The cloud based business services from Microsoft mostly focus on SharePoint and Office 365. SkyDrive is the brainchild of Microsoft which integrates perfectly with Office 2013 and Windows 8. This could be a real boon for small business companies. When using any IT service or a software, Microsoft is the most trusted brand you can name. SkyDrive is the cloud solution from Microsoft and functions more or less same as Dropbox or SugarSync.
Starting with SkyDrive
To start off, you have to install the SkyDrive software which is available at their official website. After the installation, the software automatically creates a SkyDrive folder on your device. This is the folder which always keeps in sync with the user’s SkyDrive account. You can drag and drop the files you need to sync. These files can also be edited from the online site.
SkyDrive has application versions for all the popular device platforms for computers, smartphones or tablets. It supports Mac, Windows, iOS and Windows Mobile. If your device does not use one of the mentioned platforms, you can still access SkyDrive from your web browser. Just type www.skydrive.com and you’re good to go.
If you don’t have a Windows Live account, you cannot use SkyDrive. This account can be created free of cost. Running SkyDrive on a Windows operating system is a great convenience. Go to User Account Control and it allows installation of SkyDrive automatically on any Windows OS.
SkyDrive Pricing Plan
|20 GB||$ 10
|50 GB||$ 25
|100 GB||$ 50
Cloud Storage & Sharing Files
If there is a file or folder that you want to back up to your SkyDrive cloud storage, all you have to do is select the particular file and dump it in the SkyDrive folder. Afterwards you can access these files from any location and at any time. I loved the sharing system on SkyDrive as it helped me to share all the important files and documents with my work team. SkyDrive allows working collaboratively with your team members. You don’t really need to be on your own computer for syncing a file with the SkyDrive server. When using another one’s computer, you can upload the file to your account on the SkyDrive browser. You won’t need a pen drive to copy it to your place.
With SkyDrive, you’re getting 7 GB of storage absolutely for free right upon signing up. This is a huge space and you can actually store 20,000 Office files or 7000 images, according to Microsoft! Well, Google Drive does not offer more than 5 GB, and Dropbox offers only 2 GB. From that view point, 7 GB looks massive! However, if you need more than 7 GB cloud space, you can go for a paid plan. The price for premium plans in SkyDrive is less than that in Google Drive, although SkyDrive does not offer more than 100 GB cloud storage.
The security system on SkyDrive is simply mind-blowing, thanks to Microsoft! When you’re uploading or downloading any file, all your data will be encrypted with SSL. The physical data server of SkyDrive are absolutely safe with proper physical and digital security spheres. SkyDrive has multiple servers all over the world keeping your precious data safe and sound with zero chance of any hardware failure. Risk minimization is all you can do to ensure the protection and safety of your digital data. When your data is under the surveillance of a third party software, you can never be too careful. SkyDrive checks this issue and protects your data as if it’s your very own network drive. Did you know that Dropbox have been facing some serious problems lately? Visit Cloud Tweaks for details.
Unique Features of SkyDrive
There are many unique features of SkyDrive which makes it different from the traditional cloud services available in the market today. SkyDrive allows you to edit your documents. When you’re editing any document on Google Drive, you must use Google Docs for that. SkyDrive does not impose any such restriction and you can use any office software for editing the documents on your SkyDrive.
You can also edit your documents online with Microsoft’s free Office Web applications. Microsoft has always been monopolistic with their file format, although sharing documents in MS Office format is the best choice for personal use or business. If you have multiple devices running on different operating systems, it won’t be a problem at all. You can easily view and edit your documents from any compatible device. Google Drive does not allow viewing its files on any browser other than Google Chrome. SkyDrive offers viewing and editing on any browser of your choice. Another benefit of Microsoft SkyDrive is its integration on Windows 8. If you’re an avid Windows 8 or 8.1 user, the drive through SkyDrive will be the most pleasant cloud experience ever.
- Simple and clear user interface
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone
- Features easy file sharing
- File synchronization has never been easier
- Offers access to data via web browser
- Offers 7 GB storage space for free
- Music matching or web streaming not available
- Synchronization folders cannot be collaborated
- Windows 8 desktop mode requires separate installation
SkyDrive is a complete package for a cloud storage solution. I would recommend any Windows user to use SkyDrive for data storage and cloud backup. They have every single feature you would possibly need and nothing that you won’t. Be a casual home user or a business owner, using SkyDrive is simply a privilege. Despite being a big fan of JustCloud, I must admit that Microsoft has done a great job with their cloud storage solution. Let’s now wait and see what Microsoft has in store for its cloud clients in the year 2014.