Files pile up. They get disorganized on your company’s servers when multiple people are editing them at the same time. And it’s not always easy to gain access to them from home or on the road.Cloud-based file storage services alleviate these problems for little to no cost and offer a ton of storage.
OfficeDrop is like Netflix for your paper documents. With a subscription, you send in your documents in prepaid envelopes or UPS boxes and OfficeDrop will scan and upload them into searchable PDFs on your web-based account.
As an alternative, you can download OfficeDrop's free scanning software that lets you scan your documents directly to the cloud. That will save you the risk of sending potentially sensitive papers to a third party. You can also scan documents to your Google Docs or Evernote accounts.
Pricing plans start at $9.95 per month. There's also a generous 60-day free trial.
MediaFire let's you upload any file type to it's cloud-based service. You can then share, host, or view your files from the dashboard. There are also options to link your account to Facebook and Twitter and share documents over your social networks. And the best part: you get unlimited storage, even with the free basic plan.
The basic plan is fine for personal file management, but businesses should consider one of MediaFire's pro plans that start at a reasonable $9 per month and will let you upload files up to 10 GB in size.
YouSendIt is one of the most popular e-mail file sharing services available. It lets you skirt around those annoying e-mail attachment limits and send off your massive files hosted from the cloud. Recipients are given an embedded link in their e-mail to download the file from YouSendIt's servers.
The free version won't let you send files larger than 100 MB, but with one of the reasonably-priced paid plans you can send files up to 2 GB in size. The paid plans also let you store your files and access later, but you only get 6 GB with the top-tier plan.
Dropbox is a free application for Windows, Mac, Linux, and smartphones that allows you to keep your files in sync across all devices. It's incredibly easy to use too. After installing the application, Dropbox will create a folder that syncs with your other computers, your phone, and the web-based dashboard. You can also give other Dropbox users access to certain files.
The free service gives you 2 GB of storage. You can also get 50 GB for $9.99 per month and 100 GB for $19.99 per month.
Syncplicity works a lot like Dropbox. From the desktop software, select which files you want to upload to the cloud. Instead of a dedicated folder on your desktop like Dropbox, you select the files and folders you want to upload. There's also a web-based 'news feed' that keeps you updated with your recent activity.
The feature that sets Syncplicity apart from Dropbox is the ability to link with your Google Docs account. While your Google Docs already live in the cloud, Syncplicity makes it easy to transfer them to your desktop.
Google Docs is a no-brainer. It's an excellent web-based alternative to creating documents in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can also upload your existing documents and store them in the cloud. Where Google Docs really stands out is collaboration. You can invite groups of people to edit documents in real time. That's perfect for last minute edits or working with colleagues remotely.
Google Docs gives you 1 GB of space for free and pricing plans for more storage vary. Click here to find one that works best for you.
One of our favourite cloud services, drop.io, was recently acquired by Facebook. The service is winding down right now, so if you use it, start transferring your files to another service ASAP. We expect to see Facebook offer a file storage option soon since the company has hired drop.io founder Sam Lessin. Stay tuned.