Successful cloud drives available such as Google Drive and Microsoft’s SkyDrive. However, which have better security than other? We compare their security features to find out...

Google Drive

When using Google Drive, you will always notice that the prefix is “https”, not the common “http”. This is because the website uses a secure socket layer (SSL), which means that all data traffic between your browser and the Google servers are encrypted! On top of that, the website needs to show a valid
“certificate” to the browser, which is signed by a trusted authority such as VeriSign. Certificates
have an expiry date, and if the certificate is not trusted, browsers will usually raise a warning to
the user. This ensures that “man-in-the-middle” attacks are extremely difficult, where hackers
pose themselves as the legitimate server and intercept data packets travelling between the user
and genuine server. However, the disturbing thing is that your data is stored unencrypted on
Google’s servers, which means that only physical safety of the servers protects your data at
their end. While Google claims that this is done so that users can preview their files, one of
the key reasons could also be that Google needs to analyze your files in order to serve up
target advertising, which is their main form of revenue. Additionally, Drive also offers two-step
authentication, where a user has to enter a code delivered by SMS to their mobile before logging in successfully. A critical statement in Google’s policy includes “When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works ..”. This means that Google can effectively use your work and publish it in a different way, which is undesirable.


Dropbox is also one of the most popular cloud storage services around, and it also clarifies
its security features on the website. Dropbox also uses SSL to transfer data securely, and
AES-256 encryption to encrypt user files. Unlike Google Drive, this means that data stored on
Amazon S3 servers already have a level of protection even if they are breached. Additionally,
Amazon S3 storage has extremely robust security protocols, offering SSL encryption throughout
all transmissions internally and externally, and storing data redundantly in multiple locations to
prevent outages from causing disruption of service. Dropbox also offers two-step authentication,
and allows for SMS based confirmations as well as authentication via mobile apps. Google offers
verification through text, voice and also offers a mobile app to retrieve codes

Microsoft SkyDrive

SkyDrive also uses SSL (which utilizes both asymmetric and symmetric encryption) to
transmit data securely from the user to Microsoft’s data center. However, like Drive
and unlike Dropbox, SkyDrive also does not encrypt files at rest. Once again,
an advantage is that files can be previewed because they are unencrypted on
Microsoft servers. SkyDrive has two-step authentication, but it is done by verification
through an alternate email address. However, Microsoft does not provide any
proper documentation on the security protocols used to protect data in their data centers.
Additionally, their privacy policy says “You understand that Microsoft may need, and you hereby grant Microsoft the right, to use, modify, adapt, reproduce, distribute, and display content posted on the service solely to the extent necessary o provide the service.”. There is a subtle difference compared to Google’s policy, because Microsoft assures that any information will only be used to improve the quality of the service, but Google’s policy allows manipulation of content for their own purposes.



  1. Very Informative post. These days both small and large scale organizations rely upon various types of emerging technologies and best practices in transitioning cloud data storage. Most important part is security of confidential data. So before going for any cloud data backup solution you have to analyze three main highlighted points. One and the most important is privacy. The cloud IT solution must have security options so that your data is not leaked. The second point you have to consider is that how supportive is your cloud storage with your operating system. It should support majority of the operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, etc. Third point is that how cost effective is your plan with conveniency. Another main point is that it should be convenient also so that you can easily access it from any of your social media account. Now I am using CloudBacko which have all the features. Thanks


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