Free online storage — what I’m doing now

Back in 2012 I wrote about a few cloud stor­age options I was explor­ing. Well a few years have passed so I thought I’d update / annot­ate the old one. So here goes. New com­ments will be col­oured red.


UPDATES Wow, anoth­er one today (Thursday, April 12, 2012). Log­MeIn has entered the ‘cloud stor­age space’ space by announ­cing the invite-only beta of Cubby — which gives you Drop­Box-like access to 5GB. I’ve reques­ted an invite and will post about it when I have some hands-on time. Meh. Cubby’s noth­ing to write home about. Log­MeIn has been a bit of a dis­ap­point­ment since they sig­ni­fic­antly changed their remote desktop applic­a­tion and left iOS users in the dust.

Drop­Box has doubled the amount of free space they’re giv­ing out through refer­rals and Spider Oak is also in my test­ing suite. It starts out with 2GB free, and I’ve just opened my account so I’ve just star­ted test­ing, but you can expect I’ll write about it in a week or two. If you want to check it out, here’s an affil­i­ate link (which will get you one extra GB of stor­age!).

Drop­box is still cool and still used by me on mul­tiple com­puters and mobile devices. Well worth it if you’re look­ing great stor­age and 3rd party app sup­port through ser­vices like IFTTT and many mobile apps.

Cur­rently, the latest buzz is all about a pos­sible April launch of Google’s much-anti­cip­ated free cloud stor­age app called dubbed GDrive.

GDrive is clunky — not as eleg­ant as Drop­box or Copy.com (more on that later).

Reports say it’ll come with a loc­al, desktop cli­ent for most oper­at­ing sys­tems that will enable you to store and access about 1GB of files in the Cloud. Nice.

But it’s not here yet, and there are already oth­er excel­lent cloud / drive solu­tions that offer the same or bet­ter. While it’s hard to com­pare apples to apple (dif­fer­ent pro­viders offer dif­fer­ent stor­age and util­ity pack­ages) here’s my thoughts on the cur­rent lead­ers:

Drop­box
The cur­rent mar­ket lead­er, offers 2GB free, desktop and mobile cli­ents for all lead­ing hard­ware. Recently, Drop­Box has become more act­ive in the enter­prise space offer­ing solu­tions for groups and teams.
Affil­i­ate pro­gram allows you to expand your stor­age space by sign­ing up friends etc. Nice that it’s pretty seam­less. Install the app on your device, log in, and your files are instantly access­ible. I’ve writ­ten before about Drop­box here and here.

My affil­i­ate link is here, if you want to check out Drop­box.

Drop­Box is still best-of-class. If you’re not using it yet and want to explore, please feel free to click my affil­i­ate link (we’ll both get small bonuses 🙂

Sug­ar­Sync
Sug­ar­Sync ups the ante a bit by offer­ing a free 5GB account. They also have a nifty desktop cli­ent, great web inter­face, and the abil­ity to extend your stor­age capa­city through an affil­i­ate pro­gram (sign­ing up your friends, blog­ging about it, etc). Here’s my affil­i­ate link if you feel so inclined to check it out

Stopped using it recently. Not so much of an improve­ment over any oth­er and the cli­ent wasn’t work­ing well on one of my desktops.

Box
Recently made the news by announ­cing Box OneCloud — a col­lec­tion of mobile apps designed to work with Box’s cloud stor­age sys­tems:

Sign­ing up to Box gets you an ini­tial 5GB of stor­age, but they often run pro­mo­tions with prizes up to 50GB.

While Box does offer free cli­ents for mobile devices, if you want to have the seam­less integ­ra­tion of Drop­box or Sug­ar­Sync, you’ll have to upgrade to the $15/month Box busi­ness plan.

I’m still using Box. More of a slow online backup of some doc­u­ments and stuff. It works well, has a very robust busi­ness mod­el and sup­port.

Microsoft Live Sky­Drive
This is the big sur­prise — Microsoft is offer­ing 25GB of stor­age, Mobile apps, online MS Office integ­ra­tion (and you don’t need to have Office installed loc­ally), group col­lab­or­a­tion, and pub­lic file shar­ing.

For example, here’s a pub­lic link to an Empire Aven­ue pro­mo­tion­al video, stored in my pub­lic Sky­Drive space.

Cur­rently there isn’t a desktop cli­ent avail­able, so you will need to use the web inter­face (which is quite slick, even in Chrome and Fire­fox) to man­age your files. But a Win­dows and OSX desktop cli­ent is rumored to be avail­able shortly.

Now called OneDrive, you get 15GB free cloud stor­age, and MS Office online too. Not a bad setup if you use the Office suite of apps.

New Entries

Copy.com
Starts with 15GB free stor­age, and you can gain an extra 5GB per new user you invite using your unique invite code. Feel free to try Copy.com out by using my Invite Code 😀

iCloud.com
Apple’s cloud stor­age entry is inter­est­ing. You can store doc­u­ments in iCloud, then access them from any oth­er iCloud-con­nec­ted device. One thing, you only get 5GB free, and that iCloud stor­age space is also used for your iOS device backups, if you have iCloud backup enabled. Still, a cool option from folks at the fruit stand.

Mega.co.nz
Kim dot com’s file shar­ing and stor­age site. Free accounts start at 50GB, but you have lim­ited file sizes and trans­fer band­width. I use it lightly.

One or many?
Well, for me, I’m actu­ally using a mix­ture of these. Drop­box is my daily go-to stor­age solu­tion, simply because I’ve been using it for so long.

Sug­ar­Sync I’m using to keep some backup files stored safely. Box, well, I’m not con­sist­ent in my use of it, and Sky­Drive, well that’s my new darling. I’ve neg­lected it for a while but now will be try­ing to integ­rate it into my work­flow wherever I can. And yeah, you’ll here from me if there’s prob­lems.

So, did I miss any­thing? What’s your online stor­age solu­tion look like?

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