Don’t get me wrong…I love DropBox, and Box.net, and SugarSync, and ZeroPC, Cubby, SkyDrive and any of about 30 other great “cloud” solution for saving, backing-up, sharing, and accessing your data. I love the idea of “cloud” so much I’ve blogged about it several times: A Hard Drive is So…Yesterday / Be Part of the Cloud Crowd / 7 Disruptive Technologies That Have Shaped the Business of VoiceOvers.
All these services are like Kodak was in its heyday. They made rotten cameras, but they made the best film, and you had to keep coming back for the film. They made a fortune on it. It’s the same thing with today’s printers (not quite a dying breed…yet). You can buy a printer for dirt cheap these days, but the CARTRIDGES cost plenty, and you have to keep coming back for ’em.
All the popular Cloud drive systems are on the payment plan. Their service is becoming essential. But to go beyond 5-Gigs or 10-Gigs, you hafta pay a monthly or yearly fee. The prices are reasonable considering what you get, but you have to keep coming back for it.
For a little over $100 (probably less by the time I write this), you can reserve one Terabyte of Cloud storage. You can access it from anywhere, your smartphone, your desktop, your laptop, your tablet. Anywhere there is WiFi or internet connections this cloud is available. You can share links, make private and public “galleries” or “albums”…give audio file access to your clients (no more YouSendIt!)…and the best part it…you don’t have to keep coming back to pay for it.
SeaGate’s GoFlex Home Network Storage System hard drive plugs right into your WiFi network access point. The software comes with it. It took me 10 minutes to install the hardware and software, and alla sudden, I can access all my files from anywhere. SeaGate offers both iOS and Android apps to do the same from your smartphone or tablet. The unit also comes with a USB port for access to even more portability or information.
NetGear offers a snazzy solution, too…attaching a couple Terabytes of storage right in the same box along with the WiFi access point. Their All In One WiFi Storage Router is a little pricier than the SeaGate solution I just mentioned, but sure makes a nice package. The unit has a SD card slot for added I/O.
I’ll grant you, the best of the best — DropBox — is seductively easy to use. I’m not saying this is for everybody, but at least you don’t have to keep coming back for it.