Everyone’s heard of the saying “It’s up in the cloud” but which cloud do you use. The most common drives are OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and iCloud. All these storing drives each offer different options for different purposes.
OneDrive formerly called SkyDrive offers 15GB with the file restriction of 2GB. Paid Plans cost $2 per month for 100GB or $4 for 200GB. This drive can run on Window, Mac, Andriod and iOS. This drive is Microsofts storage option; those who use Windows 8 and 8.1 have OneDrive built into the operating system. Any operating system can use it on the web or by downloading a desktop app. This cloud allows you to store any kind of file including photos, videos and documents that can be accessed from your Mac or mobile devices. OnceDrive organises the drive by type allowing you to find what you need easily. Microsoft has programed the app to automatically save your photos to OneDrive. One of the benefits of OneDrive is that it works closely with Microsoft Office apps such as world and powerpoint. It shows your recent documents including the ones saved to OneDrive. If you have an Office 365 subscription you will be able to open a document saved in OneDrive, which can be collaborated on in real time with other people. If you are a windows user it excels at working with windows devices because it’s baked into the windows operating systems. However if you don’t have windows devices OneDrive doesn’t have the same appeal, you can still use it but it is a Windows built cloud.
Dropbox is popular cloud for storing because it’s reliable and easy to use. You can access your documents from anywhere at anytime from Dropbox’s website, desktop applications for all operating systems. Dropbox allows you to store any kind of file in Dropbox by either uploading it to the website or the application you have stored on your device. The application is a live app allowing you to add, move and edit files stored to your dropbox. The app has been developed so that it automatically and quickly syncs your files across all of your devices. The benefit of using Dropbox is that there is no size limit on the files you upload to dropbox with the desktop or mobile apps, however the larger folders can take longer to upload depending on the connection speed. Dropbox offers more space for those who refer the application to their friends. Its greatest strength is that it works equally with all operating systems. It’s a simple design, made easy for anyone to use. However you can not control the way the files are displayed, but you still do get many more sharing options on the Dropbox site. Dropbox starts with 2GB free storage still offering you to earn extra storage. They offer 1TB for a small price of $10.
Google started offering a handful of helpful online office tools called Google Docs, which is now called Google Drive. It is a complete office suite with the cloud storage. This services offers multiple services including word processor, spreadsheet, plus 15GB of free storage space. It has a file restriction upload of 10GB but you can’t earn extra storage space. Depending on the required space you need Google Drive offers 100GB for $2 a month or 1TB for $10 a month. If you are already have a Google account you can already access this drive, you just have to enable these services. It allows you to access any of your files from the Drive Web site, but you can also download the app for any operating system as it supports all platforms. It allows you to organise all of your files in the desktop app and they will sync with the cloud so you can access them anywhere. This drive also offers third party apps that can send faxes and sign documents. It is very simple to use, it lets you to drag and drop files into the drive website and they will be uploaded instantly. When receiving an email through your Gmail you can open attachments from your email and save them directly to Drive with a few clicks. It is very easy to setup a Google Drive especially if you already have an existing Google account. Google Drive is best for Google diehards, or anyone wanting office tools and cloud storage.
Box is a drive supported by all operating systems but only offers 100GB for $10 per month. It only allows you to upload 250MB with the free plan offering the storage space of 10GB. If you pay for the 100GB a month then it has a bigger file restriction of 5GB instead of 250MB. Anyone can sign up for free for a Box account, but it is a Drive created with the intention to benefit business and IT users. Beyond the basic cloud storage setup that allows you to store any kind of file it also gives you the option to leave comments on someone’s work and receive notifications when the file is changed. Just like all storage services it offers a website and a desktop app, which syncs files between your hard drive and cloud. Box gives you control of the privacy of your files so you can stop some people from viewing it, editing and even the access to uploading documents. You can even password-protect individual files. It is one of the best options for business owners as if offers many tools for collaboration and file privacy control.
iCloud is one of the most world wide known drives as it is an Apple app. Unlike the other drives it isn’t a cloud that allows you to just frap and drop, however it links to various aspects of the company’s devices. If you are a Mac user you will appreciate the tight integration relationship that the service has which automatically stores data, keychain settings, calendar, contact and email information. You can still access the files from Windows PC if you download the software from Apple or log into the website. You can have the choice to have your photos synced as well as safari bookmarks. Recently Apple has made their iWork office suite free, which syncs to you iCloud. The app has been designed so you can start a document on your iPhone or iPad and continues to work on it on your PC. This cloud drive offers 5GB free and when you upload photos and apps to your cloud this space isn’t used. This drive doesn’t really cater for those who jump from one operating system to another. The real benefits are the linked apps such as messages. This is a drive that Apple users would find beneficial but it is also a more personal service.