cloud storage: Google Drive and insynchq, Skydrive, Dropbox, SugarSync and my Synology… and Evernote

May 5, 2012

Recently everyone is providing cloud storage in the same way Dropbox have been doing it for a while.

Last week Google started rolling out the long awaited Google Drive, with Mac and PC installers to accomplish sort of what Dropbox does, with the difference that they increased the free storage to 10Gb while Dropbox gives 2Gb.

I installed Google Drive. It is basically Google Docs renamed. Honestly I am a bit disappointed. In my Mac GDrive creates a folder with only links to Google Docs and yes, with the files that are not Google docs specifics. Insynchq does it much better… with Insynchq you use Google Drive but instead of having links it converts them to word, excel and powerpoint documents that are downloaded into your computers. Neat.

Also with Insynchq you can have multiple Google drive mapped at the same time. I use two, my norai and torres domains, now both upgraded to 5Gb each. I ended up removing the Google Drive Mac client as I prefer the Insynhq one.

What is cool about GDrive?

Well I am a heavy user of Google Docs, so is nice to have extra storage, plus to buy extra storage is pretty affordable. What Google does well is to be able to open most of the file within the browser, from PDF to DOC to even Photoshop. Also they have included OCR making it by far the best search. If you upload a photo or a pdf, and you search for something in it, you will find it. Like with Evernote.

The collaboration rocks with Google and I believe is one of the best for online editing.

Then we have Microsoft Skydrive. It has been there for a while, but is not that known, and not that loved. You might change your mind after reading this.

They also released an installer for Mac, PC and even apps for iPhone and iPad (while Google has none). So, again, like Dropbox, you will have a local folder synchronized with your cloud service.

So what is good and different about SkyDrive?

For starters, if you had it before you can claim 25Gb for free (which I did) and if you are new then you get 7Gb (which is still the best out there).

Second, it works perfectly fine on my Mac, PC, iPad and iPhone. Also if you use the web, and you have an Office document such a word, excel, powerpoint or Onenote you have access to Office 365 or online editor for word documents fully compatible, of course, with your traditional Word, and others.

For sharing is also pretty easy now. You can get a link that can be emailed or shared in social networks easily.

For collaboration Google is still stronger thought. I guess SkyDrive still works with the concept of checking in and out documents.

What about Dropbox and SugarSync?

For me they are pretty much dead. SugarSync gives you 5Gb for free and is the most feature rich one, but too complex for many.

Dropbox is still the simplest and that is why they might still survive, but for me is over, together with SugarSync. Storage space has no competitive prices.

The best?

Well I have a NAS, as Synology DS 1511+ with 15Tb. In the latest update they rolled out (DSM 4) they included Cloud Station which is again based on the same principle. A local folder with local files synchronized with the NAS via an installer.

So far they did not release a Mac version yet but I have it on my Windows machines.

So which is the best… well with my Synology I have raid 5, I own the data, and I have 15Tb available… plus fibre optics at home with 100Mb up and down…. so for personal use my NAS, for collaboration, Google Drive, for the best storage option now SkyDrive.

But… what I use the most is Evernote… anything I print I don’t send to the printer anymore, I just print it to Evernote. All my docs are tagged, OCR, emailed and stored there…

Now someone should create a service that uses all the cloud storage and puts them into one single volume… so 5Gb from your GDrive plus 25Gb from SkyDrive plus your 5Gb from SugarSync, the 2Gb from Dropbox…


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