Are you one of those shortsighted people that store their family photos on your hard drive but nowhere else ? And if the hard drive fails you’re screwed !  

Maybe you’re one of the cautious ones that mirror your personal and important stuff onto a second hard drive, keeping a copy of everything on two drives in your computer.  That’s called “Master Sergeant” file security, but what will you do if your house burns down and your whole computer goes up in flames along with your exotic assortment of guinea pigs and stamps?
Not much, you replace your deceased pets and move on with your life…

Eureka – Just put it on my cloud
That’s where cloud hosting comes in to aid you in securing your data for life.

Keeping your data on “The Cloud” means you upload your files to a remote server where it is kept safe and backed up.  It also means you should be able to access it anywhere, anytime and from any device.  If you were like me once, this will save you at least one hard drive.  So just go ahead and fill that one up with some useless stuff like…….Grey’s Anatomy.

Collaboration
What I find most exciting in these cloud services is the ability to collaborate in real-time with others through the cloud.  Where multiple users are editing the same document simultaneously and changes made become visible immediately.  This tool is vital to basically any digital group effort and when you’ve tried it you will kill anyone who tries to take it from you.  This is especially useful for students that can’t afford gas money on their scooter.

Syncing
Like I said before keeping your data at two separate locations is always a good thing so cloud services should provide a client for syncing your data on the hard drive with the cloud.  Seems simple enough doesn’t it.  When I delete a file on my computer the client deletes it on the cloud as well.  This can lead to problems though if someone accidentally deletes your baby pictures because the provided desktop client might delete them as well on your cloud storage, so I suggest using this feature with extreme caution.

The comparison
To make sure not to risk a “TLDR” from readers I will go right to my nifty comparison.  I chose Livedrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.com for my sexy table.

 

 

Livedrive

Dropbox

Google Drive

Box.com

Free space

N/A

2GB(18GB with friend referrals, pain in the ass though)

5GB

5GB

Price of 50GB storage per month

N/A

NA

N/A

Aprox. $22
(No thanks)

Price of 100GB storage per month

N/A

$9.99

$4.99

N/A

Price of 200GB storage per month

N/A

$19.99

$9.99

N/A

Price of 2TB storage per month

$15.95

$118 (Team of 10 people with 200GB each)

$99.99

N/A or
“Call for pricing”

Online collaboration

Yes

No

(but connected users are informed automatically when files are modified)

Yes

Yes

   Platform support    

Web

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Android

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

iOS

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Linux

No

Yes

No

No

Mac

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Windows

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Nifty wasn’t it.

Conclusion
Dropbox is probably the most used cloud hosting at the moment but their pricing is a little steep I think and it doesn’t offer any software-less editing between multiple users like Google Drive does via Google Docs.  I have to admit though that I’m leaning towards Google since their AJAX based browser GUI is just to die for and since you can get your free 5GB storage integrated into your Gmail account it sounds a bit comfortable and I’m not hating the pricing either.  I have not gotten the chance to test drive LiveDrive yet which is a shame because 15.95 bucks a month for 2TB storage is a steal so it is worth trying out.  I’m not sure what the people at Box.com are thinking but I feel like they’re trying to price themselves out of the market.
Google Drive comes out on top, not only because of the low pricing but the available features are astounding.  It comes equipped with a number of apps that integrate neatly with your online storage, making your life alot easier because I for one hate filling my computer up with software.
So go ahead and give it a try, you won’t regret it.

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