I was whining a while back about Apple’s decision, as part of its shift from MobileMe to iCloud, to get rid of its iDisk service for cloud storage and syncing. I’d been using iDisk more or less happily for years — since the olden iTools days — so it was a nuisance to see it discontinued. But that’s life in the cloud. Anyway, I thought I’d report back on my choice for a replacement. After weighing the many choices in cloud storage, I ended up going with Microsoft’s SkyDrive. The deciding factor was pretty simple: SkyDrive offers the most free storage capacity (7 GB). Google Drive gives you 5 GB, and Dropbox gives you a measly 2. I’m also pretty confident in the reliability and security of Microsoft’s cloud system, and Microsoft, so far, seems less nosy than Google.
After a month, I’m happy. My main interest is simply to sync key files between computers and to have cloud backup for those files, and SkyDrive is working fine. (In fact, it’s been considerably less intrusive than iDisk.) I only ran into one problem: For some reason, no doubt Windows-related, SkyDrive won’t accept files that have certain characters in their names (like colons and quotation marks and slashes). That was a trivial issue for me – I just had to tweak the names of about a dozen files – but for some people it might be a pain in the neck. SkyDrive also has a limit on the length of file names, but none of my files hit the limit.
The good thing about cloud storage is that it’s painless to switch from one service to another, so if something goes awry with SkyDrive, or a better option pops up, I’ll jump somewhere else. I’ve had a Dropbox account for a long time and continue to use it for sharing files. I also have Google Drive and Amazon Cloud Drive accounts. They’re free, so what the hey.