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Never Lose A Flash Drive Again: Cloud Based File Storage

 Cloud-based file storage is one of the most convenient advances in technology a college student could hope for. We’ve all received the desperate lost USB Drive e-mail, and with the help of a few online services we can make sure our schoolwork is always available to us. Here are some of the best options available.

One of the oldest and most reliable services available is Dropbox ( The file hosting service allows the user to upload word documents, PowerPoint presentations and even video onto its site for free. Using your e-mail address and password you can then access these files on any computer, tablet or smartphone with an Internet connection. These files can be synced to your personal computer’s desktop with the option of sharing the files with others who have a Dropbox account. Free users have access to around 2GB of space with the ability to earn more though referring a friend or colleague. Soon Dropbox will allow for the ability to toggle between work and personal storage, making the service a more versatile one.

 The market for online file storage is becoming quite competitive and as a result, we all benefit. Google’s Drive ( offers users up to 15GB of free space while providing services comparable to Dropbox. On top of this, Google offers an interface that’s streamlined with its popular email client, Gmail, as well as its online office suite. Microsoft’s OneDrive (, a new service the company is pushing, offers the same service and while offering 10GB of free storage for students. This service is coming to SUNY Albany this April and includes 25 GB of storage for students. Benefits include complete compatibility with Microsoft’s popular office suite as well as the ability for people to view your files without having a Microsoft account.

 TransferBigFiles ( is a bit different than these services, allowing users to transfer files that are too large for e-mail. This comes in handy when sending video, music or photos to yourself or members of a group project. The most convenient feature of this site is the ability to send and receive files without creating an account. To upload a file, 100 MB maximum, users simply go to the website and upload the file. After entering a recipient via e-mail users have the option to password protect the transfer, grant sharing rights and receive notification upon download. For free users the site limits total file sharing to 2 GB a day, with files expiring 5 days after the original send date. Similar services include sendspace ( and DropSend (

SUNY Albany offers its own file storage service. The S-Drive, available on each university computer, allows you to save PDFs, word documents and presentations to any computer using your NetID and password. The service allows for 100 MB of personal storage. Students have the ability to access these files off-campus by following these instructions, ( The University’s service has the benefit of being the most secure out of all the services mentioned, as cloud-based services can often be the target of phishing and other attacks. Another convenience includes the ability to restore files or folders with the submission of a Service Desk help ticket. 

blog post by Mark Seabury
Photo by Peter Hosey

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