Cloud Comparisons Part II: Other Cloud Services

by admin on August 9, 2011

August 07, 2011 | by Aulia Masna

Cloud Comparisons Part II: Other Cloud Services

(Screen shot of Dropbox.com) (Screen shot of Dropbox.com)
Apple may have entered the cloud computing era as a veteran, but others who came in late have proven themselves to be more adept at figuring it out. It took Apple a decade before it was able to provide a service that seemed to resonate well with customers.

iCloud gives away 5 gigabytes of online storage for owners of Apple Mac computers and iOS devices, a far cry from MobileMe’s 20GB, although the older service costs $100 a year.

Fortunately, those who need more than 5GB will be able to purchase more storage at a more affordable cost than through MobileMe. An additional 10GB will cost $20 a year, an extra 20GB costs $40 a year, while 50GB more will cost $100 a year. Each of these are provided on top of the free 5GB space, although they are separate options.

This pricing scheme compares favorably to Dropbox, a popular online storage service that gives away 2GB for free, but charges $10 a month for an additional 50GB and $20 a month for 100GB more. Dropbox does, however, provide an option to raise the 2GB limit to 8GB through a referral program.

While iCloud is essential to anyone owning an Apple mobile device, Android users rely on Google’s cloud storage services — and lucky for them, it’s far more affordable than Apple’s iCloud or Dropbox.

Meanwhile, Gmail provides 7GB of free e-mail storage, Picasa allows up to 1GB of photo storage and Google Docs lets you keep up to 1GB worth of documents. Additional storage purchase, however, will apply to all the above services linked under the same account.

Google provides an additional 20GB for an annual fee of $5, or 80GB for $20, 200GB for $50, a 400GB upgrade for $100 and a 1 terabyte for $256. For Android users, this is clearly a no-brainer, especially since these options are also provided on top of the free service.

If those space options are not enough, for whatever reason, Google also offers additional packages of 2, 4, 8, and 16TB. The cost? Just multiply $256 by the corresponding amount of storage.

With Google+ entering the scene, Google’s previously separate services are on their way to becoming ever more connected, as all photos and images shared on Google+ are stored on Picasa. Without the extra space, images older than the last 1000 are removed from Picasa (though not from the device), making the additional storage increasingly important.

Those who use Microsoft’s Windows Phone have a pretty advantageous head start, as far as online storage is concerned. The company’s SkyDrive, which is linked to the Live mail service, provides 25GB of online storage for free, although it does not offer additional options. Windows Phone users may use this space to store e-mails, MS Office documents, photos and videos directly from the respective applications.

Unfortunately, mobile phones using Windows Phone are still very rare in Indonesia and the Marketplace application store is still not available locally.

For the most part, the choice of which online storage service to use depends on the mobile device. After all, the point of these services is to provide convenience in storing and accessing data while away from the computer, since mobile devices hold much less storage.

Aside from Dropbox, which has no vested interest in any particular mobile ecosystem, all the other services are locked in to their own environment. But the advantage of them all is that should you lose your device, your data, including photos, apps, videos and documents — and in the case of Apple, music, movies and TV series — is safely stored online to be retrieved on your replacement device.

Read: Cloud Comparisons Part I: Apple’s iCloud

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