Beware Of Skydrive Sync Chewing Up Your Monthly Bandwidth Allowance

The ability to sync files stored on SkyDrive with your computer can be very useful, especially given the generous space allocation (7GB for everyone, up to 25GB for early adopters). However, one Lifehacker reader has noticed that keeping a large SkyDrive collection in sync can use a lot of bandwidth, potentially trigging shaping or an excess usage bill.

Reader Greg writes in with his experience:

I think Microsoft SkyDrive ate my whole month’s internet data of 50GB. My ISP just throttled me to 256kbps as a result. In 20 months on this same plan, I’ve never before got even halfway to my monthly limit.

I expected a surge in traffic during the initial data sync with Microsoft SkyDrive while my 1.03GB of data was uploaded. Now that’s complete, I expected the traffic to settle to a trickle. But it hasn’t.

Even though Skydrive is ‘up to date’, it is still downloading 134KBYTES per second on average. That download volume will eat my 50Gb monthly allowance in just 4 days. Maybe you can warn your readers about this. Has anyone compared Skydrive with the other online sync tools in terms of data consumption?

Any syncing service will increase your data usage, but the figures Greg has experienced do seem pretty extreme. I haven’t ever done a formal comparison, but that sounds like a good idea for the (long) to-do list.

Had a similar experience with SkyDrive or another service? Tell us about it in the comments. Thanks Greg!

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