Tag Archives: Dropbox

File Syncing Showdown: Google Drive vs. Dropbox vs. OneDrive

File Syncing Showdown: Google Drive vs. Dropbox vs. OneDrive

Access to decent cloud storage is practically a necessity these days whether it’s for work or play, but everyone seems to have an opinion on which one is best. Let’s break down three of the most popular file syncing services out there and see which one reigns supreme.

The Contenders

You’re probably already acquainted with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. We’ve talked about all three services before, and have even highlighted the best add-ons to make Google Drive better and showing off clever ways to use Dropbox. We’ve even pieced apart OneDrive to see how it stacks up against other cloud services, and had a faceoff between Google Drive and Dropbox back when Google Drive launched. That said, things have changed a little for all three services since then. Here are the basics:

  • Google Drive: Google Drive launched in 2012. It’s free to use as long as you have a Google account, but the service also offers more storage, from 100GB to 30TB, for a monthly fee ranging from $2 to $300 a month. more storage for a monthly fee. You can use it to store any type of file, share those files with others, and use the Google Drive office suite that allows collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, forms, and slideshow presentations. Google Drive has apps available for Windows, OS X, Android, and iOS.
  • Dropbox: Dropbox launched in 2007. Dropbox Basic accounts are free, but there is also a Pro version that offers 1TB for $10 a month. You can use it to store any type of file, share those files with others, and sync local files automatically.. Dropbox has apps available for every major platform and some smaller ones, like Linux, the Blackberry, and Kindle Fire.
  • OneDrive: OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, is a Microsoft service that launched in its current form in 2014. You get 5GB free with a Microsoft account, but Office 365 subscribers have access to 1TB. If you’re not an Office 365 subscriber, you can get 50GB by upgrading to OneDrive Basic, for $2/month. OneDrive lets you store any file type, and organizes them by file type for you. The service is also integrated tightly with Microsoft Office, and it’s built into Windows 8 and Windows 10. It’s available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

You can use all three services for free on most platforms, but if you’re looking to upgrade, it’s good to know how they differ and where they excel.

http://lifehacker.com/5904731/deskto…

Storage Plans and Pricing

When it comes to cloud storage, size matters, especially if you’re looking for a place to store and share large files. Each contender has upgradable storage plans and pricing beyond their free storage options, but let’s start with what you can get without paying anything:

  • Google Drive: 15GB of free storage with a Google account (this includes Gmail storage).
  • Dropbox: 2GB of free storage with a Dropbox Basic account (can earn more free storage).
  • OneDrive: 5GB of free storage with a Microsoft account.

It should also be noted that OneDrive once offered 15GB of free storage, but that is no longer the case. Late last year, Microsoft downgraded the storage for Office 365 subscribers as well, turning their unlimited storage into 1TB. They also removed their 100GB and 200GB plans. They did offer a chance for people to opt in to getting more storage, but it’s too late to do that now.

http://lifehacker.com/microsoft-down…

Dropbox’s free storage may seem limited at 2GB, but you can increase the limit of your free account through several means: you get 500MB of additional storage space for referring someone to Dropbox, 125MB for linking each of your social networks, 250MB if you take a tour of their Dropbox Basics tutorial, and get an extra 3GB by enabling “camera upload” on your mobile device. There is a limit of 16GB for free Dropbox storage space, though, so there’s no need to get too referral crazy.

http://lifehacker.com/5796318/the-ch…

If the amount of free storage each service offers isn’t enough for you, they all have paid tiers that offer even more space for your money:

If you’re looking for the most free storage with minimal effort, Google Drive is the way to go. But if you need more than 15GB and you’re willing to pay for it, both Google Drive and Dropbox offer pretty decent pricing. OneDrive’s $2 50GB option seems kind of pricey compared to Google Drive’s $2 100GB plan, but if you’re knee-deep in the Microsoft Office suite or Windows, it might be worth the price.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-maximiz…

Day-to-Day Use and File Syncing

While all three of these services are fairly easy to use and widely available, they each have their own set of distinct features and quirks that make them suited for certain types of users. Google Drive and OneDrive, for example, are deeply integrated into their respective ecosystems. Dropbox, however, is more of a free agent that makes cloud storage super accessible regardless of what platform you’re on or what apps you use. Let’s take a closer look at some of their standout features and major differences.

Google Drive

Google Drive can be accessed through your browser, a desktop app that creates a Google Drive-linked folder, or mobile app. Once you’ve logged in, you can upload individual files (up to 5TB per file), create file folders to organize your files, or create new files using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, or Google Drawings.

Once you’ve installed the Google Drive desktop client, you can also drag and drop files into the linked folder on your desktop to sync them with your account in the cloud. A local copy stays on your computer, and you can access those same files on any other device with the app installed, or through a web browser. If you use Gmail, Google Drive lets you attach and save attachments directly through Drive. Any of your files and folders can be shared with others via email invitation or link, and you can invite others to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, or other files in real time.

Google Photos makes Google Drive a great place to keep all of your photos, especially if you want to be able to search through them quickly. Photos automatically organizes your photos by where you took them and who’s in the photo. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that while Drive offers the most free storage upfront, it’s shared across Photos, Docs, and even Gmail.

http://lifehacker.com/how-the-new-go…

Dropbox

Dropbox can also be accessed through any web browser, its desktop app, or the Dropbox mobile app. You can upload files of any size with Dropbox, and you can drag and drop files or folders into the Dropbox folder and they’ll sync right away, leaving a local copy on your device. Unfortunately, though, you can’t drag and drop entire folders for upload in the web app (you have to grab each individual file).

Also, larger files may take a while to upload depending on your internet speed, but if you enable LAN syncing, you can increase file syncing speeds between devices dramatically as long as you’re on your local network. It’s useful when you’re sharing large files like music, movies, or photos between devices at home. Dropbox also keeps track of revision history and file changes, and if someone deletes a file you shared with them (or you accidentally delete something), you can access and restore deleted files for up to 30 days after deletion. That said, Dropbox shouldn’t be your sole backup for files.

http://lifehacker.com/psa-dropbox-sh…

Dropbox lets you share files and folders through email invite or link (which can be accessed without needing a Dropbox account), and Dropbox users can also collaborate on Microsoft Office Online files in real time. For other file types, you can still collaborate on them, comment on them, and re-share them—just not in real time. It’s still super useful, but it can lead to confusion if two people try to make changes to one file at the same time.

Dropbox doesn’t have a suite of apps for creating files within the service (like Google Drive and OneDrive), but where it lacks in additional tools it makes up for in ease of use and third party apps and tools. Dropbox’s open API makes it easy for developers to integrate Dropbox with almost anything. All in all, Dropbox is the cloud service that popularized cloud storage, and it’s been around for a long time. Most cloud storage and file sharing services try to emulate it.

OneDrive

OneDrive is essentially Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iCloud, but it works with multiple platforms. This means it’s great for anyone who is in the Microsoft ecosystem, but also still useful for everyone else. Like the others, you can access OneDrive through a web app, desktop app, and mobile app. OneDrive is actually baked right into Windows 8 and Windows 10, and doesn’t have a separate app to use. In Windows 10, for example, OneDrive is a background app, and just shows up as an option when you save files or use the file explorer. So if you’re on Windows 10 and have a Microsoft account, you’re kind of already a OneDrive user.

You can upload any files or folders up to 10GB in size and OneDrive automatically sorts them by file type. You can also access your files from anywhere, including your Xbox 360 or Xbox One console. Additionally, OneDrive is integrated with Outlook, so you can attach files in the cloud to emails on the fly. If you take a lot of photos, OneDrive automatically organizes your photos into galleries based on location and when you took them. You can also add captions or location tags, and even post your photo galleries right to Facebook.

http://lifehacker.com/how-does-the-n…

Microsoft Office is also completely integrated with OneDrive. This makes sharing documents, spreadsheets, and slideshows easy, and it also allows real time collaboration for Office 365 subscribers. You can share other files with an email invitation or link just like Google Drive and Dropbox.

Security and Encryption

Of course, what’s the point of all this storage if it isn’t secure? That bad news is that neither Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive support encryption natively. That means if someone can get into your cloud storage, they can access all of your stored files.

There are plenty of things you can do on your own; like enabling two-factor authentication, auditing all of your connected devices and services, and encrypting your data yourself. Dropbox also lets you store encrypted volumes and then unpack them on your computer. Basically, if you want your files to be secure with these services, you’re going to have to do your best to keep it secure yourself.

http://lifehacker.com/the-start-to-f…

When it comes to privacy, Google, Dropbox, and Microsoft all approach your data, and who has access to it, a little differently. Google and Dropbox insist on seeing a court order before snooping on, investigating, or turning over your data to the authorities. Microsoft, on the other hand, has a long history of scanning and snooping on people’s OneDrive files (which is similar to how Apple handles iCloud privacy as well). If you’re looking for cloud storage options that are more focused on security right out the gate, there are much better options available. Of course, you could also set up your own private cloud storage service if you’re extra concerned about the security of your data.

Google Drive Is Best for Google Die-Hards, OneDrive Is Best for Microsoft Office Pros, and Dropbox Is Best All-Around

Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive all do a fine job storing files in the cloud, and they all do it in a very similar way. Beyond that, it’s really about what additional features you need.

Google Drive is easy to set up and offers a lot of storage for free. If you do a lot with Google’s apps and services—especially Google Docs and Google Photos—Google Drive is your best bet. It’s also not bad if you just need a ton of no-hassle, free file storage. The only downside is your Gmail Inbox counts against your Drive storage, so that free 15GB might get eaten up faster than you think.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-go…

If Google Drive is for people who live in Google’s ecosystem, OneDrive is ideal for anyone who’s invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. If you have Windows or live in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint every day, OneDrive is near-perfect. The same applies if you use Outlook and Xbox Live frequently. It’s still a decent-enough option if you don’t spend much time with Microsoft products, and does some really neat things (like converting whiteboards and documents into PDFs), but it’s obviously meant to draw you into using the rest of Microsoft’s services.

Dropbox is for everyone else and it works great no matter what platform you use. In fact, if you’re a die-hard Linux user, it’s your best option. It doesn’t come with a lot of extra features, but it does cloud storage right by making everything so simple. The Dropbox desktop app integrates with your computer’s file system seamlessly, and Dropbox syncs files with all of your devices almost instantly. Dropbox has a massive open API and is pretty developer-friendly, so that means there are tons of third party apps, helper tools (for things like syncing other folders with just a right-click), and other services that integrate with it. The service has also been around for ages, so if you have any special needs for your cloud storage, there’s probably already a Dropbox-supported plug-in or app that can do what you need. Dropbox’s web app isn’t as streamlined as its desktop or mobile apps, however, and “earning” free storage is kind of a drag, but hey, free is free.

http://lifehacker.com/5527055/the-cl…

There’s nothing that says you can’t use all three services either and divide the workload with each one’s strengths in mind. For example, you can use OneDrive to collaborate with your team in Microsoft Office, store photos and other media in your Google Drive, and keep Dropbox as your all-purpose, reliable storage option for everything else.

File Syncing Showdown: Google Drive vs. Dropbox vs. OneDrive

File Syncing Showdown: Google Drive vs. Dropbox vs. OneDrive

Access to decent cloud storage is practically a necessity these days whether it’s for work or play, but everyone seems to have an opinion on which one is best. Let’s break down three of the most popular file syncing services out there and see which one reigns supreme.

The Contenders

You’re probably already acquainted with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. We’ve talked about all three services before, and have even highlighted the best add-ons to make Google Drive better and showing off clever ways to use Dropbox. We’ve even pieced apart OneDrive to see how it stacks up against other cloud services, and had a faceoff between Google Drive and Dropbox back when Google Drive launched. That said, things have changed a little for all three services since then. Here are the basics:

  • Google Drive: Google Drive launched in 2012. It’s free to use as long as you have a Google account, but the service also offers more storage, from 100GB to 30TB, for a monthly fee ranging from $2 to $300 a month. more storage for a monthly fee. You can use it to store any type of file, share those files with others, and use the Google Drive office suite that allows collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, forms, and slideshow presentations. Google Drive has apps available for Windows, OS X, Android, and iOS.
  • Dropbox: Dropbox launched in 2007. Dropbox Basic accounts are free, but there is also a Pro version that offers 1TB for $10 a month. You can use it to store any type of file, share those files with others, and sync local files automatically.. Dropbox has apps available for every major platform and some smaller ones, like Linux, the Blackberry, and Kindle Fire.
  • OneDrive: OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, is a Microsoft service that launched in its current form in 2014. You get 5GB free with a Microsoft account, but Office 365 subscribers have access to 1TB. If you’re not an Office 365 subscriber, you can get 50GB by upgrading to OneDrive Basic, for $2/month. OneDrive lets you store any file type, and organizes them by file type for you. The service is also integrated tightly with Microsoft Office, and it’s built into Windows 8 and Windows 10. It’s available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

You can use all three services for free on most platforms, but if you’re looking to upgrade, it’s good to know how they differ and where they excel.

http://lifehacker.com/5904731/deskto…

Storage Plans and Pricing

When it comes to cloud storage, size matters, especially if you’re looking for a place to store and share large files. Each contender has upgradable storage plans and pricing beyond their free storage options, but let’s start with what you can get without paying anything:

  • Google Drive: 15GB of free storage with a Google account (this includes Gmail storage).
  • Dropbox: 2GB of free storage with a Dropbox Basic account (can earn more free storage).
  • OneDrive: 5GB of free storage with a Microsoft account.

It should also be noted that OneDrive once offered 15GB of free storage, but that is no longer the case. Late last year, Microsoft downgraded the storage for Office 365 subscribers as well, turning their unlimited storage into 1TB. They also removed their 100GB and 200GB plans. They did offer a chance for people to opt in to getting more storage, but it’s too late to do that now.

http://lifehacker.com/microsoft-down…

Dropbox’s free storage may seem limited at 2GB, but you can increase the limit of your free account through several means: you get 500MB of additional storage space for referring someone to Dropbox, 125MB for linking each of your social networks, 250MB if you take a tour of their Dropbox Basics tutorial, and get an extra 3GB by enabling “camera upload” on your mobile device. There is a limit of 16GB for free Dropbox storage space, though, so there’s no need to get too referral crazy.

http://lifehacker.com/5796318/the-ch…

If the amount of free storage each service offers isn’t enough for you, they all have paid tiers that offer even more space for your money:

If you’re looking for the most free storage with minimal effort, Google Drive is the way to go. But if you need more than 15GB and you’re willing to pay for it, both Google Drive and Dropbox offer pretty decent pricing. OneDrive’s $2 50GB option seems kind of pricey compared to Google Drive’s $2 100GB plan, but if you’re knee-deep in the Microsoft Office suite or Windows, it might be worth the price.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-maximiz…

Day-to-Day Use and File Syncing

While all three of these services are fairly easy to use and widely available, they each have their own set of distinct features and quirks that make them suited for certain types of users. Google Drive and OneDrive, for example, are deeply integrated into their respective ecosystems. Dropbox, however, is more of a free agent that makes cloud storage super accessible regardless of what platform you’re on or what apps you use. Let’s take a closer look at some of their standout features and major differences.

Google Drive

Google Drive can be accessed through your browser, a desktop app that creates a Google Drive-linked folder, or mobile app. Once you’ve logged in, you can upload individual files (up to 5TB per file), create file folders to organize your files, or create new files using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, or Google Drawings.

Once you’ve installed the Google Drive desktop client, you can also drag and drop files into the linked folder on your desktop to sync them with your account in the cloud. A local copy stays on your computer, and you can access those same files on any other device with the app installed, or through a web browser. If you use Gmail, Google Drive lets you attach and save attachments directly through Drive. Any of your files and folders can be shared with others via email invitation or link, and you can invite others to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, or other files in real time.

Google Photos makes Google Drive a great place to keep all of your photos, especially if you want to be able to search through them quickly. Photos automatically organizes your photos by where you took them and who’s in the photo. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that while Drive offers the most free storage upfront, it’s shared across Photos, Docs, and even Gmail.

http://lifehacker.com/how-the-new-go…

Dropbox

Dropbox can also be accessed through any web browser, its desktop app, or the Dropbox mobile app. You can upload files of any size with Dropbox, and you can drag and drop files or folders into the Dropbox folder and they’ll sync right away, leaving a local copy on your device. Unfortunately, though, you can’t drag and drop entire folders for upload in the web app (you have to grab each individual file).

Also, larger files may take a while to upload depending on your internet speed, but if you enable LAN syncing, you can increase file syncing speeds between devices dramatically as long as you’re on your local network. It’s useful when you’re sharing large files like music, movies, or photos between devices at home. Dropbox also keeps track of revision history and file changes, and if someone deletes a file you shared with them (or you accidentally delete something), you can access and restore deleted files for up to 30 days after deletion. That said, Dropbox shouldn’t be your sole backup for files.

http://lifehacker.com/psa-dropbox-sh…

Dropbox lets you share files and folders through email invite or link (which can be accessed without needing a Dropbox account), and Dropbox users can also collaborate on Microsoft Office Online files in real time. For other file types, you can still collaborate on them, comment on them, and re-share them—just not in real time. It’s still super useful, but it can lead to confusion if two people try to make changes to one file at the same time.

Dropbox doesn’t have a suite of apps for creating files within the service (like Google Drive and OneDrive), but where it lacks in additional tools it makes up for in ease of use and third party apps and tools. Dropbox’s open API makes it easy for developers to integrate Dropbox with almost anything. All in all, Dropbox is the cloud service that popularized cloud storage, and it’s been around for a long time. Most cloud storage and file sharing services try to emulate it.

OneDrive

OneDrive is essentially Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iCloud, but it works with multiple platforms. This means it’s great for anyone who is in the Microsoft ecosystem, but also still useful for everyone else. Like the others, you can access OneDrive through a web app, desktop app, and mobile app. OneDrive is actually baked right into Windows 8 and Windows 10, and doesn’t have a separate app to use. In Windows 10, for example, OneDrive is a background app, and just shows up as an option when you save files or use the file explorer. So if you’re on Windows 10 and have a Microsoft account, you’re kind of already a OneDrive user.

You can upload any files or folders up to 10GB in size and OneDrive automatically sorts them by file type. You can also access your files from anywhere, including your Xbox 360 or Xbox One console. Additionally, OneDrive is integrated with Outlook, so you can attach files in the cloud to emails on the fly. If you take a lot of photos, OneDrive automatically organizes your photos into galleries based on location and when you took them. You can also add captions or location tags, and even post your photo galleries right to Facebook.

http://lifehacker.com/how-does-the-n…

Microsoft Office is also completely integrated with OneDrive. This makes sharing documents, spreadsheets, and slideshows easy, and it also allows real time collaboration for Office 365 subscribers. You can share other files with an email invitation or link just like Google Drive and Dropbox.

Security and Encryption

Of course, what’s the point of all this storage if it isn’t secure? That bad news is that neither Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive support encryption natively. That means if someone can get into your cloud storage, they can access all of your stored files.

There are plenty of things you can do on your own; like enabling two-factor authentication, auditing all of your connected devices and services, and encrypting your data yourself. Dropbox also lets you store encrypted volumes and then unpack them on your computer. Basically, if you want your files to be secure with these services, you’re going to have to do your best to keep it secure yourself.

http://lifehacker.com/the-start-to-f…

When it comes to privacy, Google, Dropbox, and Microsoft all approach your data, and who has access to it, a little differently. Google and Dropbox insist on seeing a court order before snooping on, investigating, or turning over your data to the authorities. Microsoft, on the other hand, has a long history of scanning and snooping on people’s OneDrive files (which is similar to how Apple handles iCloud privacy as well). If you’re looking for cloud storage options that are more focused on security right out the gate, there are much better options available. Of course, you could also set up your own private cloud storage service if you’re extra concerned about the security of your data.

Google Drive Is Best for Google Die-Hards, OneDrive Is Best for Microsoft Office Pros, and Dropbox Is Best All-Around

Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive all do a fine job storing files in the cloud, and they all do it in a very similar way. Beyond that, it’s really about what additional features you need.

Google Drive is easy to set up and offers a lot of storage for free. If you do a lot with Google’s apps and services—especially Google Docs and Google Photos—Google Drive is your best bet. It’s also not bad if you just need a ton of no-hassle, free file storage. The only downside is your Gmail Inbox counts against your Drive storage, so that free 15GB might get eaten up faster than you think.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-go…

If Google Drive is for people who live in Google’s ecosystem, OneDrive is ideal for anyone who’s invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. If you have Windows or live in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint every day, OneDrive is near-perfect. The same applies if you use Outlook and Xbox Live frequently. It’s still a decent-enough option if you don’t spend much time with Microsoft products, and does some really neat things (like converting whiteboards and documents into PDFs), but it’s obviously meant to draw you into using the rest of Microsoft’s services.

Dropbox is for everyone else and it works great no matter what platform you use. In fact, if you’re a die-hard Linux user, it’s your best option. It doesn’t come with a lot of extra features, but it does cloud storage right by making everything so simple. The Dropbox desktop app integrates with your computer’s file system seamlessly, and Dropbox syncs files with all of your devices almost instantly. Dropbox has a massive open API and is pretty developer-friendly, so that means there are tons of third party apps, helper tools (for things like syncing other folders with just a right-click), and other services that integrate with it. The service has also been around for ages, so if you have any special needs for your cloud storage, there’s probably already a Dropbox-supported plug-in or app that can do what you need. Dropbox’s web app isn’t as streamlined as its desktop or mobile apps, however, and “earning” free storage is kind of a drag, but hey, free is free.

http://lifehacker.com/5527055/the-cl…

There’s nothing that says you can’t use all three services either and divide the workload with each one’s strengths in mind. For example, you can use OneDrive to collaborate with your team in Microsoft Office, store photos and other media in your Google Drive, and keep Dropbox as your all-purpose, reliable storage option for everything else.

File Syncing Showdown: Google Drive vs. Dropbox vs. OneDrive

File Syncing Showdown: Google Drive vs. Dropbox vs. OneDrive

Access to decent cloud storage is practically a necessity these days whether it’s for work or play, but everyone seems to have an opinion on which one is best. Let’s break down three of the most popular file syncing services out there and see which one reigns supreme.

The Contenders

You’re probably already acquainted with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. We’ve talked about all three services before, and have even highlighted the best add-ons to make Google Drive better and showing off clever ways to use Dropbox. We’ve even pieced apart OneDrive to see how it stacks up against other cloud services, and had a faceoff between Google Drive and Dropbox back when Google Drive launched. That said, things have changed a little for all three services since then. Here are the basics:

  • Google Drive: Google Drive launched in 2012. It’s free to use as long as you have a Google account, but the service also offers more storage, from 100GB to 30TB, for a monthly fee ranging from $2 to $300 a month. more storage for a monthly fee. You can use it to store any type of file, share those files with others, and use the Google Drive office suite that allows collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, forms, and slideshow presentations. Google Drive has apps available for Windows, OS X, Android, and iOS.
  • Dropbox: Dropbox launched in 2007. Dropbox Basic accounts are free, but there is also a Pro version that offers 1TB for $10 a month. You can use it to store any type of file, share those files with others, and sync local files automatically.. Dropbox has apps available for every major platform and some smaller ones, like Linux, the Blackberry, and Kindle Fire.
  • OneDrive: OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, is a Microsoft service that launched in its current form in 2014. You get 5GB free with a Microsoft account, but Office 365 subscribers have access to 1TB. If you’re not an Office 365 subscriber, you can get 50GB by upgrading to OneDrive Basic, for $2/month. OneDrive lets you store any file type, and organizes them by file type for you. The service is also integrated tightly with Microsoft Office, and it’s built into Windows 8 and Windows 10. It’s available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

You can use all three services for free on most platforms, but if you’re looking to upgrade, it’s good to know how they differ and where they excel.

http://lifehacker.com/5904731/deskto…

Storage Plans and Pricing

When it comes to cloud storage, size matters, especially if you’re looking for a place to store and share large files. Each contender has upgradable storage plans and pricing beyond their free storage options, but let’s start with what you can get without paying anything:

  • Google Drive: 15GB of free storage with a Google account (this includes Gmail storage).
  • Dropbox: 2GB of free storage with a Dropbox Basic account (can earn more free storage).
  • OneDrive: 5GB of free storage with a Microsoft account.

It should also be noted that OneDrive once offered 15GB of free storage, but that is no longer the case. Late last year, Microsoft downgraded the storage for Office 365 subscribers as well, turning their unlimited storage into 1TB. They also removed their 100GB and 200GB plans. They did offer a chance for people to opt in to getting more storage, but it’s too late to do that now.

http://lifehacker.com/microsoft-down…

Dropbox’s free storage may seem limited at 2GB, but you can increase the limit of your free account through several means: you get 500MB of additional storage space for referring someone to Dropbox, 125MB for linking each of your social networks, 250MB if you take a tour of their Dropbox Basics tutorial, and get an extra 3GB by enabling “camera upload” on your mobile device. There is a limit of 16GB for free Dropbox storage space, though, so there’s no need to get too referral crazy.

http://lifehacker.com/5796318/the-ch…

If the amount of free storage each service offers isn’t enough for you, they all have paid tiers that offer even more space for your money:

If you’re looking for the most free storage with minimal effort, Google Drive is the way to go. But if you need more than 15GB and you’re willing to pay for it, both Google Drive and Dropbox offer pretty decent pricing. OneDrive’s $2 50GB option seems kind of pricey compared to Google Drive’s $2 100GB plan, but if you’re knee-deep in the Microsoft Office suite or Windows, it might be worth the price.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-maximiz…

Day-to-Day Use and File Syncing

While all three of these services are fairly easy to use and widely available, they each have their own set of distinct features and quirks that make them suited for certain types of users. Google Drive and OneDrive, for example, are deeply integrated into their respective ecosystems. Dropbox, however, is more of a free agent that makes cloud storage super accessible regardless of what platform you’re on or what apps you use. Let’s take a closer look at some of their standout features and major differences.

Google Drive

Google Drive can be accessed through your browser, a desktop app that creates a Google Drive-linked folder, or mobile app. Once you’ve logged in, you can upload individual files (up to 5TB per file), create file folders to organize your files, or create new files using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, or Google Drawings.

Once you’ve installed the Google Drive desktop client, you can also drag and drop files into the linked folder on your desktop to sync them with your account in the cloud. A local copy stays on your computer, and you can access those same files on any other device with the app installed, or through a web browser. If you use Gmail, Google Drive lets you attach and save attachments directly through Drive. Any of your files and folders can be shared with others via email invitation or link, and you can invite others to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, or other files in real time.

Google Photos makes Google Drive a great place to keep all of your photos, especially if you want to be able to search through them quickly. Photos automatically organizes your photos by where you took them and who’s in the photo. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that while Drive offers the most free storage upfront, it’s shared across Photos, Docs, and even Gmail.

http://lifehacker.com/how-the-new-go…

Dropbox

Dropbox can also be accessed through any web browser, its desktop app, or the Dropbox mobile app. You can upload files of any size with Dropbox, and you can drag and drop files or folders into the Dropbox folder and they’ll sync right away, leaving a local copy on your device. Unfortunately, though, you can’t drag and drop entire folders for upload in the web app (you have to grab each individual file).

Also, larger files may take a while to upload depending on your internet speed, but if you enable LAN syncing, you can increase file syncing speeds between devices dramatically as long as you’re on your local network. It’s useful when you’re sharing large files like music, movies, or photos between devices at home. Dropbox also keeps track of revision history and file changes, and if someone deletes a file you shared with them (or you accidentally delete something), you can access and restore deleted files for up to 30 days after deletion. That said, Dropbox shouldn’t be your sole backup for files.

http://lifehacker.com/psa-dropbox-sh…

Dropbox lets you share files and folders through email invite or link (which can be accessed without needing a Dropbox account), and Dropbox users can also collaborate on Microsoft Office Online files in real time. For other file types, you can still collaborate on them, comment on them, and re-share them—just not in real time. It’s still super useful, but it can lead to confusion if two people try to make changes to one file at the same time.

Dropbox doesn’t have a suite of apps for creating files within the service (like Google Drive and OneDrive), but where it lacks in additional tools it makes up for in ease of use and third party apps and tools. Dropbox’s open API makes it easy for developers to integrate Dropbox with almost anything. All in all, Dropbox is the cloud service that popularized cloud storage, and it’s been around for a long time. Most cloud storage and file sharing services try to emulate it.

OneDrive

OneDrive is essentially Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s iCloud, but it works with multiple platforms. This means it’s great for anyone who is in the Microsoft ecosystem, but also still useful for everyone else. Like the others, you can access OneDrive through a web app, desktop app, and mobile app. OneDrive is actually baked right into Windows 8 and Windows 10, and doesn’t have a separate app to use. In Windows 10, for example, OneDrive is a background app, and just shows up as an option when you save files or use the file explorer. So if you’re on Windows 10 and have a Microsoft account, you’re kind of already a OneDrive user.

You can upload any files or folders up to 10GB in size and OneDrive automatically sorts them by file type. You can also access your files from anywhere, including your Xbox 360 or Xbox One console. Additionally, OneDrive is integrated with Outlook, so you can attach files in the cloud to emails on the fly. If you take a lot of photos, OneDrive automatically organizes your photos into galleries based on location and when you took them. You can also add captions or location tags, and even post your photo galleries right to Facebook.

http://lifehacker.com/how-does-the-n…

Microsoft Office is also completely integrated with OneDrive. This makes sharing documents, spreadsheets, and slideshows easy, and it also allows real time collaboration for Office 365 subscribers. You can share other files with an email invitation or link just like Google Drive and Dropbox.

Security and Encryption

Of course, what’s the point of all this storage if it isn’t secure? That bad news is that neither Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive support encryption natively. That means if someone can get into your cloud storage, they can access all of your stored files.

There are plenty of things you can do on your own; like enabling two-factor authentication, auditing all of your connected devices and services, and encrypting your data yourself. Dropbox also lets you store encrypted volumes and then unpack them on your computer. Basically, if you want your files to be secure with these services, you’re going to have to do your best to keep it secure yourself.

http://lifehacker.com/the-start-to-f…

When it comes to privacy, Google, Dropbox, and Microsoft all approach your data, and who has access to it, a little differently. Google and Dropbox insist on seeing a court order before snooping on, investigating, or turning over your data to the authorities. Microsoft, on the other hand, has a long history of scanning and snooping on people’s OneDrive files (which is similar to how Apple handles iCloud privacy as well). If you’re looking for cloud storage options that are more focused on security right out the gate, there are much better options available. Of course, you could also set up your own private cloud storage service if you’re extra concerned about the security of your data.

Google Drive Is Best for Google Die-Hards, OneDrive Is Best for Microsoft Office Pros, and Dropbox Is Best All-Around

Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive all do a fine job storing files in the cloud, and they all do it in a very similar way. Beyond that, it’s really about what additional features you need.

Google Drive is easy to set up and offers a lot of storage for free. If you do a lot with Google’s apps and services—especially Google Docs and Google Photos—Google Drive is your best bet. It’s also not bad if you just need a ton of no-hassle, free file storage. The only downside is your Gmail Inbox counts against your Drive storage, so that free 15GB might get eaten up faster than you think.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-make-go…

If Google Drive is for people who live in Google’s ecosystem, OneDrive is ideal for anyone who’s invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. If you have Windows or live in Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint every day, OneDrive is near-perfect. The same applies if you use Outlook and Xbox Live frequently. It’s still a decent-enough option if you don’t spend much time with Microsoft products, and does some really neat things (like converting whiteboards and documents into PDFs), but it’s obviously meant to draw you into using the rest of Microsoft’s services.

Dropbox is for everyone else and it works great no matter what platform you use. In fact, if you’re a die-hard Linux user, it’s your best option. It doesn’t come with a lot of extra features, but it does cloud storage right by making everything so simple. The Dropbox desktop app integrates with your computer’s file system seamlessly, and Dropbox syncs files with all of your devices almost instantly. Dropbox has a massive open API and is pretty developer-friendly, so that means there are tons of third party apps, helper tools (for things like syncing other folders with just a right-click), and other services that integrate with it. The service has also been around for ages, so if you have any special needs for your cloud storage, there’s probably already a Dropbox-supported plug-in or app that can do what you need. Dropbox’s web app isn’t as streamlined as its desktop or mobile apps, however, and “earning” free storage is kind of a drag, but hey, free is free.

http://lifehacker.com/5527055/the-cl…

There’s nothing that says you can’t use all three services either and divide the workload with each one’s strengths in mind. For example, you can use OneDrive to collaborate with your team in Microsoft Office, store photos and other media in your Google Drive, and keep Dropbox as your all-purpose, reliable storage option for everything else.

Mailbox Is Shutting Down, Try These Free Alternatives

Mailbox Is Shutting Down, Try These Free Alternatives

Today, everyone’s favorite hip little mail app, Mailbox shuts down forever. Unlike most apps, you won’t be able to use the Mailbox app at all once it does. Thankfully, a lot has happened since Mailbox shook up the email market when it launched, and there are other apps that can do most of what Mailbox used to do, arguably better.

There’s no such thing as a perfect Mailbox clone, but the only features you won’t be able to get elsewhere are auto-swipe, which learns your swipe patterns and automatically organizes mail, and inbox reordering, which lets your reorder your email like you would a to-do list. Otherwise, two free apps, Spark (iOS only) and the Outlook (iOS and Android), are most similar to Mailbox. Both apps include the important stuff, like customizable swipe actions, Dropbox integration, and email snoozing. So don’t panic. You can replace Mailbox easily enough with one of these. Here’s how to set them up to work as much like Mailbox as possible.

How to Set Up Spark (iOS) to Work Like Mailbox

Mailbox Is Shutting Down, Try These Free Alternatives
Spark (left) and Mailbox (right) suggest that all email apps have to be blue

After testing a bunch of email apps on the iPhone, I found that Spark is the best replacement for Mailbox-lovers. It’s pretty intuitive, has enough options that you can customize it, and it’s free. Spark isn’t quite as pretty to look at as Mailbox, but function-wise, it gets the job done. Once installed, you’ll just need to make a few tweaks so it works like Mailbox. Obviously, you should pick and choose here: Mailbox wasn’t perfect, and many of Spark’s defaults are better. Regardless, here’s how to get Spark pretty darn close.

Set Up Email Snoozing Rules

Mailbox Is Shutting Down, Try These Free Alternatives
Spark’s snooze function (left) compared to Mailbox’s (right).

One of Mailbox’s big innovations was the option to “snooze” emails so they’d get re-delivered to your inbox at a later date. Now, pretty much every email client has this feature. Mailbox and Spark use different language for some of their snooze rules, but otherwise it’s pretty easy to configure Spark to work just like Mailbox (we’re assuming you’re using Mailbox’s defaults here, if not, change them where it makes sense):

  1. Tap the sidebar icon (the one with the three lines) in the top-left.
  2. Tap Settings > Snoozes.
  3. Under “Tomorrow,” change the time 8:00 am.
  4. Tap the checkbox next to “Weekend” and change the time to 10:00 am.
  5. Under “Next Week,” change the day to Monday.

Now, Spark should mimic Mailbox’s default behavior as closely as possible.

Make the Swipes Work Just Like Mailbox

Mailbox Is Shutting Down, Try These Free Alternatives
Spark (left) shakes things up with an orange snooze template, while Mailbox (right) prefers yellow

The one thing everyone loved about Mailbox was how you could just swipe through your inbox to organize it. Luckily, most modern email apps do this now in some form. Spark’s default swipe actions are a little different than Mailbox’s though. Thankfully, it’s easy to change them: Tap the sidebar icon in the top-left corner, then the Personalization button in the bottom-right. Tap the Swipes tab.

Now, you just need to change each swipe so they work the same as Mailbox. Here’s Mailbox’s default swipes so you can configure Spark the same way:

  • Short-swipe left: Snooze
  • Long-swipe left: List (this is called “Move” in Spark)
  • Short-swipe right: Archive
  • Long-swipe right: Trash (This is called “Delete” in Spark)

Now all your swipes in Spark will work the same as they did in Mailbox.

Customize the Sidebar with Mailbox’s Options

Mailbox Is Shutting Down, Try These Free Alternatives
Spark (left) sure does look a like Mailbox (right)

Mailbox’s sidebar had a simple layout: Inbox, Later, Lists, Archive, Trash, Spam, Sent, and Drafts. You can make Spark look almost identical:

  1. Tap the sidebar button, then the Personalization button in the bottom right corner.
  2. From the sidebar menu, swipe left on “Attachments” if you want to get rid of it, then tap “Add New.”
  3. Tap Archive and add it.
  4. Tap “Add New” again and repeat the process for Spam.

All the other stuff you’re used to seeing in Mailbox (trash, sent, drafts, and settings) is already in Spark’s sidebar.

Change the Inbox Screen to Look More Like Mailbox

Mailbox Is Shutting Down, Try These Free Alternatives
Spark (left) does things a bit differently with its navigation bar, but it still displays the same info as Mailbox (right)

Mailbox’s inbox featured your email alongside tabs to switch between Snoozed, Inbox, and Archive. You can do the same thing with Spark.

  1. Head into the sidebar panel again, then tap the Personalization button.
  2. Tap the Widgets tab.
  3. Tap Widgets Position and set it to “Top.”
  4. Swipe left to delete the Calendar (if you don’t want it there).
  5. Tap “Add New”
  6. Tap “Snoozed,” then add.
  7. Tap “Add New” again, and tap “Inbox,” then add.
  8. Tap “Add New” one last time, then tap “Archive,” then add.

That’s it, now the top tab menu has all the same options you’re used to seeing.

Integrate Dropbox Links (or Other Cloud Storage App, for that Matter)

After Dropbox purchased Mailbox, one of the features the team added was Dropbox integration. Thankfully, if you use Dropbox links so you don’t send huge attachments around, Spark supports it—alongside a number of other third-party cloud storage providers:

  1. Tap the sidebar icon in the top left corner.
  2. Tap Settings > Connected Services.
  3. Tap the Dropbox icon (or Box, Google Drive, or OneDrive), and enter in your login information.

Once that’s set up, you can tap the attachments button in the email composition window and grab a file from the account in question.

Turn Off Some of Spark’s More Annoying Features

Spark does a couple of things that Mailbox users might find annoying. For one, Spark has a strange quick reply system, and it also sends read receipts (which everyone hates.) So, let’s turn both off:

  1. Tap the sidebar icon.
  2. Turn the “Read Receipts” toggle to Off.
  3. Tap the Quick Replies button.
  4. Set the “Use Quick Replies” toggle to Off.

You’re all finished Spark is set up as closely as possible to Mailbox, and if you’re going to miss Mailbox when it rides off into that final sunset, at least Spark will be here to keep you company, and keep you productive. Enjoy.

How to Set Up Outlook (iOS/Android) to Work Like Mailbox

Mailbox Is Shutting Down, Try These Free Alternatives
Outlook (left) prefers a darker blue compared to Mailbox’s ‘90s-ish teal (right)

Outlook doesn’t have the variety of interface customization options that Spark does, but you can still get a very similar experience to Mailbox. Perhaps most importantly for some people, Outlook looks the part with its minimal, all white design, so if that’s what you liked about Mailbox, Outlook’s for you. Plus, it’s available on both iOS and Android, and it’s free.

Turn Off Outlook’s “Focused Inbox” So You See All Your Messages

Outlook uses a system called “Focused Inbox” that attempts to display the most important messages first. If you’ve been using Mailbox, then this can be a bit confusing. It’s easy to turn off this feature and go back to a normal inbox though:

  1. Tap Settings in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Scroll down to “Focused Inbox” and set the toggle to off.

Now, your inbox will be just that, a normal inbox organized by time and date. However, the Focused Inbox is meant as a way to automatically shuffle the most important emails to the top, which works like an automatic version of Mailbox’s sorting function, so it might be worth keeping it enabled if you liked that feature in Mailbox. Just remember it’s on, so if you wonder where all your email went, you’ll know.

Change Outlook’s Swipe Actions to Snooze and Archive

Mailbox Is Shutting Down, Try These Free Alternatives
Outlook (left) heard you really liked yellow for snoozing like in Mailbox (right).

Unlike Mailbox, Outlook only allows you customize two swipes instead of four. While that’s arguably a problem, most people only use two swipes anyway, and it’s easy enough change what each swipe does in Outlook:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Swipe Options.
  3. Change the Swipe Left option to “Schedule.” Schedule is Outlook’s version of Snooze. You can’t choose specific times, but you’ll get a pop-up with plenty of options.
  4. Change the Swipe Right option to “Archive.”

That should give you the basic functionality of Mailbox, though you’ll be missing out on the long swipes to delete or move a message. Obviously, if you’d prefer to have one of those two options instead, go ahead and replace scheduling or archiving.

Integrate Dropbox Attachments (or Another Cloud Storage Service)

You can easily add Dropbox (which Mailbox users will remember), OneDrive, or Box into Outlook. This way, when you tap the attachment icon, you can quickly pull a file from your cloud service of choice. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Files.
  2. Tap the Add button next to your service of choice.
  3. Sign in with your account.

Yes, it’s that simple. Now you can grab files and links from your preferred cloud storage provider when you attach a file to an email.


Neither Spark or Outlook are feature-perfect replacements for Mailbox. There are other email apps might suit your needs better, or that give you a specific feature you need that the others don’t. For example, Inbox by Gmail has a robust Reminders and Snooze feature that works a lot like Mailbox, though it’s not very customizable. Alternately, if Mailbox’s ability to sort emails by importance was your favorite feature, our favorite email app on Android, Gmail, allows you to do just that thanks to Priority Inbox. If you don’t mind shelling out some cash, Airmail (iOS, $4.99) features the same minimal interface as Mailbox and is incredibly customizable—you can make it work identically to Mailbox. Airmail is still new though, and has some issues with reliability where Spark doesn’t, but if you really want an app that looks the part and does much of the same stuff as Mailbox, Airmail’s a great—albeit paid—alternative option.

Image by Sam Woolley.


This Flowchart (and Audio Guide) Will Help You Finally Conquer Your Photo Clutter

This Flowchart (and Audio Guide) Will Help You Finally Conquer Your Photo Clutter

It’s never been easier to take as many photos as you like, but keeping them all organized and backed up has never been more difficult. The team at WNYC’s Note to Self, with a little help from yours truly, put together this flowchart to help you tackle your photo clutter once and for all.

When Manoush Zomorodi, host of Note to Self on WNYC (check out her interview with us here), asked her audience what their biggest organizational challenge was, they overwhelmingly said managing their photos was at the top of their list. It’s something everyone has somewhere on their to-do list, and everyone’s tried multiple services and approaches to try and tackle.

http://lifehacker.com/im-manoush-zom…

Well, Manoush reached out to me to see if I could help, and together with her team, we put together a plan to tackle photo clutter once and for all. It didn’t go the way we anticipated. With some tweaking and reworking, we managed to come up with a scheme that will help you conquer your photo clutter, based on the type of relationship you have with your photos.

The flowchart below walks you through the process of determining what kind of photo-taker you are. Once you’ve figured that out, the basic process boils down to three steps:

  • Turning on auto-upload so all of your future photos (and the ones on your device) are backed up to the web—I suggested Dropbox and Google Photos, both of which we have guides to mastering—where they’re easy to share.
  • Pulling in any other photos from other sources (your computer, your SD cards, or even physical ones) to those central locations.
  • Spending some time organizing your photos into galleries, reliving your memories, and sharing those photos with friends and family.

http://lifehacker.com/why-i-ditched-…

From there, how deep in the weeds you get with each bullet point varies based on the kind of photo-taker you are. For more—and for the whole walkthrough, step-by-step for each type of photographer, hit the link below.

http://lifehacker.com/how-the-new-go…

You can also listen to the podcast embedded below to hear Manoush and I put the plan together, and how the whole experiment went—not to mention some more philosophical conversation about why we take so many photos in the first place, and get involved with our experiment here.

It’s Time to Deal with Your Photo Clutter | Note to Self (WNYC)

This Flowchart (and Audio Guide) Will Help You Finally Conquer Your Photo Clutter

JustCast Turns a Dropbox Folder Into a Podcast RSS Feed

Not every piece of audio on the internet is a podcast, but if you’re interested in making your podcasts feeds from any audio files you want, JustCause does the job.

JustCast is built as a simple way to create a feed for your own podcasts without dealing with hosts, but it’s just as good for making your own private feeds of various audio files you need to listen to. Whether that’s lectures for school, presentations for work, public domain audio books, or whatever else, all you need to do is hook JustCast into your Dropbox folder and it’ll spit out an RSS feed you can use with any podcast client.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-start-y…

JustCast | via The Sweet Setup

Revisions for Dropbox Makes Viewing Your Dropbox History Easy on Mac

Revisions for Dropbox Makes Viewing Your Dropbox History Easy on Mac

Mac: Dropbox’s revision history is a great way to pull up older versions of files, but it’s not exactly easy to use in the web app. Revisions for Dropbox is a Mac app that lives in your menu bar and makes browsing file versions a breeze.

With Revisions, you can browse file history by date, type, location, and more. You can then search for specific revisions to narrow down on your search and find the exact file version you’re looking for. You can then load up that older version of a file or restore revisions in bulk. The app’s free, but an in-app purchase unlocks extra features, including the ability to see which user edited a file, advanced filtering, and more. That said, for most of us, the free version is plenty.

Revisions for Mac (Free) | Mac App Store via MacStories

Dropbox Adds Office Online Integration

Dropbox Adds Office Online Integration

Thanks to its partnership with Microsoft, Dropbox now lets you edit Office files you have stored in your Dropbox right in your browser via Office Online.

When you view a Microsoft Word, Excel, or Powerpoint document stored in Dropbox, just click the new Open button to open the file in Office Online and perform whatever edits you need. You can also access your Dropbox from within the Office Online interface. Check out the full post for more information.

Edit Office files right from your browser with our new Office Online Integration | Dropbox Blog

How to Maximize Your Free Storage Space on Every Cloud Service

How to Maximize Your Free Storage Space on Every Cloud Service

Between Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and a half dozen other services, the sky’s the limit on how much cloud storage you can get. Here are some of the best ways to get extra free space on each service.

Every cloud storage provider has a variety of changing promos that can give you extra storage space, so it’s always worthwhile to keep an ear to the ground. Some of the promotions we mention here may change over time, but they’ll also likely be replaced by something else. Cloud storage providers seem to like giving away space like candy if it means new customers.

Dropbox

How to Maximize Your Free Storage Space on Every Cloud Service

Dropbox probably offers more freebies than just about any other providers, which makes it excellent if you need to get some bonus storage. Here are some of the methods you can use to get extra space:

  • Invite a Friend (Up to 16GB): The most common way to get extra storage is to refer a friend. Every person you get to sign up adds 500MB of space to your account. You can get up to 16GB of space with this method, though Dropbox is ubiquitous enough that you probably won’t have much like finding 32 friends that haven’t signed up for Dropbox. Still, it’s worth a shot.
  • Complete the "Get Started" Guide (250MB): Dropbox has a "Getting Started" guide that will show you the ropes. Most of it is routine stuff you’ll probably do anyway, but if you do all the steps, you’ll add a bit of extra space for nothing.
  • Install Carousel (3GB): Dropbox used to have a bonus for enabling auto upload for your photos. While that promo has been deprecated, you can still get 3GB by installing the Carousel app for Android or iOS.
  • Install Mailbox for iOS (1GB): Dropbox has a similar promotion for its Mailbox app. Unfortunately, this one is only available for iOS, however logging in once gives you the space permanently. So it may be worth a quick trip to the Apple store. Just be sure to deauthenticate the device if you use this trick.
  • Link your Facebook or Twitter accounts (125MB each): Pandering on social networks for extra space is a little taboo, but you can still eek out a little extra space by connecting your accounts. Though you may be asked to invite other users on the social sites.
  • Watch for device bonuses (Lots of GB): If you’re in the market for a new device, you may keep an eye out for promotional offers. While they’re not always available, Dropbox has offered up to 48GB of space for two years when you log in on a new Samsung or HTC phone. These offers pop up now and then on phones and tablets, so ask about them the next time you’re out shopping.

You can also check Dropbox’s Get More Space page here to find any other tasks you can complete to earn more space. There is also a link here to check your personal account settings to see which space you’ve already earned and which ones you can still complete.

Google Drive

How to Maximize Your Free Storage Space on Every Cloud Service

Google’s competing cloud storage has a bit of home field advantage. Google was already home to a lot of your data before it ever started syncing folders on your desktop. While the company offers some promos that can give you extra space beyond the default 15GB, there are a lot more tricks that you can use to upload data that doesn’t count against your storage limit.

  • Use Play Music to store audio: Play Music is Google’s storage locker for your music. The company recently bumped its storage limit up to 50,000 tracks, all of which do not count towards your storage limit.
  • Convert your documents to Google Drive format: If you’re using Drive to store your documents, converting them to Google’s formats will prevent them from counting towards your storage limit. As the How-To Geek points out, you can automatically convert documents you upload to Google Docs while uploading to make the process easier.
  • Crop photos below 2048×2048: Google allows you to upload an unlimited number of photos, provided the resolution of those pictures is below 2048×2048. A similar rule applies to video below 15 minutes.

You can check your storage settings here to see how much space you have free, how much comes from promotions, and which types of data are taking up space. If you fill up too much, you can delete or convert some of your files to make room. Google also offers similar promotions to Dropbox when you purchase certain devices, or complete tasks like the Security Checkup promo they ran last month. Be sure to keep an ear out for these.

Box

How to Maximize Your Free Storage Space on Every Cloud Service

Box offers 10GB of free storage with its basic plan. Like all of the others, you can pad that out with certain promotions—usually by installing the Box app on a specific phone or tablet. Unlike the others, Box has a handy page here that will tell you all the devices that will currently net you extra space. Unfortunately, Box doesn’t offer any bonuses for referrals, but keep an eye out for install-our-app promotions.

OneDrive

How to Maximize Your Free Storage Space on Every Cloud Service

Like Dropbox, Microsoft’s OneDrive offers several bonuses you can earn for your account. You can see which bonuses have already been applied to your account from your settings here. A couple of them will be shown even if you haven’t done them (like the Camera Roll bonus in the screenshot above) but others aren’t listed. Here are the ones we found:

  • Link your Office 365 Subscription (1TB): While this technically isn’t a free option, if you have to use an Office 365 subscription for work, school, or personal use, you’re eligible for 1TB of extra space in your OneDrive account. Notably, Office 365 Home includes 1TB for up to five users, so if a friend or family member has the group plan, it may be worth asking if you can join up to get the space.
  • Refer a friend (Up to 5GB): Like Dropbox, you can refer other users to OneDrive to get 500MB for each person you sign up. This bonus is limited to 5GB, but it might be easier to find people who haven’t yet activated a OneDrive account than it is to find someone who’s new to Dropbox.
  • Backup Photos with Camera Roll (3GB): The OneDrive app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone can automatically backup your pictures to the service. If you enable this, you get 3GB of space for free. You can disable it after that, if you don’t want to actually backup your photos, and the space will stay.

OneDrive has become a formidable competitor to Dropbox, not the least of which because it’s integrated directly into the most-used desktop operating system in the world. You can’t get a ton of space without paying for it, but every little bit helps.

Sync Unlimited Space with BitTorrent Sync

If you’ve tried everything else on the list and still need more space, you can pad out your storage with BitTorrent Sync. The service just launched its 2.0 software, which allows you to sync up to 10 folders between devices with no storage limit at all. While the folder workaround is a little obnoxious, you can easily use this to sync your largest files, while leaving services like Dropbox to handle the rest.

Of course, BitTorrent Sync doesn’t keep copies of your files on any servers, so you can’t use it as a backup like you can with Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. If your devices get destroyed, your files are gone. But it’s still better than nothing.

Sign Up for Other Cloud Services

The above services may be the biggest ones around, but the internet has no shortage of companies willing to loan out some space on a server. If you still don’t have enough after maxing out everything so far, here’s a list of other companies that will offer you some free space:

  • Amazon Cloud Storage: The company offers 5GB of free space to all customers. If you have Prime, you can get unlimited photo backup
  • MEGA: Formerly MegaUpload, Mega offers 50GB of free space. The company emphasizes security and promises end-to-end encryption, though as we’ve discussed, their encryption may not be bulletproof.
  • Wuala: Another security-focused cloud storage provider, Wuala offers 5GB of space for free. Not only does it offer end-to-end encryption, but it also breaks your files into segments and stores them on different servers, so even the company itself can’t know which data belongs to what.

Even if you don’t do anything to earn bonus space, the most basic plans from the services we’ve listed in this article combined would give you over 100GB of storage without lifting a finger. However, you can raise that number by quite a bit with minimal amounts of effort.

BitTorrent Sync 2.0 Brings Pro Version, Free 30-Day Trial

We’ve looked at BitTorrent Sync before as an alternative to Dropbox for sharing large files across your devices. Now, the service has updated to version 2.0 and with it comes a new Pro tier.

The new Pro tier for BitTorrent Sync costs $40/year, which falls roughly in line with other services like Dropbox or Google Drive (depending on your storage needs, of course, though Sync has no limits). With the Pro version you can make all your files accessible on any device, while only selectively syncing them. You also get improved access controls for sharing files.

Free users can still use the service for up to 10 folders. Because Sync uses peer-to-peer technology for its transfers, there’s no limit to the size or speed of the files you’re allowed to sync. You can also install Sync on NAS systems so you can access your own personal server from anywhere.

Sync 2.0: Skip The Cloud, Share Direct | BitTorrent