Fourteen Cloud Storage Services and their Developer APIs

As part of the investigation and planning for Project Cloud Hydra, fourteen cloud storage services and their developer APIs were surveyed.  Those results follow.  If you are looking for more than 5GB of free storage, then SkyDrive, Symform, 4sync, CX, and Cubby are the services you will want to look at first.  This Verge article also covers some services that I didn’t cover here, but omits some included here.

SkyDrive is Microsoft’s personal cloud storage service.  They have a separate cloud storage service included in their Azure cloud platform.

  • 7GB of free storage.
  • Has RESTful Web Service API that is publicly documented and for which I can’t find any specific terms of use specifically for the API (obviously the ToS for SkyDrive will apply with respect to user data)
  • Appears to have the most restrictive ToS of any service as doesn’t even allow profanity.

Drive is Google’s personal cloud storage service.    They also have a separate cloud storage included in their App Engine cloud platform.

  • 5GB of free storage.
  • Has RESTful Web Service API that is publicly documented and for which I can’t find any specific terms of use specifically for the API (obviously the ToS for Drive will apply with respect to user data)

CX is a company focused on providing cloud storage service.

  • 10 GB of free storage.
  • Has RESTful Web Service API that is publicly documented.  While there isn’t an obvious terms of use specifically for the API on their web site, they want you to register as a developer, but it doesn’t appear they actually provide a developer access key or token.

Box is a company focused on providing cloud storage service.

  • 5GB of free storage.
  • Has RESTful Web Service API that is publicly documented.  While there isn’t an obvious terms of use specifically for the API on their web site, it’s necessary to sign-up and get an API Key to utilize their API, so there could be terms of use presented during that process or they might simply cut off an API Key if don’t like an app.

Dropbox is a company on providing cloud storage service.

  • 2GB of free storage
  • Has RESTful Web Service API that is publicly documented although their Terms and Conditions for using the API allow them to cut off your app at any time and also give them rights to use your marks to promote their service.

Cloud Drive is Amazon’s personal cloud storage service.  They also offer Amazon S3 cloud storage as one of their services.

  • 5GB of free storage.
  • No API, but lot’s of folks asking when they will get one.  Considering Amazon was ahead of Google and Microsoft on cloud storage for businesses and it provides a Web Service API, I find it odd that they haven’t provided an API for their personal cloud storage service offering.

SugarSync is a company focused on providing cloud storage service.

  • 5GB of free storage.
  • Has RESTful Web Service API that is publicly documented but contains in their terms of use a statement that doesn’t appear compatible with Project Cloud Hydra:  “You cannot use the SugarSync API to create a service or application to replicate the user experience of the Service, or to create or operate an App where the primary purpose is to enable the services and/or features competitive with the Service, as determined by SugarSync in its sole discretion.

Cubby is a new service from LogMeIn .  LogMeIn has been in the remote machine access business for a while and is just now jumping into cloud storage.

  • 5GB of free storage.  Get an extra 1GB of free storage for each friend you invite who signs up.
  • Unlimited peer-to-peer syncing between your own machines.  Network infrastructure configuration is likely required for it to work correctly due to being unlimited it likely doesn’t go through their servers at all.
  • FAQ states they do not have an API yet.

Symform is a startup focused on providing on a cloud storage service that appears to be a hybrid of cloud storage and peer-to-peer storage.

  • Up to 200GB of free storage but the amount is limited by how much you share from your own machine.  So, it is technically reciprocal storage rather than free storage.
  • My impression is that the system isn’t pure peer-to-peer and relies on central servers to coordinate peers.  In turn, I suspect that if their servers aren’t accessible to your machine, then you won’t be able to access your data.  Not clear how much network infrastructure configuration is required for it to work correctly.
  • Probably doesn’t have a Web Service API since it is p2p, and their site doesn’t provide any details about client API terms of use and instead require developers to contact them in order to integrate the service into another product.

4sync  is a company focused on providing cloud storage service.

  • 15 GB of free storage.
  • No API.  Nothing is stated on their site regarding APIs, integration, or developers.

Wuala is a cloud storage service offered by LaCie.

  • 5GB of free storage.
  • No API.  Nothing is stated on their site regarding APIs, integration, or developers.

Bitcasa is a company focused on providing cloud storage service.

  • No free storage, but unlimited storage for $10 / month.
  • No API yet.  Has a developer page that is just form to enter your e-mail address.  Didn’t immediately send an e-mail, so I would assume is this is to be notified when they have an API.

Nomadesk is a company focused on providing business class cloud storage services.

  • No free storage, but unlimited storage for $10 / month.
  • No API.  Nothing is stated on their site regarding APIs, integration, or developers.

SpaceMonkey is a startup focused on providing a device that basically appears to be a NAS that backs itself up to a peer-to-peer storage network comprised of the devices.

  • No free storage.  $10 / month for 1TB
  • States it is accessible from the road and can share files with non-users, but not clear how much network infrastructure configuration is required for it work correctly.  No technical details were given on how it works.
  • Probably doesn’t have a Web Service API since it is p2p.  Nothing is stated on their site regarding APIs, integration, or developers.
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One Response to Fourteen Cloud Storage Services and their Developer APIs

  1. Cloud Hydra definitely sounds interesting. Would love to know if you end up restarting the project.
    I thought I would mention that Kloudless provides a common API to several different cloud storage APIs (Dropbox, Box, GDrive, OneDrive, etc.). Kloudless also provides SDKs in popular languages and UI widgets to handle authentication and other user interactions.

    You can find more information here: https://developers.kloudless.com/

    Full disclosure: I work at Kloudless

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