Dropbox has just been granted a patent that allows for peer-to-peer sharing. It now has the technology to be able to synch files between clients without the need of using its cloud servers. Whether they implement this into their existing product is the ultimate question.
Who is winning the cloud storage race? The list is long and distinguished. Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box are the big five. Ubuntu One, Amazon Cloud Drive, Sugarsync, Hightail, and OwnCloud trail a list of lesser-known or perhaps lesser-used services. In terms of popularity, Dropbox still heads the list, mainly since it is the early innovator. iCloud leans heavily on Apple’s products. Google Drive is gaining market share.
In terms of my experience, I use Dropbox most of the time when sharing or transferring files. However, when creating new documents, I use Google Drive exclusively because the tools are there. When security is a concern, I tend to use OwnCloud. I do have OneDrive, iCloud, Ubuntu One, but I use them sparingly. Do I need more? Probably, not. I think having more than three services is overkill, but it’s nice to have options.
What’s your favorite? Who do you think is the best? Who will survive and who will not?
Are you looking for a Dropbox alternative? Try ownCloud. Dropbox and ownCloud are both free as well as a paid service. The main difference between the two is that you can run ownCloud from your own server. Like Dropbox, you can access ownCloud from your browser, desktop or smartphone. The ownCloud server software runs on any server, mine runs on Ubuntu Linux, and it doesn’t require special permissions.
The latest version is ownCloud version 6. I was still running on version 4.5. So, the following instructions will upgrade your ownCloud to the latest version on the Ubuntu server. If you have large amounts of data, it would be wise to backup your ownCloud directories. If you don’t have many files, you can opt for a clean install.
Go to your ownCloud directory.
Delete everything except for data and config. You will most likely need sudo to delete your files. I opted for a clean install, so I deleted everything.
ls | grep -v 'data\|config' | sudo xargs rm -r
Download ownCloud. Since I did a clean install, I went up one directory level.
cd .. wget http://download.owncloud.org/community/owncloud-latest.tar.bz2
Unpack the tarball. It will create a new directory ‘owncloud.’
sudo tar xfj owncloud-latest.tar.bz2
Give it write permissions. By default, the owncloud files are owned by nobody. So, you might see an error message saying it needs write permissions to ‘owncloud/data.’ I changed the ownership of the files to Apache, which is www-data.
sudo chown www-data:www-data -R owncloud
Access ownCloud by opening up your web browser and going to your ownCloud URL. If you did a clean install, you will be asked to create a new admin username and password. Otherwise, enter your former credentials. Finally, download the desktop clients as well as the mobile apps and install on your devices.
Synch your files and have fun.
If you’re a Dropbox Pro user, your storage space should double by the end of the day, according to a ZDNet report. There are no current plans for increases to regular Dropbox users.
Pro 50 users should double their storage from 50GB to 100GB by the end of the day. Pro 50 users typically pay $9.99 per month or 99.99 per year.
Pro 100 users will also double their storage from 100GB to 200GB. Pro 100 users typically pay 19.99 per month or 199.99 per year.
The increase of storage is the direct result of stiff competition from other cloud storage vendors who are offering more to outdo each other.
Box, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Ubuntu One are all competing for this potentially huge market.
Based on rumors, it looks like Google will release a new service called Google Drive in a couple of weeks. Google Drive will compete with Dropbox, iCloud, Box and host of other online storage and collaboration services.
The word on the street is, Google Drive users will receive 5GB for free, a much higher value than previously anticipated. Potentially, Google can sweeten the deal by making the integration of its other services a key selling point.
Integration with GMail and Google Docs can take Google Drive over the top above other competitors. I would pay to see Google Docs having the ability to save files on Google Drive. If Google were to allow such a thing, it would be an instant hit.
What a combo that will be.