Google's latest product announcement -- Google Drive -- has put the company in a better position to compete in the growing cloud storage market. But how does Google Drive stack up to other available cloud storage options?
While Google Drive offers several incredible features, it may not be best suited for all situations, especially enterprise uses. Google Drive offers 5GB of free storage, and it also allows users to upload files as large as 10GB. Google has also made it easy for people to collaborate on cloud documents, such as a Google Doc, which makes it tough for other cloud storage platforms to match new service. Here's how other cloud storage systems stack up:
Dropbox: This has been one of the most frequently updated cloud storage platforms on the market. It's run by a passionate entrepreneur and CEO Drew Houston who famously denied Steve Jobs the opportunity to buy the company. Houston's passion is reflected in the product, which is capable of showing photo galleries or other files in any browser. Any file type can be put into the cloud including photos, documents and video. Those files can then be shared through a simple URL address. Dropbox offers 2GB of storage for free and does not place a limit on file sizes. Plain and simple, this is one of the best cloud storage locker systems on the planet.
Amazon Cloud Drive: Amazon has a substantial number of servers scattered around the country because of the Amazon Web Services it provides to developers, one of the most successful cloud storage services on the planet. It's likely that Amazon Cloud Drive shares that infrastructure and reaps the benefits. Amazon Cloud Drive is best for storing files that can be later downloaded onto any other system to be edited. The Amazon Cloud Drive gives users 5GB of free storage and limits file sizes to 2GB. Amazon has created a very nice Android application (because that's what Amazon Kindle Fire runs on), but it has yet to release an iPhone application. The Amazon Cloud Drive is especially great for owners of the Kindle Fire that purchase movies and MP3s they'd like to store on the cloud service.
Microsoft SkyDrive: Microsoft has bulked up its cloud storage service's capabilities in anticipation of Google Drive's release. The company currently offers 7GB of free storage -- the most of any service on this list -- and for some of its oldest users, the company is offering a way to reclaim 25GB of storage it originally handed out. SkyDrive's mobile capabilities are limited compared to other available services since the company has heavily focused its integration in Windows Phone and not popular devices such as the Apple iPhone. Nonetheless, PC World argues that Microsoft SkyDrive is better than Google Drive.
Box: Box works as a great platform for enterprise solutions especially because it integrates well with services such as Salesforce, Okta, Sharepoint, Google Docs and many others. Using the Box API, companies can integrate Box into existing intranet systems. Box has applications for all the major mobile operating systems including Apple iOS, Android, HP Touchpad, Blackberry, Playbook and even a mobile version of the website to help you get by on other devices. Box offers 5GB of free storage, but limits free accounts to 25MB file sizes. You can increase the maximum file size limit to 1GB with a paid account.
Apple iCloud: As is the case with most other Silicon Valley juggernauts, Apple's cloud storage solution works best with the devices that it also licenses and sells (i.e. - Apple iOS devices). ICloud services work seamlessly with most popular Apple's mobile products, but its integration capabilities fall short on most other devices. Users get 5GB for free on the system, and free accounts can only store a maximum file size of 25MB. Paid accounts are able to store up to 250MB per file, which is still slim if you aim to store HD video of any kind. While Apple makes many fantastic consumer products, their cloud storage capabilities are far behind those from other leading brands. That said, the iCloud is just as easy to use as any other Apple product.