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Discovery & User Experience

Cloudy weather: where to store your stuff in the cloud?

My Twitter feed was abuzz (atweet?) not long ago with the new Terms of Service put forth by Dropbox, a service many of us use to store documents in the cloud (i.e., on a remote server where you can access them from any web-enabled device). Dropbox clarified their terms via a blog post, but when you are using a commercial service like this, it never hurts to look around every so often and see what your alternatives are this week – there are always new services and changes to existing ones!

So what are your options for storing your “stuff” so that you can get at it anywhere? I’m still using Dropbox, but Lifehacker has a nice review of similar services, some of which I was not familiar with: Windows Live Mesh, SpiderOak, SugarSync, and Wuala.

Two other services that I’ve been using for a while are good old Google Documents (particularly useful for collaborative work) and Amazon’s cloud drive (which will accept all sorts of files but is optimized for storing music, with its own web-based player; it works seamlessly if you purchase digital music from Amazon, though I’ve found that it is painfully slow to upload music you already own).  I have an invite for Google Music, which is still in beta, but haven’t gotten around to setting up my account yet.

All of these services are currently free at the basic level, though most of them have paid versions that offer more storage space and sometimes additional features.

Do you store files in the cloud – whether as a backup or so you can access them on-the-go? If so, what service(s) do you use, and how do you like them? Let us know in the comments!

UPDATE, 8/12/2011: Gizmodo has published a very nice review of their favorite cloud storage services. There’s lots of great information here. Read it at


  • Anne Haines says:

    Very interesting, Beth – I didn’t realize Windows Live had that service! Sounds like something especially useful for those who do use OneNote. Thanks!

  • Beth Samuelson says:

    I have started using Windows Live ( because it offers online storage as well as web versions of its Office Suite software. I recently switched to using a Mac after years on PCs and was in a quandary about how to transfer my massive collection of Onenote notebooks to an application that is compatible with Macs. I can store my notebooks on and continue to update them on from any computer, regardless of platform.

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