Testing Out SkyDrive from Windows Live
While Windows Live OneCare costs $49.95, there are a few free offerings from Windows Live, and one is the online storage space known as SkyDrive. You can actually access your “SkyDrive” totally free; the only requirement is a free Windows Live account.
Key features promised by SkyDrive:
Here is my full evaluation and review…
Getting Started with SkyDrive
SkyDrive lets you access 5 GB of free storage from any online PC or Web-enabled mobile device. It’s very easy – you select files to upload, then click “Upload” and wait.
You should be able to drag and drop files directly from your PC to your SkyDrive through Windows Explorer, although I think they are still working on that feature. You can share files though, just by putting them in a “Shared” folder. (And you can share publicly or with a few select friends.)
Here is the main interface you see when you get started. I haven’t uploaded any files, but I did create a “Family Reunion” folder.
So, I go to upload some photos, and wait…
But once I upload, I don’t have to sit around waiting! There is a neat game where you use the mouse to drag a ball around a box and get it to bounce off the walls. They thought of everything! (I don’t understand the point of the game, it’s boring, and it’s slow because you’re uploading files… but a creative idea nonetheless.)
You can only upload 5 files at a time through the browser interface, though. That’s OK when you only have a few files, but doing that will take a while if you have multiple albums to upload. (Which is probably how they’ll get you to download their toolbar package, to get the desktop uploading function.)
Now that my files are uploaded, it’s time to select my friends that can view the folder. Here I am clicking the boxes of the people I’d like to allow to view this folder’s contents.
So now I have added my files. Note the bar in the top right showing how much space I have left. Also, the Family Reunion folder has some photos and is now in the “Shared Folders” section so that I can share it with certain people.
I’m not sure about the level of file encryption used, but your SkyDrive is SSL- and password-protected.
Final Decision on SkyDrive
What I liked about SkyDrive:
5GB of completely free online backup space.
What I did not like about SkyDrive:
File size limited to 50MB.
SkyDrive Review Wrap-Up:
Overall rating: out of 5 stars
Reviewed by: Paul Ryan
Date of original review: April 7, 2007
Date last updated: April 7, 2007
Overall, SkyDrive was fully functional and easy to use. The 5 GB of free space is decent, and the 50 MB file size limit isn’t bad. It is about what I’d expect from free file storage.