This post discusses on why its too early to move from Dropbox, to recently updated and Skydrive and introduced Google Drive services. The point where I am concentrating is “Why Its early to move, if you are already a very active user of Dropbox” and not why Drive or Skydrive is not good at all. They are, in fact, providing more space than anybody else but then its just not about the spaces and the pricing!!!
My simple baseline is “Do not just move because one asks you to move, but only when a new service is fulfilling all your need that you had always enjoyed from the old service and is providing bit more than that.
Pure File Sync Solution :
Yes I know that all big guns are saying that we should look beyond files, and people are looking beyond just syncing, but to be honest most of users just want to drop their files on cloud, and forget about it. Dropbox has mastered that aspect with tons of features it provides with that.
Version & Restore
While Google Drive Client app only provides access to list of documents or files which changed recently which is totally missing in Skydrive. Dropbox, on the other hand :
- Notifies instantly when a files is changed.
- Shared Folder Notifications.
- View all the edited version of the files and restore them.
Dropbox has the best client for cloud storage for every computer. It not only notifies about file changes instantly, for single file change notification, it opens it up when you click on it. You can also view list of files changed right from the client.
Lan Sync :
Even though its a feature of the client itself, but needs a separate mention. This feature is life savior when you are sharing files with your team over the same network or with your computers at your home, connected over Wifi. Instead of re-downloading from the web account, it just copies it from your computer to the destination folders over WiFi.
For smaller files, you don’t need to email or use USB, and for larger files if you are not in a hurry, it seamlessly syncs.
Pure Documents :
Even though, Dropbox does not have an Online Document Editor, the files stored on them are pure files and can be edited by supported office suites installed on your computer.
Now most of the people who will jump guns because of the Online editor and nice storage space should know that the files created using editors of Skydrive or Google Drive purely online files which even though you can view as file list on your computer, but it opens up only in online editor of the respective service.
Sharing Folders & Permission : The place where they differ with each other
Google Drive : There are two parts of Google Drive, One, which is Collaboration, Document Sharing etc and Second is Drive which takes care of file sync with your computer i.e. Anything which is not on My Drive, does not sync with your computer.
So the documents which is shared from or by you, can be synced with your folders on your computer, if you manually go and add to your drive using the Web UI.
The advantage here is when a shared file is delete from your computer, it only gets deleted from your Drive but not from any other computer.
Dropbox : Keeping in find this is a pure file sync program, when you share a folder with somebody, the other person gets complete control over the folder and its file including the option to delete files. However in case somebody deletes the files, you still can restore it back, remove the person from the folder list and even remotely delete the files if required.
Dropbox also allows you to collaborate with your team with a feature they call it as Dropbox Teams. This feature brings in the User Management, Space Allocation, Unlimited Version History etc but its not open for everybody and is a paid service.
Skydrive : You can share folders and files, but it never reaches the desktop. Stays on the cloud but you have the option of File Editing, Option to use Web office.
Summary of this post is if you are seriously looking for Collaboration Solution without paying anything for Office Solutions, Skydrive and Google Drive is a great option, but if you are looking for a File sync solution which is simple enough for very novice users, has a great version support, Option to recover Files, Dropbox is an awesome solution.
So, Coming back to the point with which I stared, Is it too early to Jump to Google Drive or Skydrive just because the storage space is more ? I would say Yes because they are in their first version and they still miss a lot of features when compared to Dropbox.
The best option for you is to wait for at least one update from each of service and see what improvements they bring compared to the competition. I am sure that all services will start bringing in more features, reducing the gap with their competition.
PS : I am have kept Box.com out of this discussion because I am not an avid user of that service and not in position to do the correct comparisons. In case if you are, please leave your comments.
And Thanks to everybody who helped me with their comments on twitter or personally testing it.