By Eric Greenwood, Guest Staff (For guest post, refer Terms ) Over the past year or so, online storage has boomed. The ability to store y...
By Eric Greenwood, Guest Staff (For guest post, refer Terms)
Over the past year or so, online storage has boomed. The ability to store your data “in the cloud” and access it from anywhere with an Internet connection is attractive to people – to say nothing of the ability to access that data from multiple devices.
Online storage lets you access spreadsheets from your iPad, look through your photos on your Android phone, and work with documents from your laptop or your desktop without bothering with emailing them to yourself. In a word, online storage provides versatility.
There have been many sites that have popped up to offer these services. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular, and see how they stack up against one another:
· Dropbox. Let’s start with the big one. Dropbox is perhaps the fastest-growing online storage provider out there. It’s free to use for up to 2 GB of data. You can store up to 50 GB of data a month for $9.99, or 100 GB for $19.99 per month. Dropbox is unique in that it stores data in the cloud but syncs it to your local device, allowing you to still access the file if you happen to lose your Internet connection.
· Box. Box.net offers a similar service, but it’s geared toward small businesses. It offers the ability to store your documents and share them with specific users or with the public. This service tracks file versions, which lets a team collaborate on a document and be able to follow what changes have been made along the way. They offer individual accounts with up to 5 GB of storage free, while business accounts start from $15 a month and go up from there.
· OpenDrive.OpenDrive integrates primarily with Windows. Its interface is designed to look like Windows Explorer, and give you that kind of a feel when using it. It’s free for up to 5 GB, and a business account will run you $15 per month for up to 5 users.
· Carbonite. Not exactly an online storage provider, this service instead lets you back up your entire hard drive to their servers. This means you can recover individual files or even restore your entire computer using the service. You can use Carbonite free for 15 days, and a yearly subscription will run $54.95.
· SugarSync. This online storage system focuses on a single folder. It lets you sync that folder across a number of PCs. You can also then access the files in that folder from any web-enabled device, such as your smartphone. This service allows you to password-protect individual files, something that most of the other services lack. The service comes with a 30-day free trial that includes 30 GB of storage space. The service costs $4.99 per month, or you can save a few bucks and buy a yearly subscription for $49.99 per year.
Which service is right for you depends on your needs. If you’re going to be using online storage as an individual, Dropbox and OpenDrive are good options. Teams will benefit from Box or SugarSync. If you’re strictly looking for backups, Carbonite is a good choice. Figure out what you want to use online storage for and you can then figure out which one is right for you.
Eric Greenwood is a technophile whose interests include all cloud-technologies from software as a service to online storage. Get more tips and advice at the blog Online Storage!