The response to Andy Boyns’ FaceBook post yesterday about DropBox surprised me.
I thought EVERYONE had heard of that service by now.
2Gigs of free storage in the cloud…but the best part is the unbelievable ease-of-use with which DropBox has designed their product. It appears as just another file folder on your desktop or in your Documents directory. You treat it like any other folder…make subfolders…copy & paste stuff in and out…add subfolders…all that. But wherever else you have DropBox installed, all that “stuff” magically appears there as well. Other computers, other states, other countries, favorite clients, iPads…everywhere you have an account installed.
Even more handy is that fact that you can be invited, or invite others to “share” folders with your DropBox. This means that clients can put you in their account (with your permission), and you can copy & paste sound files there as if it were another folder in your directory, and wondrously, on the other end, your client finds it in THEIR folder.
Some find that the free 2Gig account gets filled pretty fast, and upgrading means paying a monthly or yearly fee. Visit their site for details.
Here’s a great blog article on How to Use DropBox as a Killer Collaborative Work Tool.
Other contenders: Box.net, Amazon, and Microsoft SkyDrive.
Box.net is almost as easy as DropBox, but unless they’ve stepped up lately with a drop-dead-easy DropBox functionality, you still have to log onto the Box.net site to share files. They have a similar free/pay-to-upgrade structure.
One good thing about DropBox and Box.net is that virtually every file-sharing iPad or iPhone app you can find has DropBox and Box.net compatibility built-in. You’ll find that VERY handy.
Amazon is a real heavyweight in cloud storage for companies, but individual consumers can get lost in the esoteric and arcane functionality…in fact, I’ve never been able to figure it out…until now.
Finally, for sheer size of cloud storage, Microsoft’s SKYDRIVE system can’t be beat. MS offers 25 Gigs of free storage space online! You need a Windows LIVE ID to get on, but the sign-up is easy, and the online interface is also pretty intuitive. I’ve used this service to send major big files to clients. I store it on my SkyDrive account…assign private status to the file, so only parties I designate can see it, then I send my client the URL. That file is the only thing they see on my SkyDrive account…and they do not have access to the other stuff I have stored there.
I’m sure there are other similar services. Zoho comes to mind…. but I think hands-down, the above lead the field.
(Author adds 4-21-11 the worthy alternative of SugarSync…my thanks to John McClain for that suggestion).