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Cloud Services Compared: Google Drive vs. Dropbox, SkyDrive and iCloud

Following months of speculation, Google's Drive finally made its big debut earlier today. So how does the service stack up against the competition? As it turns out, pretty well. For starters Google Drive offers the largest amount of storage for free with 5GB of space dedicated to Drive and another and another 10GB of space going to Gmail.

SkyDrive, meanwhile, offers 7GB of storage, as well as 5GB of storage through Windows Live Mesh. Apple's iCloud offers up 5GB of storage, while Dropbox provides 2GB.

Google Drive also crushes the competition when it comes to total amount of storage space available for purchase with a staggering 16TB of space. The closest the competition comes is 100GB, which is offered by both Dropbox and SkyDrive. Apple's iCloud only offers 50GB. With that said, Google is the only service that is geared specifically to both everyday consumers and enterprises.

Each service makes your data available offline, and is capable of automatically syncing files across multiple devices. Google's Drive does, however, allow users to upload a larger maximum file size than its competition, 10GB versus a standard 2GB, and gives you the ability to share and edit documents with other users simultaneously. And while SkyDrive does offer simultaneous editing, users can't track each others' edits in real time like you can with Google Drive.

So far it looks like Google Drive is the new cloud service to beat. Check out our chart below for a more in-depth look at how Drive stacks up with the competition.

FeatureGoogle DriveDropboxSkyDriveiCloud
Free Storage Capacity5GB2GB7GB5GB
Maximum Storage Capacity16TB100GB100GB50GB
SynchronizationYesYesYesYes
Offline CapabilityYesYesYesYes
Folder SharingYesYesYesNo
Mobile AppAndroid (iPhone, iPad upcoming)iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, AndroidWindows Phone, iPhone, iPadiPhone, iPad
Data EncryptionYesSSL and AES-256 bitSSL and encryptionSSL and encryption
Edit SimultaneouslyYesNoYesNo
Track VersionsYesYesYesNo
Maximum File Size10GB2GB2GBN/A (files automatically synced)
Special FeaturesOpen over 30 files types in the browser, including HD video, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop -- even if you don't have the program installed on your computer; Share files from a variety of apps directly in Google Drive. Google is also releasing the SDK for Drive, meaning 3rd-party developers will be able to create apps for the service. Users can fetch content from PC at home, even if it's not stored on SkyDrive; multiple copies of each file saved on different servers and hard drives to protect data from hardware failureAll music, television shows and movies purchased through iTunes are saved in your iTunes account and can be quickly redownloaded to and iTunes compatible device.