Cloud storage alternatives to Dropbox

Online storage was back in the headlines when German born technology entrepreneur Kim DotCom launched a new cloud based storage and file sharing website ‘Mega’.

If we lost you at ‘cloud storage’ – then this article is for you.

Clouds you say?

In recent years, the way we store and share content has drastically changed, thanks to advances in online storage technology powered by the cloud.

Perhaps I’m showing my age here, but when I was at school we had to back up important files to floppy discs. By the time I was in college we’d moved on to USBs. Now, cloud based storage allows us to back up important documents online, accessing them by logging in with a user name and password. Your documents and data are just a few keystrokes away – anywhere you’ve got internet access.

So which cloud based storage option is right for you?


This is still considered the best web-based cloud service for storing and sharing data. It’s easy to use, free for a basic package with paid-for accounts available depending on how much storage space you need as well as your remote access requirements, server hosting and accessibility.

However, there are a number of challengers to the throne and Dropbox could soon lose it’s place as the cloud storage service of choice. Dropbox only offers 2GB of data free, whereas other services are becoming more competitive with their offerings.

Google Drive

Google Drive is the more recent tweak to Google’s popular ‘Google Docs’, which allows you to store files and documents online, share them with others and access your documents anywhere using your Google login details. You get 5GB of storage free but there are ‘pay as you go’ costs as your storage requirements increase after that point.

Windows Live Mesh

Microsoft’s cloud storage service gets praise for its easy to use interface and generous 5GB storage space allowance.

What’s really clever about Live Mesh is that it allows users to log on online and access their desktop remotely, pretty nifty if you need to access something on the move. It’s also really simple to synchronise files between computers, meaning you don’t lose track of changes you’ve made elsewhere.

Sky Drive

If you need space, space and more space, Microsoft’s Sky Drive might be for you. It comes with a whopping 7GB of free storage free of charge, substantially beating the competition.


So what can newcomer Mega offer the market that the dominant Dropbox and challengers haven’t already got covered?

For a start, there’s 50GB of free storage on offer. The service also offers encryption to protect privacy as well as different pricing plans depending on required storage space and bandwidth.

What’s more, Kim DotCom has been here before. The predecessor to Mega was Megaupload, boasting 50 million visitors daily. Megaupload was shut down as part of the biggest piracy case in history, but Kim DotCom is confident his new site Mega is fully legal, above board and untouchable.

Do you use cloud based storage?

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  1. Ryan says:

    Windows Live Mesh has been discontinued as of February this year. It is a shame because it was a good service.

  2. Sunny says:

    There’s no Live Mesh and Skydrive are not 2 separate products.

    Microsoft integrated them both into skydrive offering.

  3. Sunny says:

    Live Mesh and Skydrive are not 2 separate products.

    Microsoft integrated them both into 1 skydrive offering and it is embedded in Windows 8, WP8 and Office 2013 and Office 365

  4. Jack Cola says:

    Windows Live Mesh is sort of merging into SkyDrive.

    In February 2013, Microsoft announced they were closing Live Mesh, so people reading this article, don’t consider that service:

  5. Andrew says:

    For those of us with our own web server OwnClowd is a pretty good alternative.

  6. Nick says:

    ownCloud is the way to go.

    Independance, your own hardware, software and connection. Set it up inside a virtual machine, redirect the ports on modem/router and that keeps it away from everything else on your box/network, and you’re away!

    Look it up!

  7. Amelia says:

    We use Mozy – not free, but only USD$9.95 per month. We have about 200G backed up in the cloud. It’s seamless, all happens automatically. And you can access you data through a web interface and mobile app.