Dropbox vs. Windows Live Mesh

At first glance, Dropbox and Windows Live Mesh seem pretty much the same; they’re both file synchronizers.  On the core level, I suppose this is true.  The details, however, change things a lot.

Here’s what they both do:

  • Sync files between multiple computers.
  • Host files in the cloud.
  • Allow sharing of files with others.

That’s where the similarities end.  Here’s how Dropbox is better than Mesh:

  • Dropbox supports Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Mesh supports Windows and Mac.
  • Dropbox lets you share folders with individual people or with everyone.  Mesh only lets you share with individuals.
  • Dropbox lets you buy more cloud storage.
  • Dropbox supports a variety of mobile devices.
  • Dropbox uses a centralized folder for synchronized files.
  • Dropbox keeps an online revision history of your files and lets you restore older versions.

But here’s how Mesh is better than Dropbox:

  • Mesh gives you 5GB of cloud storage for free.  Dropbox only gives you 2GB of free space.
  • Mesh lets you sync your Office settings and Internet Explorer favorites.  Of course, this only matters if you use them.
  • Mesh lets you sync your photos to your phone, and eventually a variety of other devices (e.g. Xbox, Zune). But not now.
  • Mesh lets you select individual folders to sync.
  • Mesh lets you choose which systems get which synced folders.  No need to have your private pictures at work!
  • Mesh lets you sync files between computers without using your cloud storage.
  • Mesh lets you remotely connect to and control your (Windows) systems.  This is disabled by default for security.
  • Dropbox (on Windows, at least) hates sleep and hibernate.  Mesh doesn’t crash your system if you put it to sleep.

They’re both useful, certainly, and I do use both, but I’m finding Mesh more useful in general.

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 Thoughts

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