I saw a few articles recently, including this one and this one, that talked about Dropbox reducing its pricing structure so I thought it was worth looking to see how they stack up against what I was already doing.
For those of you that don’t know, and there are many out there, Dropbox is a way of saving your files online. I blogged about it back in 2010(!!). The way that it works is that you install the software on your computer and then add files into it. Easy. You can install it on multiple computers, you can share files and folders and you can sync from you phone too. I have my phone camera set to upload to Dropbox when it finds WiFi. The thing that I love about Dropbox is that when you open the software on your PC, it doesn’t look like you are using different software. It just comes up as a drive in Windows. I can drag, drop, create new files and do everything else I am expecting to do in Windows. Then it saves it all to the cloud.
Free users get 2Gb and there are various different ways of boosting this by tweeting about Dropbox or by asking friends to sign-up via a link (like this one) Through these methods I now have just under 19GB of free storage. But with the costs so low, surely paid options are worth looking at?
In 2010, 50GB on Dropbox would cost £6.50 a month. It is now 1TB/1,000GB for £7.99. That’s progress! Think about your photos, your schoolwork or any useful document you need. If you have never had a USB drive or Hard drive break on you, then you will know someone that has. I still have people at school occasionally that have had USB errors and have lost their work and ask for me to magically fix it but all too often, it’s gone forever. When I ask about backup, they always say it’s something that they meant to do. I used to copy my USB stick to my hard drive every now and again. This is an easy way to make sure that your files are saved no matter what happens.
At school, we have remote working. This means that we log in to the school server, see our Teacher Resources file as if we were in the building and then log off when we are done. This is all backed up and we can even print to school if we want and then collect it in the morning.
Not everything that i do is online, I still save some things offline, but everything is backed up in at least one other place.
This chart, taken from Gizmodo, compares some of the current cloud storage offerings. As well as Dropbox for my schoolwork, I also use Google Drive.
Their current pricing gives 1TB for $9.99 which is pretty much the same as Dropbox but it’s the one below this that I am currently using. They offer 100GB (although I get 125GB) for $1.99 a month. I use this purely for photos. I have folders setup on an external hard drive which means that they get picked up by Picasa on my computer, this syncs with private Google+ albums (that took some time to find!) and then they automatically sync, at full size, to Google Drive storage too. Around two years ago I lost a holiday’s worth of photos so paying £1.50 a month is well worth not having to go through that again! Edit (June 2016) I now use Google Photos for photo backup. We have an Android camera and two phones. Every picture we take is automatically sent to Google Photos and yes, it means we get lots of random photos we probably never need, but it also means that every photo is backed up should we lose a device.
So what do you use to backup your files? Have you managed to convince others that it is a sensible way to go?
PS: Before anyone mentions it, yes there are privacy issues with storing some things online. Who owns your data? Where does it go? Will they modify the data when I give it to them? But for those of us that are already signed up to the fact that Google knows more about us than our partners do, cloud storage is a no-brainer.
PPS: Prices correct as of 28th August 2014