How To Choose Your Online Storage Vendor?

onlinebackupAccording to Stuart Andrews of PCAuthority.com, “With online services easier to use and cheaper than ever, there’s now no excuse not to back up your files“. I recently conducted a search for the optimal online storage solution. Sounds easy enough, right? WRONG! It’s a rather cluttered space where even the big dogs fail! Instead of providing you with opinionated reviews, here’s the facts and the sites you’ll need in order to conduct accurate research.

Review/Comparison Sites

With every product you shop for, free or paid-subscription, review sites are crucial in the process. It’s an industry in itself and publishers have done the work for me.

  1. About.com:  The Best Free Online Storage Sites on the Web By Wendy Boswell
  2. PCAuthority: Online backup by Stuart Andrews
  3. TopTenReviews.com: 2009 Online Storage Services Product Comparisons

If you manage to rip through those 3 sites, you’ll really get a sense of what’s out there and what you’ll be paying for it. Here’s a list of products I had a chance to view: ADrive, ElephantDrive, IBackup, eSnips, Carbonite Online backup, BullGuard Backup 8, WizzDrive Online Backup, Mozy Online backup, SOS Online backup, IDrive. Am I satisfied yet? No and let me explain why…

Strong Talking Points

It really matters what you’re needs are. From this point on, I’m representing Small Businesses/Ultra Light Startups that need to boot strap, but require sufficient security. Based on that knowledge, when I went through the lists, I gained some knowledge (ie: a strong list of concerns). For example, it really matters where and how the information is stored. I found an article on TechCrunch saying that Online Backup Company Carbonite Loses Customers’ Data, Blames And Sues Suppliers (Updated). Carbonite Inc., a Boston company that backs up computer data for businesses and other organizations, claimed that “2 other companies sold it more than $3 million worth of defective hardware, resulting in thousands of customers losing data”. (The Boston Globe). At the end of the day, whether or not it was their fault…it happened! They aren’t the first company to have this happen, but I’m just saying it’s something to consider.

There’s also the issue with dragging and dropping. With external hard drives, you can easily drag the selected files and drop them into the external folders. Some of these sites are web-based software and won’t allow it. For those that are software based, some claim to use ‘superior encryption methods’ that won’t allow drag and drop. I’m getting the feeling this process wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

There are plusses and minuses to each product. My best advice would be to do what I’m about to do…SIGN UP FOR A FREE TRIAL AND SEE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!! If you don’t wan’t to give your credict card info, go to CNET and see if you can download the software based products. Another option is to find unlimited free storage services. Sounds to good to be true? It may be! Read on and find out…

Are They 2 Good 2 Be True?

Based on that, I checked into free services offered by giants like Microsoft and Google. I was pleased to find Microsoft provided it’s Live users with Windows Live Skydrive, which allows 25GB of free online storage. The downside is you’re limited to 50mb per file uploaded and you CAN’T UPLOAD FOLDERS…just files! There’s a way around it, but come on…either make it easy, or lose to Google.

On that note, you would think that Google would have a competing service by now…the answer is no, BUT it’s on the way. TGDaily.com reports, Throw your hard drive away, Google’s Gdrive arriving in 2009 – “If the company applies its “free-everything” policy to Gdrive, a free version should give us enough online storage to match the capacity of hard drives typically found in the machines of average users. Paid versions could offer true- or near-unlimited storage.”

I can’t wait for the GDrive but until it’s out, if you’re looking for an equivalent? My decision is to go with MyBloop.com, “The site to upload and share files for free with infinite space.” It’s true! And the guys who put it all together are GENIUS’S! Take a look at the team! When I was recruiting LAMP developer roles for AC Lion, these guys were gold! My friend Angel Leon, a developer with a background at LimeWire and Flycell, first showed me this product and I have to say…it looks promising. I can’t say it will be around forever, but for now, I’d use it. I guess you could say they are 2 good 2 be true.

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