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Dropbox is the gold standard in consumer cloud storage and priced accordingly. Only SugarSync matches it in price (and is, in fact, more expensive per GB in the less expensive plans).
Dropbox has "Packrat" which allows you to undelete files, but it costs another $39 per year. Only Dropbox dares to charge extra for this. Oddly, the Packrat cost is fixed no matter how much storage you buy, so the penalty diminishes relatively the more storage you buy..
But Dropbox works really well and there are clients for a wide variety of platforms. The software on Mac and Windows is about as straightforward as can be. There is no official client for Windows Phone, but there are several free third party apps. It's a safe choice.
Storage (GB) $ monthly $/GB monthly $ annual $/GB annual 2GB (up to 18GB with 500MB referrals) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 100GB $9.99 $0.10 $99 $0.99 100GB + Packrat $48.99 $0.49 $138 $1.38 200GB $19.99 $0.10 $199 $1.00 200GB + Packrat $58.99 $0.29 $238 $1.19 500GB $49.99 $0.10 $499 $1.00 500GB + Packrat $88.99 $0.18 $538 $1.08
In terms of pricing and range of plans, Google Drive is hard to beat. Nobody comes close to their range, nor does anyone offer anything like a 16 TB plan. They also offer monthly billing at the same flat rate as annual (making annual pointless if you ask me). It's not the cheapest, but it's not off by much.
If you're plugged into the Google ecosystem, then Drive is a natural solution. Obviously Google Apps works with it directly. Google Drive really could be a good solution for me. There's no official Windows Phone client, but there are several unofficial ones (such as this one) that seem to do what needs to be done.
Storage (GB) $ monthly $/GB monthly $ annual $/GB annual 15 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 100 $4.99 0.05 $59.88 0.60 200 $9.99 0.05 $119.88 0.60 400 $19.99 0.05 $239.88 0.60 1000 $49.99 0.05 $599.88 0.60 2000 $99.99 0.05 $1,199.88 0.60 4000 $199.99 0.05 $2,399.88 0.60 8000 $399.99 0.05 $4,799.88 0.60 16000 $799.99 0.05 $9,599.88 0.60
[Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that SkyDrive did not provide access to deleted files. It does, in fact, have a Recycle Bin available through the web interface. I apologize for the error.]
SkyDrive was a real me-too service until the latest generations of Microsoft software came along. Office and Windows 8.1 make SkyDrive first-class peers. Both work easily with files on SkyDrive. I'm a big OneNote user, and it's far easier to work on SkyDrive with the mobile versions of OneNote than with other services.
With Windows 8.1 Microsoft adds support for "smart files" on SkyDrive. These are smaller, locally stored thumbnail versions of files stored on SkyDrive that behave like the full-size versions. They cut the amount of storage and bandwidth necessary on the local device. This can be a major benefit on mobile devices which often have limited storage.
SkyDrive is also the second-least expensive product per GB, behind Copy.com. SkyDrive does not offer monthly billing, and only recently added a 200GB plan. (Note in the chart that the numbers are 107, 207, etc. because they add the 7GB you get for free.) The low upper limit may be a problem for some, but not for me.
Storage (GB) $ monthly $/GB monthly $ annual $/GB annual 7 N/A N/A $0.00 $0.00 27 N/A N/A $10.00 $0.37 57 N/A N/A $25.00 $0.44 107 N/A N/A $50.00 $0.47 207 N/A N/A $100.00 $0.48
Another problem element for SkyDrive is Microsoft's confused strategy relative to SkyDrive Pro, their business-oriented cloud storage service. Pro is, behind the product name and logos, an entirely different service from the consumer SkyDrive. It is, in fact, largely a renaming of SharePoint Workspace. If you have accounts on both SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro (as I do) you need to use different client access software and different accounts for both. The storage is completely separate and even the user accounts are unrelated. SkyDrive Pro is integral to the more expensive plans for Office 365. You can work with SkyDrive Pro from the mobile OneNote apps, but it's a pain in the butt.
It may be that Microsoft limits the storage capacity of SkyDrive in order to push users into SkyDrive Pro. If that's right, it's a really bad decision. It's much easier for a consumer who needs more storage to change services than to add on SkyDrive Pro.
Microsoft lost a trademark battle over the name SkyDrive and it's possible, maybe even likely, that the name will change soon. I'm rather surprised that it didn't change before the release of Windows 8.1.
Microsoft makes SkyDrive clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.