Online File Storage Services (Cloud Storage)

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Have you ever thought of the possibility accessing your files from anywhere without having to fear about losing your thumbdrive or any other removable data? Most of you already know about it (the possibility); but do not know how to achieve that, while others do not do it in the right way. Well, some upload it to a file sharing site and note down the link and so, when they need the file, they download it and use it. Others save it as a draft email as an attachment and again download it when they need it. Ya ! I agree, these can be done, but it is not the right way, file sharing sites have filesize, speed and download limits while mail attachments have filesize limits (~25MB/file). There exist on the Web, a service that enables you to have a ‘virtual folder’, where you can keep files and access them from everywhere, even from a smartphone. Here’s a guide about how to use these services.

These services are based on cloud computing; here cloud storage. With the advent of the World Wide Web, almost everything and everybody is connected to the Internet. All computers form part of that huge network that can be accessed from almost anywhere around the world at anytime. So, with online storage, everything is in the clouds; meaning you store your files in  such a place -inside that huge network of course- and thus they are accessible from anywhere. 

For the geeky guy, they can simply hook their desktop PC to the Internet, install a couple softwares, share such and such folder, attribute a Public Static IP or use dyndns and they have their files on the Web. But for the common user that nearly faint when a list or terminal-like lines appear on the screen, such a process may result in either depression or madness.

Well, know that on the WWW, there exist sites/companies that provide these services; for free and through easy-to-use graphical user interfaces. Lot of them exist, but for this post, we will be looking at Microsoft’s Cloud Storage solution, Skydrive . We will not cover the nuts and bolts; we will only give a quick guide on how to use it.

### For this tutorial, we will be using the web interface of the service. Windows/iOS/Android clients that are much more easier to use (though for sync only) are available ; but for accessibility from anywhere, these clients become useless ###

SkyDrive is a file hosting service that allows users to upload and sync files to a cloud storage and then access them from a Web browser or their local device. It is part of theWindows Live range of online services and allows users to keep the files private, share them with contacts, or make the files public (publicly shared files do not require a Microsoft account to access) . –Wikipedia- 

To use Skydrive, you should first of all have a Microsoft Account – Windows Live or Hotmail.
**For this tutorial, I’ll be using a Windows Live account (@live.com ) and Microsoft Outlook new interface; known a metro-style**

  1. Open your favorite browser and access your Microsoft Account; either through hotmail.com or live.com .
  2. Click on the arrow next to Outlook to open the top-panel and click on Skydrive

    Top-panel menu

    Top-panel menu

  3. There you are !! Your online folder;
    skydrive1
  4. To add files, click on Upload 
    A window will open enabling you to browse your computer for the file.
    **Holding Ctrl allows you to select multiple files** 😉
  5. After selecting the files, a dialog box at the bottom-right corner of the page will show the progress of the upload process.

    Popup showing upload process

    Popup showing upload process

And there you go !! You files are online, ready to be accessed from anywhere around the world !! You now have basically an online folder accessible through your Microsoft Account Credentials. No need to store files as email attachments in  the Draft folder 😉

🙂