Microsoft's updated cloud-based storage tool has been around for some time. It's solid, reliable and enables you to synchronise between computers. Recommended.
License: Full commercial application
The internet has become more important to everyday life than ever before and there is a general movement to a life online. It is no longer enough to store files on a local hard drive, or even on a removable drive, and there are now a number of cloud service that enable you to store photos and other files online and access them from any computer with an internet connection. SkyDrive is Microsoft competitor to the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive.
Until recently, the service came complete with 25GB of free space, but this was reduced to 7GB. However, if you are quick, you can still upgrade to the full 25GB free of charge. Your SkyDrive can be accessed in a number of ways starting out with through the service’s web site. Much like Google Drive, you can create a range of different types of document online without the need for any software – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote – and these can also be edited online.
Of course you can upload any files you already have stored on your computer and these are synchronised with your online account so they can be easily accessed from another machine. To make it easier to access your files, there are desktop tools available for Mac and PC that can be used to integrate SkyDrive into Explorer and Finder so you can treat your online storage just as you would an ordinary hard drive.
If you are already using other Microsoft services such as Hotmail, there is neat integration with SkyDrive so you can open file attachments and share files with others as you browse through your inbox. Providing you are using a recent version of Microsoft Office, it is possible to collaborate on documents with others so more than one person can edit a file, and it does not matter if different users are working with a desktop version of Office or the online app. There are also mobile versions of the SkyDrive app available that mean you are able to access and edit your files even when you are on the move.
Should you feel that the amount of storage pace you are provided with free of charge is just not enough, there are a number of subscription package available to gain more. For £6 a year you can add 20GB to your free storage, while £16 gets you an extra 50GB of space and 100GB will set you back £32 per year.