Online Sync Storage – a digestible options list

Want to sync about 30GB of data from your computer to an online sync service for backup purposes?

Happy to pay but not through the nose?

Here’s a quick summary:-

Free
Referrals

get

Price £GBP Storage
Copy 15GB 5GB US$99 £62 250GB https://copy.com?r=7ejzca
DropBox 2GB 0.5GB US$99 £62 100GB http://db.tt/MnqwA7B
Ubuntu One 5GB none I think US$30 £19 20GB https://one.ubuntu.com/
SpiderOak 2GB 1GB US$99 £62 100GB http://bit.ly/PedroStephanoSpiderOak
Box 5GB none I think £42 £42 100GB https://www.box.com/
Google Drive 15GB none I think $60 £38 100GB https://drive.google.com/
Sky Drive 7GB couldn’t find easily so ignored intentionally blank

And here’s my thoughts:-

· I couldn’t easily find the necessary info re Microsoft Sky Drive quickly and easily so they’re off the board

· The rest are easily installed on multiple platforms and feature apps for your smartphone so you can grab files anywhere.

· DropBox is the best for usability as it’s now got LOADS of other apps that work with it. High scores on simplicity too.

· If you’re worried about file security then SpiderOak is unbeatable, due to their no-knowledge setup.

· Google Drive is cheapest and is pretty good, except it’s difficult to put away the worry about what they scrape from your files.

· Ubuntu One looks good for the price but is smaller – and appears to be unexpandable. Off the board for this exercise.

· If you’ve got lots of friends that are happy to join, you can quickly get a great quota free from Copy.

· Box is great value. And it’s well thought of in business circles in the USA. So it’s recommended.

So to pick a winner, it comes down to Box and DropBox. And since DropBox wins on connectivity with other functions (e.g. the ability to automatically take photos off your phone and sync off into the cloud), I’m going to give it the gong.

Box is second. SpiderOak is third for me because of SpiderOak Hive (more info).

The one I use most myself is DropBox, with a little SpiderOak as well for the personal and business files that I just *don’t* want breached.

For more in-depth options have a look at CloudStorageComparisons.com as recommended by Gary Smith @fl1bbl3

What’s your backup plan? If you don’t have one, get one. Or ask someone that can help make one.

In the event of fire, theft, flood or frying disks you’ll be glad you did.

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Emails and backups

A neighbour asked me if I could pop in and help sort out her emails as one had sat in her outbox for three days and wouldn’t go. Turns out her scanner was generating 19MB tiff files of her documents which exceeded her 15MB server limit so this was easily fixed by converting the overlarge file into a jpg and resending the email. Changed the default settings on the scanner and job done.

Then I asked the standard question – “Whats your backup?” and after a few questions and answers to and fro, I established that freshly imported photos got to the 3TB external hard drive, whilst scans and PC-generated piks go into My Documents/My Pictures as per normal.

There was no backup. 15GB of photos from 2002 to present. Not backed up.

“But they’re on my hard drive!” she opined. I explained that if the hard drive fails, there is no backup. Then I proceeded to copy all onto D: then set up Windows Backup and schedule (not my first choice, but the WD software for the HDD would not install and it was getting a bit late). I left knowing that in about one hours time, there will be a backup.

Proof that “having an external hard drive” does not equal “having a backup”. What’s your backup plan?