Dropbox isn’t the only online file storage and backup solution available today. It may not even be the best. It was, however, the first with a good implementation. The Dropbox software works on a variety of platforms where others may be limited to a few or just Windows alone.
Dropbox suffers from privacy concerns and bad decisions. For business usage, those concerns may be unacceptable. For personal usage, those concerns may be acceptable to some, but there are alternatives to DropBox that should be acceptable to anyone.
I don’t have a comprehensive list of all the entities providing free online file storage for consumers, but I have a few. Feel free to suggest any I’ve overlooked, in the comments section – I’ll add them as I check them out.
I’ve left out Ubuntu One, which is no longer available. I’ve intentionally left out the paid-only online file storage services, like SugarSync. I think you should be able to test any service as free before paying for more storage. If the service support is good when it’s free, you should feel at ease when paying for more space.
Another option is BitTorrent Sync, which isn’t online file storage in the “cloud” sense. You use your own computers and computing devices and your files completely bypass any kind of cloud storage.
The way I look at it, you shouldn’t be storing your sensitive files on any of the online file storage services (like tax return files). I store sensitive data on an external storage drive (and I have several hard drives set aside).
I’m using Google Drive now, but I’ll probably start using something more Linux-friendly when I set up my Linux Mint machine in the Philippines. That’s because I need software that works the same way on both Linux and Windows (or nearly the same way) and I want to be able to use my files on any computers or devices I own, regardless of which operating system is on them.
The current Linux software available for Google Drive isn’t supported by Google. Nearly two years after it was first made available, Google still hasn’t created a supported version (the browser-based interface just isn’t enough).
It probably doesn’t matter which services you use. You can use one or all of them at the same time if that’s what you want. With just a few, you’ll have more online file storage space available than standard hard drives had on them several years ago. That amount of space should be more than enough to store the things you should be storing and not the things you shouldn’t.
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