Cloud Space

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Category: Science and Technology

Date Submitted: 05/22/2012 11:29 AM

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May 16, 2012

A User’s Guide to Finding Storage Space in the Cloud


One day, you’ll gather the grandchildren around you and tell them wondrous tales of life before cloud computing: how you used to put information, photos and music on a floppy disk, a memory card or a USB fob to carry it from one device to another. You’ll tell them how it was called sneakernet because you had to physically move the data.

They will look at you funny, pat your hand and continue to take personal cloud storage for granted.

Now, however, you can be forgiven for thinking it is a bit of a marvel. A number of companies store your data free and make it accessible to whatever device you are using, wherever you are, as long as you have Internet connection.

For those using thumb drives and external hard drives, think of cloud storage as just another way to back up data, but on a remote server. Add in the ability to synchronize and the service becomes even more appealing.

What is different now is the ability to synchronize seamlessly across multiple devices: computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets. And of course, as Google, Microsoft, Dropbox and others compete for your business, the sheer amount of data to be shared and stored continues to expand.

Here is how to start using it right now.

GOOGLE DRIVE Google Drive, which can be downloaded at, should appeal to people who use Gmail and Google Docs online. Instead of e-mailing documents back and forth (and to yourself) on Gmail, you can share large files via Google Drive. (Photos can be shared via Google’s Picasa photo platform or through the Google Plus social media community).

As with Google Docs, you must be online to share and collaborate (though, you can make a file available offline). Still, you can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations online, and numerous people can edit the same document at the same time. It stores every change made and you can look back...