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  • SkyDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive Compared
Technology Articles > Software > Network & Internet > SkyDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive Compared

SkyDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive are (arguably) the best cloud-based file sharing and transferring options. What's the best way to choose one? Read through this comparative list of pros and cons to find out how Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive stack up.

Microsoft's SkyDrive

SkyDrive is the synching option to choose if you use Microsoft Office products such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. You can think of SkyDrive as Microsoft's answer to Apple's iCloud - only for Microsoft products. When it comes to synching Microsoft files, SkyDrive works smoothly.

You can edit documents in your browser, and you can also share files with groups. It's also possible to use the SkyDrive 'Fetch' feature to access files that are stored on a home PC. The one drawback here is that you can't download any files for offline viewing.

SkyDrive offers users 7GB of free storage.

Google Drive

Drive used to be called Docs, but it's basically the same synching system. Google's Drive is one of the easiest synching options to use, Drive allows you to open up to 30 different types of files from your browser, and offers drag and drop options. You can share files using Drive easily enough, and the setup is simple.

Google Drive comes with 5GB of free storage.


Dropbox is one of the most popular synching options available. This tool lets you synch files across many platforms, makes sharing a snap, allows in-browser editing, and is extremely friendly when it comes to developer usage.

Dropbox offers 2GB of storage for free, and you can pay to add additional storage.

Other Synching Options

There are a number of additional synching tools available (like SugarSynch), though Drive, Dropbox, and SkyDrive are the most popular of the bunch. For versatility, Dropbox is the way to go. If you're looking for something compatible with Office, check out SkyDrive. Lastly, Google's Drive is an ideal tool to use if you want a synching tool that can support a number of different formats.

If you share files, want to share private files, and need a simple way to edit and update group files, synching tools are the best choice. Take a look at the features that each tool offers, compare storage amounts, and look for upgrade prices in order to select the right one. What about security?

File Synching Security

Since security is such a big issue now, keeping files from prying eyes is more important than ever before. How can you do this while using a file synching tool? In one word: encrypt. File encryption is really the only way to make sure that any files shared are secure. Use a separate tool to encrypt files before you store or send them.

One last note: do not send anything to the cloud that cannot be legally moved. Doing so can land you in jail, and that would be a major drawback! Not sure what's legal and what's not? Take a look at this cloud hosting article to figure it all out.