Store Your “Stuff” Online

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.

Of course these days your amazon.com or amazon.co.uk account, if you have one, also gives you space (5GB free at the time of writing) on your Amazon Cloud Drive. If you need more you can pay for it.

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…

10 Comments

  • Gordon Smith

    Reply Reply

    Hi Paul,

    This is a very useful post because you can end up getting tons of stuff overflowing on your hard drive, I know this because I’m speaking from experience.

    I opened an account with dropbox and then issued an invitation to a number of people to sign up, and so got a but more storage added on.

    I store product modules on AmazonS3 and I find that a good option too. Amazon does offer to store in bulk those items that you would require only occasional access to for an absolute pittance.

    My favorite though is an external hard drive, something I can put my hand on and be assured it’s there. The Cloud does seem a bit ephemeral.

    Gordon

    • Paul D. Chilvers-Grierson

      Reply Reply

      Hi Gordon,

      Just got home from your neck of the woods (via Edinburgh and Dumfries), hence the slightly delayed reply!

      I actually tend to combine both – the folders I have e.g. in Dropbox and Copy are stored on an external hard drive, the small amount I have in Mozy Sync is on a different hard drive.

      In fact, on the advice of my cousin, a computer pro down south, I do my best to keep all or as much as possible of my data on external drives rather than on the actual computer hard drive.

      That way, if it bellies up, it’s easier to get at the data.

      What I still need to do is somehow move the email data off the PC to one of the external drives – last week when my main computer wouldn’t switch on after a power cut I couldn’t access my emails, and I’d like to avoid that in future.

      I did have a setup like that years ago, albeit on a split hard drive rather than an external, but that was back in the days of Outlook Express on XP or even earlier, now it has morphed via Windows Mail to Windows Live Mail, and I can’t work out how to put the data elsewhere (just can’t find the settings for it!).

      I also have a separate hard drive with back up software that automatically backs up designated folders and files.

      So I tend to use Dropbox and Copy more as a way of using stuff on different computers, or e.g. exchanging files with my kids (currently) in Glasgow at uni, plus as an additional backup!

      Paul

  • Kim

    Reply Reply

    Hi Paul

    That was a really interesting post, I use Dropbox exclusively to store my stuff and except for Amazon I’d not really heard of the others. I’m now going to get completely distracted by checking them out

    Cheers
    Kim
    Kim recently posted…Sod’s law dictates that..My Profile

    • Paul D. Chilvers-Grierson

      Reply Reply

      Hi Kim,

      There’s actually another one I also have, because I still use German email provider T-Online and it came with that, but I didn’t mention it because as far as I know it’s in German.

      That said, I may be wrong because while looking at Otixo it does mention them as its partner, so maybe there’s an English version.

      It has a hefty 25GB, the main drawback for me was that it would only install on my C drive and not an external drive, although I suppose the fact your data is in the cloud would mitigate the potential risk if the C drive goes.

      So far I’ve only used it to provide clients with a download link when my email client was down and I was having to use webmail, and the file was bigger than allowed.

      You can also use it for sharing, and possibly even hosting photos/image files.

      Like some of the others it has a phone app, but I found because I am outside Germany it wouldn’t let me install the thing!

      Something I didn’t mention about Dropbox:

      I haven’t tried it, but you can use it to provide product downloads.

      That uses less bandwidth, and customers can put products straight into their own Dropbox account and it symchonises as usual.

      Thanks for dropping by Kim,

      Paul

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply

    Hi Paul

    Thanks for sharing this about on web storage as I have just started using Amazon S3 storage for all my blog pics, and any files I am giving away with optins etc.

    Another free storage is screencast for videos, and you only get this if you have a camtasia account, free 30 day trial if I remember rightly for camtasia, and again storage is about 2GB for screencast, and same amount for bandwidth.

    Good for us newbie internet marketers!

    Thanks

    Andrew
    Andrew recently posted…Week 9/10 Update for partnership to successMy Profile

    • Paul D. Chilvers-Grierson

      Reply Reply

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for that additional information about Screencast!

      I hadn’t realised that.

      I have Camtasia, although I so far I haven’t done more than dabble with it – something I need to rectify soon I think. 🙂

      Paul

  • Hey Paul,

    thanks for this comprehensive overview on the different online storage systems. While I have heard about Dropbox and Copy, the other solutions were new to me.
    I think it is time to put some of them to use and get rid of some clutter on my harddrive.

    Cheers,
    Torsten
    Torsten Müller recently posted…3 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Rapid MailerMy Profile

  • Hi Paul

    Thanks for the well spelled out info on storage. I am new online but already am filling up my harddrive quickly.

    I had not taken the time to look into this, and was concerned about security with storing things in systems like this.

    I have bookmarked your page and when I get around to this I’ll know where to go!

    Regards, Rose

  • Susan Rivera

    Reply Reply

    Great reminder for everyone. Backup! And do it often! Automatic backups are wonderful. One less thing to worry about.

  • A couple of changes have meanwhile occurred but I didn’t want to rewrite the whole article so I’ll mention them here.

    First, Copy is no longer available, they just asked everyone to remove their stuff and closed it down.

    Second, it seems now you CAN get a free version of Otixo – as I’ve had it awhile and I don’t recall paying anything (not that I actually use it, I must confess!).

    There is also an inexpensive paid tool from CoffeeCup that is very similar called Place as an alternative. Again, I have it (only cost a few bucks), but I can’t say I use it as so far I’ve had little reason to move files from one cloud to another.

    But if I ever do I have two options to do it. 🙂

    Oh, almost forgot: there is now another alternative that also gives you quite a bit of free storage, 10 GB, with paid plans from 100 GB to unlimited. It’s simply called Box, a lot of big companies use it, and I first came across it because another marketer used it to deliver downloads.

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