If you’re looking for a way to either store stuff online, share it or back it up – or “all of the above” without incurring hefty fees, there are an increasing number of free alternatives, in addition to numerous paid solutions.
Most people have heard of Dropbox by now.
If not, go here and sign up for your free account.
Now I don’t get paid for referring you, but if you get a Dropbox account, I will be rewarded with a little more space in my own account – and so will you when you recommend other people.
Up to a certain limit that is.
And if you find you want more, you can actually buy more space.
A newer alternative to Dropbox that I quite like is called Copy.*
What I particularly like about Copy is that
a) it gives you more storage right out the door,
b) it gives both you and the people you recommend a whole lot more extra space than Dropbox when they join, and
c) unlike Dropbox, there is no limit to the additional space you can get by recommending people.
If you keep referring people, you keep adding 5GB every time, while they get an additional 5GB on top of the 15GB Copy gives them to start with (they don’t get the extra 5GB if they just stumble on Copy instead of coming through a referral, so it kind of encourages people to use someone else’s referral link to sign up.)
So all I can say in that respect (in the nicest way possible!) is go forth and multiply! 🙂
By the way, both of these solutions have apps, so you can access your stuff on your mobile devices.
You can also set up your smartphone so any photos you take with it are automatically uploaded to your account, then when you get back to your computer the pics are already there.
How cool is that?
Speaking of pics, well more of videos actually…
I just downloaded the free version of RealPlayer to a desktop I recently added to my setup, and unlike the one on my older computer, this one is a cloud version, and you can get 2GB of cloud space free.
What this means is that any videos you download with the Downloader function are automatically stored in your cloud account.
So you can then access them from elsewhere using your phone, tablet or another desktop system.
Speaking of the paid side of things, I have a couple of online backup subscriptions.
One of them, Mozy, now additionally includes Mozy Sync, which lets you use part of your backup quota to sync files and folders the same way Dropbox and Copy do, including on your phone.
There is a limited free version of Mozy that gives you up to 2GB of space, after that you have to pay if you want more.
Finally, I also have Backblaze, which offers unlimited backup for $5 a month, but to date I am not aware of a syncing function or just plain online storage.
So all in all, out of all of these your best bet is probably maxing out Dropbox by using your invitation links, and adding Copy* to your arsenal and doing the same – you can invite the same people and they’ll probably be glad you did!
Oh yes, something else I should mention:
There is a tool called Otixo* that allows you to sync many of your different cloud accounts like Dropbox, Picasa, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Amazon S3 etc. and access them from one dashboard, even copy files between clouds with drag-and-drop, and share files across platforms.
It was free, with the option of a paid version, now as far as I can tell you can get a free trial for 14 days, then you have to buy one or more apps, so you would need to decide if you would use it enough to make it worthwhile.
At the time of writing you buy the apps individually with a one-off payment, or you can get everything, with premium support, for a yearly or monthly subscription.
I’m sure there are other services like the ones I have described here that I just haven’t come across yet, so if you know of any – or have any tips for getting the most out of these ones – please do feel free to share with a comment below! 🙂
*See comment below for update on Copy and Otixo, and also some info on something else I now use…