Google Drive Compared to SkyDrive and Dropbox

Dropbox has been the most popular file hosting cloud storage destination. Microsoft has the Windows Live SkyDrive for the same purpose. With the arrival of Google Drive, it becomes necessary to compare the three cloud storage services and their features.

(1) Availability:
Google Drive: available for PC, Mac and Android phones /tablets. Soon to be available for iPhones and iPads/
Dropbox: available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, BlackBerry and Android devices. Also available for Windows XP and Linux
Windows Live SkyDrive : available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone devices. Not available for Windows XP and Linux.

(All services do offer a web mobile version that can help you access your files from the web browser of any mobile phone).

(2) Storage Limits
Google Drive:5 GB free online storage; limit is you can upload files of 1 GB from the web browser
Dropbox: 2-3 GB of free online storage; can upload files of any size to through the desktop client; 300 MB from the web browser
Windows Live SkyDrive : 7 GB of storage space, if you are new; limit is you can upload files of 2 GB through the desktop client; 300 MB from the web browser.

(3) Paid Storage Plans
Google Drive: 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month.
Dropbox: 50 GB of storage space for $99 per year
Windows Live SkyDrive : additional 20 GB for about $10 per year or 50 GB for $25 per year.

(4) Built-in File Viewers

Google Drive: built-in file viewers for most common file formats including Office documents, PDFs, videos and images. In addition, more formats including Photoshop mockups and AutoCAD drawings;
Dropbox: built-in file viewers for most common file formats including Office documents, PDFs, videos and images.
Windows Live SkyDrive: built-in file viewers for most common file formats including Office documents, PDFs, videos and images.

(5) File History
Google Drive: will save any file’s history for 30 days; deleted file or folder is moved the Trash from where it can be easily restored.
Dropbox: will save any file’s history for 30 days; deleted file or folder is moved the Trash from where it can be easily restored.
Windows Live SkyDrive: not exactly specified; deleted file or folder is gone forever

(6) Security
Google Drive: Since Since your Google Drive is connected to your Google Account, you can apply 2-step protection and non-authorized user won’t be able to access your online file even if they are aware of your Google username and password; maintains a detailed log of every single change that was made to your files
Dropbox: This extra layer of protection is not available; maintains a detailed log of every single change that was made to your files
Windows Live SkyDrive: This extra layer of protection is not available; does not maintain a detailed log of every single change that was made to your files;

(7) File Search
Google Drive:Google Drive can read the text content of scanned documents and photographs using OCR. That is, if you have saved a photograph of the whiteboard to your Google Drive account, you should be able find that image by text without having to remember the filename.
Dropbox: returns results where the file names matches your search keywords.
Windows Live SkyDrive: lets you search the content of documents that are in common Microsoft Office formats.

(8) Offline Access
Google Drive:lets you save any document or file on your mobile for offline use.
Dropbox : lets you save any document or file on your mobile for offline use.
Windows Live SkyDrive: offline facility is not available; however, you can always export the document to another app like iBooks or Good Reader and access it offline.

(9) Selective Sync
Google Drive: for multiple computers, files are copied across the machines; option to selectively synchronize folders per computer available;
Dropbox : for multiple computers, files are copied across the machines; option to selectively synchronize folders per computer available;
Windows Live SkyDrive: for multiple computers, files are copied across the your machines; option to selectively synchronize folders per computer not available;

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