With Cloud Computing becoming increasingly popular, floppy disks and USB sticks have become a thing of the past. Never again will you leave vital business files at home, or be stranded without your favorite mp3 playlist. And there are plenty of services to choose from. Whether it’s video storage or a shared work space, there really is something for everybody. But don’t worry - If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, these are some of the very best:Box provides an easy-to-use service that would be perfect for those just starting with cloud storage. Box allows you to create public or private folders with ease – using the familiar ‘share’ button to decide which files are which. They provide a number of applications (such as Web Documents) and even a handy app for iPhone and iPad which allows data synching on the go.
A free account is available (which stores up to 5GB and limits uploaded files to 25MB) but they also offer upgrades: $9.99 a month gets you 25GB storage and 1GB uploaded files, with 50GB/1GB costing $19.99.
Pros and ConsFree 5GB Storage, speedy uploads, easy-to-use, well-designed site.
Google Docs, but it’s also one of the best free options around. A free account nets you 25GB storage (the same as Box) but here’s the best bit – SkyDrive gives you access to Microsoft Office web apps. Through your Windows Live SkyDrive, you can create and edit Word, Excel, Access and even PowerPoint documents, without having the software installed. You can also integrate SkyDrive with your Hotmail account, allowing for simple one-click e-mailing of files and photos. The only real downside to SkyDrive is the lack of upgrade options – you’re stuck with the initial 25GB and Microsoft doesn’t offer a paid service to upgrade.
Pros and ConsFree 25GB, Microsoft Office web apps, Hotmail integration, no upgrade options.
Dropbox offers one of the best deals for heavy users – 50GB storage for $10 a month and a whopping 100GB for $19.99 a month. But that’s not to say it isn’t user-friendly. To use this service, you do need to download an application – essentially, a small folder where you drop the files you want to save to the cloud. Once uploaded, the files are easily accessible from the Dropbox website. But that’s not all. Dropbox actively monitors all files uploaded to its cloud, creating backups almost continuously. By tracking changes made to every uploaded file, Dropbox allows its users to revert to old versions of their files with the click of a button. And with the Dropbox mobile app, your files are easily accessible from a multitude of platforms, including iPhone, iPad, Android and even Blackberry.
Pros and ConsSome of the best upgrade options, mobile support for multiple-platforms, easy-to-use, instant backup, but only 2GB free storage.
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