Most of the online cloud storage services are free for nominal use, but the cost climbs quickly when you attempt to store your music, movies, photos, and Documents folder somewhere else besides your Mac.
Who Competes With iCloud?
Our favorite Mac and iPhone maker boasts well over 100-million iCloud accounts, so, suffice it to say people use iCloud, even if they think it’s a real cloud in the sky.
Despite how well iCloud works, it doesn’t work like my favorite cloud storage service, Dropbox. At the basic level, Dropbox is a free online service that lets you take your files anywhere.
Anywhere? And which files? Install Dropbox on your Mac, create a few folders and populate said folders with files.
What kinds of files? Photos, documents, music, even video clips. After that, Dropbox syncs up all those files with Dropbox servers in the cloud.
After that, any other devices with a Dropbox app gives you access to those files, whether it be PC, or iPhone or iPad, or another Mac. In fact, you don’t even need the Dropbox app because you can log into Dropbox from any web browser.
There’s a public folder so you can share files with anyone. And, many Mac and iOS apps give you an option to store files automatically into Dropbox. You can invite friends, family, or co-workers to a special folder in Dropbox (they need Dropbox, too), and whatever you drop into that folder shows up on their computer, phone, or tablet.
Another advantage to using Dropbox is that it creates a de facto backup of critical files. If your Mac or iPhone is stolen or lost, the Dropbox files remain intact, backed up.
Change a file in your Dropbox folder on the Mac, and it’s updated and changed on Dropbox, and other devices logged in to your Dropbox account.
As it is with iCloud, SkyDrive, Cloud Drive, and Drive, Dropbox has a catch. It’s free to use up to 2GB of data. After that, the meter begins to run and only becomes expensive if and when you use an exorbitant amount of storage.
What I like about Dropbox is one thing I like about the Mac. I can organize files and folders however I want, assign folders to friends or co-workers, and avoid iCloud’s more restrictive features. As with iCloud, Dropbox usability is difficult to beat and it’s priced right.