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Are you in the cloud?

February 14, 2014 2:37 PM | Deleted user

I have been trying out various cloud storage services. Of course I tried and looked into the most common sources, Dropbox, SkyDrive and iCloud.

Dropbox I found to be very easy and efficient. It worked great for getting files to a computer or person you had not set up sharing with and a lot less hassle than an FTP. The problem though is the limitation on file size for uploading. Of course you storage space is also very limited (2GB) unless you purchase more space.

SkyDrive from Microsoft is great, particularly if you are on a PC. It real integrates seamlessly with your every day file usage. SkyDrive beats Dropbox in initial storage with 7GB. If you sign up with Microsoft office 365 (I recommend it), you get an additional 20GB for a total of 27GB of storage. You still have the problem of a 2GB file size. Once again, you do need to pay if you need anymore space.

iCloud from Apple starts you off with 5GB of storage with a no limit on file size. I personally have not used iCloud, but I understand that it works reasonably well. It will even automatically back up your data.

GoogleDrive  adds an interesting feature in adding its search engine technology into the mix. For example, it can recognize images in your files. So when you can't remember the specific name of the image you are looking for, it will recognize the content you are looking for with what you type. I have not used this, but I can see were it would be useful if it works as well as they say. If you are using Google Docs, you can actually go back in time in your revision history to see the changes you have made. I personally am an Office fan however. GoogleDrive starts you off with the larges free amount of storage at 15GB. It has a max file size of 10GB. Need more space? Better ante up.

Box is pretty neat with it's collaboration ability. You can invite others to share and edit files with real time updates. It of course has mobile apps to access it on your iOS and Android devices. It has a lot of web apps that get confusing and can't download or export proprietor Box documents created in them. It starts you off with a free storage of 10GB and a max file size of 5GB. Greater storage equal money.

Pogoplug is what I am using now. it works very easily with it's ability to drag and drop system of uploading files right through your browser. the free version starts you off with 5GB and no max file size. They of course also have apps for mobile access. If you don't want you data out in the cloud, Pogoplug also has physical devices, basically like external hard drives, to keep your data in house. The neat thing is that you Pogoplug account can be used to access these devices from anywhere. You could be out of town and still get access to files in you office. Pogoplug also has an upgrade available for an extra fee. With the upgrade Pogoplug backs up and updates your files in real time. If you update a document on your computer, it will be updated in the cloud (or the device if you bought one.)

Value: I'm sure you've noticed the theme that more storage means more money. If you're like me, even the highest amount of the free storages isn't enough. So which has the best value?

Dropbox: Total storage 500GB - Max file size 10GB - Cost per year $499

SkyDrive: Total storage 200GB - Max File Size 2GB - Cost per year $100

iCloud: Total storage 55GB - Max file size UNLIMITED - Cost per year $100

GoogleDrive: Total storage 1TB - Max file size 10GB - Cost per year $600

Box: Total storage 100GB - Max file size 5GB - Cost per year $120

Pogoplug: Total storage UNLIMITED - Max file size UNLIMITED - Cost per year $49.95

Winner: In my opinion Pogoplug is the clear winner when considering cost, storage space, max file size and the features you get with that cost. The others do have some nice abilities, especially GoogleDrive with it's advanced search feature. Still, none of the others with there file/storage limitations and high prices, stack up to the value of Pogoplug.

Ultimately you have to decide what is the best choice for you. I hope this has been of help.

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