In 2014, people are much more savvy about technology than they use to be. However, most people would still have to be considered novice when it comes to understanding how technology works. Cloud storage capabilities are a hot topic in today’s marketplace. There are numerous people who are interested in using cloud storage, but there are so many choices of providers, and that creates a reluctance to make a choice.
Comparison of SkyDrive vs Dropbox
Two of the more popular cloud storage providers are SkyDrive and Dropbox. In order to properly compare these two services for the benefit of potential customers, it is very important to identify the key characteristics that customers look at when deciding which company is going to be chosen to protect their digital data files.
For purposes of this comparison between Dropbox vs SkyDrive, the following characteristics will be evaluated; functionality (ease of use), features, security and pricing. Each of these services will have strengths and weakness. Prior to making a decision between the two, the user needs to determine which characteristics they value the most.
In a twist of irony, SkyDrive would seem to be a little easier to use. This particular cloud storage provider has been around much longer than its opponent. Having been developed in the early history of cloud storage, the programmers made a choice to keep things simple for customers. A couple of key examples would be file-sharing and syncing and document editing.
- File Sharing and Syncing – File-sharing and syncing is initiated with a couple clicks of the mouse with some useful restriction options in SkyDrive. In Dropbox, it’s a more tedious process with a little less flexibility. This occurs because of the way files are cataloged and retrieved.
- Document Editing – In the early years, SkyDrive built its product around a close integration with Microsoft products. As a result, it is much easier for users to pull up Office documents or spreadsheets, edit or view them and re-save them. In fact, multiple people can edit the same document at the same time and immediately see the changes each have made. The final result is still one saved document in the file. With Dropbox, each person has to independently download the document, change it, then it gets saved as two separate documents.
With two established, middle-of-the-road cloud storage providers, it’s difficult to find unique features. However, each of these two services has some unique offerings.
- Speed and Reliability – When downloading or uploading files, Dropbox is one of the fastest around, and SkyDrive one of the slowest. Also, SkyDrive tends to drop a file every now and then, while Dropbox shows almost perfect transfer results.
- Facebook Integration – Dropbox has a clear advantage here as they offer the ability to easily share files in Facebook with predetermined Facebook Groups. No such features exists in SkyDrive.
- Microsoft’s OneNote Mobile App – Again, SkyDrive close integration with Microsoft products give it an advantage here. Users to can keep notes on this product, and the notes are automatically save and uploaded to the cloud storage.
SkyDrive only requires a single password to sign into a user’s account. If accessing personal information, a secondary security code is sent to a secondary email address. With Dropbox, two levels of passwords are needed to access data. As far as securing data is concerned, both services use similar encryption specifications for both transferring and storing of files.
SkyDrive has a big advantage here. SkyDrive starts all customers with 7GB of free storage compared to only 2GB with Dropbox. At the high-end of pricing for additional storage space, SkyDrive customers can get 107 GB for $50 per year. Dropbox offers 500GB at $499 per year. That’s 10 times the price for less than 5 times more storage space.
If customers use Microsoft products and/or might be more sensitive to budget considerations, SkyDrive could be the better choice. For sophisticated users with large amounts of data and digital files, Dropbox makes more sense considering the product’s speed and reliability.