The cloud storage, files stored somewhere on the Internet, has become popular and easy to use. In the old days, this kind of storage would require FTP upload and download of files without any other functionality. Nowadays it is hard to choose which service to use as many companies offer similar services; some are free, others for a nominal fee.
For totally mindless cloud storage, synchronized among several computers, with deleted file recovery my choice is DropBox. It is drop-dead simple, install once and forget about it type of service. Visit DropBox, start an account, download its software and install it. You are done! Anything you save in your local DropBox folder automatically gets copied to DropBox cloud and you can access your files from any computer using any browser. Additionally, you can download and install the same DropBox software on your other computers and all will have fully synchronized DropBox folders, so the files you use often will be available on any of your computers. A bonus feature is the file availability on your Android, iPhone, iPad, platforms. I have been using it for about 4 years now without a hitch, and a few times I was able to recover a file that I accidentally deleted since DropBox has several versions of all the files backed up. I highly recommend it. The downside is it is limited to 2GB of free storage which gets bumped up any time you refer a friend and that friend goes through the process. It will give you up to 8 GB of storage, I am already there. You can purchase additional storage if you like, but read the next service before dropping money in the box.
For a bigger storage, 25GB size storage, I recommend Windows Live SkyDrive. If you do not have a Live.com account, simply point your browser to Windows Live and get yourself a free account. That account comes with several goodies in addition to the e-mail address you get. You do not have to use the e-mail but that is the glue that holds all these services together. (No longer offers the capacity indicated here.)
As you start your account and log in, you will see that you have 25GB of SkyDrive storage as well as reasonably functional versions of Microsoft Office applications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can store the files you create online there as well as using your SkyDrive space from your desktop MS Office applications. What if you want to put some non office files up in the cloud, store them in your SkyDrive. No problem, you can login using any browser and simply add the files to your SkyDrive.
To make using SkyDrive even easier, I have discovered a third-party application that makes SkyDrive another drive on my computer. A side benefit is that the same application also connects to my Google space as well. This magic software is Gladinet Cloud Desktop. Point your browser to Gladinet Web site and download the free version of Cloud Desktop. The premium versions add more features but for me, they were not important. The “freemium” version works just fine for my needs.
Once you install the Cloud Desktop, you will enter your SkyDrive login ID and password and Gladinet will take care of the rest and you will have a new drive in Windows Explorer that is waiting to be filled. It is as easy as they come, you will be glad you tried it.
Now, here is even a sweeter tip: every new Live.com account you create will give you additional 25GB storage. You can even link your various Live.com accounts so they are all available after you login to one. This is what happens when storage gets dirt-cheap! Oh, Live.com has more features but I will let you discover what Live Mesh is, how you can share photos with friends and family, or how you can create groups that keep people connected. On those, you are on your own!
Enjoy your cloud storage, back up files, share some with friends, send big files to friends, and anything else you want to do with that extra space.