Two days ago I was writing about using all the free cloud storage systems to notch up at least 135GB without paying subscriptions. You can now add 5GB to that with the new Dropbox rival AVG Livekive. It looks very interesting, but shame about the name. Who dreamt this up, I wonder?
Livekive claims to offer all that Dropbox can supply but a bit cheaper. For starters, that 5GB free storage is a lot more than the measly 2GB offered by Dropbox. The $50 a year cost for 25GB of storage is similar to the $50 Dropbox 50GB service, although it’s a cheaper entrance level. Livekive’s top sub is $80 a year and this is for “unlimited” storage, but with a fair-usage policy which currently kicks in at 500GB. By comparison, Dropbox charges $200 for a miserable 100GB of storage. Another competitor, Box.net matches Livekive’s 5GB free allocation but charges $180 a year for 500GB. This is still $20 a year cheaper than Dropbox’s 100GB service.
Dropbox has the big advantage that it is the de facto standard for a large number of cloud-syncing iOS apps and also allows sharing of certain files with desktop apps. The ones I sync most frequently are my 1Password data and plain-text files, but Dropbox can be used for syncing many other applications between iOS and Macs. The 2GB ceiling is probably high enough for this type of use, but there’s no escaping the attraction of Livekive’s 5GB free limit. That said, Dropbox is now looking expensive in comparison with competitors. While many will probably keep a free Dropbox account for application syncing, some could be tempted to another service for serious data storage.
5.2.Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law.
With Dropbox, for instance, I’ve always relied on assurances that the data is encrypted in and out, and remains encrypted and unavailable to Dropbox staff at all times. If they can’t access it, they can’t disclose it, presumably. Maybe I’m very gullible. Amazon, on the other hand, is blatant about telling you that if necessary they will hand over your files. I don’t like this either and it’s something to be aware of when committing all your data to a cloud server.