Storing and sharing documents is a major issue.. isn’t it? Specially when you have large document or files (audio) that you would love to share with your friends but cannot. I wanted to list some suggestions that I feel are effective and cost effective.
Yahoo Messenger: Yahoo messenger is by far the best way to share large documents easily with friends. It allows sharing of 2 GB! Now, that is huge. Instead of sending a file on emails – and no one really allows that much of file sharing, Yahoo Messenger could be useful. Of course, in this case, you cannot store the files – just share them on the fly. Caveat: You and the person you are sharing the file with should have the same Yahoo messenger version.
Bluehost site: Now many people want to host files or backup their files. No one really provides “Unlimited Storage”. But here is a site host that provides it for very cheap – Bluehost. If you want to host a site then this is a great place, since it not only cheap ($6.95/month) but it also offers one of the best hosting features. For example:
1. Simplescripts: This is available via cpanel. Using Simplescripts you can install a lot of blogging/CMS/Calendar/Ecommerce etc Open Source packages for free. And even better than a competing service – Fantastico (also available through cpanel at bluehost) you can choose the version of your software. For example, Drupal – the underlying CMS that I use for Drishtikone is now in its version 6.x. However, most of the modules and themes are still for 5.x. It will take time for the development of the modules for 6.x to catch up. I don’t have the time if I am creating a new site. So, I just choose the latest stable 5.x version and go with it. Fantastico, on the other hand, just installs the latest version (6.x in this case).
2. Free Domain Name: You want to have a mail ID in your name with unlimited hostage (better than Google!?) – then why don’t you brand it? Have like a mail@RamPrasad.com (I have one like that with deshkapoor.com as my domain!) Now, the sweet thing is that the domain is free until you host with bluehost.
3. Unlimited Mail: You can read your mail using three interfaces – Horde, SquirrelMail or RoundCube Webmail. I recommend the third one. Its interface is very similar to the popular emails available for free on the web.. and it is easily accessible. You can of course, also use a mail client like Outlook Express, or Thunderbird or Spicebird to read your email via pop. Again, I recommend Spicebird – it is based on Thunderbird and is amazing to use.
4. Family wide sharing: You want to keep in touch with your family? In this day and age of global family with one set of cousins in US, another in Canada, some in Australia and another set in India, it becomes tough to keep up with everyone.
Why not install a CMS, with secure interface and have only special accounts for your family? That way every kid and cousin is sharing thoughts, pictures, files, within the family! And if you are creative and lucky then you can choose a domain that all can use with their own mailboxes! For example, you could have a domain based on your family name – Chittapalli.com and have everyone have their own mailboxes and internal blogs. If you are creative then you can even go for private notes for everyone.. if you need help with setting this up, then I can help you set it up..
FTP upload: You can use an FTP utility to upload and keep your files in sync with your pc and the folder in your bluehost site. Of course, just make sure the folder is secure and that you can start the sync command at night before you retire for the night and let it take care of it.
Windows Live – SkyDrive: This is a useful storage service from Windows Live called SkyDrive– where they offer a huge 25 GB storage for you for free. I think this is a great way to backup your files and hold them online as well. It is free as of now, and I am not sure, given Microsoft’s utter cluelessness of things on Internet, how long they will continue? Remember the paid Calendars in Hotmail and how it lost them the world of webmail for ever?
Windows Live Mesh: This is a kick-ass service where you can virtually create a network and then start sharing files, programs etc called Live Mesh. And you can have a PDA also as part of that network. It also offers 5 GB of online storage space.
Mozy: This is another great way of storage – Unlimited backup at $4.95 a month per computer. I have not tried this service and don’t know what happens if your main computer crashes and you want to shift stuff to another one. But in the world of free storage and backup this is worth checking out.
I also want to suggest that everyone is waiting with bated breath for GDrive to arrive any moment.