Have you ever been elbows deep into a project and had to go somewhere else and wanted to take your project with you? Maybe you didn’t have access to a jump drive or it could be that you just didn’t have time to copy it over. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a folder on your computer that automatically synced to a secure server somewhere else (the cloud) that you could access from anywhere?
Personally, I live in the cloud. I host my website files, financial records, to-do lists, calendars, and pretty much everything else in a cloud. Whether I’m in my home office or on the couch watching a movie, I can access all of these things instantly and without worrying about if they are the most current version. If I have piqued your interest, please read on.
Access and Cost
So how do you access this “cloud” and what does it cost? Many companies have cloud technology and offer it for free, but with limited space, and then allow you to purchase more space if you need it. If you use any Google app you’re already using the cloud. Google Docs, Calendar, Gmail, and so on, are all on the cloud and are protected by one simple Google login. If you’re not drinking the Google Kool-aid yet I encourage you to start soon. If you don’t like Google or don’t want to mess with all their different apps you can use a couple different cloud storage companies.
Currently there are many cloud storage companies; Skydrive, The Box, Media Fire, Google Drive, Dropbox and more. Dropbox comes free with 2gb of storage and downloads to your computer as a folder on your hard drive. On it’s most basic level, Dropbox appears as though it’s just another ordinary folder on your computer. The difference, however, is that anything you add to that folder automatically syncs to the cloud and then you can access your files from any computer, iPhone, or Android device that has access to the internet.
Easy to Use
The thing that I love most is the ease of use. I installed Dropbox well over a year ago and haven’t had to log in to it, change it, or even acknowledge it in any way. It’s just there and working in the background. Head on over to to Dropbox.com and create an account and then follow the on screen instructions. You are going to love how it makes your life so much easier and efficient.
Extended Use and Functionality
Dropbox can do much more than sync folders across unlimited number of computers. What if the computer you have your files on bites the dust or you mess a file up beyond repair? At any time you can log in to Dropbox.com and roll documents back to previous versions or download them to a new computer. You can also choose to share your files with anyone who has an email address.
The New Competition: Google Drive
Google released their version of Dropbox last week called Google Drive. It is essentially the same as Dropbox on every level except that it comes with 5gb of storage for free and 25gb is only $2.49 a month which is great for business owners. It also allows you to access your files directly from your Gmail account rather than having to create another account somewhere else.
Are You Using The Cloud?
If you find this blog useful and tried a cloud storage service because of it, please leave us a comment telling us how and why you use the cloud. We would love to hear about it.