Google Drive Vs SkyDrive : Pricing Plans, Free Space, Privacy, File Compatibility

Both SkyDrive and Google Cloud are cloud services that cater to file storage and sharing. While SkyDrive has been in the market for relatively longer time, Google Drive is a long awaited dream come true for Google fans. We have already seen the comparion of SkyDrive vs Apple iCloud vs Google vs Dropbox released by Microsoft. In this post I will compare Google Drive with SkyDrive in a bit more in detail.

The Free Usage On Offer

Google Drive Logo

When comparing Google Drive with SkyDrive, we first check out what is available for our non-Dollars.

SkyDrive offers 7GB free space for new users. For accounts created prior to April 22 2012, it allows for upgrading the free space to 25GB without having to pay anything (Offer at the time of writing this article. SkyDrive may remove the free upgrade later). Users need to be aware that they can upgrade and should claim their 25GB free space as soon as possible.

Google Drive offers only 5GB of free space. It offers free upgrade option to 25GB – and then, there are also paid options. We’ll check out the pricing in the next section.

Google Drive vs SkyDrive – Paid Plans

Both SkyDrive and Google Drive offer more space at different price.

The pricing at SkyDrive is as follows:

  • +20GB at $10/year
  • +50GB at $25/year
  • +100GB at $50/year

The pricing for Google Drive is as follows:

  • +25GB at $2.5/month
  • +100GB at $4.99/month

Google Drive also offers custom packages upon request. Business houses can rent up to 16TB of cloud space.

Note: When you go for paid plans with Google Drive, your Gmail account automatically increases to 25GB.

File Compatibility

Google Drive boasts of being compatible with 30 file types. This means that you can open these file types in your browser, without having to download them to your computer. The list includes PSD (Photoshop) and AI (Illustrator) files. You can play video files as well. However, coming to MP3 and other music files, you have to download the files and play them in a local music player.

SkyDrive’s compatibility list is not that big. However, you can still watch videos of MP4 and WMV format using the web browser. For music files, you have to download them for listening.

Both SkyDrive and Google Drive support Open Document Format. The former uses its own format to create new documents. In SkyDrive, the Office Web Apps are used to create documents. In both cases, you do not need a local installation to create documents and spreadsheets.

Note that Google converts documents to Google Docs format before you can edit them. Similarly, Microsoft SkyDrive would convert the files to its own format to allow editing. The speed of conversion is so fast you won’t notice conversion process. In case of Google Drive, it provides you with a dialog box that asks you if you wish to convert the files you upload.

Max Individual File Limit

SkyDrive vs Google Drive

For SkyDrive, if you are using the browser to upload files, the maximum file size is 300MB. If you are using Microsoft SkyDrive For Desktop application, you can upload files up to 2GB in size.

With Google Drive, you can upload files of up to 10GB in size. This, of course, will require you to install the Google Drive for PC/MAC application. There is no limit on file size even when you choose to upload using the browser (cap being 10GB).

Google Drive vs Microsoft SkyDrive – Privacy

SkyDrive offers default privacy of “Share with Me”. Every new folder you create in the root directory of SkyDrive can be seen only by you. This can be changed to share with “Anyone Having Links” and “With Everybody”.

The problem with SkyDrive is that the folders and files created/uploaded inherit the privacy settings of their parent folders and cannot be set individually – unless the files/folders are being uploaded/created in the root directory.

This issue is done away when you are using Google Drive. In other words, you get to set privacy options per file or folder. For example, if you have two files in a folder, you can set one of them as public and share other one with only friends or specific people.

This was an attempt to compare Google Drive with SkyDrive without any bias. If you wish to add something, please leave a comment below.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN


  1. Very good comparison.. i guess Skydrive App for windows 7 (like google drive app), also removes file size limitations. i dont know as i dragged a folder of 17 GB contents, including iso files, it uploaded all straight to skydrive.

  2. mmg1818

    if i install SkyDrive application and i have 20GB on SkyDrive web, SkyDrive application download 20GB on my PC after i install.

    for this i no use SkyDrive application.

  3. Observer

    I think you missed the point of having the app to sync files.

  4. Arun Kumar

    Glad you liked the article. I too think the SkyDrive App removes any limitation after syncing a 3GB individual file.

  5. hatemale

    Dear Fanboys, Dropbox + Insync installed a s a symlinked folder within, IS THA BOOOMMB.

    And has 50GB.

    Google Drive eats RAM, ans Google are becoming b#tards. Microsoft is trying hard and almost succedding to be the new old Google. Google is trying to be the new Apple/Dropbox mutant (after saying the GDrive would not be coming; is a myth etc.

    Apple, well, they’re doing great because the phones look so damn good you want to frame them or something. But they do nothing else.

  6. MondoTechnoir

    Skydrive (online) needs a PSD viewer in order to be able to see (not download) Photoshop documents.

    Mavericks OS lets you view psd’s in the preview without having Photoshop installed.

    Is there a Windows App for Skydrive that works on both Windows 8.1 and Mavericks that allows for this?

  7. MondoTechnoir

    Skydrive (online) needs a PSD viewer in order to be able to see (not download) Photoshop documents.

    Mavericks OS lets you view psd’s in the preview without having Photoshop installed.

    Is there a Windows App for Skydrive that works on both Windows 8.1 and Mavericks that allows for this?

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