In today’s market, computers come with an ever-expanding amount of file storage capacity. Sometimes, however, it is essential to find other means of storage, especially for backups and universal availability. Today we have the choice between purchasing an external hard drive (USB, SAN etc.) or storing files online. While external hard drives are not that expensive any more, they only provide access to your data if they are physically available. Further in a situation where your data get compromised, for whatever reason, having the backup drive under the same roof may not be the best option.
Online storage does not face the same risk as the data get moved physically to a remote location. Using an online storage is, compared to using a local disk, much slower and depend on Internet connection speed. There is also an element of security involved as one will be sending files to a server hosted by a company. In most cases, however risk is minimal, unless one have files that are extraordinary sensitive or valuable. Encryption the files are a good way to minimize risk and just makes one fell better. In this article, we will provide some important criteria for selecting an online file storage and feature some of the best available to try out. We just reviewed this article, added more services and checked all links!
Why Use an Online Storage Service?
If one have ever lost a disk or jump drive, or had your computer crash and important files vaporized, you know the benefit of having a backup of your files. Online storage services allow you to backup your files on the Internet where they are safe and easily accessed.
What to Look For in an Online Storage Service
There are many online storage services on the Internet so it is wise to evaluate your storage needs and the quality of service before creating an account. Some services offer a free membership so one is able to test drive the service before purchasing an account. Below are the criteria that should be used to evaluate online storage services.
Practical features make uploading, storing, accessing and sharing your files easy. Online storage services should offer remote access, public and private file sharing, scheduled backup and a drag–and–drop window.
Security is exceptionally important when storing data outside your own network. Online storage services should offer encrypted file transfer and password protection. In case, one have multiple users, it is recommended to look for a service with role based access control.
Truecrypt is a great way to seal off your files before sending them to online storage. It is free, open source and very secure… Works like attaching an additional hard disk, where files can be copied. Once it is unmounted files are encrypted and safe. Only disadvantage is the file size of the Truecrypt images. It works best for archiving and it a bad solution for files one need to change often.
The top online storage services offer a lot of storage space for a reasonable price, free trial accounts and do not charge setup fees.
Ease of Use
Online storage services should be user–friendly and not require a lot of instruction in order to upload and access files. Anyone should be able to learn the basic functions of the service in minutes. Useful features could be Bulk download and upload as it saves one a lot of clicking if one have many files. Having desktop applications and apps for mobile devices can also make accessing and managing files a lot easier.
Good help and support are necessary with any service. Online storage services should provide self–help through FAQs, user manuals and tutorials. They should also provide customer support through email, phone or online chat.
Online Files Storage Options
I appreciate featuring this online backup service provider as it got designed especially for freelancers and agencies working with design, photography etc. (creative stuff). Besides having all the features one need for keeping and sharing files online in a safe way, it also offers a set of cool proofing tools and very flexible branding capabilities.
The proofing tools opens up for using the online storage for sharing deliverables with customers and further to take control of the review and approval process. All this in an environment with your logo and branded to suit client needs.
There is a free trail but no free plans, however the paid plans are affortable.
While many online storage companies have their own client software it may sometimes be a better solution to look for software created to offer integration with multiple stage solutions. Cloudberry is a good example providing integration to more storage providers than you ´will ever need.
Backups are scheduled or taking place in real time.
Mozy offers a number of backup solutions to fit different individual needs, but no free plans. There is a trail offering though to test the service.
For non-commercial backup of your personal files, including music, photos, home videos, and personal tax records, there is a cheap MozyHome plan.
If you’re a professional looking to back up business data, financials, and administrative files for multiple users, MozyPro and MozEnterprise may be interesting. The MozEnterprise solution includes Active Directory integration.
In the toolbox Mozy offer its users desktop software and apps for iPhone and Android.
One of the most popular and feature rich online file storage solutions. Dropbox allows you to sync your files securely to an online store and across your computers and mobile devices automatically. Dropbox is also found as one of the integrated storage solutions to import and export files easily to and from smart-phones and tablets. There is a free plan allowing you to sunc files with anyone without spending but you can also grow your online store in various ways. The free plan offers 2GB of data.
As for Dropbox this solution has client software for PCs, Mac OS, mobile devices and allow you to automatically backup folders to a online storeage area. It is possible to share and send files in a secure way. The free plan offers 2GB of data.
Box lets you store all of your content online, so you can access, manage and share it from anywhere. Integrate Box with Google Apps and Salesforce and access Box on mobile devices.
7. File Factory
File factory offer free users 500GB of storage and unlimited bandwith, but the download speed will be limited making it not optimal for storing files you need fast access to. The premium plan however is all unlimited. FileFactory Turbo is a light-weight application for Windows PCs that makes uploading and downloading from FileFactory much easier and faster.
8. A Drive
ADrive free users can store up to 50 GB and also have additional features to backup, share, edit and access your data from anywhere you have Internet access. Premium and business accounts can get up to 11 TB space – unlimited space is available if you are willing to pay…
To manage you files online there is an Android App and a desktop application.
9. iStorage 2
As Cloudberry listed above iStorage 2 is a client to manage files using various storage services. You can browse, download and upload, manage for files from Dropbox, Box, iCloud and other services. Connect to any FTP or SFTP web server, view files, and edit them on the network.
With FlipDrive you can have your own virtual online storage space, where you will be able to store, access, share, and backup all your data. Securely store your files, contacts, photo albums, favorite sites, calendar, and other information on FlipDrive.
FlipDrive lets you share all your data and control who has access to it. Share your files, photo albums, favorite sites, and any other data virtually with anyone. There is a free plan that offers 5 GB of data.
SugarSync is a free service (up to 5 GB) that enables you to access, sync and share your files across all your computers and devices. We enable you to back up, sync and share all of your documents, photos, music and movies so that you can access them from your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, or any other device.
JustCloud uses a small desktop application to backup all of your computers files to the cloud. Your files are constantly backed up and you can access them at anytime from any device in the world by logging in to the JustCloud online control panel.
JustCloud will backup all of the files and folders that you choose. Once the initial backup is complete, JustCloud will automatically save any changes to your files or backup any new files added. You can access your files from Tablets, PC’s, Smart Phones, Laptops, Desktops at anytime, from any location.
With YouSendIt you can easily send and receive content with the comfort of email without the hassle of inbox limits. The free plan gives you 2 GB of storage while a pro account is unlimited.
14. File Dropper
FileDropper.com was created as a fresh alternative for online file storage to sites like MegaUpload and RapidShare. Unlike those sites user are not forced to wait for annoying countdown timers unless they pay. Their goal is simple, to offer the most basic file hosting service so you can share your stuff quickly.
Save your images, your documents and maybe even your business with Carbonite. This online storage service can automatically backup all of your important files and you can access them from any computer with Internet access.
Crocko provides a free storage plan where you can upload as many files as you like, but with very limited download speed. To get faster downloads there is a premium plan. The client tools available to manage files are limited to a downloader.
17. File Den
File Den have a free plan with 1GB of personal storage space, limited bandwidth and also limited file sizes. The premium accounts vary from 5 to 15 GB of storage. No desktop client tools available.
Livedrive is everywhere – Global Access – Global Coverage with over 500,000 customers world wide. Their cloud storage is user friendly and will transform the way you store, access or stream your files, photos, music, videos and other digital content. Real, live customer support!
Store your documents, music and pictures online with instant access, sharing and collaboration all in a simple to use, secure, environment.
Sync files and folders on your computer or external storage device temporarily or permanently with OpenDrive. Feel secure knowing that you can reach your data at anytime.
Opendrive have the client applications you need to access the files from where you want, but there is no free plan.
Online Backup from Storegate is a fully automated, real time online backup service for computer and laptop users. Whenever you create new files or modify existing ones, the Storegate Online Backup Client sends encrypted copies of those files over Internet to a data center at Storegate. Storegate gives you remote access to your files through any web browser, mobile phone or other Internet connected device such as iPhone, iPad and Android.
IBackup enables small and medium sized businesses to get enterprise-class online backup with superior performance for their critical data at a fraction of cost. Extensive enterprise-class feature set including Snapshots, which enable you to view older copies of data, Network Drive for easy drag-n-drop operations, Sub-Accounts, WebFolders, sharing and collaboration options, make us a leading player in the business of online storage market.