Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Need For Different Ways to Use Cloud Storage

In the wonderful world of everything digital, things move fast and change is predictable. For example, several months ago I wrote about the importance of storing your files “in the ‘Cloud,’” to ensure that they’re backed up and safe from loss should anything happen to your computer(s). “Is Your Head in The Clouds About Data Backup?”

One of the cloud storage sites that I wrote about in that article, MobileMe, a cloud storage service offered by Apple, will be going away in June, 2012. For those who use this service (myself included), it means migrating what’s there to another service.

So after Apple’s announcement, I wrote a follow up article, “Disaster Proof Your Data by Storing it Off Site,” which includes lots of good information about and comparison charts of many services that offer cloud storage for your files.

What I’ve since discovered is that there’s a need for both cloud storage for everything in your computer and storing and synching files that you use often on different devices and want to synch back and forth and share with other people.

Case in point:

·    Storing everything that’s in your computer: Backing up (storing) all the files that are in your computer, including the background files that allow your computer to do what it does so well, is an excellent way to ensure that if your computer is irretrievably gone, you can restore all its content on a new computer. For more details about the services that can do this, please refer to my aforementioned article “Disaster Proof Your Data by Storing it Off Site.” 

·    Storing and synching often used files: This refers to files that you use and update often and might need to view and edit on a variety of devices; computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Enter Dropbox and Read on McDuff.

When you’re working on a project and want to be able to access those files from whichever computer or device you happen to be on, and perhaps share those files or just parts of them with others, then you need a service that gives you flexibility to do this easily.

Dropbox and are the two largest of the many services out there, and they seem to do it best. Each has different levels of service and storage capacity and which one you choose should depend on what your needs are. Each has an entry level that’s free, and though the functions are somewhat limited, it may be sufficient for your synching and sharing needs.

DROPBOX’s home page offers a cute little animated video that discusses the benefits and shows you an example of how it can be used. It also has a really large download button to make it easy to install it into your devices, whether they be Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile devices, or a combination of these.

BOX NET’s home page has more text, and also includes a quick tour video to help you understand what they offer and the benefits of their service. Again, all types of devices are supported.

Both services offer free trials and it might be worth your while to try each with just a few files for a couple of days to see which one you like better.

If you’d like to read a comprehensive comparison of the two, this article is quite useful: Cloud file sharing heavyweights compared – Dropbox vs

The information contained herein is for guideline purposes only, is not intended as an endorsement of any product, and is no guarantee of the results.

Images courtesy of Dropbox,,

Copyright © The B. Hammil Company 2011

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