With so much information being added to your computer, you may be worried about running out of space on your hard drive. You can invest in external hard drives or thumb drives, or store your information on CD-ROMs. But one of the most convenient ways to store your files and information is with cloud storage. Basically, you upload your data via the Internet to a remote data server (usually cloud storage providers use many servers to hold all of your information). Then you can easily access this data through any Internet access point. Cloud storage provides an easy way to keep track of your data when you’re travelling or away from home. It’s also a great way to store things like photos or music so that you have a backup in case something happens to your PC or laptop.
There are many, many cloud storage providers out there. Some of them are free services, others charge on a monthly or per-GB basis. Here are some of the major players in the cloud storage market:
- Amazon Cloud Drive: This service offers you 5GB of free storage through Amazon. You can upload any files you like, although Amazon focuses on music, photos, and videos. Amazon also provides you with more storage space for a fee, and as a bonus allows you to store unlimited songs from the Amazon MP3 store if you pay for extra storage. This is a great service if you are also using Amazon’s MP3 store. You can access the Cloud Drive from up to 8 devices.
- Dropbox: I’ve mentioned Dropbox in the past, and it’s still a great option for storage. The site gives you 2GB of storage space for free, with the option to upgrade to a Pro Account (50 GB for $9.99/month or 100GB for $19.99/month). One of the best things about Dropbox is that you can invite others to download files that you upload to your Dropbox. It’s a great way to share larger files that can’t be emailed of documents that need to go to a large group of people.
- Windows Live SkyDrive: If you have a PC and use Window, you should have Windows Live on your computer. Windows Live SkyDrive is an extension of Windows Live, and offers a whopping 25GB of free online storage. Simply create folders or files on SkyDrive and you can access them from anywhere. In addition, with Microsoft Office 2010 you can now save Office files directly to SkyDrive, and you can also share these files with friends and colleagues.