Remember the days when your Laptop/PC had a hard disk of some 40 Gigs and you scampered for more storage for your photos, documents and music. The obvious choice then was to buy an external hard disk mostly portable to store and backup. Whenever you take your portable hard disk out and connect it to some unknown PC for data transfer you run into a risk of carrying back some potential virus. Also the risk of loosing data in case this disk got corrupt or fell down and broke. I still remember days when I used to carry a Pendrive mostly of a few hundred megabytes or a couple of Gigabyte just to have a copy of data while on move. would you believe if I say all the above techniques have now become obsolete. With the advent of cloud the storage or backup of your data has become something that is easily affordable minus all those risks associated with portable storage disks.
With Google Docs came the first flavor of online storage that was accessible anywhere, things are getting even better with the arrival of Skydrive, Dropbox , Box and the latest in the list being UbuntuOne. All of these services provide somewhere from 2 Gb to 25 Gb for free with the additional facility of access from mobile devices. These services also allow you to buy some space with their premium offering with some added features to it.
Google Docs (http://docs.google.com)
With Google docs you can
Create, edit and upload quickly
Import your existing documents, spreadsheets and presentations, or create new ones from scratch.
Access and edit from anywhere
All you need is a Web browser. Your documents, spreadsheets and presentations are stored securely online.
Share changes in real-time
Invite people to your documents and make changes together, at the same time.
You don’t pay a nickel.
Microsoft Skydrive (https://skydrive.live.com/)
Skydrive offers free storage on the cloud with a free space of 25 Gb. (This has been revised to 7Gb for those signing up now)
Store your Office documents in SkyDrive, and Office Web Apps lets you view and edit them in your web browser. That’s perfect for making quick updates (no need to start up an Office program), on just about any computer that’s connected to the Web. You can avoid the hassle of sending documents as email attachments, and skip the extra step of saving them as PDFs. Instead, store documents on SkyDrive, where you can link to them in email, on social networks, and in your blog. Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and OneNote notebooks display in the browser just as they look in the Office programs.
The data in Skydrive can be synchronized between various devices using windows live mesh (upto 2Gb)
Box offers free storage on the cloud with a free space of 5 to 50 Gb
New social workflow features make it easy to collaborate on content and keep projects on track. Updates include:
- Assign and track tasks within the comment stream
- Mention teammates in comments to send direct notifications
- Post new responses by replying to email notices
- Update files on Box using desktop applications
Dropbox offers free storage on the cloud with a free space of 2 Gb and referrals earn you more storage
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computer, phones and even the Dropbox website.
Dropbox also makes it super easy to share with others, whether you’re a student or professional, parent or grandparent. Even if you accidentally spill a latte on your laptop, have no fear! You can relax knowing that Dropbox always has you covered, and none of your stuff will ever be lost.
Ubuntu One (https://one.ubuntu.com/)
Ubuntu one offers free storage on the cloud with a free space of 5 Gb.
Ubuntu One puts you in control of which folders you want to keep on your desktop and in your personal cloud. You select which folders you want to sync to your desktop or mobile so you can make the best use of space on all your devices. You can also access everything from the web at any time.
Sharing with Ubuntu One is easy and secure. You can invite someone to share your files, or create a short link and post it to your social spaces like Facebook and Twitter.
The Copy.com is the latest entry here which provides 15 Gb free space.
Copy is the easiest way to store, protect and share amazing things. It keeps your computers in sync and your files available from anywhere, even on your mobile devices. With Copy, you can also easily share files with anyone publicly or privately. Copy for companies extends the cloud storage and sharing benefits into corporate environments with user and group management and added control of proprietary company data.
All the above services are mostly configurable in your smart phones be it iPhone, Android or any other phone to access your data on the move or store more as you capture photographs on your mobile. Most of the above services also provide tools that help you sync your desktop/laptop with the cloud storage to keep them updated with the latest changes.