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Which one to choose?

Now that you know what a cloud is, is your next challenge to make a choice from the multitude of available options. We tried to figure out which is which.

ICLOUD Apple’s  iCloud-diens looks highly effective and works like a dream (or so they say) It synchronises your Apple devices –  iPhone, iPad and Mac and has a lot of added functionality. Especially handy if you’re a big iPod-fan, regularly download music an need somewhere central to store it. iCloud gives you 5GB free storage space, but for more you have to pay.

Cloud Drive functions exactly the same as a harddrive – the only difference is it’s not in your pc on your desk, but online. Amazon gives you 5GB free, but for more you have to pay 1$ for 1GB per year. It also has a Cloud Player Music stream application for all your audio needs. The disadvantage to Cloud Drive is it’s dependency on Flash and if you have iOS devices without Flash, this might not be for you.

Google has a wide range of services – Picasa for photos, Gmail for email, Music Beta for music and Google Docs for documents. While SkyDrive and Dropbox allows you to store files of up to 2 GB, Google allows 5 GB. Google also has more paid options than DropBox or SkyDrive. SkyDrive has three, Dropbox two, but GOogle has no less than nine! You het 1GB free for Google Docs, 1GB for Picasa, 7GB for Gmail and you can upgrade to 16TB at a cost of 4000$ per year. Google Drive is probably the most accessible of the cloud storage options as you only need a web browser to access it.

This service is very similar to Amazon’s and of course, a Windows orientated product. If Office takes up a lot of your time, this might be the logical choice for you. SkyDrive allows 7GB free storage and a whole 25GB if you’ve been a user before. Cost of paid service are also more affordable than the others. If you use the SkyDrive application, you’re unfortunately forced to sync everything to your pc. You can’t select single or certain folders only. Another alternative for Windows users is Windows Live Mesh. Read more about it on Wikipedia. 

DROPBOX Probably the best known cloud storage service around. All your devices can be connected to DropBox and seamlessly integrated. Anyone with a web browser or the DropBox application installed on their pc, can use their service. Although Dropbox is an effective and easy service, it’s unfortunately also the most expensive. In spite of the huge choice of cloud storage providers (and we haven’t even mentioned all of them), in the end the choice is yours.

(SOURCES: Regan Januarie (IT User Services), www.winsupersite.com

>> What is the cloud?

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