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best online file storage

Posted on 2010-11-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
i recently moved to LA and wasn't able to take a lot with me.  all i have as a computer is my netbook.  i like to have access to all the files i had before without having to carry around an external hard drive.  i have wifi almost everywhere i go, so i thought that the best solution would be to subscribe to an online file storage service.  i don't want something that backs up my file automatically.  i actually do a pretty good job archiving and making multiple versions of files that i edit (primarily office documents).  i don't normally have more than one project that i'm using at any one time and when i'm done, i move it to the appropriate folder according to what it is.  

what would you all recommend as the best solution?  i hope i made sense.

files i store:
short (usually less that 5 minutes) video from my flip
excel
word
powerpoint
pictures
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Question by:douglascarleydotcom
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by:
SysExpert earned 800 total points
ID: 34081456
Use gmail or dropbox.com

I hope this helps !
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by:Alan
ID: 34081516
I tried using GMail for a while, but it is only 8 GB (or so), and more restrictively, the maximum file size (attachment) is 10MB unless anyone can correct me or tell me a way around that limit?

MS SkyDrive gives you 25GB for free.  Not sure about file size limits on there.  It works very nicely with Mesh though, so you don't have to think about putting files up and down - it just happens automatically, and can include other machines in other locations (like a relative's house or home / office etc).  Been very impressed with the Mesh beta myself.

Thanks,

Alan.
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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 34081609
yeah, i need something without limits.  i don't mind spending money for it.  i'm going to take a look at dropbox now.   hope, like my computer, i can make folder shortcuts in other folders.  i have in my work folder, a shortcut to the work videos in the videos folder.
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by:Alan
ID: 34081639
Fair enough, but unless you need more than 25GB I would definitely have a look at MS SkyDrive / Mesh.

I have set up a single 'mesh folder' with everything else in folders under there (I guess you could use your My Documents folder if you liked, but I have never liked storing stuff in there myself).

I never have to think about it - everything just syncs automatically from my office PC to my home PC and to my laptop (three ways), wherever I happen to be working from.

Also, I suspect you can buy more storage from them if you do need more.

I'm sure DropBox is also very good - I haven't tried it myself though.

Alan.
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by:osmystatocny
osmystatocny earned 400 total points
ID: 34081656
I recommend hosting...most of the hosting these days have unlimited bandtwith and storage capacity for very reasonable price $60/year.

you can have emails on your own domain (@firstnamelastname.com) and backups as well - good for protection. I use www.justhost.com but would probably recommend you something like http://www.inmotionhosting.com/ which my friend is using for his webpage.
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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 34081764
well, i looked at dropbox and skydrive.  something about dropbox feels better.  function-wise they seem to be the same though.  i didn't see anything that said mesh.  is that a separate service?

i really would like to be able to create shortcuts on the internet interface so that i can use it as my main drive.  i've done research on online storage before, but it was a little overwhelming.  are there any out there that can do shortcuts?  

@osmystatocny
interesting idea.  i have a website.  i logged into my account to see if i could use something there, but it didn't look like it.  or maybe my technical know-how isn't good enough.  i need something more dummy friendly.  
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by:osmystatocny
ID: 34082272
well you crete ftp account and start copying it over. you didn't won't something that sync automatically so I didn't suggest dropbox.

It's not the best solution, true, but it's unlimited and you can rely on that service because you pay for it.
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by:Alan
ID: 34082967
Hi Douglas,

Mesh is separate (but linked) to SkyDrive.

SkyDrive itself is just the online storage.  You can use that any way you like (most basic would be via a web interface I guess, but I can't imagine many people use that - bit 1990s!)

Mesh is installed as an application on one or more machines, and then you link them to your SkyDrive and they automatically sync whatever folders you tell them to, with everything going whichever way(s) you want.

Personally, I just have a single folder on each machine, and all of my machines sync that folder, but you can get more complicated if you have the need.

I used to do the FTP thing (in fact I still do as a secondary backup).  That works really well if you are disciplined about it.  It definitely has attractions for the geek inside of me!

Alan.
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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 34084845
i've narrowed it down to livedrive and dropbox.  dropbox seems more limited with file size, but livedrive is more expensive.  please give me a bit of time to decide and then i'll accept a solution.  has anyone heard anything negative about livedrive?
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by:Alan
Alan earned 800 total points
ID: 34087178
Don't want to confuse things, but someone else just told me they are using Amazon S3 and they reckon its the bees knees.

Haven't used it myself, so can't comment but they are raving, and one advantage over SkyDrive (at least) is that you can encrypt everything as it leaves your PC (and as it arrives back if you restore).

That would mean that your data is secure and private despite being on someone else's server.

Anyway, good luck.  I'll be interested to see which way you go, and if you are able to say why you chose one over the other(s), that would be great.

Thanks,

Alan.
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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 34089358
S3 looks promising, but a little over my head.  the pricing looks great, but the interface of livedrive is what i like.  i'm going to read it more because if i can turn on my lightbulb, it looks like it could work better.  the "briefcase" functionality of livedrive is 35$ a month...
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Author Comment

by:douglascarleydotcom
ID: 34090035
i'm going to go with livedrive.  dropbox is pretty much the same but i want something less restrictive.  skydrive is okay, but i like that livedrive and dropbox appear as folders on my computer as a part of their function without other software.  creating an FTP account may work, but i'm not savvy enough to figure it out just yet.  i may do that as a secondary.  S3 also looks good, but same problem.  if i ever find something just like livedrive, but cheaper, i'll transfer to that.  

thank you, everyone, for all your suggestions!!  having an account here is one of the best things i've ever done.  thank you also for putting up with my needs for extra explanation and time for research.  

-doug
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