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online storage

Online drives for all your files

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Google's new online storage service, Google Drive, lets you create a virtual hard drive on the web to store documents, photos, music, etc in the 5GB of space it gives you - and more storage is available starting from $2. 50 (Rs 134 approx) per month for 25GB. Additionally, it integrates services like Google Docs, WeVideo and others to let you edit your files online in your browser itself.

But of course, this type of online usage is not a new phenomenon. Several such 'cloud computing' services have been around for quite some time offering similar abilities.

>> www. dropbox. com


The most popular cloud storage service right now, Dropbox is available on all major platforms : Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and BlackBerry. Install it on your computer and a folder is created. Put any file in there and it'll be automatically uploaded, and synced when you make any changes.

Unlike Google Drive, though, you can't edit your files through a web browser. Users have to download the file, edit using a third-party software, and then re-upload it.

Initially, you get 2GB of free space, but every friend you refer to Dropbox gets you an additional 200MB of space (up to a limit of 16GB). You can buy extra storage space too, with plans starting from $9. 99 (Rs 533 approx) per month for 50GB.

>> www. MP3Tunes. com


MP3Tunes lets you take your entire music collection with you on the go. Signing up for the online service will give users 2GB of free storage.

After you've created your account, it's time to upload all your music to your personalised 'Locker'. Files can be attached individually, or you can put up complete folders.

Once the upload is done, you can visit the website's player to access all your songs. You can also get to your tunes through mobile apps for Android, iOS and Blackberry, as well as quite a few home electronics such as Logitech's Squeezebox players.

The whole package works as advertised, and is surprisingly easy to operate. But of course, you will need an Internet connection running at all times to play any song. And if you run short of space for your large music collection, you can always buy more, starting at $4. 95 (Rs 265 approx) per month for 50GB. 


>> www. minus. com


When sharing takes precedence over storing, Minus is a fantastic option. Now, suppose you are storing a few songs, photos, and documents online. And you want to share one document, one image and one song with a friend.

Instead of sending three different links, Minus will let you collate them into one simple link - and it's customisable too, for you to remember in the future.

Even if you're using it from your desktop, the process is as simple as drag-and-drop. Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, Android, iPhone and iPad.

In the 10GB of space it allots, Minus allows you to attach files of up to 2GB in size. You can't buy more space, but referrals will get you 1GB extra storage.

For sharing and storing photos or videos, Picasa (www. picasa. com) is a great alternative, especially if you have a Google+ account. Used in conjunction, the services offer unlimited storage for photos (with images resized to a 3-megapixel size), as well as videos (15 minutes max). And of course, they can be shared individually or as full albums. 


>> www. BackupElf. com


If you don't want to learn a new interface and just use email to backup important files, BackupElf is a pretty nifty solution. Go to the site, create an account, and you're good to go.

Next time you want to back up anything, attach the file or files to an email and send it to save@backupelf. com. That's all you need to do! It's a super-simple way to keep your stuff safe.

The only downside is that BackupElf offers only 100MB of free storage. Additional space comes at a price, starting at $4. 95 (Rs 265 approx) per month for 1GB.

So an alternative is to create a new Gmail account (which has 10GB of free space) and use it the same way as BackupElf. The search engine is quite powerful, so label your subject line properly and you'll be able to find any file quickly.

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