ONLINE STORAGE

Google Drive is expected to launch next week with five gigabytes of free online storage. And there are scores of others.

There are so many free services for storing your documents and files online that it’s easy to overlook what appears to be the best, which is Microsoft’s SkyDrive. The software giant offers five times as much free storage as any of the others. Oddly enough, it seldom gets any mention in the tech blogs. Is there any reason for this? We’re open to conspiracy theories.

The Wall Street Journal recently compared Apple’s iCloud, Amazon’s Cloud Drive, Box, Dropbox, and Microsoft SkyDrive. SkyDrive offered 25 gigabytes of free storage, the others only 5 gigabytes. All of them provide extra storage for fairly nominal fees.

New features in SkyDrive let you share stuff on Twitter and Facebook, right-click files to reorganize them, access a “shared folder” to see what others have shared with you, etc. A desktop app is “coming soon,” to allow you to drag and drop files into the SkyDrive without opening up Internet Explorer, Firefox or some other browser. For now, just go to SkyDrive.com.

Let’s look at some of the other choices, which may be geared more closely to what you commonly use. You might prefer Amazon’s Cloud Drive if you buy a lot of songs on Amazon and want easy syncing with your Kindle Fire. You might choose Box if you want to integrate with business apps such as Salesforce and Netsuite. iCloud is handy for iPhone, iPad and Mac users. It syncs your contacts, documents and media. Dropbox seems especially easy to use.

Apple’s iCloud is the most popular free storage site, with 100 million users. Dropbox is second with 50 million.

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