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SkyDrive FAQ: Information on the SkyDrive Cloud Storage Service


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Question: SkyDrive FAQ: Information on the SkyDrive Cloud Storage Service

This article aims to introduce you to the SkyDrive cloud storage service by covering frequently asked questions (FAQs). This includes how much online space you can get for free, various apps for mobile devices, and whether it can be used as a cloud storage option for safely backing up your digital music library.


How Do I Get SkyDrive?

In order to get SkyDrive, you first need to have a Microsoft account (formally called a Windows Live account). This gives you access to a collection of Web services which includes: Outlook / Hotmail, Windows Phone, Windows 8, MSN, Xbox LIVE, and others. If you haven't already got one then you can create a free account by visiting Microsoft's sign up page.

The quickest way to start using SkyDrive is to use an Internet browser to sign in. Simply goto the SkyDrive website and enter your username and password credentials making sure your connection is encrypted. Alternatively, you can also access your cloud storage space via Microsoft's Outlook and Hotmail platforms at anytime using the menu system.

Is it Free?

Yes and no. Just like other cloud storage solutions such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, iCloud, etc., there is a basic plan which is free. The standard free storage amount is currently 7Gb which measured up very well compared to Amazon and Google's 5Gb offering. If you want more than the basic 7Gb amount, you'll need to opt for one of Microsoft's paid-for storage plans.

If you were lucky enough to sign up for a Windows Live account (as it was called then) before April 22, 2012 and elected to retain your original 25Gb, then you might not need to pay for any extra storage. If this is the case, then SkyDrive represents one of the largest free online storage spaces for your music, audiobooks, podcasts, and other types of digital media.

How Much Storage Can I Get?

As previously mentioned, you currently get 7Gb of free storage with SkyDrive. But, how about the service's paid-for plans? Microsoft presently offers these bolt-on plans:
  • SkyDrive +20 / $10 per year -- this gives you an extra 20Gb of storage on top of your free quota.
  • SkyDrive +50 / $25 per year -- adds an additional 50Gb of storage on top of your existing free space.
  • SkyDrive +100 / $50 per year -- the service's top storage booster that increases your available cloud storage by 100 GB on top of your free storage amount.

Can I Store my Digital Music Files in the Cloud Using SkyDrive?

Yes you can. Although SkyDrive is often talked about as being an online storage service where you can upload and share documents, photos, and files, you can also use it for your digital music library too. This can be achieved via your Web browser or one of the apps that can be downloaded for free. If you've got a lot of files to upload, it makes sense to use an app to make syncing content faster and easier.

What are the Different Ways I Can Access the Service?

As well as using your computer's browser to access the SkyDrive service, there are now a number of apps available for a wide variety of operating systems. The current crop of SkyDrive apps are:
  • Microsoft Windows SkyDrive Desktop App (Windows 8 / 7 / Vista (SP2) / 2008 (SP2) / 2008 R2)
  • Windows Phone SkyDrive App (Mango 7.5 or higher)
  • Mac SkyDrive Desktop App (Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion))
  • iPhone and iPad SkyDrive App (iOS 4.0 or higher)
  • Android SkyDrive App (Android 2.3 or higher)
There's also a browser app for Android devices to enable you to conveniently upload and manage files (including sharing links) on SkyDrive by using your phone or tablet device.

For a full list of apps, take a look at Microsoft's SkyDrive Apps page for more information.

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