Microsoft SkyDrive now at 25GB

windowsliveskydrive

It seems like Microsoft is quite serious about making their Live SkyDrive a serious contender in the online storage business. They launched the service about an year back with 500MB of space, hardly enough for … well anything … increasing it to 5GB in February and surprised everyone last week by announcing that SkyDrive will now come with 25GBs of free online space. Wow !

Microsoft’s competitors in the Online storage space are Box.net, Wuala, Xdrive, Mozy (an EMC subsidiary) , Adrive and countless others. Granted that this space is already crowded, Microsoft’s decision might come in as a surprise to some. I, on the other hand, feel that this is just another attempt by Microsoft to establish a presence in the online space. Wonder how long before Google joins the party.

Adrive offers 50GB of free space, and in terms of free space, looks to be the only real competitor in the space. The rest of them all offer anywhere from 1-5GBs free and while that is enough to get a reviewer started with the service, a real long term user would definitely be looking for more than that. I know I do.

I’m sure with this latest update (and Microsoft’s massive Marketing machinery) Skydrive will definitely gain a lot of new users. How long can they maintain the momemtum and all the good press that Live (and Windows 7) has been getting is anyone’s guess.

ADrive.com tempts with 50GB of free Online Storage

ADrive is yet another startup offering it’s users 50GB of free online “Cloud” Based storage.

ADrive is yet another startup offering it’s users 50GB of free online “Cloud” Based storage. I don’t know if the “Cloud” based part has any relevance here or not, but it sure makes their homepage buzzword compliant.

Unlike wua.la, though, which I covered a while back, Adrive is not any different from the other storage startups out there. What is different is the amount of storage they’re offering.

Most companies these days offer anywhere from 1GB to 5GB to start with for free and then charge more for extra storage. This is called the freemium model. And the model has been working well for a lot of companies, since it is quite easy to run out of 1GB and then ask the user for money once he/she is locked down.

But Adrive is offering it’s users 50GB. That’s a lot of storage by any standards. I have about 4GB of photographs which I need to store, another 20GB of songs and videos and 1 or 2GB of other data. Even, after all this I’m still well under my 50GB limit. I really wonder how are they going to convert free users to the paid model. And they backup all data for even the free account. So, I don’t need to pay to even get my data backed up.

Are services like ssl/webdav really that big a deal that an average user will pay for them ? I don’t think so. My only requirement is that a service should backup my data and Adrive does that. And I don’t mind seeing advertisements to get that much free storage. Infact, show me more ads and give me more space 🙂 Gmail already shows me ads for all the convenience it gives and, trust me, gmail has much more of my sensitive data than Adrive can ever hope to get.

I would really like Adrive to succeed and keep the 50GB limit intact, but I doubt it will.

iterasi helps you archive the web

iterasi is an interesting service. It is something of a cross between del.icio.us and the Internet wayback machine. iterasi lets the user bookmark a web page but instead of saving just the web page’s address, it saves the whole page.

The advantage that iterasi brings for its users is that even if the original website is down, the user can still view the information since iterasi saves the complete web page intact with all formatting.

Another very interesting feature is that you can schedule iterasi to save a copy of a web page at a defined interval. So, you can actually have your very own Internet wayback archive and see how a particular page changes during the course of a couple of days or months.

The company provides plugins for Internet explorer and Firefox on Windows and Firefox on Mac OS X to let you take snapshots of pages easily.

iterasi also lets you share the saved webpages with friends and family using Email, RSS or embed the pages on your blog/website by inserting a small piece of code that iterasi provides.

All in all, iterasi could prove to be a very useful service for some people. I can definitely see myself using it.

Wuala – Free and Simple Online Social Storage

Wua.la social storage

Move over Box.net, Mozy and Xdrive, Wuala is here ! Those were exactly the words in my mind when I first heard about Wua.la a couple of months back. Back then, it was in a closed beta and I couldn’t try the service. Well, Wua.la is open to the public now and, boy, am I glad !

Wua.la is basically an online storage service. In that sense, it is no different than Box.net, Mozy or Xdrive. What makes it different is the social aspect of it.

Wuala is storage based on p2p technology. Each and every file that you store is broken down into several pieces and each piece is then stored (encrypted, of course) on wuala’s servers and also replicated on some of the other machines connected to the wuala network at any given time. Wuala’s servers keep track of the various bits of the file. The Wuala FAQ explains the technology as:

Wuala is based on a novel technology that we have researched for the most part at ETH Zurich. In addition to servers, Wuala can harness idle resources provided by participating computers. All data is first encrypted and then split into fragments which are redundantly stored on our servers and in the grid network. This allows us to save costs for downloads (bandwidth, electrical power) and thus to provide a better service for free, with a number of advantages that others just can’t offer: unlimited traffic, no file size limits, fast downloads, and so on.

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