14 February 2012

Google Challenges Dropbox And SkyDrive On Cloud File Sharing and Storage

Last week Wall Street Journal announced that Google will soon release a cloud service for storing and sharing files, similar to the ones already provided by Dropbox and SkyDrive. As the team has used Dropbox for file sharing during several years we look forward to the new release with interest. Will Google's G-Drive offer something better?

To store and share files in the cloud
Cloud storage is an alternative to disks, extra hard drives and other medias used for backing up files. Instead of connecting a physical device to your computer and save your files to it, you upload them to a server via the internet. If you give another person access to the folders that contain your files, you can easily share them without having to send them as e-mail attachments or using other more troublesome and insecure ways.

Dropbox or SkyDrive?
When Business Solutions looked for a good cloud service for file sharing the most important feature was how quickly files could be transferred from one computer or smartphone to another. We found that Dropbox was superior to Microsoft’s SkyDrive in that respect, so we chose Dropbox, first for our internal files and later also for the setup files of the Outlook, Exchange and SharePoint applications.

The use of Dropbox
When you download a product from the Calendar Browser iconwebsite it is actually not stored there at all. Instead we use a public Dropbox folder, and it has worked just fine. At only three people are allowed to upload files to this public folder, so you can feel sure you will get a clean product. But anyone may of course download the files.TimeCard icon

Also for the Premium, register free copies of the software we use Dropbox. Here there are only a few people with access rights on either side, so the PF HelpDesk icon Premium copy is well protected and cannot be used by anyone but a couple of responsible persons in the Premium Member organization.

The team makes good use of Dropbox for sharing files within the group. In my PC I have a HelpDesk OSP iconnumber of Dropbox subfolders that I share with different team members, and when one of them has dragged a file to the corresponding folder in her/his PC it does not take many seconds before I have it in my own machine and can open it.

The Google challenge
Google already offers several services for storing data in the cloud, so it is a logical step for this giant to take up the fight with Dropbox. It is said that Google will offer 25 GB of storage for free against Dropbox 2GB, but to really compete and make happy users leave Dropbox I think Google has to make their service better than Dropbox also. Microsoft SkyDrive already offers 25 GB, but they are still not as strong on the market as Dropbox is.

Who is the most reliable?
The outcome of the competition is also a matter of confidence. Whom do you want to entrust your valuable files? Lately Google has received some hard criticism for lack of respect for user integrity, a sentiment that Microsoft has encouraged in various ways. Dropbox, on the other hand, has a good reputation for security and protection of data, and I am sure they will do everything to keep this high regard.

The team will monitor the development closely, but today we see no reason to leave Dropbox for any other provider of cloud sharing and storage.