Want To Get The Most Out Of Free Online Storage Options? Windows Live SkyDrive Is One Of The Most Popular Options And Here We Look At How It Matches Up To Others.
As online storage services become more popular and convenient for users, a number of developers have made free options available, including software giant Microsoft. The Windows Live SkyDrive cloud storage service is one of the most prominent because it is offered to anyone with a Windows Live passport.
That means people who have a Hotmail or MSN account can access cloud storage for free, without having to sign up to another service. But how does it compare to other free services? When it comes to online storage options, the most important factors are:
- Storage space
- Security; and
Comparing these features in Windows Live SkyDrive to the popular IDrive Online Backup and MySecurityCenter Online Backup free services will show what benefits each service can offer. That way you can choose the service that will best suit your concerns and needs when it comes to online backup.
Free Online Backup Storage Space
One of the benefits of paid online backup options is that some offer unlimited amounts of storage space. However, if you are new to cloud storage you may want to test drive it before sending all your data online.
The appeal with SkyDrive is that it offers users 25GB of storage for free, while IDrive Online Backup and MySecurityCenter Online Backup only offer 2GB free. For users who only need to store small amounts of data, like word-processor documents and spreadsheets, 2GB may be fine, but for photographs, music, videos and other media more space is a definite advantage.
Security in Online Backup Services
When we access the internet we expose ourselves to a number of security risks, including hacking which could result in lost data on a cloud storage service. MySecurityCenter Online Backup has addressed this risk by using a secure connection to automatically update stored files, and also encrypts the files stored online. Encryption is also a feature IDrive offers, but SkyDrive only offers password protection for the storage service, so any sensitive data should be stored elsewhere for greater protection.
Accessibility and Ease-Of-Use
A lot of the people who consider MySecurityCenter Online Backup and IDrive Online Backup are drawn in by the automatic backup options these services offer. Both will do backup updates on a customizable basis, so that users do not have to think about the data if they make changes later on.
IDrive Online also offers a "drag-and-drop" feature for restoring files to the computer, which makes it easier when data is lost of the hard drive. SkyDrive also has this feature, but includes more storage and sharing options, with personal and shared folders, direct links and thumbnail previews which are handy for stored images.
The Verdict For Windows Live SkyDrive
At this stage, SkyDrive seems mainly to be designed as a file sharing and saving service, with the first reason Windows Live cites for using it being "It'll make your friends happy."
But with such a hefty amount of storage space, ease-of-use and extensive sharing options, this online storage service is definitely useful. While security is held together only by a Windows Live passport password, for general files this measure should be enough to keep data secure online as well as on your hard drive. Besides, you can always opt for a stronger password to protect against hackers.
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