Free Online Storage
I'm running out of storage space on my hard drive. On a tight budget, I'm considering using a free online storage tool to offload some files. But which ones do you recommend?
Should I Use Free Online Storage?
Today's software, especially multimedia programs, seem to have an ever-expanding appetite for hard drive storage. Documents, spreadsheets, images, music and movies can take up a big chunk of your available hard drive space. Fortunately, there are numerous free online storage options that you can take advantage of. If you're looking for a way to free up space on your hard drive while still being able to access your files on demand, then consider signing up for a free online storage account. Here are a bunch of the best...
Google Docs is a pioneer in the free online storage market. This program allows you to store up to 5,000 documents and/or presentations with file size limitations of 500K for the document and up to 2MB per image that is embedded in the file. You can also store up to 1,000 spreadsheets in Google Docs with a maximum spreadsheet file size of 200,000 cells or 100 sheets. This program has several valuable features including the ability to lock your spreadsheets so people accessing your files can’t make changes, XLSX importing capabilities, complimentary themes for your forms and the ability to create and add drawings to your documents. Google Docs also works with Microsoft Office programs.
Microsoft has their own free online storage program called Sky Drive. This program gives you up to 25GB of free storage. It is integrated with Xbox Live, Messenger and Hotmail, so if you have an account with one of the programs already then you can use your username and password from one of these accounts to access your Sky Drive account. To use Sky Drive all you have to do is drag and drop the files you want to store online into an online folder. Some of the features that make Sky Drive special include: SSL encryption, no 3rd party ads, 24/7 live support, file histories, cloud storage and remote access capabilities.
Mozy is another first generation program that offers free online storage. The free version of this program gives you up to 2GB of storage and is compatible with Windows 2000, XP and Vista, as well as with Mac OSX 10.4 and 10.5. Mozy allows you to store any type of file you want and gives you the option of setting up an automatic backup schedule.
A Drive is a simple free online storage option. You are given 50GB of storage space to use for movie files, documents and music files. Not only can you store your files on this site, but you can also edit documents and other files from the A Drive website.
Badongo is a free online storage program that is set up like a social networking website. Not only do you get an unlimited amount of storage, but you can also create photo albums, music playlists and publish documents to share with other Badongo users. This site also offers free widgets that you can add to your blogs and websites.
Box.netBox.net is unique in that it caters to businesses as opposed to a general audience. This program offers remote access, mobile access and desktop access to the files that you store in your Box.net account. The free version of this program is compatible with PCs, iPhones and Blackberries. It allows you to create five different collaborative folders, it gives you 1GB of free storage and allows you to upload files that are up to 25MB each.
iDrive.com offers both free and fee based online storage. The free option gives you 2GB of storage, an automatic backup option, true archiving control, versioning options, mapped drive backup and continuous backup options. It also gives you a search and restore feature, which allows you to find the files that you want to restore.
MediaFire is one of the few free online storage programs that gives you unlimited storage. However, while you can store as many files here as you want, there is a maximum file size of 100MB.
Omemo.com is designed for social data storage. This means that it is designed for people who want to upload files to share with other people. There are no size limits imposed by this program, however, you do have to deal with third party advertisements. Omemo.com is compatible with Windows NT through Vista.
Integrating Your Online Storage With Your Desktop
While all of the above free online storage programs give you great storage and backup for your data files, it can be a bit of a hassle to access these files when you need them. Typically, you have to login to the online storage website, find your file, and download it to your hard drive. Not a big deal, but wouldn't it be much easier if you could treat your web-based storage like a local hard drive?
One solution to this problem is to use a cloud integration program like Gladinet. This program will provide you with a quick link between your desktop and the files you are storing online. Gladinet allows users of Google Docs, SkyDrive, ADrive (and a few other online storage services) to access their web-based files just as if they were in a folder on a local hard drive. This program also offers extra encryption and upload/download acceleration for added convenience. Gladinet works on Windows XP/Vista, with Mac support coming soon.
Do you use an online storage tool? Which works best for you, and what data do you store online? Post your comments and questions below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 20 May 2009
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Free Online Storage (Posted: 20 May 2009)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved