The cloud naturally represents the future of file storage beyond physical media, but the landscape is a little bit like International waters at the moment. Anything goes and everything is up for grabs.
Google and Microsoft have both made bold moves towards commanding the arena this week, aiming to battle some of the early dominance away from pioneers like Dropbox, which continues to improve its service and lurkers like Apple, Sony and Samsung.
Google’s service comes in the form of Google Drive, finally announced after months of speculation, which offers 5GB of service for free and up to 1TB for a considerable monthly fee, along with a host of neat sharing options.
SkyDrive is Microsoft’s solution. The name has been around for a couple of years now, but Microsoft has significantly enhanced its offering, making SkyDrive an entirely new proposition.
Let’s take a look at which service offers the best option for you.
Google Drive vs Dropbox: Storage and pricing
As we mentioned Google is dangling the carrot by giving all Google account holders a free 5GB of Drive storage for your documents, photos and more. The company claims: “That’s enough to store the high-res photos of your trip to the Mt. Everest, scanned copies of your grandparents’ love letters or a career’s worth of business proposals, and still have space for the novel you’re working on.”
But its also savvy enough to know, that in this age, 5GB isn’t really enough. You can update to 25GB for a mere $2.49 (£1.54) a month and we’d imagine that’ll be the most popular option. Power users can grab 100GB for $4.99 (£3.08) a month, while a 1TB in the cloud will cost $49.99 (£30.80).
Perhaps mindful that Google will only be offering 5GB, Microsoft has cut its free SkyDrive allowance from 25GB right down to 7GB. Existing users will be able to adjust their account settings to hold onto that free storage, but new users will get just 7GB.
Redwood also opts for yearly price plans with 20GB for $10 (£6) a year. 50GB for $25 (£16) a year and 100GB for $50 (£32) a year.
Google has the advantage in terms of pure storage stage (it has also upped Gmail free storage from 7GB to 10GB), but Microsoft’s existing option is cheaper and offers more free space.
Microsoft has upped its file upload maximum size from 100MB to 300MB, whereas Google makes no mention of a maximum upload size within its launch documents, so that remains to be seen.