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I will be considering the following products:
- Dropbox - The incumbent. I'm looking at their personal plans only
- Google Drive
- Microsoft SkyDrive - Not SkyDrive Pro, their business service which is completely different
I'm leaving a couple major products out of my evaluation. Many people think of Apple's iCloud when considering cloud services, but it's not really this type of product. iCloud is more of a set of synchronization protocols. It's invaluable for users of Apple devices, but it doesn't solve the storage need and support for it off of Apple platforms is (to put it kindly) weak.
I'm also not considering Box, one of the more famous companies. The best reason not to consider them is that they are not really focused on the personal market. Yes, they have a free 10GB personal plan, but their focus is on businesses with teams of multiple users. I had tried Box in the past and hated their software. It may be better now, but that doesn't matter.
I'm also not considering BitTorrent Sync and a number of other services (some free) which require static synchronization. I only want the ones where the cloud works just like a local drive.
I have done no formal testing on these products, and performance testing of them would be quite a logistical challenge. I've used most of them in real world situations and the only times I've found myself sitting and waiting for files to synch was when I was moving many GB of data at a time. In other words, they're all fast enough for me, at least on my Internet connections.
I'm presenting the products in the next five pages alphabetically by name.