The Four Most User-Friendly Free Storage Sites

Article written by:
Ramil Ventus
Author: Ramil Ventus

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Gone are the days when people make use of plastic folders, photo albums, file drawers, and underneath the bed to stow important documents and family pictures. Nowadays your files are most probably being stored as bits of 1’s and 0’s and are securely backed up in stacks of DVDs and terabytes of hard drives.

But then there is the concern of backing up your current back up.

I got my favorite MP3 single backed up and zipped three times for good measure.

Fortunately, there are several free storage sites that offer up to 25 GB of free space. Besides backup, online storage are best used for sharing large files to several people, collaboration, as file host for blogs and websites, or if you just need instant access to your data anywhere. Below are famous data storage websites that I had the chance to use.

The Cloud: Finally, no more emailing of files to yourself.

SugarSync

5 GB of free storage that comes with a nifty interface which provides amazing user control and flexibility. Files are continuously synced as they are edited while previous versions are being saved. Deleted items are recalled until they are permanently removed in the interface, in case you make like a grandma and start deleting important stuff.

Sugarsync Mobile works with Android, iPhone, Symbian, and Blackberry, so you can take pictures and sync them directly onto the computer.

Turn files into secure public links to be posted online or shared to friends. You can disable the links at any time and see how many times they have been downloaded. 

Box.net

Its Personal account offers a generous 5 GB of free storage space. While it utilizes a browser-based interface, Box.net boasts of permission-based security and password-protected folder access. Linkedin.com users can also choose to integrate Box.net in their profiles.

Files can be also be uploaded directly from mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, HP Touchpad, Android, BlackBerry phone and PlayBook.

Box.net on Linkedin (A.K.A. Facebook for old people)

Dropbox

Possibly the most famous online data storage today, Dropbox gives you the freedom to sync files between multiple computers, and across various operating systems (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux). What separates this service from the rest is its simplicity and straightforward usage. Upon sign up, you will be asked to install their desktop utility. Doing so will result in a creation of a new folder in the hard drive called Dropbox (I know, right?). You will then drop the files you want to upload in the Dropbox folder and well, it can’t get any easier than that. Dropbox will automatically sync your files to your account, ready for access on the Dropbox website or on other computers where you are logged in. Furthermore, Dropbox retains deleted files and its old versions for thirty days, unless deleted permanently on the website.

Sharing works only on the files in the Public subfolder, giving your data more security. Just right-click the file and select Copy Public Link

Dropbox initially offers 2 GB of personal storage space which can be raised to up to 10 GB by way of account referral. Get your own Dropbox account here. Yes, I am shamelessly asking for an additional 250 MB per sign up from you guys.

Dropbox synced on Ubuntu and Windows 7 

Windows Live Skydrive

Microsoft’s own file hosting service offers a hefty 25 GB of free storage. Using a Windows Live ID, you may drag and drop files to a Silverlight-enabled browser, or use Windows Live Mesh to sync files between computers. There are downsides to this service though. Sharing is done on a folder-level basis, and individual files are limited to 100 MB. But man, that’s an easy 25 gig! What else would you ask for?

There are a plethora of file storage sites out there, with some offering up to 50 GB of free space. Keep in mind that these companies might have rules for account deactivation if there is no file activity going on. Privacy-wise, you should focus more on the data you upload and not the place where they are stored. What does not belong to the Internet should might as well be kept underneath the bed.

   

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