Top Online Cloud Storage Solutions - Advantages and Disadvantages

There's many cloud storage solutions out there and new services are always being started. One such service is from Apple with their iCloud service that integrates with their iOS and Mac products; seamlessly backing up documents, photos, applications and other data and keeping everything synchronised between the different Apple devices, such as between an iPad and an iPhone, if you have both devices.

A well-known and well-used cloud storage service is Dropbox. Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage (no strings attached) and is a great way to backup USB pen files and important computer files, documents, etc. to a cloud storage solution should anything fail. I'd definitely recommend using Dropbox as the first 2GB are free. If you run out of space, you can upgrade to a paid plan at any time via the website.

Other services include Microsoft's SkyDrive which offers 25GB of free storage – more than the 2GB offered by Dropbox.

Another one I know about is SugarSync. It includes 5GB of free storage (more than the 2GB free storage offered by Dropbox) and 30GB onwards (paid storage).

Dropbox

Advantages of Dropbox:

  • 2GB free (only signup required)
  • Has its own folder within Windows Explorer or the Macintosh Finder so you can easily drag-and-drop files and folders into the 'Dropbox' folder
  • Continues to synchronise files even if you modify them
  • Allows you to recover deleted files and folders via the Dropbox website
  • Allows you to make specific files and folders public via the 'Public' folder; upload screenshots, etc
  • Allows you to upload and download files and folders via the Dropbox website at any time
  • Low cost paid plans starting at $9.99 per month (can be purchased in the UK too) for 50GB of space. And you can upgrade your plan to a maximum 100GB space (if you require more storage you'll need to contact Dropbox about it for a bigger plan).
  • Available on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (apps are also available for iOS, Android and BlackBerry).


Disadvantages to Dropbox:

  • Microsoft's Windows Live SkyDrive offers 25GB of storage versus Dropbox's 2GB of storage.


Windows Live SkyDrive

Advantages to SkyDrive

  • 25GB of free online storage; more than Dropbox (2GB).
  • Drag-and-drop capabilities available*
  • Access and upload your documents, files and folders online via the SkyDrive website


Disadvantages to SkyDrive

  • *Drag-and-drop capabilities doesn't work on Linux. Requires a Silverlight enabled browser such as Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer or Safari on Mac OS X.


SugarSync

Advantages to SugarSync

  • Offers 5GB of free storage – more than Dropbox
  • Offers more storage than Dropbox (up to 250GB). And for $9.99 a month, it offers 60GB of storage (10GB more than Dropbox). 100GB storage is priced at $14.99 per month (cheaper than Dropbox – Dropbox charges $19.99 per month).
  • Cheaper package available than Dropbox – 30GB for $4.99 per month versus 50GB for $9.99 per month with Dropbox.
  • SugarSync software available for both Windows and Mac OS X*. Windows software available for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  • SugarSync software also available for iOS, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile (5 anr 6) and Nokia's Symbian platform (S60 3rd and 5th edition and the newer Symbian^3)
  • Allows you to access and upload files, folders and documents online.


Disadvantages to SugarSync
  • No SugarSync software available for Linux (available for Windows and Mac OS X only).
  • *Mac OS X software requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later.


To conclude

To conclude, there are many different storage solutions out there – I personally use Dropbox, but if I ever run out of storage I may consider switching to SugarSync, since they offer 5GB of storage free versus the 2GB of free storage offered by Dropbox. It is great that all of the cloud storage services listed here do offer free storage options; all I upload to the cloud is my music collection, work documents and the likes as a failover in case my USB pen drive or computer fails. To conclude, I would definitely consider SugarSync as their prices are cheaper than Dropbox for the same storage space, and they have a cheaper 30GB option starting at just $4.99 per month.

Hope this helps.