Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tech Column: Ode to Livedrive

by Bill Adler

Last week I wrote about online cloud storage services that basically let you use the cloud as an external drive. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox. I also wrote about connection apps such as Cloudmagic and Attachments.me, that give your cloud services even more oomph, by letting you use multiple cloud services simultaneously.

Last week I didn't write about Livedrive, because Livedrive is ignored when it comes to add-ons like Cloudmagic, which lets you search (almost) all your cloud services at once, or Attachments.me, which enable you to work with email attachments on a variety of services. Livedrive, www.livedrive.com, is never invited to the cloud party, but it's worth considering as a place to park your files.

I've been using Livedrive for years, in addition to Google Drive and Dropbox, because it has one very strong suit: Price. For $150/year you get unlimited storage. Google Drive and Dropbox don't even offer that size as an option. 500 gigabytes on Dropbox currently costs $500 a year; 400 gigabytes on Google Drive costs $20 a month. If you want to really increase your storage to 1 terabyte on Google Drive that will cost you $50 a month.

You can pay for a lesser plan on Livedrive, too, if you only have up to 1 TB of data. Any way you slice it, Livedrive's price beats Google Drive, Dropbox, Sugarsync and all the others.

Livedrive has two components: backup and something called "briefcase." Backup is intuitive -- your files are simply backed up. Briefcase lets you specify files or folders you want to be available on more than one computer. It's handy for transferring files to other PCs or if you work on multiple machines.

Livedrive is a bargain, not just in comparison to Google Drive and Dropbox, but period. Livedrive doesn't integrate with Gmail and documents the way Google Drive does; it doesn't have all the cool sharing features and apps that Dropbox offers. But Livedrive, www.livedrive.com, which has iOS and Android apps, giving you access everywhere to all your data, is a good service, as well as a very good deal.


Bill Adler is a writer. He is the author of "Boys and Their Toys: Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets," http://amzn.to/rspOft, "Outwitting Squirrels," http://amzn.to/VXuLBh, and a mess of other books. He tweets at @billadler. His tech column is published on Tuesdays.

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