More and more people are discovering the convenience of storing files online. Cloud-based storage gives people both an offsite copy of their files, but also access to those files from a variety of different devices without having to worry about syncing them all first.
Most services, such as Box.net, offer similar features, and it usually comes down to how much storage space per dollar you get for your outlay. But there’s another critical thing to consider, too: speed. Not all online drive providers are equal, and you can’t simply look to a third-party group test to tell you which provider is likely to be the quickest for your needs based on your PC, its connection, and your physical proximity to a provider’s servers.
The only real way to find out which is best for your needs, but that would involve signing up for free or trial accounts and then testing the service yourself with no real knowledge of what to look for. This is where Online Drive Benchmark comes in: this free program won’t do everything for you – you’ll still need to sign up for those accounts, although the program does its best to make this as easy as possible, but once done you can then be sure of testing each provider consistently and in such a way as to produce your own customised group test.
It’s incredibly easy to use: install the software, tick the boxes of the online storage providers you wish to test – at the current time five are supported (Strato, Trend, Box.net, DriveHQ and filesanywhere) – and click Next. Online Drive Benchmark will quickly check your settings – alerting you to any that restrict the performance of online drives, such as having automatic proxy settings detection switched on.
Once done, you’ll be instructed to sign up, sign in and choose which drive to monitor for each of the selected providers. A summary of drives will be presented, and then Online Drive Benchmark will set to work. At the end of the test, each provider will be rated allowing you to make a choice based on its performance as well as other criteria.
A promising concept, but at present it’s of limited interest while the number of supported providers remains small.