Juggling Free Cloud Storage Services?
I’ve written about how you can amass over a Terabyte of permanently free cloud storage space by signing up for multiple cloud storage services. The only problem is that you end up with multiple sign-ins, multiple places to search for files, and hassles in moving files from one cloud service to another. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Check out these tools that make your cloud storage look like files and folders on your local hard drive...
Local Access to Cloud Storage
Cloud storage has many nice features, including the ability to access your files from any computer or mobile device, whether you're at home or on the go.
If you use Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Evernote or Dropbox, you know what I mean. All of them have syncing tools that let you interact with your cloud storage files as if they were stored locally.
But when you have more than one cloud storage provider, things can get complicated. Which website has that photo, document, or video that you're looking for? Logging into each one and poking around is tedious. Fortunately, there are several tools that provide a single-sign-on interface to multiple cloud services, and allow you to interact with your files just as if they were local folders on your hard drive.
NetDrive by Bdrive, Inc., interfaces with multiple cloud services including Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Box.com, Amazon Web Services, and OpenStack, plus any FTP server or WebDAV-enabled Web server. To get started with NetDrive, just download and install its app on a Windows PC; select any of the pre-configured cloud services you want to add; and provide the login credentials for each account.
The NetDrive app will connect to each service and configure it as a drive letter in Windows Explorer’s “Computer” view, labeled with the name and icon of the cloud service. For example, your Dropbox account can become your L: drive, and Google Docs can be your M: drive. You can configure other cloud services, FTP sites, and WebDAV resources manually; just supply the resource’s URL and login credentials.
NetDrive will automatically log you into all of your cloud services each time you restart Windows. You can navigate the folders of each cloud account in Windows Explorer just as if they were folders on your main hard drive. Remote or cloud files behave as if they were local files, and open easily with locally installed programs. You can even drag files from one cloud storage service to another as if they were being dragged from one drive to another.
Security and Mobility
NetDrive also supports SFTP file transfers. Unlike the original FTP protocol, SFTP encrypts commands as well as data, preventing sensitive data like passwords from being transmitted in clear text that can be intercepted by eavesdroppers.
Your (Android 4.1 or higher) smartphone can become a virtual drive on your Windows PC if you have NetDrive installed on the PC and the free AirDrive app installed on the phone. Get AirDrive on Google Play.
You can connect unlimited resources via NetDrive for up to 30 days; thereafter, you’re limited to just one resource unless you pay an annual fee of $40. NetDrive isn’t the only solution to scattered storage bins, and it isn’t the most fully-featured; but it is the least expensive option for basic cloud storage consolidation and management that I have found. Here are some more sophisticated but pricier options, each with a limited free version.
Primadesk is available for Windows, Mac, iOS (iPhone/iPad) as well as Android devices. It even supports multiple email accounts in a single user interface, and social media accounts such as Facebook and Pinterest. A free account supports up to 10 cloud services. Support for unlimited cloud services is $5 per month or $50 per year.
Webdrive has versions for PC, Mac and mobile devices. It can connect to FTP sites, corporate file servers, Amazon S3, Google Drive, and other cloud services. Webdrive offers a 20-day free trial, and costs $60/year.
Otixo supports unlimited cloud storage accounts with all paid subscriptions, starting at $47.90 per year or $4.99/month. Otixo also features “workspaces” in which you can share files from multiple cloud resources with colleagues.
If you're using more than one cloud storage service, any of these tools that make the cloud look like just another drive or folder on your PC, Mac or mobile gadget will simplify your life. Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 26 Mar 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Juggling Free Cloud Storage Services? (Posted: 26 Mar 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved