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Friday, December 7, 2012

Three additional Cloud Storage options

Here are three more entries in the Cloud Storage field. I have kept these reviews a bit shorter, since I haven't used them much and can't really review their utility just yet. What I can do is at least point them out, and as I have a chance to use them more completely I will revisit them.

Microsoft SkyDrive

Free Storage: 7 GB (with additional storage-for-a-fee options)
File Size Limits: 2 GB upload limit through the Mac OS and Windows apps, 300 MB through the web interface
How it works: SkyDrive is Microsoft's Cloud storage entry, and works very similarly to the other offerings in this category. To download and use the skyDrive app, you must sign up for a Microsoft Live ID, if you don't already have one; if you do, you can use the existing account.

First, head to the SkyDrive site, and login with (or create) your Microsoft Live ID. If creating an ID, it will ask you for quite a bit of information; just be aware of this. There are links to download the app installer for various OSes, and the Android and iOS apps can be found in their respective stores. Using the skydrive is very much just like Google Drive or Dropbox; you can either upload through the web interface or use the SkyDrive app on your device and save files and folders there. They upload, and then are available through any of the SkyDrive apps.


Free Storage: 5 GB (with additional space for a fee)
File Size Limits: No specific file size limits
How it works: SugarSync is very similar to the other entrants in this field, and installation and use of this service works much the same: go to the SugarSync website, scroll to the bottom, and click the link for the operating system/device you are installing on.


Free Storage: 50 GB (additional space available for a fee)
File Size Limits: 200 MB
How it works: Mediafire is a bit different from the other entries in the Cloud Storage area; instead of a desktop or mobile app that displays stored items on whatever other device you have the appropriate app installed, it is a web-based service. It's in concept not different from uploading your files to an FTP server then retrieving them from a different computer or device; one major advantage that Mediafire has, however, is its enormous storage (compared to other options). Mediafire is, in my opinion, a good option as a central location to store things like your book's illustrations, beta/review drafts of your works, and so forth. If you are diligent about uploading your new files every single time you edit a document, it can be used instead of any of the other options here, but doesn't offer any way to automatically sync your edits to the storage (unlike, say, using SimpleNote and Dropbox).

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