SkyDrive is the native synchronization tool toward the cloud developed by Microsoft. It was released in 2007, this storage system has been developed extensively since then, making it more appealing as the years passed.
Now, if you want to have all the basic info about SkyDrive, including all the SkyDrive login ways, keep reading.
The basics about SkyDrive
As it has been said before, SkyDrive is a way of storing files and documents in the cloud developed by Microsoft. Being developed by Microsoft means that all of the different Microsoft software (i.e. Windows 8 and Windows Phone OS) are deeply connected with this syncing tool.
But SkyDrive can not only be accessed and used by those that hold a PC with one of the latest versions of Windows or a Windows Phone, but by all the people that has a Microsoft account.
Microsoft accounts are those that once signed up for a Hotmail account or Outlook account. Now that you know this, you may have realized that you are also a Microsoft account user, and therefore, that you have access to SkyDrive.
Syncing on SkyDrive
By being Microsoft account holders, we will be able to access SkyDrive from almost everywhere. But those that have a Windows Phone or Windows 8 installed on their PC will have their documents synced automatically when any changes are made to them.
Also, by being a Windows Phone user, all the taken pictures will be synced and uploaded straight to SkyDrive, to the SkyDrive’s camera roll. This may seem to be something unnecessary, but you would be surprised of how useful it will be once you got used to it.
SkyDrive is possible from a wide range of gadgets and it has apps for every gadget you can think of. It is covered not only on those PC’s that use Windows as their software (Windows 7 and Windows 8 have it integrated), but on Mac OS X, Android and iOS.
BlackBerry users have access to SkyDrive too, although it is from a mobile web interface. If you want to use your SkyDrive account while you are not using your personal computer, you can do so by using the web app version.
SkyDrive prices and a small comparison to its main competitors
SkyDrive offers some free storage, but once you reach that limit, you will need to pay for extra storage space, although SkyDrive is one of the cheapest options nowadays.
The free SkyDrive storage on the cloud goes up to 7GB, whereas the maximum free storage for Google Drive is only 5GB, iCloud also goes up to 5GB of free storage and Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage service.
Adding storage to SkyDrive is easy and relatively cheap. If you wish to add 20GB to those free 7GB, you will then need to pay $10/year. If you wish to add 50GB, the price will be $25/year and if you wish to add 100GB, the price will be $50/year.
Other storage options, like iCloud, will make you pay a higher fee for the same service and the only one that offers a bit of a better offer is Dropbox, as you can increase your storage capacity by inviting friends and installing it in more PC’s and smartphones.
SkyDrive web app, what can be done?
For starting using SkyDrive, it is recommended to use its web app. This can be accessed either by its website www.skydrive.live.com or by any of the Microsoft web apps, like Outlook.
SkyDrive is simple, as you only need to insert your Microsoft account (email) and your password. You will only be asked to do this once, unless you want to change some of the settings of your Microsoft account, when your email and password will be asked again for security reasons.
Once you are on the main page of SkyDrive, you have several options. On the left hand side of the webpage, you will be able to see a column that allows you to browse between all your uploaded files. You can choose either to see all the files, only the recent documents, all the photos, shared files and the groups in which you are involved.
Right below that column, you will be able to see how much storage you have got left, so you can always know where to stop uploading, do some file “cleaning” or just when do you need to buy some more storage space.
If you want to upload or create new files, you can do so by simply clicking on the two buttons that you will find on top of the page. Apart from uploading any kind of documents, creating them straight in SkyDrive may be useful too, as this tool allows you to create new folders, Word documents, Excel workbooks and surveys, PowerPoint presentations and OneNote notebooks.
When you want to access to one of the documents that you have stored in SkyDrive, you can do so by clicking on the selected document. You will not need to download that file in order to visualize it and edit it, as it will open straight on the browser. Any edits done on the web app on any file will automatically be saved and, what may be ever more important, if you want to access a previous stage of the document, you can do so, although there is a limit, of course.
Not everything in SkyDrive is perfect. This cloud storage tool has some limitations and things that can be improved, and it would not be fair to talk only about the good things of it.
The storage capacity, despite of being one of the highest ones available, is not perfect and other storage tools have proved to be better. Regardless of this, it is true that the prices to pay per year for an extended storage capacity are the best on the market.
Editing documents straight in SkyDrive does not always work good, and sometimes they are not synced correctly and, therefore, the latest versions of the document are not recorded, making users waste their time and effort.
It does not offer automatic syncing with all kind of platforms, although no cloud storage tool does it anyway.
Probably the only real issue that SkyDrive may have, is that it does not offer the option of protecting some folders with a password, something that adds security to the storage files and that other storing tools on the cloud does.