Bob Rankin: Online Storage

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By Bob Rankin

Online free storage is one of the greatest innovations to arise from the Internet. There’s no need to buy a bigger hard drive or burn stacks of CDs; just upload your photos, videos, documents, and other files to someone else’s storage space for free! Here’s the scoop on free online storage…

It sounds like a big hard drive in the sky, with gigabytes of free storage for all. Does that sound too good to be true? Well, it’s for real. Several companies offer free online file storage space. Microsoft’s Windows Live SkyDrive and Google Docs are two popular online file storage services aimed at end users. For webmasters and software developers, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage and the new Google Storage are just a few sources of online storage space from well-known and trusted companies. How do they work?

It’s done with “cloud computing,” a vague term for using other people’s resources via the Internet to get your work done. Proponents of cloud computing say, “Don’t sweat the details, just think of the Internet as a nebulous ‘cloud’ of instantly-available resources that you can tap into at will.”

In the case of online storage, cloud computing means taking advantage of gigantic amounts of unused storage space that companies such as Microsoft and Google always have available. They connect their vast arrays of disk drive in a network, connect the networked drives to the Internet, and let random people store their stuff on the companies’ drives.

Some of these services even allow you to assign a drive letter to the online storage, so it behaves exactly like a local hard drive. That’s an important point, because it eliminates the hassle of uploading and downloading your files. Anything filed online in this manner can be accessed directly by the software or utilities installed on your computer. The only difference you may notice is that “disk” access is slower than reading or writing with a local drive. But if you have a fast internet connection, it could be hardly noticeable.

How Much Free Online Storage Can I Get?

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7 thoughts on “Bob Rankin: Online Storage

  1. Only an idiot-buffoon like Rankin would suggest such an idiotic, not to mention, dangerous, idea.

    The man has absolutely no sense and no credibility and if PC world had any sense whatsoever, they would get rid of this idiot and employ a writer who actually knows what he/she is talking about, instead of one who constantly sucks up to Microsoft, like he regularly does, and is probably taking a bung from one of these not-very-credible and spy-ridden companies that are falling over themselves to get their grubby little ‘mits’ on your files.

    Am I being harsh on Rankin? No! Not at all. People need to realize that Rankin is trying to sell you a PC utopia and not telling you about the very real dangers of storing files in the so-called cloud (laughable), not to mention invasion of privacy issues.

    The man is downright irresponsible!

  2. Security of these offsite storage blocks has always been my main concern. I did not see this issue discussed in this latest article by Bob Rankin. Perhaps it has been covered by someone else in the PC Pitstop stable of writers?

    If not… please step up and explain it to me now.
    Thanks!

  3. The big “NO” for me is security.

    I have investigated several of the online free storage sites and all are the same, no guarantee of privacy, some even boast about the fact that you can allow other people to search your files.

    Do I really want to place my company accounts, photos, word documents, etc anywhere where there is the slightest possibility that they can be seen by Friends, Enemies, Hackers, Shady Criminals and Overzealous Authorities.

    One word – “NO”

  4. The on-line storage speaks of storing photos, documents & etc. Not being too familiar this, my question is; can one also store computer software programs such as: window programs, cd/dvd burning etc. so that if the computer crashes, one does not have to go through the hassle of re-installation of vaious programs?

  5. I use ADrive myself. While I have yet to subscribe, I have to admit that the service is great and I do plan to ‘upgrade’ to a subscription.

    The benefits (at least regarding my usage) are that I can create an account and share that info among my work group. Several users access and manipulate the shared data and my pc stays safe and uncluttered.

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