformatted my computer and when I tried to open dropbox they had changed my password. When I tried to get them to send me an email for a new password, they can only send it to the email account I had when I opened the dropbox account. My entire business is on dropbox and only on dropbox... and when I tried to contact support they say I have to wait 1-3 BUSINESS days for them to respond. It's been 41 hours and I have done ZERO work and have yet to hear from them. This is a nightmare and no way to treat a paying customer. Dropbox doesn't even have a phone number!

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 25, 2012 at 1:03 am

      Sounds pretty bad, I hope you got this figured out -- if you are indeed paying them for a service, they should really be more accessible to you.

  6. Brent
    September 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm starts with free 5 gig accounts, but they are always running promos for "free for life" 25-50 gig accounts. They have increased max file size to 100 mb and now have sync feature similar to dropbox and google drive.

    • Chris Hoffman
      September 25, 2012 at 1:02 am

      Oh, do they? I got in one one of those promos, but I was disappointing by the lack of desktop sync. Might be time to give it another look.

  7. Mark
    September 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    im new to dropbox and only started using dropbox for the past 3 months (kinda late exploring the cloud thingy). but so far, im ok with it.

    still exploring...:)

  8. IamAshMcLean
    September 3, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Dropbox is By Far the best... specially when you share

  9. cinami
    August 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I have been using Dropbox for a long time now. It's very reliable but limited in space. I find the ease with which I can sync my files eliminates the need of usb cables and memory card readers. I have it synced on my comp and my droid. A while ago I also took advantage of the 50 gig free offer from It was brilliant to get that much free space and I though I would use it a lot but then learned it has no desktop sync unless you're a business user, which means you loose your 50 gig. Ho Hum. I hardly use it at all. I just today signed up to skydrive to learn it doesn't have winxp app. So won't be using that much either. In my search to find a more suitable (like dropbox but more space) I have come across which offers 10gig of free space for starters. I can access it fine on my droid and via browser but the desktop software won't even let me sign in citing server problems. If I can get cx working, it will be pretty good. My dropbox now has 4.25 gig because of sharing and referrals. Dropbox may be tight on the space front but it is the most reliable so far.

  10. Minus User
    August 6, 2012 at 11:14 am

    The article missed out on Minus which provides largest space among all (10 GB); which can be upgraded free to 50 GB.

    Get 1 extra GB here to start account at 11 GB:

  11. Steve
    July 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    You are at a very high level. First, outstanding dropbox feature is he automagic sync of files changes on your Windows PC to the cloud (I have to assume there is a similar Mac client). I don't believe there is a similar feature in Skydrive.

    Skydrive is the bomb for all other files - I use it to collect great car photos. I can pop in the url directly so I don't have to save the file to my pc and upload. Skydrive also supports OneNote, notetaking software thats almost Evernote, is more than you really ever need, but you pay $15 one time on the ipad and $5 one time on the iPhone and you own it forever. Evernote costs $45 a year (the free version is useles - if you create a note on your desktop, it doesn't sync offline to your iPad).

    Oh, if you caught it in time, you could say "hey, I use Skydrive" and keep the free 25GB. I still got them!!

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 1, 2012 at 10:14 am

      SkyDrive now syncs file changes like Dropbox, more or less -- I think Dropbox has more efficient incremental syncs.

      (In other words, when you change a small bit of a large file, Dropbox will upload the small bit that changed, while SkyDrive will upload the entire large file.)

      • Steve
        August 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        Chris I'm not talking about how much of the file it syncs. Dropbox has a TSR program that when I save a new file, it writes it to Dropbox online automagically. Does Skydrive have a similar program?

        Dropbox essentially syncs as I make changes....and when I turn my sons laptop on after being off for a week, the same tsr brings down the new 100 or so files from Dropbox automatically.

        • Chris Hoffman
          August 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm

          SkyDrive does have a similar program that runs in the background and watches for changes, yes. Google Drive does, too.

  12. Simply User
    July 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Very useful article.

  13. Daniel Krebs
    July 29, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Someone should build an app that combines accounts from the different cloud providers and direct\navigate the files. That way one can have one folder

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 1, 2012 at 10:13 am

      I believe this already exists It's called Otixo ( ), but it's a web service that displays all your cloud storage services in one place. Never tried it, but I keep hearing about it.

  14. Gian Singh
    July 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    i've always used dropbox but google drive looks promising to switch to.

    • Kim Wyman
      September 12, 2012 at 8:36 am

      I haven't the time and patience to go exploring different options so I want to use Google Drive. The problem I can't solve is that I have different purpose documents as a User of three different Business Google apps sites: & (as above)

      The first Google Drive I set up went OK and downloaded to my PC>Window 7>Favourites>Google Drive

      I renamed that Google Drive AS

      Then I tried to set up the second one. Went through the same steps but nothing seemed to happen. Ditto for the third one.

      When I drop a new file on the PC into Google Drive AS
      or when I create a Doc file in now AS Drive
      nothing happens / syncs

      I navigate between the three systems by having a Google Sign in Tab on the Chrome Browser where I sign in as needed, if necessary as a "Different User"

      Advice please

      • Chris Hoffman
        September 25, 2012 at 1:02 am

        I think you can only have one copy of Google Drive running on your computer at a time -- sorry.

  15. Edgar Meixueiro
    June 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I think sugarsync is better than the rest at the moment.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      Interesting, whyso?

      • Edgar Meixueiro
        June 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm

        It's just that unlike the "big" sync services (Drive, Skydrive, Dropbox), it lets you sync any folder in your file structure. This characteristic is very useful because you don't have to move folders or files to sync them.

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm

          Ah, fair enough. Honestly, I'm surprised none of the three offer that (without hacks, at least).

          It's a feature a lot of users want -- they could make themselves stand out pretty fast.

  16. Everblader
    June 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    What about CrashPlan. My son who is an IT pro turned me on to it. It offers unlimited online sorage with no file size limit, data backup, data recovery and file encryption.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 27, 2012 at 4:19 am

      I've heard a lot about CrashPlan -- it's more focused on backup and it looks like the free version doesn't offer any free online storage, though. Too bad.

    • Justin
      July 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

      I now may have to debate leaving Backblaze...

  17. Imogen
    June 15, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Hi, great article! FYI-Box offers 5GB free storage. I got it through the Apps at Google Chrome so I don't know if it differs through direct sign-up. Imogen :-)

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Yup, but each file can only be up to 25MB each -- which is really inconvenient, at least for me. Sorry if that was unclear!

  18. CodeMonkey
    June 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    how about a follow up article on the NOT big 3 providers and a matrix for feature/product (big 3 and not big 3)?

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:23 am

      That's actually a great idea, an article that looks at less-known cloud storage options. Thanks!

      • Code Monkey
        June 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

        Didn't say it but really well written article about an area that is emerging as critical in technology. Don't forget the feature comparison matrix!

  19. Mitch
    June 11, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Missing: Symform!

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 15, 2012 at 7:20 am

      I had to look into it, but Symform looks like an interesting concept. Thanks for the tip!

  20. Oscar Rainford
    June 8, 2012 at 11:04 am

    1. Dropbox
    2. Google Drive
    10000. Skydrive
    Thats in order from best to worst.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

      I'm no Microsoft fan, but I was actually pretty impressed with SkyDrive.

      Sure, I don't use it, but it's actually pretty decent.

  21. Sachin Kanchan
    May 29, 2012 at 11:36 am

    if i am to design a website and make it launch via an online dropbox or storage, will it load faster...and provide better results

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 30, 2012 at 1:03 am

      I'm not really sure what you're asking -- do you want to host a website on dropbox? Dropbox isn't really designed for that -- assuming you want to run a website, you should get a dedicated hosting provider instead.

  22. Sebastian
    May 18, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Sorry, I didnt read all the comments. Maybe someone said it already.

    I can't believe how you didn't stand out the fact that dropbox just saves files while Google Drive and SkyDrive let you create and edit your files from the web (Document, Spreadseets and Presentations)

    I started with SugarSync but the software is too slow and consumes a lot of resources. Also the sync was not fast enough.

    Then it was Dropbox and its all good. From the referrals I have almost 10GB of storage.

    Then Google upgraded Drive and with the integration of the documents I almost don't create documents on my PC. However it's a problem for me that the documents are not actually sync'ed but the program creates a shortcut to the web. Call me a backup freak but I would want to have a copy of what I am writing. Also, since I was a paid Gmail user before the Google Drive thing, I get 25GB in Drive and 30GB on Gmail for just 5 dollars a YEAR.

    But then I tried SkyDrive and with the ability to create, edit and sync Office Files it just too good. (But I only use that service form Microsoft).

    It's a really a though decision. I think I'll keep just using all of them (60GB of 'free' online goodness).

    • Gabriel
      May 18, 2012 at 7:45 am

      "it’s a problem for me that the documents are not actually sync’ed"

      They're not? If you install the Google Drive software on Mac or Windows it syncs the online office documents to your computer and vice versa - so you got a backup of your files on as many computers as you want. Or did I understand something wrong?

      On a sidenote: Google Drive / Drive software has some problems though: when using it as a online backup space there are "unsyncable files" which are shown as "Upload Error - An unknown issue has occurred". It's the same three files over and over again (three 20MB pics from a folder of 20). But, then again it's a relatively young service, so we'll see how that works out. So long I go with "the pros" (Dropbox) as they seem to have more experience in the field (works like a charm with the exact same files).

      • Sebastian
        May 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm

        Maybe I didn't explained myself. The docs are sync'ed however the ones that are created with the Google Docs online tool, they are only downloaded as a link to the site. You don't have the content in your PC.

        • Gabriel
          May 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm

          Ah, now I understand what you mean. Yeah, I mistakenly thought that the files would *really* be synced, but of course - as you said - they're not. Wow, that's not what I want nor what I expected the Google Drive app to do. I like the Google products - like Google Mail etc. - a lot - but considering the probs that I have regarding several files (as stated above) and the fact that the office docs are not really synced...I'm not a fan yet. Way to go for Google...

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 22, 2012 at 1:29 am

          This disappoints me too. It's one thing to have links to edit them online, but they should be usable offline in case your connection goes down.

          You can always download the Docs in PDF/DOC/OpenOffice format manually, but that's a bit of a pain. I do this occasionally to maintain an offline backup.

  23. Gabriel
    May 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    You wrote: "choose the folders you want to synchronize – a feature missing in the above services"

    That's not true - at least Google Drive and Dropbox let you choose the folders to sync in the preferences.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 17, 2012 at 1:23 am

      Sorry, I suppose I wasn't clear enough -- both Google Drive and Dropbox let you choose the remote folders you want to sync, but you can't easily say "Hey, sync the C:\MyFiles\ folder". That's what I meant.

      • Gabriel
        May 18, 2012 at 7:30 am

        Ah, I see - thanks for clarification.

      • Kim Wyman
        September 14, 2012 at 8:20 am


        I haven’t the time and patience to go exploring different options so I want to use Google Drive. The problem I can’t solve is that I have different purpose documents as a User of three different Business Google apps sites: & (as above)
        The first Google Drive I set up went OK and downloaded to my PC>Window 7>Favourites>Google Drive
        I renamed that Google Drive AS
        Then I tried to set up the second one. Went through the same steps but nothing seemed to happen. Ditto for the third one.
        When I drop a new file on the PC into Google Drive AS
        or when I create a Doc file in now AS Drive
        nothing happens / syncs
        I navigate between the three systems by having a Google Sign in Tab on the Chrome Browser where I sign in as needed, if necessary as a “Different User”
        Advice please

      • Kim Wyman
        September 22, 2012 at 7:21 am

        I haven’t the time and patience to go exploring different options so I want to use Google Drive. The problem I can’t solve is that I have different purpose documents as a User of three different Business Google apps sites: & (as above)
        The first Google Drive I set up went OK and downloaded to my PC>Window 7>Favourites>Google Drive
        I renamed that Google Drive AS
        Then I tried to set up the second one. Went through the same steps but nothing seemed to happen. Ditto for the third one.
        When I drop a new file on the PC into Google Drive AS
        or when I create a Doc file in now AS Drive
        nothing happens / syncs
        I navigate between the three systems by having a Google Sign in Tab on the Chrome Browser where I sign in as needed, if necessary as a “Different User”
        Advice please

  24. Frank C
    May 16, 2012 at 4:09 am

    i use Ubuntu One which is great, 5 GB free, and works on all major systems and phones.

  25. Sean Gallagher
    May 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I know the article tries to focus on the big players, but second the notion that Canonical's Ubuntu One deserves an honorable mention - particularly for users of Ubuntu and its derivatives, but certainly not limited to them.

    Ubuntu One offers 5GB free storage space, a web interface, and clients for Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. They offer the option to sync folders other than the Ubuntu One "magic folder" via a client that is integrated so tightly with Nautilus that it's almost completely transparent, and their Android client automatically syncs photos from my phone. Even on Linux Mint, my distro of choice, and in the rare occasion I boot into Windows, everything is synced quickly and transparently. I'd recommend Ubuntu One heartily - to Linux and Windows users alike.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 16, 2012 at 12:19 am

      It's interesting that so many people are chiming in about Ubuntu One. I've used it on Ubuntu before (and it worked really well), but I had this sense in my head that it was a platform-specific service -- like iCloud is on Apple products.

      Clearly it works pretty well on Windows, too. I should have mentioned it, certainly.

  26. Peter Hill
    May 15, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Don't overlook SpiderOak !

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 15, 2012 at 3:04 am

      I made sure to mention it near the end! Maybe I should have given it more prominence, but there are so many services.

  27. Nicki Escudero
    May 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Really nice overview, Chris! We'd also love to add CX into the mix. We're a safe and secure cloud storage service that gives users their first whopping 10GB of storage for free. We also have collaborative features, such as chat, within groups where you share files with other users! Please give us a try, and let us know what you think!

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      Sounds interesting, I may check it out at some point. The amount of free storage is very good.

      • Nicki Escudero
        May 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm

        Thanks so much, Chris! We can't wait to hear what you think! If you ever need any help with anything CX-related, e-mail me at Thanks!

  28. suratsiber
    May 14, 2012 at 2:40 am

    I use dropbox mainly for office stuff since I only get 4Gb. I have 50Gb box which I use to store pictures and videos and I'm happy with my 25Gb x 2 skydrive now that they have windows app as well

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 14, 2012 at 11:24 pm

      You can definitely get a lot of storage by using different accounts, but I'd imagine it's kind of a pain to use 4 different services.

      Still, I bet it's worth it if you need the storage.

  29. vista windows
    May 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    hello there and thanks on your information ? I've definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however experience a few technical points using this site, as I skilled to reload the site a lot of occasions previous to I may just get it to load properly. I were wondering in case your web hosting is OK? Now not that I am complaining, however sluggish loading instances times will often impact your placement in google and can harm your high quality ranking if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I'm including this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot extra of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you replace this once more soon..

  30. Emmanuel Florent
    May 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    The future is still to value added document storage/archiving such as search, tagging, etc,..., and Google
    For our accounting documentation archiving we made FlowZR [] wich act as a complete checbook register and budgeting software on wich you can attach your documentation on the Google Cloud.

  31. Eugene
    May 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    What about the privacy terms??

    As I understand, Google's user license effectively gives Google the right to do anything with your files: read, reproduce, PUBLISH !!

  32. Geert
    May 12, 2012 at 5:09 am

    ubuntu one ? anyone ?

  33. Matthias Kahr
    May 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    dropbox didn't let me upload a 500Mb file. So unlimited file size is not a correct attribute for dropbox.

    Guys you disappoint me. you write about cloud storage services and you are not able to consider one of the greatest services in this field. offers 10 GB storage for free, has easy and intuitive interface, has user friendly file browsing function and uploads faster than dropbox the files. this service beats all the big players in this field.

    make your job.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 13, 2012 at 2:41 am

      According to Dropbox's website: "Files uploaded to Dropbox via the desktop application have no file size limit.

      Files uploaded through the website (by pressing the upload button) have a 300 MB cap." sounds pretty cool. But its About page says they're "not like most cloud providers who just store and sync your stuff." Instead, they're focused on "creating unique new ways to find, share, collaborate and discover files."

      I just want to store and sync my stuff, though.

  34. Dinio
    May 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I wonder if anyone can give me advice on whether these services are suitable for storing relatively valuable intellectual property? I have some work (PowerPoint files) which basically is my entire living - if it was to end up on Pirate Bay or something it would be a disaster for me. Would there be a risk using these services? (I see someone point out that law enforcement agencies could get the files - I'm not concerned about that, just about piracy).
    Would appreciate any tips.

    • wazz
      May 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm


    • Chris Hoffman
      May 13, 2012 at 2:38 am

      SpiderOak, Wuala, or an app like BoxCryptor are all decent options -- basically, encrypt your files before uploading them. These are all different ways to encrypt files.

      Check out the "If you’re worried about the privacy of your data..." section near the end of the post for some links and more information.

  35. Simen Burud
    May 11, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I use UbuntuOne since it doesn't limit me to just one "magic" folder. Does anyone know of another service that can do that (on Ubuntu)?
    (U1 has very low transfer speed at my location)

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 13, 2012 at 2:36 am

      SpiderOak seems to have a Linux client. It's got a more confusing interface, but it offers full local encryption.

      • Simen Burud
        May 13, 2012 at 7:18 am

        Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out.

    • Mike H
      May 16, 2012 at 2:22 am

      With Dropbox, you can workaround the single "magic" folder issue by making use of links (on linux or OSX).

      • Chris Hoffman
        May 17, 2012 at 1:24 am

        This is definitely true, but it's a bit of a pain for most average users.

  36. Wojtek
    May 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Very nice post, thanks.

    I use dropbox, skydrive and gdrive extensively. So far dropbox wins, except on the price tag.

    Skydrive would be a win if it did not have several upload speed bugs (see for the official MS thread - the short story is that they "are aware of the problem and are working on it"). When this is fixed skydrive = dropbox for me.

    Being a Google enthusiast (ok, fanboy :)) I also use google drive but it has issues with proxies, particularly authenticating ones (it does not work with them, that is). It also have the feature to download referrers (say, shortcuts) to native google docs documents. This means that you open these documents in your browser, you cannot edit them with a word processor.
    This is fine or not, depending on the usage (though it is quite natural for google dos users, particularly from the sharing perspective)

    I also used SpiderOak but it is too buggy as of now, especially with proxies.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 13, 2012 at 2:35 am

      Yikes, that SkyDrive problem is no good.

      Remember you can export your Google Docs as MS Office/OpenOffice/Whatever format files. I did that and dumped them into my Google Drive folder, so that way I have offline access to all my docs if I really need it -- kind of a weird solution though.

      • Wojtek
        May 13, 2012 at 6:10 am

        True, but this is a one-shot operation -- new documents created in Google Docs would still be synchronized as referrals.

        Insync ( usd to be an interesting solution. They allowed for automatic conversion upon download and upload. They have been effectively killed by Google Drive and moved to paying version for businesses. They should have been acquired by Google Drive which would have had released a better product then.

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm

          I was exporting/downloading my Google Docs to have an offline backup, anyway. Storing them on Google Drive means the offline backup can sync between multiple devices easier. It's definitely not a good solution.

          I think Google's approach to offline docs is less than ideal. The .gdocs files should contain enough additional data that Docs can edit them offline -- or other apps can use and open them (if the Internet goes down or your Google account is disabled, or something.)

  37. Aruzmeister
    May 11, 2012 at 8:09 am

    it have fast and durability i like about but you have to give some more space for regular use

  38. jon
    May 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I have skydrive, google drive, logmein's cubby, and box. They are all great but my LG phone got 50gb free on box and I really don't need to upload more than 25mb at a time and i like the ability to stream some music. (Most of it is music files or apks). I also managed to keep my 25gb on skydrive but their mobile division is terrible and that's a big feature I need. Google drive I have little to say about because it's essentially google docs with a desktop client. Cubby is pretty much an experiment for me but it looks nice and i like the ability to stream online. My first choice would definitely be Box and a close second would either be cubby or google drive.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:53 am

      Interesting. I guess Box is good for some people, especially ones that get so much storage free.

      Personally, I think Box offers so much space because its limitations (no desktop sync client, only small files) make the space hard to use.

      When Microsoft changed SkyDrive from 25 GB to 7 GB, they said it was because the new SkyDrive meant people would actually use the space. They could afford to offer the space when it was hard to use and few people would use that much.

  39. Johann
    May 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    What about ShareFile from Citrix?
    It's a Enterprise ready service with encryption today and on premise option soon.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:47 am

      Never heard of it. Sounds a bit enterprise-y -- is it targeted at average people?

  40. k nath
    May 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    theres also adrive ( with 50 gb of free space. in my college where i access the net through a proxy; dropbox, skydrive, g drive..all have failed. but adrive has rescued me.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 13, 2012 at 2:33 am

      Wow, that's a lot of free space. I was looking for a catch -- it seems like you have to pay for access to the desktop client. Looks like a potentially decent option for web-based use, though.

  41. Gates VP
    May 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Like Google with Google Drive, Microsoft’s new SkyDrive product imitates the magic folder pioneered by Dropbox.

    So Microsoft has a product called Windows Live Mesh that does exactly what Dropbox does (except support every platform). It was launched right around the same time as Dropbox, in parallel with early versions of the Skydrive.

    So calling it "imitation" is pretty short-sighted, especially given what we know about MS's dev times.

    In any case, you should really add Live Mesh to this list. Yes, I know it's a second MS product, but it's a product that competes with Google Drive and Dropbox, where as Skydrive is not.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:51 am

      Interesting. I actually had no idea -- I thought Live Mesh was launched later. I apologize for missing that

      Either way, though -- Dropbox has a lot more mindshare than Live Mesh ever did. Dropbox caught on, while Live Mesh didn't catch on nearly as much.

      The new SkyDrive is Microsoft's big cloud storage play -- it does compete directly with Google Drive and Dropbox. It didn't used to, but the relaunched version does. I think it's a bit bizarre that they have two different programs that do -- I'd expect them to discontinue Live Mesh or combine it with SkyDrive soon.

      • Gates VP
        May 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm

        AFAIK, live mesh is in the process of being merged. In fact, it's taking a share of my LiveDrive storage space.

        The merger will likely take a little longer as it has an extra key feature on top of sync. You can also enable it for remote computer access to other boxes running live mesh.

        So I can not only share files and sync specific folders, but I can also log into my other Windows boxes just like a Remote Desktop session.

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 13, 2012 at 2:21 am

          Interesting. I had no idea Live Mesh had other features. It actually sounds decent -- it's too bad it never caught on, I suppose.

  42. Bob Lindabury
    May 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I think the thing all of you may be missing here and which is briefly mentioned in the article as a "Standout Feature" of SkyDrive is that you can access all your shared drives from all of your computers if they are on and connected to the internet. This also includes mapped network drives!

    I have multiple machines at home and at work that I leave on and with SkyDrive I have access to all my files no matter where they reside be it in cloud storage, or on my mapped network drives or on my hard drives on any of my Windows Vista and above machines. There is no WindowsXP client yet.

    All that and the fact that I got in with the 25Gb of free storage plan makes SkyDrive the winner overall for me. I still use all of the services and Dropbox seems to have the best smartphone apps and is very easy to use via the web interface if you needed.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:48 am

      That is a really cool feature. It's nice to see every player offering compelling featuers.

  43. some guy
    May 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    dropbox doesnt work well with folder redirection

    google didn;t like uploading a large pdf, or wanted to convert my word doc into a google doc

    skydrive works well, free upgrade to 25gb, works well with office docs, syncs well

    personal preference (as i use hotmail anyway): skydrive

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:48 am

      Well, you can tell Google not to convert your Word docs into Google Docs. But SkyDrive may be the best bet for you with the storage and Hotmail integration.

  44. solo9999
    May 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I use DropBox which I love. However, all these services have one big problem: all of them have access to my hosted files as nothing is encrypted. They are happily going to share my data with any law enforcement party. The only two services that offer encryption are wuala and spideroak. However, each comes with it's own negatives which I can't get over (can't conenct from work because I need to install client, slow servers etc.). Basically that makes me think og setting up my own cloud at home, either pogoplug, tonido or something similar...

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:55 am

      You could always set up a truecrypt volume -- I believe Dropbox is ideal for this with its synchronizing partial bits of changed files:

      You'd need to install a client to access it, though.

      • solo9999
        May 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

        Yes but that is rather uncomfortable and again, you can't use it in many places because of the client install :) I am testing out CloudFogger now let's see how that goes

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 13, 2012 at 2:20 am

          Interesting. There are lots of options for client-side encryption of cloud data -- that sounds like a good topic for a post. Thanks!

  45. Kevin Casey
    May 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Our business uses SyncBlaze which is perfect for business users. Our IT admins are completely satisfied with its admin management capabilities unlike other consumer-focused services. Personally, my choice is Sugarsync which I have been using for quite some time and would look no further for any alternative.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:55 am

      Interesting. I think an article about enterprise/business cloud storage services would be a great idea -- I don't know enough about them to write it myself, though.

      • Kevin Casey
        May 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

        It is definitely a great idea Chris, because businesses have already started adopting such collaboration services in their workplace and encourage their employees to use them. EOD it increases productivity as well as enhances team work.

  46. ea
    May 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I'm pretty sure Microsoft Pioneered the "Magic Folder" concept with Live Mesh.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:04 am

      Really? I thought Dropbox launched first -- even if Microsoft did, Dropbox definitely made the concept simple enough that it caught on.

  47. Manuel Kröber
    May 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Don't forget, Dropbox is offering *all* file revisions for 30 days (on free accounts, more on paid ones) so you can restore this one important word documents you just replaced by accident with like 2 clicks.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:04 am

      I believe Google Drive and SkyDrive offer this, too -- it takes up storage space (at least on Google Drive), but you have more storage space than Dropbox to begin with.

      • Manuel Kröber
        May 11, 2012 at 11:27 am

        Thanks for the info, will check them out :)

  48. gujjunewton
    May 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    skydrive is there since 2007. I have been seeing it since last Aug atleast... and if I am not wrong google drive came in recently...

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:05 am

      SkyDrive has been around for a while, but Microsoft "relaunched" it the day before Google Drive released. It now has a Dropbox-style desktop sync client and a lower storage limit (25GB -> 7GB).

  49. steveL
    May 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    The actual "sync" process should also be mentioned. Is just the changed portion of the file up loaded, or is the whole file? I deal in files that are several gigs in total, but will have as little as 1K of actual change. So how would each of the services hand the sync? This distinction never seems to get mentioned...

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:07 am

      Good question! I looked it up and it appears that Dropbox has this feature, while I don't think either Google Drive or SkyDrive do.

      If you work with a lot of big files, I suppose Dropbox is the clear winner of the three at the moment.

      • Mike H
        May 16, 2012 at 2:15 am

        Picasa Web sync is terrible - minor header changes lead to re-uploads of the entire full image. This is a major pain if you have 50 GB of images and limited bandwidth. So if Google Drive is anything like Picasa Web Sync I am staying well away from it.

        Dropbox only syncs the changes and is therefore blazing fast for small modifications.

  50. ShaneM
    May 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I can't see how you can beat Skydrive. The other day, I completed a Word presentation on my PC. Since my default storage location is SkyDrive it automatically synced. While on the train to a meeting, I used my Windows phone to check over it. Since SkyDrive is accessible from Windows Phone, I can see the document and because Windows phone can open Word docs, I could read through it and fix the errors I had made. Because it is automatically synced back to the cloud, at the meeting, I started up my laptop, and the document had updated! Much easier to make last minute small edits to a doc on a crowded train with a phone , knowing that they will save to the cloud. Even if you completely screw it up, sky drive keeps every version, so you can go back if needed.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 3:11 am

      Your story sounds like a vision from a Microsoft ad! If you're really involved in the Microsoft ecosystem (Office, Windows Phone, etc), SkyDrive is definitely the one to choose.

      Me, I don't use Office, or Windows Phone. I have an Android phone -- no official SkyDrive app there. I never use Office -- I use Google Docs or more basic text editors. And I use Linux occasionally -- Dropbox supports Linux, Google Drive will, and I'm sure Microsoft will never support Linux. So SkyDrive isn't for me.

      • Martin Bull
        May 11, 2012 at 6:15 am

        Browser for SkyDrive is available for Android and SkyDrive is available for iPad.

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 13, 2012 at 2:31 am

          True, there are third-party apps for Android -- but it's kind of obnoxious not to have a first-class, first-party app.

  51. Esger Jellema
    May 10, 2012 at 11:54 am

    With dropBox, I discovered that, when I take part in a shared folder of a friend, the space taken by this folder gets subtracted from my storage amount as well.
    This might be inevitable but it means they get payed twice for the same space - when we look at payed accounts.
    Of course that's a minor concern, but I can still warn you for taking part in (large) shared folders because it will lessen your space as well.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:36 am

      Thanks for pointing that out. That is a bit ridiculous when you consider how expensive their additional storage is.

    • Ken
      May 17, 2012 at 6:54 am

      I think this is the worst problem in dropbox, considering sharing is one of their main features. I'm not going to pay for any space with them. I'm using Google Drive. We are using Google Drive at the office too.

      • Chris Hoffman
        May 17, 2012 at 7:29 am

        Hopefully the competition will force Dropbox to up their game and become more reasonable. Ideally, competition should benefit everyone, no matter which service they choose.

    May 10, 2012 at 11:46 am

    i've been using mozy for backup and it does versioning realy well. they've recently launched a desktop sync folder client like dropbox, it's named stash it think. it shares the free 2gb with the backup app. overal i highy recommend mozy for backup purposes.
    been using dropbox for a few mobths and i think it's just great. one can use promotions and refferals to go get a lot more than the free 2gb. to me this is the best and simplest. it's stable, works well on android.
    started using a little google drive that seems like a nice thing. however it's quite unstable for now so i would not trust them with my files. the ocr thing may prove useful. love google docs. could be great it they polish it some more.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:35 am

      Interesting. I haven't run into any stability problems with Drive. I suppose it is new, though.

      I've heard of Mozy Stash -- seems like a good option for Mozy users, although I don't see why I'd go out of my way to use Mozy for 2 GB of space, as someone who isn't already a user.

      • Cosmin.Net
        May 11, 2012 at 6:10 am

        google drive, the one i've been waiting for ages, manages to crash explorer.exe process from time to time. this happened after i installed it. i don't trust it yet and have some mixed feelings for now.

        mozy offers great services, stable, just works. i'm actually using a little over 1gig as i use that for source code, config files, sql scripts mainly. they kinda have to up the game a little to compete now there are more players. however i think they are tops regarding quality.

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 13, 2012 at 2:30 am

          Hopefully they'll fix that. It's new, after all.

          Either way, it's good for everyone to have competition heating up.

  53. Alex
    May 10, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I started with Dropbox, but now I've also signed up for Google Drive and SkyDrive. I started using SkyDrive more mainly because I got in on the early promotion as a current user for 25GB of space for free! Can't beat that! Overall I've got 32.5GB between the three.

    Dropbox may have been the innovator, but now they are falling behind. Only 2.5GB in my Dropbox, and by far the highest prices to add more.

    I use the Amazon Cloud Drive mainly just for music, since I buy most of my digital music from them, and they started offering unlimited music uploads for free. Haven't tried the others.

    • barstep
      May 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

      One feature of Dropbox is that it keeps old versions of your files. None of the others do that.

      • Alex
        May 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

        That's what source control is for. I use Mercurial/Git locally even for documents and other files I'm working on. Upload them to bitbucket, which gives unlimited private repositories for free. Can go back to any version easily on any computer.

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 11, 2012 at 2:29 am

          That's a pretty clever solution, actually. I've never considered using such system for files -- it may be a bit redundant with all services offering versioning (and Windows itself having a "previous versions" feature for files), though.

      • ShaneM
        May 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        I use Skydrive as my primary system, and I use its versioning feature all the time. It keeps every version of your files and folders.

      • Chris Hoffman
        May 11, 2012 at 2:28 am

        Google Drive does, actually (for 30 days or 100 revisions). They all seem to

        • Max
          August 8, 2012 at 5:39 am

          You clearly don't know what your talking about. File recovery and revisions are not available on sky drive, so all the space in the world means nothing if something should happen (virus/malware/accident deletes file in your sky drive folder and quickly sync'ed; ALL is lost and unrecoverable).

          Why don't you actually try using the services on both desktop and mobile clients and perform both business and personal work and see the short comings of each and then post a useful blog.

          Dropbox wins hands down at this point in time. Best sync, more details (sync) in that department than anyone else. Best mobile client's. Selective sync per device, file revisions for ALL files. Undo's, the list goes on. Sky drive just allow you more data to be lost, no selective sync (there goes GB's of personal pictures to your corporate PC at work) in the dark with the sync. Google drive is not flexible for the real world; their iOS client blows. You complain about MSOffice tied to sky drive, google is worse with there sh^tty google docs. If a client send me a .docx file I don't want to convert it. I want to open it (even in mobile) and edit it and sync the change (web/mobile of local client) as the source file that it is and send it back to them. When on the go, work with each vendors web version and see which is the fastest and easiest to work with, what? dropbox. Its not just about how much free space! Yes none are perfect but using all three (I) you can tell which is best by a long shot. And right now its dropbox. IF microsoft could do exactly what dropbox already has then there would be something to compare. Data loss is not a comparision.

        • Chris Hoffman
          August 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm

          Wow, why so hostile? I was aware of file versioning existing in SkyDrive, but it appears it is indeed only for Office files -- that's bizarre. Sorry if I mislead you.

          To say that "Google Drive is not flexible for the real world" because "their iOS client blows" and you don't like Google Docs, well:

          My "real world use" is using Android, where the Google Drive client is solid. I also never use MS Office, only Google Docs occasionally -- so Google Drive works for me.

          I feel more confident about the security with Google. I have two-factor authentication set up with my Google account and Google's never had widespread security problems.

          In comparison, Dropbox offers no two-factor authentication and has had a series of high-profile security problems, including a period of three hours or so when they allowed anyone to log into any account without bothering to check passwords.

          For my real-world use, where I care about security, I'd say that Dropbox is not suitable.

          But of course, we all have different priorities and different solutions are ideal for different people.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:30 am

      SkyDrive definitely is the winner in terms of storage space, especially if you got the limited-time 25 GB offer.

      Dropbox will have to reduce its prices to compete, that's for sure.

      I believe Google offers a huge amount of music uploading space with Google Music, too. I'm not in the US so I haven't been able to play with Google Music, though.

  54. Art
    May 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

    You forgot about

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:28 am

      I mentioned Box near the end. I don't feel like it's really in the same category, with its file size limitations and lack of a desktop sync client. It seems more focused on the enterprise.

  55. Aruzmeister
    May 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

    dropbox is better one thumbs up

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:26 am

      Any specific reason you prefer Dropbox over the others? Does it have a feature lacking in them?

  56. Mitesh Budhabhatti
    May 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Nice comparison

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:27 am

      Thanks! I could always add additional services, but there are way too many to mention them all.

  57. Joe Wilson
    May 10, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Great review, but where's live drive? 2TB for 9.99 has to be worth a mention surely?

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:26 am

      Never even heard of it! Sounds like a great deal, although there's no free tier, so that's a problem.

    • Danny S
      August 4, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      If you have a lifetime of patience then livedrive is for you. Over the past couple of weeks have tested nearly every service. Am fortunate to have a 1gb data center connection on my machine, livedrive is painfully slow. It would be faster to walk with crutches to their servers.

      • Chris Hoffman
        August 7, 2012 at 7:36 am

        Ouch, that's quite the harsh review. I laughed, though!

      • Lex
        October 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

        Livedrive is a truck (VS a sport car)

  58. Daryl
    May 10, 2012 at 6:47 am

    What do you guys think about Bitcasa?

    • Tsiro
      May 10, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Bitcasa scary!

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:24 am

      Never heard of it -- "infinite storage?" That's quite a promise. It does make me a bit skeptical.

  59. Layemi
    May 10, 2012 at 6:41 am

    SkyDrive all d way. Syncs nicely.
    I use Dropbox for syncing with my iPad apps though.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:25 am

      They all work pretty similarly, now that Microsoft and Google have both imitated Dropbox. I think it depends on which ecosystem you prefer, really.

  60. Paulo Roberto
    May 10, 2012 at 3:22 am

    What about Ubuntu One? It's a great app for cloud storage as well.

  61. Raja Chowdhury
    May 10, 2012 at 2:38 am

    I somehow feel that though with Cloud, Google has more visibility over Microsoft with Google Apps being a predecessor to Office365, somehow Microsoft have winner in their hand with Skydrive and going forward if they integrate it with their Office365 offerings, then it should give Google a run for their money. However, even as a standalone totally free solution, with 7GB storage, free MS Office Web Apps, document collaboration, for the past few months, it has become my cloud solution of choice. I personally feel, Microsoft has got it here, only they need to integrate it with Office365. :)

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:22 am

      I've actually never used Office365, although I have used Google Docs -- what makes Office365 better? Is it the support for MS Office file formats?

  62. Blake Barker
    May 10, 2012 at 1:50 am

    I actually use Minus as my cloud storage.... Google Drive I use mainly for my documents for school.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:20 am

      Looks nice and simple, but I can't see a desktop sync client -- that's a really nice feature.

      • Justin
        July 23, 2012 at 9:18 am

        Looks like they now have a desktop app - "The Minus desktop app allows you to drag-n-drop photos, music, documents and files into the taskbar and instantly upload onto Minus." -

        Great article, by the way, Chris!

        • Chris Hoffman
          July 24, 2012 at 2:51 am


          Minus looks like more of a sharing system than a cloud storage system, though. For example, I don't see any way to sync files between computers, only upload from the desktop.

        • Justin
          July 25, 2012 at 12:35 am

          Very true. I wonder if one can download the desktop app on different computers (same account) to share the same online folder. I'm just now dipping into the info and am trying to figure out how to share a folder with others (different accounts) like I can with Dropbox.

        • Justin
          July 25, 2012 at 12:57 am

          Looks like other users get to access your folders via link, whether folders are private or public. Private folders just aren't viewable in Minus' 'Explore' or 'Profile' sections. One can get quite a bit of storage from referrals (50GB), but this style may not be exactly what I'm looking for. However, I did find tons of great art, images, etc. while browsing!

        • Chris Hoffman
          July 26, 2012 at 5:27 am

          Sounds like a good cloud sharing system, but not a good private cloud storage system.

  63. christian fillion
    May 10, 2012 at 12:57 am

    our business uses dropbox and it does everything thst we need with perfection.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 11, 2012 at 2:21 am

      Dropbox has had a long time to carve itself out a niche. It has a really nice interface and works well for most people. Google Drive and SkyDrive will probably get a lot of users just because of their brand associations -- it would be tough for a smaller player to seriously challenge Dropbox.

  64. 404-931-0493
    May 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I use Syncplicity and have been very happy with it. It does not get mentioned in lists like this. I wonder why not? I use it for backup and to keep several computers synced.

    • Paul Schwartz
      May 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      I second your use of Syncplicity. For me the must have feature is that you can sync any directory on your file system, not just the ones under some root directory.

      • Chris Hoffman
        May 11, 2012 at 2:20 am

        I tried to focus on the big-name, popular ones -- especially SkyDrive and Google Drive, which are the new ones. There are so many services to choose from!

        Why do you two prefer Syncplicity? What does it offer over SugarSync, which also offers the ability to sync any directory?

      • Sid James
        August 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

        You can always create a link directory (or junction if you're on XP) using mklink. Seems to work find with Skydrive but not with Google Drive.

    • Rich Varsay
      May 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      It may be possible the Google drive is current media darling,but for users who just looking to get some work done here's why you should give SkyDrive a try.

    • Rich Varsay
      May 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      It may be possible the Google drive is current media darling,but for users who just looking to get some work done here's why you should give SkyDrive a try.

      • Chris Hoffman
        May 13, 2012 at 2:29 am

        SkyDrive certainly has the lead if you need MS Office formats.

        Personally, I get plenty of work done without ever touching an MS Office file. These days, with tablets and iPads and smartphones without Office, many people are realizing Office isn't necessary for everyone.

        • Suresh Volam
          August 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm

          I like SkyDrive because of the 25 GB disk space it offers. Of course, they have reduced the limit to 7 GB, but I feel when people reach 7 GB, they might increase to 25 GB.

          Does any one know any other provider with more space and security in line with Sky Drive or Google Drive?

        • Chris Hoffman
          August 7, 2012 at 7:18 am

          I believe you can get a lot of free space with Dropbox through referrals and other promotions.

          A quick Google reveals people saying the maximum free space is 32GB, at least.

          Of course, it's a bit more work to get, but it is free.