Dropbox is better.
There’s lots of little niggly reasons why that is. For example, the SkyDrive Android app is incredibly slow at loading images. SkyDrive desktop app is incredibly slow at indexing and seeing changes. Google Drive desktop app is also a bit slow at syncing.
Ultimately, I don’t trust the others, Dropbox just works better, faster, more reliably, and therefore why waste time using the others.
Making the Move
I have quite a fast home broadband line (80Mb/s / 20Mb/s) so was happy enough to do the move on my desktop computer, and let the changes sync through. I made an effort on some other computers to move the files into the correct directory structure before hand, to ensure that they didn’t have to re-download all the files (missed one computer – see below).
I looked at some utilities that facilitate moving data from one cloud service to another – there’s a bunch of them around. I ended up not using them as it was just simpler to drag and drop on my computer, and wait a while.
Issues With The Move
The switch wasn’t as smooth as possible. I have personal files and work files, and want to share my work files with a 2nd Dropbox account (so they don’t have access to my personal files) and got an error sharing my work folder because apparently it had too many files in it to share at once. Instead, I shared approx 15 folders individually with the second account. This means that any changes made in the top level of their Dropbox, are not synced with me (i.e. new files/folders added or folder names changed).
I also found out that you can’t share a folder within a shared folder. That’s also slightly annoying as there are folders within my work folders that I’d like to share with other people, but now would have to either share the whole folder, or share a different folder.
Dropbox in general handles filename changes/movements etc quite well. However, I was a bit surprised to realise that when I moved some folders into a sub-folder on one computer, in the other computer, it deleted then re-downloaded those files, rather than move them. I was a bit surprised about this because it seems like an utter waste of bandwidth and time. I’ve noticed before that Dropbox says that it’s syncing/downloading/uploading, but it’s actually not, so I watched the Network I/O of that computer to confirm it was actually downloading content. Strangely, not all of it over LAN either, despite being connected to a network where the files were available.
Lastly, I tried out Dropbox for Business to see if the sharing settings were different, but they’re not. In fact, Dropbox for Business gives you little over the regular version other than the ability to manage the people you share with more effectively. Although I did the trial from a paid 100GB account, when I ended the trial, it put me back down to a free account and gave me credit for the unused part of my annual $99 ($98.92) so to upgrade again, I had to pay $0.08!
All in, not the easiest move, but happy to be on a single service, and I believe that Dropbox is the best one to be on right now. Their recent developer’s conference and aim to become ‘the cloud platform’ is also reassuring.