As a Student, automatic backup and sync software, comes in real handy. I started using dropbox back in 2008 and it has saved my butt many times, and I’ve recently joined Wuala and SugarSync to compare them, and of course get more awesome cloud storage and backups.
Why Would I use this?
So First I’d like to list some situations, I’ve actually had and my service of choice, dropbox, has saved me from. I don’t have many stories about Wuala or SugarSync As I’m fairly new to them.
- Forgot to print out a paper for school. Open dropbox.com and download and printed it in a computer lab.
- Used the previous version feature to grab a copy of a paper from several days before. Before printing it on the due date, I had removed the bibliography, and closed Word, so It could not be recovered on my computer. However dropbox had the finalized version, from several days before, so I downloaded the older copy, and pasted the bibliography into the final version.
- Synced files between my several linux computers, and my tablet PC after setting up a fresh install. It quickly syncs files like my WEP key over the lan, without requiring me to actually find my USB drive.
- Share photos from a recent hiking trip to several friends without publishing them to the web for all to see.
- Added music to my android phone/PMP without connecting it to the computer, with those forever disappearing microUSB cables.
- long term storage of important files, where I can easily find them on any computer, or even my phone.
- Easy transfer of files from my laptop to school computer with print ability, for classwork.
- Multiple remote backups (Both on my many computers, and their servers)
- Realtime backup to OneNote Notebooks used for notes for school. Because onenote saved as you write, it doesn’t require ever hitting save, and dropbox uploads the newest versions immediately.
- Saved me from buying many flash drives.
- Future use for one service, updating my server without the need for SSH or FTP.
EDIT 6/19/2011: I had to use the restore previous version today, as I deleted a page of statistics homework while rearranging my notes. Logged into dropbox, went to the file, and it showed about 60 versions from the last 20 minutes of editing. It has a restore feature, which replaced the current file with the old version, or a preview, which I used to open the old file side by side with the current, copy and last the notes, into the new file.
Deciding which one to use may very well depend on what service works with your OS and phone or tablet. Well, here’s that info.
Dropbox, Wuala (Needs JAVA), SugarSync.
Dropbox (Needs client and Nautilus, or client and Kdropbox).
Wuala (Needs JAVA, Fuse and several libs.)
SugarSync (3rd party, very alpha, little support for features)
Wuala (Needs JAVA)
Android (All Available In Market):
Dropbox (Third Party Only)
Security and Pricing
To most of us, these should be the next most important things, beyond, does it work with my OS. Dropbox uses HTTPS, but admits they can decypt your files if required to by the government. Their files are stores on amazon’s S3’s servers, while Wuala’s files are encrypted client side, and cannot be viewed by their staff for any reason. I am not sure where they store data, but it may be stored on other people’s computers, since they have a trade storage option. Read up on that if your curious how it works. Wuala has no web interface, as it needs java to run and decrypt files. It can be launched from the website, as long as the computer has java installed.Sugarsync does not seem to say where the files are actually stored either, but they are transported over HTTPS. Files seem to be encrypted on their servers, but not locally, with the exception of the TLS transporting. They could possibly see your data.
You should use one! (Shameless Plug time)
If you haven’t signed up for one of these services already, I can only suggest that you do, it may very well save you butt someday.
SugarSync 5GB + 500MB with this link. If you join a paid plan from this link, we both get 10GB! extra.