Monday, September 16, 2013

Store Your Life in the Cloud

Do you use cloud storage?  If so, I bet you are a Dropbox user.  Maybe a Box.com user?  A lot of us also use Google Drive, Microsoft's Skydrive and Apple's iCloud.  However, we all run into the issue that if we install the clients onto our desktop for these particular services, including all that I have just mentioned, we are forced to use a "default" folder that we have to store everything we want to back up into.  Personally, I find this frustrating, and logistically "wrong".  These two I am about to mention are personal favorites that not only get the job done, but have one particular feature I LOVE!

SugarSync - SugarSync has been around for awhile now.  They offer free and paid versions of their service offering from 5GB's (free) all the way up to 500GB's of storage space for $399.99 a year.  Personally, all I really need is the free version, as it does just fine. You can earn free space from referrals, of course.  Each referral lands you an extra 500MB of space.

What makes this a great choice over the "usuals"?  Once you install the desktop client, you can actually select specific folders on your computer that will sync with the cloud.  You do NOT need to drop anything into any default sync folder.  This is extremely handy for users, as this way you don't have to relocate your folders, and end up with duplicate files eating up space on your local hard drive.  Another goodie when you install the client is you will have a new "virtual drive" installed to your computer.  Open up your "Computer" or "My Computer" icon and there it is.  It will use the S: drive letter.

There is also an Android app that allows you to back up your photos automatically.  What is great, these photos will automatically sync to ALL of your locations, including your PC!

Tresorit - Tresorit is new to the cloud storage game.  The free package gives you the typical 5GB to start with.  You can upgrade to more storage down the road, as Tresorit hasn't opened up the proverbial doors to large storage options.  There is no way to expand your storage space currently, either.  So as of this writing, you are pretty much stuck at 5GB.  However, there has been some free give aways where you were able to get up to 50GB.  If you do a quick Google search, you may find one.

Like SugarSync, Tresorit offers you a client for Windows that allows you to select specific folders you wish to sync to the cloud without having to use a default sync folder.  Unlike the other contenders for your attention, Tresorit currently does NOT offer a web interface yet.  According to their news page, they are working on that.  They are also sorely missing iOS and Android apps.  Again, the news page indicates they are working on them.  Regardless, even with those missing services, and features, Tresorit is an excellent option just because of the ability to choose specific folders.

One thing with Tresorit, you can invite friends and co-workers via email to be managers to a particular folder you sync.  This is great for collaborative efforts.

All in all, these are two great options to look into.  And if you need more space, you can easily upgrade to larger storage capacities when the need arises.  I also like the fact that you can use these to sync external drives to the cloud when needed, as well.

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