Have you ever wondered what the “cloud” was or where it lived? Everyone is talking about saving their files in the “cloud.”
The cloud is a reference to storing a person’s files (e.g. documents, pictures, movies, music, etc.) in a remote location. A remote location is typically many servers set up by a company with the intent to have large amounts of storage available to customers. (More about Cloud Storage can be found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_storage) This storage is useful because of the convenience, cost and comfort it provides.
Many companies offer reliable service for a low annual cost. These cloud services are typically referenced to certain areas of your computer(s) and create a backup of those locations on the cloud service. Most of the services are automated and run in the background once set up correctly. Listed below are a few of the best PAID services available today.
CrashPlan+ is a solid cloud backup service. This service is easy to use and is relatively inexpensive. They offer several different levels of service according to what you pay. For 10GB of storage you’ll pay $2.99/month with the price decreasing when more time is bought. For unlimited storage it starts at $5.99/month with a similar reduction in price when bought in bulk.
mozy is a solid cloud backup service. This service is simple, quick and easy to restore backups from. For 2GB of storage it’s FREE! The prices are then $5.99/month for 50GB on one computer and $9.99/month for 125GB on up to three computers. See their website for more details.
FREE storage on the other hand may be more in your price range. There are lots of good offers out there. Below I have listed several solid providers I have personally used and found to be reliable. Naturally, almost every provider provides a mobile (Android, iOS, Windows) interface. In operating systems, typically most support Windows and OS X. Linux is also supported in most cases depending on your flavor.
Box: They offer 5GB free with an installable desktop sync feature. (Hint: If you keep an eye out, Box offers 50GB for free every once in a while. I snagged this deal a while back.
SugarSync: 5GB for free here although it apparently isn’t well listed on the website.
Google Drive: Google offers 15GB for free making this one of the higher free listings available.
Dropbox: It’s an oldie but a goodie. Dropbox offers 2GB free with up to 18GB (500MB for each referral you make.)
SkyDrive: Microsoft offers 7GB free with options to pay for more.
Now what if you decide to get several free options? How will you remember them all and what’s on each service? Luckily there’s jolicloud and otixo to name a few. These services provide a one-stop-shop to connect all of your free or paid cloud services online. Simply create an account and login to become organized.
Of all the services and options available today, there may not be a particular “best” one out there. Consider taking the time to look into the services, which correspond to your needs and budget. I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll like.
Editor’s note: Devaun Crane is an avid technology lover with a background in farming and ranching. He loves fixing things, particularly when it combines computers and tractors. He works in the Information Technology department at Los Alamos National Bank.
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