Recently, I have had many people talk to me about online backup and storage. I lot have been talking about DropBox and Mozy as great solutions, and people are right, both of these web applications are great. And with innovative tools that allow you to quickly sync up your machine automatically without having to go to the website it makes them even better.
But the downside is that they only offer 2 Gigs of downloadable storage for free. Then you have to pay. Now I’m not saying that paid services are horrible but if you are looking for a solution to offer more than 2 Gigs of storage … let me suggest looking at Microsoft.
First there is SkyDrive, a service that everyone with a WindowsLive account has. If you have read my previous post Signing Up for the Big 3 you know I always signing up for Google, WindowsLive and Yahoo accounts. Most people don’t realize all the offerings they get when they sign up for these accounts. One of the great benefits of Microsoft is the SkyDrive service. SkyDrive gives the user 25 Gigs of free storage online for you to use however you would like … 25 Gigs FREE. And one of the best things about this service is that it is fully integrated inside of Office2010 which allows you to automatically save documents online to SkyDrive without storing a local copy. Now Microsoft has not created a desktop application sync with SkyDrive , which is unfortunate, but another developer as created SDExplorer which gives a desktop application to SkyDrive. I’ll discuss more about this great application in another post. Just be aware that it is out there and gives some great functionality to your Windows applications.
Second online storage is LiveMesh, a service you can signup from Microsoft (still in beta stage, but always being updated) and receive 5 Gigs of online storage … for FREE! It is a Microsoft service which means all you need is your WindowsLive account and you’re “In like Flynn” (a reference to Errol Flynn for you younger tikes out there). I wrote a post about this on my Windows Live Blog: Microsoft Live Mesh (beta) - Sharing Made Easy. A couple highlights of the article:
- Share between multiple machines. When you put a document on LiveMesh it automatically transfers and updates all other machines connected to the LiveMesh folders. Cross machine automatic sync.
- Desktop Remote Connection. When you have multiple machines using the LiveMesh app you can open a remote connection to any machine using your WindowsLive account. Through the application you can “connect to device” and open a remote connection to your computers. This is a great little service if you are running applications from work and home and need to grab something from either machine at a distance.
- Mobile connection … coming soon. The ability for LiveMesh to work from a Mobile device is pretty cool. Sure you can download stuff from the mobile website and work on docs, but to be able to remote connect, quick edit and transfer, allow access, etc from a mobile device is quite nifty. And with WindowsPhone7 coming soon … this should eventually be a more specific reality.
Third online storage offering OfficeLiveWorkspaces. This is another 5 Gigs FREE from Microsoft specifically designed to allow Business Productivity. This is built upon Microsoft SharePoint a collaboration server created for business productivity. In the Office2010 a number of tools are given to allow quick share and document collaboration using SharePoint, unfortunately just not with OfficeLiveWorkspaces … yet. However, there is the Workspaces Connector you can download to integrate Office2003 or Office2007 with Workspaces. Hopefully things will get organized and be better managed to get Office2010, but time will tell. The great thing with the connector is that you can Open and Save directly from OfficeLiveWorkspaces using Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Collaboration at the touch of your fingertips.
So your 10 minute tip’s activity for the day. Go to each of these websites and register for their services: SkyDrive, LiveMesh, and OfficeLiveWorkspaces. Each of these services have different functions and offerings. They will increase productivity and collaboration by adding redundancy to your existing computer(s). With each of these offerings it is important to note that if problems arise you will be able to retrieve your files without problems. You will also be able to have a clear mind knowing that your files are safe. And taking 10 minutes to give you clear mind is simple to justify in my book.
So let’s recap. 25 Gigs – SkyDrive, 5 Gigs – LiveMesh, and 5 Gigs OfficeLiveWorkspaces giving the final sum to 35 Gigs FREE online storage! Not bad for one little ID that most people overlook. The nice thing is that Microsoft usually updates storage given the status of people’s usages. If a lot of people start using the full 25 Gigs then the Big M will most likely update the size. They have done it before. And that is a quick reason why I like to use the service.