Cloud storage services have been kicking around for a while now, yet it still surprises us how few people actually take advantage of them.
These systems are a very safe way to store your previous data, just as long as you use good passwords and maintain reasonable security measures. The biggest advantage, of course, is that your data is stored off-site, so that the theft, damage or loss of your hardware doesn’t also mean you’ll lose your data. For example, uploading your entire video collection is probably not an option, and full system backups to the cloud can literally take months of uploading to complete the first time around. As we move to the NBN, that’s likely to change for some users, but for now, you do have to be mindful of how much of your monthly internet quota is being used for cloud storage and access. Broadly speaking, there are two flavours of consumer cloud storage systems: sync-and-share services and backup services. You may be more familiar with the sync and share model, since it’s used in common tools like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. These services let you mirror directories on your computer with the cloud drive, where anything you put in the directory is copied to the drive.
These services also have a share functionality, allowing you link mobile devices to the cloud drive and access data and upload photos from your mobile to the drive (which, of course, is then mirrored back on your PC).
You can share data with other people as well, either through a URL or, if they’re a user of the same service, by linking your cloud drive directories with theirs, creating a shared directory.
The other type of cloud storage service is the backup service, which tend to work a lot like regular backup applications, but instead of having, say, a USB hard drive as the backup target, you have the cloud drive. These services will actually come with the backup app that you download and install on your PC.
Likewise, you can technically use a sync-and-share service for backup, simply by making it the target destination in your backup app.
It’s not space efficient, as you’ll have two copies of your data on your hard drive (the original and the backup), but it works. There are a huge number of both sync- and backup-oriented cloud services around now, and we don’t have nearly enough room to cover them all, so for this feature we’ve focused on what we think are the biggest (and often best) options. In the backup space, we’ve likewise fully reviewed four of our favourites, although there are many more you can check out if you’ve a mind, including Carbonite, Mozy, IDrive, Backblaze in addition to SOS Online Backup. Just as with Google and Microsoft, if you have an Amazon account, you also automatically have an Amazon Cloud Drive account – although Amazon recently changed all of its plans and no longer offers a free account.
However, the ‘Send to Kindle’ feature for personal documents doesn’t count towards your storage limit anymore.
Functionally, it’s very similar to the other services, with a local app you can install on your PC and mobile devices, as well as a web interface to your files. We do particularly love the web interface for Amazon, and it even supports dragging and dropping files to upload — although that’s a little redundant with the local app installed. It also supports the ability (like Dropbox) to generate URL links to files and directories that you can email to others. Verdict: We don’t love the way folders are shared with other users, but the service is otherwise solid.
Its clean app design, wide platform support and surprisingly deep multi-user feature set are still the benchmark that other services need to chase.
We love how easy the mobile apps are to use, and the way you can very quickly share files and directories with non-Dropbox users just by right-clicking on them in Windows Explorer and selecting ‘Share Dropbox link’ from the menu. Subtle features, like the new ‘File Request’ feature (which sends out an email asking for a file, which the recipient can then upload to your Dropbox), access to multiple versions of files, document commenting and the Carousel gallery sharing feature are great additions and really keep Dropbox just that step ahead when it comes to file sharing. While we don’t love its web interface compared to OneDrive in particular, it’s still very easy to use. Where OneDrive is built into Windows 8 and 10, and pretty much everyone has a Google account now, you’ll have to actively convince your friends and relatives to install Dropbox. Verdict: Great for features and platform support, but it needs a more generous free account limit.
It should be noted, that capacity is shared with Google Mail and other Google Apps, so a big Gmail archive may eat into it somewhat. It’s fair to say that Google still lags behind both OneDrive and Dropbox when it comes to the interface. You install the PC app and a shared folder will appear; anything you put in it is uploaded.
Probably its biggest selling point, however, are the free web-based productivity tools it provides. Verdict: It’s not as elegant as OneDrive or Dropbox, but Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are a major bonus. Microsoft’s entry into the world of sync-and-share was is built into Windows 8 and 10 and comes with every Microsoft account. Microsoft has done a great job of improving it since launch, and it’s now our top pick of the big three on both features and price.
OneDrive’s great strength is its web interface, which is the best of the major sync drive suppliers and likely the best cloud storage interface, period. Its tools for viewing, sharing and organising files are second to none — particularly when it comes to photos, with features like automatic tagging and sorting. It works well with a lot of Windows apps, including Office, and also integrates smoothly into the Windows 8 Modern UI, which is not something that can be said for Google or Dropbox.
Like Google, Microsoft has an online office suite associated with the service, although in this case it’s not available with the free account. With a $9 per month subscription, however, you can get 1TB of storage along with Office 365. Verdict: Its superior file organisation and Windows integration make this our top pick for Windows users.

You can also generate links to files and folders that you can send to other people for easy sharing. What makes Bitcasa a backup tool is the addition of one simple feature: the Mirror folder option. The folder is then copied to the cloud drive, and a symbolic link to it is placed in the Bitcasa folder. In addition to the usual types of targets (USB drives, directories, network shares – CrashPlan has several unique options. One of those is to back up to another PC running CrashPlan, either yours or somebody else’s. The other option is to back up to Code42’s cloud servers, which is where the paid service comes in.
It also includes a continuous backup option and unlimited file version retention, as well as a courier service where a physical drive can be delivered with your backup on it. What’s more, Code42 is one of the few providers to have local Australian backup servers, which managed to redline our 30Mbps Telstra connection when we tested the service. In contrast to the hybrid approach of SpiderOak and Bitcasa or the flexible approach of CrashPlan, Norton’s online backup service is conventional, following the likes of Carbonite, Backblaze and Mozy as a simple, straightforward backup solution. There’s no syncing or multiple target support here — just a versioned, easy-to-use application to keep your data safe.
The application is managed entirely through a web browser, with only a small taskbar agent running on the host PC. For most users, the heavy lifting is already done – by default it’s configured to back up important documents (based on file type) stored in your user folder, but you can add additional files and folders if you like.
You can recover files through the same interface (versions are stored for up to 90 days), and you can also generate web links to individual files in the archive to email to yourself or other people. Verdict: It’s a service with limited options, but it’s a good install-and-forget solution for families. Much like Bitcasa and a number of the newer cloud solutions, SpiderOak is something of a hybrid, offering both syncing services and backup. The main portion of the SpiderOak application is the backup solution, which operates very much like a conventional backup app. You choose your directories from a tree and set your backup options, which includes useful features like bandwidth limiting and continuous or scheduled backup (if you have limited quota, switching from the default continuous is a good idea). The other part of SpiderOak is Hive, which is a syncing solution with features comparable to Dropbox. The main SpiderOakOne control app for Windows has certainly grown on us, with easy-to-manage access to all of the service’s main features. You can also set up the app on several PCs — SpiderOak only cares about total capacity, not the number of devices. The unadorned mobile apps automatically upload your photos and give you access to any files in your Drive. Businesses that rely on cloud-based services are getting more options for falling back on another cloud if necessary. On Tuesday, Nasuni introduced a cloud-to-cloud mirroring option to give customers extra assurance that their data will be available in case of a service outage.
Both Nasuni and Backupify provide backup services that operate on top of larger cloud storage operations such as Amazon S3. Cloud storage has proved pretty reliable, and using one cloud-based service as backup for another should make users safer, Peters said. Nasuni gives enterprises access to their data through on-site hardware that looks and feels like a traditional storage controller while actually storing the contents on S3 or Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud. The feature is designed to give customers more assurance that they will still be able to get to their data even if their primary cloud platform fails. Backupify backs up consumers' and enterprises' SaaS (software-as-a-service) data to Amazon S3 so they can maintain their own copy of the data from services such as Salesforce, Google Apps, Facebook and Twitter.
Its customers will now have the option of having their data backed up to a different cloud, CEO Rob May said. As Backupify has moved upmarket from consumers to small businesses to large enterprises, it's started to find customers who already have their own cloud storage accounts, May said.
Backupify will still use S3 to process those customers' content, but it won't keep the data in its own S3 bucket, May said. Customers who choose their own storage will be charged in a different way from users of the company's traditional service, which costs $3 per user, per month with unlimited data. By choosing their own cloud storage provider, those customers will be able to pay for capacity on their own terms, which may be a better deal if they buy a lot of it, May said. PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done.
Offline disk import gives you an option to load data into Google Cloud Storage by sending Google physical hard disk drives (HDDs) of data which we load on your behalf. The new Lenovo Miix is a slim and stylish high performance touch-enabled Notebook that can be used as a tablet or laptop. Fierce competition has driven down prices to very affordable levels, and there are even free solutions that offer substantial storage capacities.
Right now in Australia we don’t have nearly enough of it, so we still have to be judicious about what we store in the cloud. In that app, you’ll set the directories you’d like to back up and it will upload them to the cloud for you, with periodic or continuous updates as files change. Most backup services allow you to access the contents of your backup archive from a mobile or web interface, and you may even be allowed to share individual files.
If you want to explore beyond those options, however, you can check out services like Copy, Tresorit and Box among others.

Still, the creation and management of shared files and folders in Amazon is well behind that of Dropbox, and if you’re looking for a collaborative shared directory setup, we’d strongly recommend Dropbox or one of the other services. Getting non-Amazon ebooks onto a Kindle is made much easier with the Cloud Drive, since you can just copy them to your Kindle directory to have them uploaded. Which may be hard, since Dropbox is rather stingier with its free account, offering only 2GB. Compared with the simple elegance of those services, Google Drive is a little obtuse, although the basic functionality is pretty much the same. There’s integration with Gmail, which allows you to save your email attachments directly to the Drive. Google Drive has a spreadsheet (Sheets), word processor (Docs), presentation tool (Slides) and more that can be used to work on documents stored in the drive without ever installing an app on your PC. It can sync your PC settings, have files tagged for offline access on mobile devices and serve as a backup target. It’s not perfect at either of them, but if you just want to pay one subscription for both kinds of services, it’s a solid option. You can do this from Windows or the web interface, and such files can be password-protected.
Once it’s installed, you can right click on a folder (say, your User folder) in Windows Explorer and choose to have Bitcasa mirror that folder. Changes to the original folder are reflected in its mirror on the Bitcasa drive, but you can’t modify the files in Bitcasa and have them reflected back to the original. It’s not great – there’s no file versioning, and the backup is manual and non-selective – but if you just want a sync drive with something basic for backup, it gets the job done pretty well. You check the boxes next to the files and folders you’d like to back up, then set your schedule and backup options. That way you can create your own peer-to-peer backup cloud, backing up your and your friends’ PCs to each other (backups are encrypted, too). The CrashPlan subscription provides unlimited capacity for one (on the Individual plan) or two to 10 (Family Plan) PC backups.
The mobile app lets you access files in your archives, but it’s pretty basic and offers no backup of the data on your phone. For example, you can’t configure continuous backups and there’s no Windows Explorer integration for easily adding additional folders. You just need to install the agent, register your PCs one by one and Symantec really takes care of most of the rest. It’s a little more awkwardly implemented than Dropbox, especially when it comes to linking and sharing with other users, but it’s full-featured and is more flexible than Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. We particularly love the Windows Explorer integration, which lets you use right-click to add any folder to the sync or backup schedule. The same day, cloud-to-cloud backup vendor Backupify added more choices for where users can have their data sent. Many businesses are looking to cloud services for storage, often to get away from buying and operating gear of their own, according to Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Mark Peters.
On Tuesday, it's adding an optional feature to its service that will mirror the data on the primary cloud to a secondary one.
Nasuni has never experienced a service outage and customers are already covered by service-level agreements, but Cloud Mirroring can give them one more layer of assurance, Nasuni said. That data is encrypted with a customer-specific key and stored in Backupify's storage bucket on S3. Those who already have their own S3 bucket can have their data backed up to it, and other initial options include Rackspace Cloud Files and Google Cloud Storage.
The new type of service should represent savings of 50 percent to 60 percent off that cost, May said. Backupify's standard per-seat deal is priced to account for consumer and small-business customers as well as big enterprises, and the big customers may be able to get a better rate elsewhere because of volume discounts, he said. Using this option can be helpful if you’re limited to a slow, unreliable, or expensive Internet connection. This Notebook carries an 10.1 inch HD widescreen display with IPS  for vivid colors and nearly 180-degree viewing angles. They’re managed by storage security professionals, and are generally kept in data centres with backups and redundancies. There’s also the offline support on mobile devices, which lets you flag favourites to be accessible when you’re not connected.
This way, accidentally deleting files from the Bitcasa drive won’t cause any damage to your PC.
Services that store many customers' data in many cases can do so more efficiently through scale, he said. With the Cloud Mirroring service, customers with S3 as their primary cloud would have their data mirrored to Azure, and vice versa, the company said.
The company said it will price Cloud Mirroring on a per-terabyte basis but didn't give any more information on pricing.
Additional choices, including Azure and a customer's own storage equipment, will be available later, he said. It is equipped with 1.80 GHz (Clock speed) Intel Atom Z2760 Processor and supported with 2GB LPDDR2 RAM. The Lenovo Miix comes pre-installed applications such as Live TV, RaRa Metro, Zinio Metro, Amazon Kindle, Evernote, McAfee Internet Security, Face Recognition Software and Lenovo Cloud Storage.

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  1. 29.06.2014 at 15:26:22

    The ones with 1 TB of stored data will.

    Author: Puma
  2. 29.06.2014 at 16:51:13

    Choice but to get into the cloud business, because its chances.

    Author: Legioner
  3. 29.06.2014 at 13:51:52

    Organize photos into albums accessed from your desktop storage, you never have to stress about.

    Author: Blondinka
  4. 29.06.2014 at 12:46:26

    Now signed up with the Unlimited Everything plan and am using can.

    Author: Emily