Apr 27 2009
I was anticipating an uphill battle when I began looking into online storage. Memories of banner-ad cluttered interfaces allowing a single file upload at a time had something to do with it. But they have improved and some are as easy as drag and drop or even easier with auto upload schedules.
One things for sure, online backup is free and easy enough that there’s no excuse not to back up at least your most important files. Keep in mind that all of the below services also have pay plans that offer generous amounts of storage.
Remember Xdrive? Well, somewhere along the line it got bought by AOL and even got Mac friendly. Now, with a leading 5 GB of free space as well as file sharing features, Xdrive is a very viable option. Xdrive allows you to upload files with no size restriction (that I could find) using a Java interface that isn’t quite drag-and-drop, but does allow you to upload entire folders at a time. The accelerated upload is pretty quick – depending on your connection. Xdrive has a mobile interface for your smart phone or smarter phone (iPhone). Unfortunately, backup and folder syncing software is Windows-only.
Box.net wins on integration with mobile access and widgets. Box also integrates with online Web 2.0 services including Picnik and Zoho Office allowing you to edit your documents online. Box’s upload isn’t the best, but gets the job done (including multiple files at once). Box.net gives you 1 GB free, but the real cramp is the 10 MB limit on file size. File sharing is also supported.
Omnidrive won’t win any awards for design, but is thick with features. Omni also offers 1 GB storage for free, and includes integration with Zoho, Snipshot and Tangler for posting media to blogs. OmniDrive has a beta Mac upload tool, that is pretty ugly and didn’t work really well for me.
Mozy is a slick new online backup system, offering 2 GB of space. Mozy has a Mac client that can set up scheduled online backups by file or by application. This last feature allows you to select your contacts in Address Book for backup without finding the files on your Mac. The scheduling is pretty robust too – allowing you to specify frequency and time of day and ever how much bandwidth to use. Encryption ensures that your stored information is secure.
That wraps our look at online storage. Generous storage limits and new interfaces make it easier than ever to back up your important files online.