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August 6, 2013

Five Cloud Storage Services Revisited

Five Cloud Storage Services Revisited
In 2011 I wrote about cloud storage and the different free cloud services available. It's at Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining for those who want to have a look. Time for an update!

Here is a list of 5 free Cloud Storage services you might want to try:

1. Dropbox. This is my all-time favourite. With Dropbox I can store, sync, and, share files online for free. Not all cloud services will sync. If that's not important to you, don't worry about it. But I like to have at least one service that will automatically sync my uploaded files to all my devices. You get 2 GB of free space but you can get more with referrals. If you still need more you can always subscribe to Dropbox Pro, available in 100 GB, 200 GB, and 500 GB plans. You can even get more than 500GB with their Business Plan.

2. Google Drive. 15 GB of free space plus the use of Google spreadsheets and docs makes this a great choice.  I use Google Drive quite a bit and it's easy to share editing of files with others.

3. Bitcasa: 10 GB of free storage and surprisingly, for $99.00 a year you can have unlimited storage with their Infinite Plan. I like this option very much and am probably going to sign up for Infinite.

4. Amazon Cloud Drive: 5GB of free storage. I use this for genealogy certificates.

5. SugarSync: 5GB of free storage makes this another option. You can pay for 60GB, 100GB or 250GB plans if 5GB isn't enough for you

I haven't included SkyDrive as I don't care for it. But lots of people do use it and you can get 7 GB of storage so you might want to check it out too.

Let's talk about having your own personal cloud storage and external hard drive systems. I use Western Digital MyBookLive which hooks up to your home network and gives you your own private cloud storage. It's easy to drop files into it and it also creates a backup of your computer hard drive.  I bought the 2TB version at Amazon and there is a 3TB version available too. The WD My Book Live 2TB is on sale, down from $164.99 to $109.99 while the WD My Book Live 3TB is down from $199.99 to $153.98

It's a bit of work setting it up but once you do, it's easy to use. You can even set up different folders for different family members and can password protect the folders if you wish.

I also use the WD My Passport 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage. In fact I have three of them! I can't live without them. They range in size from 3TB down to 320 GB so there's bound to be one that suits you. These are also your own private storage but the beauty is their portability.  The size is 4 x 1 x 3 inches! I have all my genealogy photos and documents on one and I can take it with me to plug into a relative's tv (if they have a USB port) or their computer to share with them

Hopefully these ideas will help you if you're struggling with what cloud service or what type of external back up system to use.

Credits: "Computer Computing Global Social Networks" by KROMKRATHOG on


BarnsleyHistorian said...

Great minds think alike, I wrote about backing up my genealogy only they other day. I found that some Cloud storage is not all it seems, be wary of Clouds with tarnished linings!

Saskey said...

Thanks for the summary. Do you have any idea how long it would take to upload 1 GB to each of these?

GeniAus said...

Thanks for revisiting this topic. I use cloud storage sparingly but find Dropbox so useful for syncing my family history database between computers.

I carry a WD 2 terabyte drive with all my files nearly everywhere I go - wish it could earn frequent flyer points. I'll have to investigate a My Book Live when next I am North America (where prices are good)

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Jill, I like the ease of WD MyBookLive once it's set up. I did find setting it up very non-intuitive and somewhat tricky but once hooked into your network and your folders set up - wow!

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Saskey, the speed of an upload would be dependent somewhat on the receiving server BUT also on your own Internet connection.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Saskey, sorry I hit enter before finishing. I don't have the best internet capabilities, in fact I'm on satellite which is considered a last ditch attempt.

But yesterday I started uploading hundreds of photos (dozens of GB) to Bitcasa and it was super speedy!