Google Drive & Sky Drive & Dropbox – Which One Is Best?

Here are a few details concerning these three cloud services. Google Drive, Sky Drive and Dropbox are all popular cloud services, and have each been tested independently by a number of different people and companies. Here are the results of a test that you may conduct yourself.

The particulars of the test and their subsequent results are all listed below, and you may easily conduct the tests yourself without needing any sophisticated technology or hardware. From the results you may judge which the best is.

The speed of the cloud services:

The results listed here are for the time it took each service to upload or download an 8.1MB file. The file was an MP3 file (this may or may not be relevant). The speed was determined in three different ways, which are listed in sub headings below.

1. Downloading from the Web – Google Drive Wins:

Here the Google Drive won. When downloading a file from the web (from the Cloud service) it took the 8 seconds for the download to complete. With Dropbox it took 12 seconds to complete the download, and with SkyDrive it took 24 seconds.

2. Uploading a File to the Cloud via a Website – Google Drive Wins:

Here the Google drive wins again as it only took 24 seconds to upload the 8.1MB file to the cloud service. In second place was Dropbox (again) which took 30 seconds, and Skydrive took 33 seconds.

3. Uploading a File via a Desktop App – Dropbox Wins:

Dropbox takes the prize in this area, as it only took 17 seconds to upload the file. In second place was the Google Drive which took 32 seconds and then the Skydrive which took 42 seconds.

As a point of note, it is odd that Dropbox uses Amazon S3 as back-end, and yet is actually faster than the Amazon cloud in all three of the metrics shown above. You should look into this if you are currently using the Amazon cloud drive.

If You Uploaded the File a Number of Times:

You may not be aware that uploading something a number of times may possibly change the behavior of the cloud service. It may increase or decrease uploading times. There are a number of reasons why this may happen, and some of those reasons may even be your fault (such as your Internet connection). So, if you are going to conduct this test then you should do it a number of times in order to get better results.

In this test an 8.1MB MP3 file was uploaded to the cloud four times, one after the other. The upload times were then measured in order to check for variation.

Dropbox Took the Least Amount of Time in Total:

The Dropbox results were the most interesting. When all four were queued up, the first upload took around 60 seconds, which is double its usual uploading time. But, the second, third and fourth upload took less than ten seconds each. This may indicate some very fancy protocols within the Dropbox cloud, and may also suggest that they have some sort of caching system. This may be the reasons why Dropbox beats the Amazon cloud in similar tests. Dropbox took less time to upload all four files than the Google Drive or Skydrive.

Google came in Second for Total Upload Time:

The Google results were also very interesting. It took about 120 seconds to upload every file, which is double the amount of time it took Dropbox, but the file upload time for all four was very even. It took almost exactly 30 seconds to upload each, which may appear to be the “way it should be” but if you did similar tests on Dropbox and Skydrive (noted above and below) and and Amazon cloud, you would be hard pressed to find such consistency. Google may sell itself here on a lack of upload variation (which is a good thing).

The Skydrive took the Longest of the Three:

When uploading all four files, the Skydrive took around 160 seconds. This is around 40 seconds each, or at least it would have been but the upload times were not even. It did take a little longer for the first file to upload, after which the other files seemed to upload in an even manner.


All three services are pretty good, and even though the Google Drive and Dropbox services seem to be fighting it out for supremacy, none of these services were particularly bad. Sure, the Skydrive was the slowest of the three, but it is only lagging behind by a few seconds. So, if you were to pick any of these cloud services, you could not go too far wrong.