I’ve been looking for a way to manage my backups. Burning DVDs and then leaving them around the house doesn’t strike me as a sensible way to preserve my data any more. I just want a simple way to thrust my files onto the cloud with the minimum of fuss.
Both allow me to map a drive and seamlessly sync my files just by copying them in there. I don’t need to worry about regularly running a “sync” command. Just drag, drop, done.
|Price per year||US$29.99 per 20GB||US$99.99 per 50GB|
|OS Support||Ubuntu Only. Windows support in beta||Linux, Windows, Mac|
|Mobile Support||Music and contact sync only||Full file support|
|Application support||Yes, via CouchDB||Flat filesystem only|
|Security||Files stored UNencrypted||All files stored on Dropbox servers are encrypted (AES-256)|
There Can Be Only One
I really really wanted to go with Ubuntu One. It’s cheaper and the money I pay for it would support my favourite Linux distribution. For US$90 I could get 60GB and feel good about paying for Linux.
But it’s not to be. Dropbox wins on three counts.
Firstly, Dropbox Mobile is supported on a wide range of phones. Sure, I only use Android now, but I may move back to BlackBerry. Bizarrely, Ubuntu One Mobile only works for syncing music and contacts. So, no pictures, documents, movies. Far too limited for me.
Secondly, command line options. I run a headless server at home which is primarily used for storing the household’s music, movies, and photos. It runs Xebian – a Debian variant. Yet it seems that Ubuntu One only works on Ubuntu machines. While I kind of understand the logic behind that – it’s a business limiting decision.
By contrast, Dropbox works fine on the command line of just about any Linux distro.
I never run Windows or Mac. But, I’m sure one day a job will mandate that I do – so it makes sense to go with the one with wider support.
Both services use SSL to encrypt during transmission – but Dropbox uses Amazon S3 to keep the contents of the files secure.
While I’m sure Amazon has its problems, Ubuntu One doesn’t keep its files encrypted and makes no mention of physical security.
I’m aware that I could buy several gigs of space via a cloud server somewhere and treat my filesystem as a giant SVN. But this has an easy to use front end, paid support, and apps for my mobiles.
That said, if you can convince me there’s a better option – please let me know!
You can sign up to Dropbox using my referral link – that way, we both get extra space.