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Comparison & Conclusion

Review: 7 Cloud Storage Services
By
As you can see, there’s a wide range of features available when considering various cloud storage options, but this is just the tip of a growing iceberg. We omitted Mozy because of its similarity to Carbonite, although you should examine both. We’d also recommend Apple’s MobileMe (www.me.com), a push-based service that performs Mesh-like synching across many devices, integrates with the Gallery app, links to 20GB of iDisk space, and will even help locate your lost iPad or iPhone. If you’re not an Apple user, though, the utility lessens.

The point is that there’s now a cloud storage tool for everyone and every need. We love the commercial potential and rampant streaming capabilities of MediaFire. If you have no particular rush and a recession-class budget, then Carbonite has your backup needs in hand. Businesses can place their data in i365's reliable hands, and we hear from the Seagate company that new features are coming in the next quarter that will let users do more with their backed up data once it’s in the cloud and thereby easier to distribute.

There is no one best service, not even by a long stretch. As you can probably tell, we’re big Google fans. At a time when online social networking is becoming the way that people live both at home and work, Google Docs’ second-to-none collaboration and seamless storage capabilities have positioned it at the fore of what people will be needing tomorrow. A conventional backup model, even applied to the cloud, is based on 20th century computing paradigms. Google grasped the future earlier and has developed it better than anyone else in this space, and most of the rewards of that vision are completely free for consumers. Does Docs do everything we want the way we want it done? No, not yet. We’re not yet ready to move into the cloud and abandon local storage. But we’re getting there.

For today, we suspect that using two or three cloud storage services for different parts of your life is the way to go. Just in this office alone, we use Docs, Mesh, SkyDrive, MobileMe, and Mozy. In time, we expect this to consolidate, but it’s a workable mix, even now. We encourage you to find your own best blend of cloud services. The utility is great, and having that online resource guarding your data might just save your digital life sooner than you’d like to think.

Vendor
Account Type
Cost
Focus
File Size Limit
Total Capacity Limit
Sharing?
Box.net
Individual
$9.95/month
Productivity
1 GB
10 GB
Yes
Box.net
Business
$15/user/month
Productivity
2 GB
15 GB / User
Yes
Carbonite
(3 year)
$3.61/month
Backup
Unlimited
Unlimited
No
Google
Docs, etc..
Free to 1GB, $1 per 4GB after
Productivity
1 GB
1 GB For Docs
Yes
i365
EVaults SaaS
Variable, $99 setup, starts at $285/month for 100GB
Backup
Unlimited
Unlimited
No
Mediafire
Free
Free
Hosting / Streaming
200 MB
Unlimited
Yes
MediaFire
Gold
$49.97 For 1TB Bandwith
Hosting / Streaming
2 GB
Unlimited
Yes
Microsoft
Live Mesh
free
Synchronization
5 GB
5 GB
Yes
Microsoft
SkyDrive
Free
Storage
50 MB
25 GB
Yes


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