Dec 26, 2007

On The Subject of Free Online Storage

While setting up my wife's aunt's new Dell computer, I had to go through the process of backing up some of her old files in order to restore them on her new Dell. Her old computer was a Pentium II piece of junk running Windows 98, so some things just didn't want to work right for me.

My first idea was to use my USB drive to back up her stuff and move it to her new machine. The problem was that Windows 98 didn't know what a USB flash drive was. I tried downloading drivers from the manufacturer, but that didn't quite work either.

My next idea was to use Filezilla to FTP (over SSL) her stuff to my server at home. The only problem is that the Filezilla client only works on Windows 2000 or better. I had to scratch that idea and go with plan C. Plan C involved looking for a good, and more importantly free online storage option. I came across two. One that was really crappy, and one that I think I will go ahead and recommend.

The first one which I want to pretty much just warn you about. It is called Mediamax. Mediamax offers 25GB of free online storage (with a catch). This website does a shady thing which I will get into in a little bit. On top of the shadiness, their upload time is ridiculous. My wife's aunt didn't have too much to upload, only about 200MB worth of pictures, but the upload to this website took about 4 hours. I am friggin' serious, 4 hours! Once it was uploaded they wouldn't let me download it again on the new computer (Here is the shady catch!). With your free account, you do get 25GB of storage, and can upload just about any file size, but there is a download limitation of 10MB unless you upgrade to a premium account. Yes you heard me correctly, once you upload all of your important stuff, they hold it for ransom until you pay up. Screw that!

I found a better online storage solution instead. These guys are called A Drive. They offer twice as much as those shysters over at Mediamax. That's right, a whopping 50GB of free online storage! With that they don't limit you to a measly 10MB download limit either. They do have an upload limit of 2GB per file though, but for a free online storage program, I think that is pretty generous. They use a Java based tool to upload your files which worked pretty good in my opinion, and didn't take a ridiculous amount of time to do it either. Download was easy as well.

With A Drive, I was able to backup my wife's aunt's stuff easily from her old piece of junk, and download it back to her new computer. I might even take advantage of it to back up some of my wife's photos and stuff on my home computer. You know, to make room for my movies and MP3's.

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