Productivity software

Google Drive vs. The Rest

Google Drive, Google's cloud storage service, is finally here, and it's no surprise that the competition is prepared after years of rumors.

Cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Microsoft's Skydrive have been adding new features ahead of the Google Drive launch, and I've been getting anticipatory e-mails from other competitors, reminding me of their existence, for weeks now.

So how do all these online storage services compare to the new Google Drive? We've put together a chart covering all the big features of the major services. Here are some of the highlights:

  • SkyDrive offers the most free storage at 7GB, and users who signed up before April 22 can get 25 GB free for a limited time.
  • Google Drive undercuts all of its competitors on monthly pricing, but Microsoft's Skydrive--which doesn't offer monthly pricing--is cheaper on an annual basis.
  • SugarSync is the only service that can sync to any local file folder, but SkyDrive allows access to an entire remote Windows PC using two-step authentication.
  • Watch out for file-size limits. Box has a limit of only 100MB; SugarSync doesn't have any limits; and Google Drive's 10GB is much more generous than those of the other three services.
  • Web apps, public link sharing, and private file sharing are table stakes at this point.
  • The offerings from Google and Microsoft have their downsides: Neither one supports the other's mobile platform.

Of course, comparison charts won't tell you everything you need to know. You might, for example, prefer Dropbox because a lot of other people are using it, or Google Drive because you already use lots of other Google services and want to tie in cloud storage. Use the feature comparisons as a baseline, and then find the cloud storage service that's right for you.

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