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Apple iCloud: The rivals

Thursday 16 June 2011

Apple iCloud: The rivals

We waited a long time for Apple’s iCloud service, with lots of speculation as to what it would offer. Now the online backup service is here, however, Apple faces lots of competition from other companies. Join us after the break to see what the competition has to offer.

Amazon Cloud Drive Not content with going head to head with Apple and its iPad when it comes to eBooks, Amazon is also taking the fight to Apple with online storage. The Amazon Cloud Drive lets you upload music, videos and photographs to the internet, with 5GB of free storage on offer. You can then access your files from anywhere in the world. If 5GB isn’t enough, you can pay $20 (per year) for 20GB, $50 for 50GB, or even $1000 for 1000GB, if your storage needs are large enough.

Box.net It may not have the same recognition as Amazon, Apple or Windows, but Box.net has a lot to offer when it comes to online storage. As with Amazon’s Cloud Drive, you can store up to 5GB of personal files for free, also sending out links to share content, or checking out your files from smartphones. Box.net even offers unlimited storage if your credit card is large enough, but this option is aimed more at business and enterprise users.

Dropbox For us, Dropbox is the rival that immediately springs to mind, as its the backup service we currently use the most. With Dropbox, it’s easy to share files with other people, sending links to your friends so they can open and use files from your computer. All you have to do is set up a Dropbox folder, and drag and drop files into that folder.

Windows Live SkyDrive Microsoft seems to be everywhere you look, with the company now trying to establish a foothold in online storage. Its Windows Live SkyDrive service lets Windows Live users upload photos, music and videos – as with Apple’s iCloud service – and makes it easy to share content with your friends, family and colleagues. This is currently one of the best options if storage space is of upmost importance, with Microsoft letting you upload up to 25GB of your files.

Apple iCloud And, finally, iCloud. As with most of its rivals, iCloud offers 5GB of online storage as standard. If you want more, you’ll have to pay for it. Apple offers some pretty neat premium features, however, such as iTunes in the Cloud. If you pay for this, you’ll be able to match your computer’s music collection with Apple’s online selection, and you’ll then be able to download songs to other Apple devices – such as your iPhone or iPod Touch. Because the songs are matched – the service will simply scan your computer for songs – rather than uploaded, it’ll also save you hours of time.

Tags:

iCloud, Windows Live SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box.net, Online Storage

User comments (4)

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Jerry Fryer

Rivals? What Rivals? - who makes the best laptops? - who makes the best desktops? - who makes the best tablet? - who makes the best smartphone? And soon you'll be able to view the photos and HD videos you've taken on holiday on your iPhone before you walk in the door on your Mac MacBook and iPad and any documents you work on will all be in sync without the need to download with cables or via iTunes. What other company does all that? Or looks as good?

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Jeff Brammer

Like most people I have wireless & like some have a NAS drive attached to my router. What I'd like is an App for my iPad and iPhone to backup apps/music/contacts/emails/sundry data onto MY NAS and not a pay-to-store-personal-data-on-the-internet iCloud. Don't suppose you tech boffins at gadget show have ever found anything (without having to use that insidiously nonsensical software called iTunes). If only Apple weren't such commercial sharks.

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