Two of the most widely used Web-based file hosting services are Dropbox and iCloud. These two major services allow others to store online files and folders. Both operate on Windows or Apple format. Music and video files, digital pictures and other computer content can be stored for later viewing, reading or listening pleasures.
The iCloud service can be configured to synchronize data from one source to other devices including computers, iPods, iPads and iPhones. Dropbox automatically stores files – including documents and presentations – and allows you to specifically share them with people you know. Your files are accessible from any web browser or computer with Dropbox installed.
Dropbox is a simple tool with powerful encryption that operates on dependable servers and possesses great security measures. Dropbox synchronizes folders on your computer but only stores them in one dedicated folder. One of the better features Dropbox offers include a user support forum that can be accessed from a pop-up menu. This allows users and developers an opportunity to interface with each other. Other features include RSS feeds, the ability to retrieve deleted files, receive email notifications after file delivery and it shows a history of recent actions.
The new option to share a link directly by clicking the “Get Link” button makes content easily accessible from new gallery pages. Other great features include the ability to upload and download parts of a changed file during a revision. Although it has 2GB of free memory storage, you can upgrade your account with monthly or yearly fees ranging from $9.99/$99.00 to $19.99/$199.00. Up to five members of a team can also upgrade storage space to 1TB starting at $795.
Pros and Cons of Dropbox
There are several reasons to choose Dropbox. For one, it’s great for anyone to start an account because of the ease of set up. Most importantly, it allows you immediate access to a wide range of document and file types no matter what computer or smartphone you use. It’s useful for web developers, businesses and students because of how easy it is to share files with others.
The principal disadvantage of Dropbox is a lack of quality security procedures. Although there have been improved changes to privacy issues, they still haven’t addressed the main issue. When you access your files on public computers, this opens the door for other computer users who operate the same device. In addition, Dropbox won’t allow you to sync your files to other devices automatically.
Unlike Dropbox, iCloud offers a full suite of tools designed to enhance an Apple user’s computer experience. From a storage point of view, some of iCloud’s biggest features are the ability to sync Apple apps and iWorks documents to all Apple devices and maintains email, contacts and calendars updated across all other devices. You can also locate, lock down or flash a message to your iPhone for times when your phone ends up missing. And, despite its name, iCloud can be set up to run on Windows.
It also can automatically download new media and have it accessible across any computer device. However, with the absent of a public folder, email is one of the few options to share files. Pricing for iCloud are $20 a year for 15GB of memory space, $40 a year for 20GB of space and $100 a year for 55GB of Space.
Pros and Cons of iCloud
The reasons to choose iCloud over Dropbox are numerous. For starters, it allows you to automatically sync all your files to each device you use. All purchased music, movies, apps and other media don’t count towards your free storage space and are easily accessed no matter which device you access them from. In addition, there’s no size limit per file. Plus, if you have to reset any of your devices, iCloud helps to reset your settings to an earlier point. Furthermore, iCloud is compatible with Windows 7, and all the features are able to be used.
The main reason why many people dislike iCloud is because you can only share files through email. This restricts the service to individuals who only want to keep their files personal. Consequently, it is difficult to collaborate with others on important business projects. The cost, when increasing your storage space, makes this service the more expensive option to consider.
How to Choose the Right Service
To determine which service to use, you must know what you will need the most. If you are looking for data storage, Dropbox works well for the cause. If you’re looking for tools to sync media files to all your devices, iCloud only works for personal use. However, having both of these tools can truly broaden your computer experience for all to enjoy!