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storage

Page history last edited by niilo 11 years, 6 months ago

 

Storage

..and sharing

 

No crystal ball is needed to make a pretty confident prediction that data storage and sharing through the Internet is here to stay. Ever faster connections mean that the local data will soon be a working copy only, the main document being stored in the "cloud", in servers that can be located anywhere on the globe. Naturally, cloud computing makes it easy to collaborate and share data - whatever the physical location of the group members.

 

There are probably hundreds of data storage services available on the net already, many of them offering a basic plan free of charge. Of course, it's of crucial importance to choose a solid service provider with good customer support. In any case, a backup plan is needed if things go badly wrong online! Be sure to check that you can download all of your data if needed.

 

For a quick comparison of quite a few online-storage sites, check out the Lifehacker article from October 2008.

 


 

Box.net

 

Web storage and sharing has been around for several years through Box.net, a service that has received very positive reviews and quite a large user base. Box offers easy-to-use storage and sharing through the browser. The free plan gives you only 1Gb of storage, however, and the maximum upload file size is only 25Mb.

 

Collaboration features are very good - excellent if you're prepared to pay. Box also shines when it comes to connecting to other web services like LinkedIn and Gmail.

http://box.net/

 

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Diino

 

Diino is a Swedish company that has been around a couple of years, their service combining a web interface and a pc client in their web storage solution. Now the Diino service is being overhauled completely so that most operations can be carried out using the browser only. The client has been completely re-written (it's now Java), there's one for Mac as well and the client is used mainly for uploading really large (larger than 100Mb) files.

 

I have been using Diino intensively at school for quite a while and it has been great, especially the way you could share data with or without passwords. So far, the new service does not offer all of these features but it definitely looks promising. Data transfers have worked just fine and the user interface is very clean, almost Google-style minimalistic.

 

Users get 5Gb of storage for free and there is apparently no limit on file size - something I really appreciate. I will definitely keep using Diino and write more about my experiences further on.

http://www.diino.com/

 

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Flickr (only photos and video clips)

 

As to specialized photo services, Flickr - now a Yahoo! company - is by far the largest and the best known on the net. The only kind of data you can store and share through Flicks is digital photos and (short) videos but Flickr is also a huge, worldwide photo community.

 

There are no problems using Flickr as photo storage and sharing only. Their Pro deal is incredible value, giving the user unlimited uploads of digital .jpg photos and video clips.

 

The user interface is not the cleanest and easiest to come to terms with but, considering what you get overall, Flickr really shines. After a computer crash, I nowadays upload all my photos to Flickr. On the downside, it has been problematic to download all your data in one go but there is third party software that helps you out.

http://www.flickr.com

 

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Humyo

 

Both the name and the service differ quite a bit from most other offerings. To start with, Humyo gives you 30Gb of storage free of charge which is not bad at all. Further, there is no limit to the upload file size but there are a couple of other reservations that must be noted.

 

The main idea for Humyo is that all stored material should be accessible - an viewable, as to video - directly through the browser and thereby it shouldn't be necessary to download the data to the local computer at all. An interesting thought but, in my opinion, sooner or later you have to be able to download your material for local processing (or to have a backup!).

 

When using Humyo, pay attention to the following:

  • The free service allows you to download one file at a time only. If you pay, there is a client available that offers more options.
  • Humyo streams both your audio and video (but check the formats that are supported!)

 

It's easy to use Humyo and the user interface is well done. Most of the up- and downloads I have tried have worked well but large media files have repeatedly caused problems. It's extremely frustrating when an upload is aborted after a long time period and the only thing you can do is to start all over again.

 

Personally, I find the ads on free Humyo accounts pretty tiresome. However, Firefox add-on AddBlockPlus fixes that!

http://www.humyo.com/

 

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WindowsLive SkyDrive

 

Microsoft is not a completely unknown company and the chances are it will be around for a while, so it might feel safe to try their SkyDrive which is now a part of the MS web empire, WindowsLive.

 

SkyDrive gives the user 25Gb of storage (January 2009) and enables you to share your data in several ways, for example through shared or public folders. Unfortunately the maximum file size accepted is 50Mb. LiveDrive works fully in the web browser and if you already have a Live account, just sign in and go.

 

File transfer speed to and from SkyDrive accounts has been reported being very slow, however, so it might be a big drawback if you work with large files.

 

http://skydrive.live.com/

 

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