Shoot-out: synchronization in the cloud




Wednesday dipped Microsoft SkyDrive storage service is to go OneDrive. That name change was not voluntary, Microsoft lost a lawsuit brought by the British media group BSkyB by Rupert Murdoch, which operates under the name Sky and was not happy with the name of Microsoft’s storage service. Although it was a British court, the brand had to be changed everywhere.

However, changing more than just the name, Microsoft has the name change as an opportunity to tweak the service content. On the face of it is not quite ready for major changes in functionality, but there’s plenty of reason to look at how Microsoft’s cloud storage service is today relates to that of Google, and Dropbox, three similar cloud synchronization services again.

Until now SkyDrive was behind Dropbox and Google Drive. So Dropbox has been offering since its introduction in 2008, the ability to synchronize with a desktop app files, something SkyDrive introduced less than two years ago. Also a lot of functionality that is now being introduced, was competing services already available. Has OneDrive know the backlog to catch up? And what cloud service is the best choice?Websites and web appsConclusion

Microsoft has with the introduction of the OneDrive with competing storage services overtaken thanks to version control, simultaneous editing of documents and the introduction of automatic backup camera.

“What is the best service varies by use case,” the question of what cloud sync service is the best, however, is more difficult to answer, the answer varies by use case. Who many works with Windows and Office, will appreciate the integration with Office. OneDrive We should also have the finest web client. Who precisely with many Google services work and no Office or other office software has to stand on his computer may have a finer experience with Google Drive.

Dropbox is particularly suitable for users who want nothing more and nothing less than synchronizing files without bells and whistles. The Dropbox web site may in no apps. is particularly suited to business users, access logs, user management, audit logs, and more professional options. The question is whether business users to store their documents. At an American party

What further disappoints us is that none of the four services includes the ability to synchronize with mobile phones. Automatically folders If on the desktop can and everyone in the year 2014 half netbooks carries in his pocket, why can not more than that on phones? In any case, Android is perfectly possible.

Of course there are alternatives to the four similar services that we have discussed. On the previous pages So there are ownCloud and BitTorrent Sync. With the former, users can set up their own cloud sync server. The interface of the web client is still inferior to that of commercial services, but the sync works fine. Sync with BitTorrent files can be synchronized between computers. Basically, this functionality can also be used as a kind of private Dropbox, by installing on a server or PC that is always on the software. To that end, download that can be operated. Using a Web browser, a Linux version

In addition, there are commercial backup services, such as Strato HiDrive from and KPN. Such services are also able to make. Automated backups However, they lack the use of Dropbox synchronization, OneDrive and Google Drive.

It is largely a matter of taste, but the interface of the website OneDrive suits us best. In OneDrive is clearly more thought about the design than the other services. The interface is sleek and thanks to the use of color your eyes are automatically routed to the relevant screen elements. Google Drive does not even so much more interface elements, but there seems to be more clutter.

Dropbox contains at least no clutter, but that site is then very scanty. For example, there is no option to not show documents in a list, but as icons. This is annoying for example when viewing a folder with lots of images or videos. At the interface of is not much to criticize, although we prefer to OneDrive.

Since this week OneDrive also keeps old versions of documents. The last 25 iterations can be retrieved, and the last two versions of each author and are working on a document. With other users The other cloud storage services offer this option for some time. So Dropbox keeps old versions standard thirty days. If she wants to keep unlimited need a Pro account and four dollars per month extra. Google Drive also keeps old versions, but users should be aware indicate that that should happen. Moreover, the old iterations take place in writing. offers users the free accounts are not able to download. Old versions


Box (comparison cloud services) Drive (comparison cloud services) Dropbox (comparison cloud services)

Editing documents

A major drawback is that Dropbox does not offer the possibility that website directly from the site to edit documents. Who uses the Dropbox website, need to download, edit and upload again. That’s a serious loss, compared with OneDrive and Google Drive, which do offer the ability to edit documents.

OneDrive used while Office Online, which until this week was known as Office Web Apps. From that web apps, users can create and edit Word documents. Since recently, users can simultaneously work on the same document, which they see each other’s changes without having to F5’en. This is Microsoft grossly late, Google provides this functionality for years.

However, the interface of the web apps from Microsoft now is better than that of Google Drive. Users who still hate the Office Ribbon, which since 2007 is in office, there will, however, disagree. It is difficult to say which of the two services, the best web apps has, both provide the basic functionality that you would expect.

Comparing Google Docs and Office Online Comparing Google Docs and Office Online Comparing Google Docs and Office Online Comparing Google Docs and Office Online Comparing Google Docs and Office Online Comparing Google Docs and Office Online

Here and there Office Online offers less functionality than the stand-alone Office software, which is not a strange choice. Microsoft is of course happy to sell Office licenses. A major advantage of OneDrive is that users can store in the desktop version of Word documents and then work with the web apps further. For users of Office therefore OneDrive might be a better choice. Google Drive offers only a Web client.

Incidentally also has a web editor for text, but that is not about to write home about. Fortunately, this service also provides the ability to create documents using the Web apps from Google and editing.

The cloud storage services offer all the standard the ability to share documents. Others You can choose to show others or even to edit. Document only A unique URL can also be generated, which can be shared to your heart.

Dropbox is the share functionality is relatively limited. It can be shared only files and can not be worked on. Documents together Dropbox has no web apps. It is, Dropbox, like Google Drive, to synchronize. Shared folders In OneDrive can not, while synchronizing shared folders can be, for example project at school or with peers very useful. provides the most accurate options for sharing. Users can, for example left to expire automatically after a certain time access logs to track and put a password on documents. This will require a paid account; standard offers the same sharing options as its competitors.


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