---- — The advancements in cloud-based computer file storage systems in the past few years have made it a simple and helpful method that business and personal computer users should absolutely consider. The ability to set up once and then work as normal on a computer while having files backed up and synced behind the scenes to the private cloud storage is a great advantage. This means that users never have to worry about computer hard drive failures or computer hardware problems causing them to lose their valuable files.
As well, many cloud storage services offer robust mobile and tablet apps for free with significant storage allocations, including tools within them, such as automatic syncing of mobile phone photos. All of this makes it easy and effortless to ensure your best photos and most important files are always accessible. I’ll outline three leading cloud-storage tools that individuals and businesses can use, even for free, that provide robust service.
This is one of the largest and best tools for always having access to your files. Dropbox is a leader in the industry. The free version starts at 2 gigabytes of storage space and can expand to up to 16GB before you need a paid version. This type of storage allotment covers many average computer users just fine. The beauty is the seamless behind the scenes syncing of your files. The user experience is just like your computer, create a folder and save files to it. The value is that they are securely backed up and accessible from other computers and mobile devices that you authorize. Teams can share specific files or share folders where all have access to the files in a specific folder. Dropbox offers Android, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire apps, making it a solid choice for those using multiple devices and wanting access to their files. It even works with Wordpress as a way to create a backup of website files.
Similar to Dropbox, SugarSync is a simple to use and effortless way to backup and have access to your most important files. Simply download and install then go about your work as normal saving files to your computer. These files are then backed up behind the scenes to the secure cloud storage area. Offering web access and iPhone/iPad and Android apps, sugarsync is another solid way to ensure your most important files are backed up. This tool also offers the ability to setup your mobile phone equipped with their app to automatically backup photos you take. Collaboration with others is easy as well with the same ability to share files, folders and more with designated people or devices.
Google is in the cloud storage game as well. With so many Gmail users, Google Drive is a natural fit for many users. Google Driver offers 15 GB of free space with the ability to get another 100 GB for as low as $4.99/month. Like those mentioned before, this service allows a user to change a file in one location and have it updated in the other access points. Collaboration and sharing of files can be quite seamless and the ability to easily access your Drive files via your Gmail or Google Account login makes it simple to access.
There are many other tools in the space such as Box, iCloud, and SkyDrive. The three reviewed here are ones I use and have had solid experiences with. The fact is that today there should never be the situation of a business or personal computer user losing their most important Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and files. The ease of setup, security, collaboration potential and accessibility make cloud-storage a “must have” for savvy computer users today.
Mike Gingerich leads the Social Application division of web design company, Digital Hill Multimedia (http://www.DigitalHill.com). He is a co-founder of TabSite.com, a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with contests and promotions. For more information on TabSite, please visit www.tabsite.com.