Cloud Based Stroage

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Local storage, the storage available on your device, comes in all different sizes. The more local storage you have the more apps, pictures, music, videos etc you can have on your device. Some devices also allow you to add an SD card which can increase your storage. The more local storage you have the more the device will cost you. For example, the iPhone 5 16GB is $199.00 on contract. You can double the storage to 32GB for a $100.00 premium. If that is not enough you can double that to 64GB for another $100.00. That puts you at 64 GB of local storage for $399.00. That may be a hard pill to swallow for some people. That where cloud based storage comes into play.

Dropbox (AppStore)

Probably the most popular choice for cloud storage. With Dropbox you have access to any file stored anywhere you have an internet connection. There is also a desktop app that will sync files stored there between your PC/Mac and Dropbox. The basic account is free and you get 2GB of storage. You can upgrade to a pro account for $100.00 that gives you 100GB on top of the 2Gb you are already given. There are some tasks that you can do to add free storage to your plan. You also get bonus space when you refer friends and they sign up. The nice thing about that is you both get the bonus space. My account is at 6GB, all free. So if you wouldnt mind using this link to sign up so we both get extra space I would appreciate it. 🙂

iCloud

The best thing about iCloud is that its free* & baked right into iOS. The first 5GB is free. The next plans are 10 GB (Giving you 15GB total) for $20.00/year, 20GB (giving you 25GB total) for $40.00/year and 50GB(giving you 55GB total) for $100.00/year. The worst part about iCloud is that you can’t use it the way you would use Dropbox. Your iCloud storage is best suited for backing up your iOS devices. I have my iPad &iPhone backed up to my account. Any time I get a new device or have to restore my device I can do if from iCloud. You no longer need to plug your device into iTunes to back up & restore. Your mail, contacts, calendars and documents count against your storage. With your documents, if your are a Mac & iWork user, they are accessible in iCloud with their respected app, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Any changes you make on one device will sync to iCloud and show up on your other devices. That also applies to calendars and contacts. Other iOS apps can also back up their data to iCloud and to other iOS devices.

SugarSync (AppStore)

SugarSync functions much like Dropbox and offers both free and paid storage. The free account gives you 5GB(more then Dropbox) and gives a 500mb bonus to you and a referred friend(shameless plug here to add to my storage and yours.) You can install the desktop client to sync your files across your computer(s) and device(s). You can upgrade your account to 30GB for $49.99/year, 60GB for $99.99/year, 100GB for $149.99/year, 250GB for $249.99/year

PogoPlug(AppStore)

Also gives you 5GB for free storage and they offer unlimited storage for $4.95/month. Once in awhile the run a promotion that offers a discount for the year. They also offer a desktop client to keep your items in sync across multiple devices. Unlike the other services mentioned, there is no referral bonus. Your choices are free or unlimited.

Sky Drive

Is a cloud service from Microsoft. They offer you 7GB of free storage and have mobile/web/desktop apps to access your files. Microsoft also offers paid upgrades: 20GB for $10.00/yr, 50GB for $25.00/yr, 100GB for $100.00/yr.

Google Drive

Google gives you 5GB of storage for free. Your documents and Google+ photos count against your plan. They also offer mobile/desktop/web apps so you can always access your files. Google’s pricing is monthly, they do not offer yearly plans. 25GB for $3.00/mo, 100GB for $5.00/mo, 200GB for $10.00/mo, 400GB for $20.00/mo and goes up to 16TB for $800.00/mo. Most people choose the 100GB option. Google is the only service I have seen offer 16TB of storage. Those options are obviously for business purposes.

There are other services out there, Box, Bitcasa, Copy, iDrive, Ubuntu 1 that offer free cloud storage but they are limited. Give them a try, free storage is free storage, there is nothing wrong with signing up for all of them to spread your files out. The hard part will be remembering where you have everything. I have my iPhone photos saved to SugarSync, my videos on SkyDrive and my everyday documents are on Dropbox.

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