Storing Files Online

If you have a computer there is no doubt the single most important thing you must do is backup your computer, yet most people don’t do it or don’t do it often enough. For those who do backup where do you keep the backup? With the computer?

I recently sorted out someone’s home computer system, the previous person who set it up set up a great backup system, it backed up everything to another hard drive as scheduled but the second hard drive was built in to the computer. What would happen if the system got a power surge, stolen or damaged in a flood or fire the backup would most likely be lost or damaged too. Obviously if stolen the backup is gone.

Backing up to an online storage is a good idea and there are some great options. However, there is one I want to look at this week which is Dropbox from www.dropbox.com, it allows you to store files online. Strictly speaking I would not consider it a backup service. Basically it is good for storing valuable files, files you are working on and files you need to access anywhere. It doesn’t do scheduled backups but effectively if you are using for the files I mentioned you have a backup, it is just a manual form of backup.

It’s very useful in that you can upload and download files using their website, it requires logging in so not just anybody can get to them. You can also install a program on Windows, Macs and Linux machines. This creates a folder which acts as a portal to your dropbox account, you enter your login details when you set it up. Then simple save files to the dropbox folder and they are saved online. You can then open them as if you are opening a files from that folder. In Windows by default it puts the folder in your My Documents folder. So in a way it does act like a backup.

From there you can login to the dropbox on other computers using their website and get to your work. However, a small word of warning, some companies will block access to Dropbox as it allows potentially secure information to be stored online.

The other great thing is there are apps to make accessing these files available from the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android and BlackBerry devices.

I have installed the software on my Windows machine and my Mac then I can easily access the same files on either. I do also access the files on my iPad and iPhone.

This is one service that I think is really useful, give it a go.

Happy computing

Gary

About garysch

A bit of a techno nut who likes sharing what I know about technology, especially with those who struggle with it. Also through my podcast www.jargonfreehelp.com
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