by April 1, 2011 0 comments

Your hard disk size may be enough to save your important files like documents, spread sheets, images and videos, but what if your hard disk runs out of space and what if you want to share these files with your colleagues or friends? There is a solution to this problem–online storage. Using online storage sites, you can back up your data, store it and share it with your friends, which is both simple and easy, and free of cost.

Using just a computer and Internet connection, you can access files from anywhere. You also do not have to carry flash drives or external hard disks with you. Since computers and flash drives are susceptible to virus attacks and hardware crash, online storage promises to be a safer option. Here we listed a few online storage services to make the job of choosing one, easy for you.


4shared provides 10 GB of free online storage space. You can upload any number of files within the storage limit but there is a limit to the file size, which is 2 GB. You can assign permissions to all files that you can upload. For instance, you can either give access to everyone or you can restrict the view for a particular file. If file is made public then anyone using Internet can access that file and if it is restricted then only registered users can view them. Apart from setting permissions you can also protect files with a password. You can check the number of times a file has been downloaded.

The free storage has its limit. You cannot upload two or more files simultaneously, which is limited to one. Other limits are on storage capacity and the upload file size. But you can get more storage, and upload multiple files at a time, and can store files larger than 2 GB; all this at a premium.

We tried to upload a zipped file of 25 MB and successfully upload and protected it with a password.

Using the “Map Network Drive” feature in Windows you can also use 4shared as network server to store your files. A web folder will be created on your desktop and then you can simply drag and drop files on to it.


My Other Drive

My Other drive provides only 2 GB of online space, which is less as compared to 4shared but its other features makes it a very decent online storage service. You can upload files of any size. It uses an HTTPS connection which makes sure that that data transfer and purchasing is done through a secure connection. Apart from sharing, it lets you backup your files. There are two types of backup- archive and synchronized. You can either back up your data manually or you can go for unattended backup which is automatic. In automatic backup you can schedule the backup and it will automatically back up your data and send you notification through email on successful completion. The interface of the File Manager of My Other Drive is quite simple. Using the options provided, you can straight away upload, backup and send files. You can drag and drop files that you want to upload. The files that you will upload can be protected and be shared. If you have any important data that you do not want to share with anyone, then you can encrypt that data.

However, to upgrade storage you have to pay $5 per month where you get 100 GB a month and $240 annually for 1 TB.


Live SkyDrive

Live SkyDrive is free online storage provided by Microsoft. It gives 25 GB of free online space. You can create folders and upload files and can choose who all can access files and whether they can add, modify files in a folder. If it is your personal folder then it is by default protected using your Windows mail id or in other words you have to login using your Windows Live id to access those files and folders that you are sharing, can be accessed by your friends using their Windows mail ID. You can also create online word documents, spread sheets, OneNote and PowerPoint presentation and save them in folders. If you want to store data from other devices then you can get 5 GB of synched storage, but you need to have Windows Live mesh installed on your system. provides 5 GB of online free space. With that it limits the size of the file to be uploaded and the limit is 25 MB. Uploading files is very easy. You just have to click on the upload option and then you can simply choose files to be uploaded or to make it simpler you can drag and drop files in the folders created. You can also create Web documents and documents but it does not provide you automatic backup options. You have to do that manually. If you want to share a file then you can give a web address to the file and share it. You can select whether the person can view the file or download it.


Drop Box

Drop box provides 2 GB of online free storage. Before using drop box, you have to install the drop box application. Using this application you can select options like account type, i.e., free or paid, the folders to be synched and also the drop box folder location in your system. Drop box folder basically contains two folders by default–public and photos and one PDF–getting started, which gives you the information of drop box and its usage. You can simply drag and drop files in this Drop Box folder and they will be synchronized. If you drop files in the public folder, then they will be shared with everyone. You can also make other folders public. There are basically three icons that appear on the Drop Box folder. One is green circle and arrow, which means that the folder is totally synched. Another is blue circle and arrows, which means that folder is getting synchronized. The last one is red cross which means that either you have a network problem, which is restricting the synchronization or the storage is full.

If you will right click on any file or folder in Drop Box folder you will get a Drop Box menu with two options. One of the options will let you browse the files on website and second one will let you restore the previous version of the file. You can also access the files from your iPhone or Android phone.

One advantage with Drop Box is that you do not have to login every time on the website to synchronize or back up a file. Simply drag and drop files in the Drop Box folder.


When it comes to online sharing and sending files, you might have faced issues while sending large files. We usually send files through email or through IMs. But you might not be able to send large files because of the file size limitation email servers have. This problem can be resolved using online file sharing services. Using these services you can send large files with ease and without paying anything. Here we list a few online sharing services, which you can use while sending large files.


YouSendIt is very simple and useful file sharing service.. For sharing or sending files you just need to go to the YouSendIt website. Then enter your mail address and the recipient’s email address. After that, browse the file that you want to send. The file will be uploaded and an email will be sent to the recipient with a link to the file, from where he can download the file. In the free version the file size limit is 100 MB. A confirmation email will also be sent to you stating that the link has been sent to the recipient. In the free version, the link will stay activated for 7 days while it stays activated for 14 days for a premium account. In the paid account you will get various other features like you can send files greater than 100 MB, you can password protect the file and you can also track downloads.



Streamfile is another online sharing service that lets you send files upto 500 MB in size and at no extra cost. When you upload the file, a link will be generated. Using that link anyone can download the file. One thing to notice is that while you are uploading the file, the other person can initiate the downloading. There are basically three types of users. One category is unregistered users where the file size limit is 150 MB and the validity of the link is 24 hours. Second category is the free account, which is constitutes a registered user. In free account the file size limit is 500 MB and validity of the link is 48 hours. The third comprises the Pro account where a user has to pay $4.95 per month. Here you can send files upto 30 GB and the validity of the link is 2 weeks. It also provides 256 bit encryption which is not available with the free account.

There is one disadvantage or you can say a threat, if you are on the receiver’s end. If you get a link to download a file from a known name and email id, there is a possibility that it could be from a fake identity because the email that you will get, containing the link will not be from the service provider. So before downloading the file, confirm that the mail is from a known person.



Pipebyte is bit different from other online sharing services. In other services, the file is first uploaded and then a link is sent to the receiver, which can be used to download the file at ease. But in Pipebyte the file is sent without being actually uploaded on the server. It is more like sending the files from IMs like Yahoo Messenger and GTalk. You basically upload the file but the upload does not start immediately. Before uploading you will get a code which you have to send to the receiver. Make sure that you do not close the browser windows. When the receiver enters the code on the Pipebyte site then uploading starts from your end. So the file does not get uploaded on the server. This process is very simple but it has certain disadvantages. You cannot send files to more than one person. Also if you are sending a very large file and the uploading or downloading is interrupted, then you have to start all over again.



Files2U can share or send files upto 2 GB in size, which is quite impressive. You can send any number of files but the size should be limited to 2 GB in
total. It has a Java-based applet that lets you upload files and then transfer them in a queue, if you are sending multiple files.

After you’ve uploaded the file, an email will be sent to the receiver. The mail contains details like the link to download the file and how to download it. It also contains a transaction ID and pin which the receiver will require for downloading the file. The link is valid for only 48 hours. The status of the download will be sent to the sender through email and when the receiver starts the download, an email will be sent to the sender that the link has been clicked and downloading initiated.

Another email will be sent stating that the download has been finished successfully. To send the file you do not need to sign in. Also the maximum number of recipients is five.


These online storage and sharing services make file sharing and storage easy but you have to be very cautious while using them. Try not to rely on these services completely, specially online storage. Do keep a backup somewhere else, lest some problem arises. The safety and security of your data is in your hands only. So encrypt data before uploading it online.

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