Wannabe Wired

In my line of work, I often have to send large files to other people. From photos to videos to massive PDF files, these attachments are always too large to be sent via traditional email. Enter the wonderful world of online file sharing and storage.

I’ve spoken about the mystical, magical “cloud” before in this space and now I’d like to get a little more in-depth about the ways you can use cloud storage and file sharing. Namely, to transfer large files between parties.

If you’ve ever tried to send a cellphone video or several photos to someone through email you will understand the frustration that comes with receiving the “file too large” error. It can be frustrating, particularly if you are on a deadline. Thankfully there is a very simple solution in the form of online storage.

The three largest, or at least, most popular online file storage options should come as no surprise: Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox.

You can’t live in the 21st century and have not heard of Google or Microsoft, alongside Apple they are the big three when it comes to technology companies. Dropbox may be lesser known among the three, but in the world of cloud storage it’s in contention for the crown.

So, how do you know which one is best for you?

Let’s start with Google Drive. If you have a Gmail account, then surprise, you already have a Google Drive account. Google accounts are persistent across all of their applications. Your Google account will access Drive, Docs, Pages, Photos and any other application within the G-Suite.

Google Drive isn’t the most user friendly of the three, but you do get the most bang for your buck so to speak.

Microsoft OneDrive comes standard with most PCs and is relatively simple to use. It’s user interface is simple enough to understand but contains enough customization options to allow you to tailor the experience to your liking.

I would suggest Microsoft OneDrive if you are more comfortable working with your normal PC programs as opposed to online applications as it mirrors those nicely.

Finally, there is Dropbox. While not associated with a big name like Drive or OneDrive, Dropbox was a pioneer in file synchronization and sharing. For many companies, Dropbox has become the standard. Many companies make use of Dropbox for their in-house file sharing needs.

Dropbox would be my suggestion if you are working within a group or small business as it has nice ubiquity across systems and can be upgraded for more storage. Though, to be fair, so can OneDrive.

Ultimately, the online storage you choose is going to be more a matter of taste than technical skill, at least among the big three. So my final suggestion would be to try them all out and see which you like most.

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