Click Here to find out how much storage you have left in your Google Account (Google Drive, Gmail and Photos).
Source: Google One
As with any online file storage site, you are assigned a quota (the threshold that is reached when your online drive is full). TechRepublic posted a “how to” article that will show you how to check your quota on your Google Drive. You will need to be logged into your Google account for these tips to work. What is nice about this is that you can determine where the spacehogs are with these tips…
Yesterday I featured pCloud’s Transfer Service; but, what I did not know is that pCloud is also an online file storage service that has features that some of the other contenders do not. After you signup for the service you are given 10GB’s of free space to store and share your files. At that point you can earn more space by completing various tasks and tutorials that they have set up. I am currently working toward upgrading my space by inviting other users. For every user that I invite, I get 1GB of additional space (up to 20GBs) and the person signing up also gets a 1GB of space.
If interested in taking a look at pCloud,
sign up and we’ll both get some FREE space.
What is pCloud? pCloud is the right place to store and backup all your data – photos, videos, documents and large files without worrying about file size limit. All your files are stored safe in the cloud and available wherever you go, on any device – iOS, Android, Desktop, Web. All your files are immediately synchronized between your computer, your pCloud and all mobile devices and you have instant access to all updates you make.
pCloud has the typical features and options that you will see with some of the other online file storage services, but there are some features that make pCloud stand out:
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Everyday I am seeing a Microsoft that is finally understanding the concept of cloud computing and the importance to be a real competitor instead of trying to be the master.
For example, with Microsoft’s OneDrive (online file storage) you could upload your MP3’s and store them; but, you could not play them back (or stream them from your account). Well with the new Microsoft, that has and/or will be changing. You will be seeing a Music folder show up on your OneDrive account that you can upload, store and PLAY those files.
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The geek in me likes the idea of dual-pane file managers to perform heavy duty file management functions where files in a folder from one side of the pane can easily moved or copied to another folder location in the second pane.
The only Android version of a dual pane file manager, that I am aware of, is called X-plore.
The dual-pane interface is very nice, but do you know what really sold me on X-plore?
It is X-plore’s ability to access all of the cloud file storage services that I currently have accounts with. I do not know of any other Android file manager that is setup to give access to the number of cloud based file storage services, as X-plore does. X-plore gives you the ability to connect to Google Drive™, Dropbox, Box.net, Mega.co.nz ***, OneDrive, Webdav, Yandex.disk, MediaFire, SugarSync, Dump Truck, and Copy.com. This option alone in X-plore saves you from downloading and installing the apps for each of those services (thus saving you space on your smartphone and tablet).
I could go on and on about X-plore and the features built-in that you normally don’t see; however, due to the number of features (and their uniqueness), I have listed them below to let you make your own decision.
● Dual-pane tree view
● Root, FTP, SMB, Sqlite, Picasa, Zip, Rar, 7zip explorer
● Disk Map – see which files consume most space on your disk
● Cloud storage access: Google Drive™, Dropbox, Box.net, Mega.co.nz , OneDrive, Webdav, Yandex.disk, MediaFire, SugarSync, Dump Truck, Copy.com
● SSH File Transfer (SFTP) and SSH Shell
● Application manager
● WiFi file sharing ***
● Manage files from a PC web browser
● Favorite folders
● Built-in viewers for images, video, audio, text
● Hex viewer
● Fast Image viewer with zoom and slide to previous/next images
● Thumbnails for images and video as well as for various file types (depending on associated application)
● Multi-selection – always available, yet not disturbing
● View APK files as ZIP
● Share – send files by Bluetooth, email, or whatever the device supports, from any location
● Configurable buttons and key shortcuts
● Seamless work with Zip (as if it was normal folder)
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Typically when we sign up for online file storage we are often given option to download software that will allow you to sync files locally with the online account. The problem with that, as in my case, I have multiple online accounts with multiple providers and do not want to burden down my computer with numerous software installs from these different providers.
To remedy this issue and to give full control in the management of your files in the cloud, at multiple (popular) providers, check out Air Explorer.
Air Explorer is a Windows based program that appears to be relatively new (at least to me) that has the ability to connect to multiple online cloud servers. Air Explorer currently supports OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, Mega, Copy, Mediafire, Yandex, and WebDAV. When I tested Air Explorer it effortlessly connected to each of my online accounts and appeared to be quite fast.
What I like about the Air Explorer concept is that I can centrally and directly manage (move, copy, delete, share) my files and can even copy files from one provider to another provider. Air Explorer provides a dual paned interface that gives you the ability to easily perform the various file operations.
Optionally Air Explorer can encrypt your files when you upload them to the cloud
Sets up multiple accounts from the same server
You can synchronize folders between any cloud or your computer
Copy/Paste between cloud servers
Pause and continue uploads and downloads
Air Exlorer can share files
Centralize search of your files across all the clouds
A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks‘:
Squeak #1 – (AOMEI Backupper – “No brainer” Disk Backup and Imaging Software) – You may well know that in the coming upgrade release of Windows 8.1 you will have to really dig deep to get to the disk imaging component that was in Window 7. To remedy this issue, I went on the hunt and found a disk backup and imaging program that I can attest to being very good, easy to understand and serves as a good backup strategy; especially for home-based users (SEE BELOW);
Squeak #2 – (Remember 1995 – The Windows 95 Game Called Hover?)– You can go back in time in your web browser and play the same game and even play against 8 others (SEE BELOW);
Squeak #3 – (Desktop Client For Your 50GB MEGA Account): The September 28th Geek Squeak roundup, I featured a bit about MEGA and their 50GB online file storage offering. Today at Addictive Tips I learned that MEGA has BETA released a desktop client where you can sync folders on your computer with your MEGA account (SEE BELOW); and,
Squeak #4 – (Online Streaming of Movies and TV Shows ): I am a big fan of Amazon and I am really liking the idea of their Prime Membership that gives you access to their movie collection, TV Shows, Kindle books and more (SEE BELOW)
Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it; from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!
See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]
To prevent system failure or data loss, backup is important and necessary. AOMEI free backup software provides basic and advanced features to ensure the safety of your system and data.
A game called Hover! shipped on all Windows 95 installation CD-ROMs. As of today you can play that game again right through Internet Explorer 11 or any other browser that supports the Web GL development standard, including Chrome and Firefox… READ MORE
What makes MEGASync outsmart the competition is its ability to synchronize multiple folders in your MEGA cloud storage with different locations on your local storage via linking each folder to a specific cloud drive nodes… LEARN MORE HERE
Many people are unaware of a very powerful remote access option that is available with Microsoft’s online file storage and sharing solution called SkyDrive.
If you have the SkyDrive desktop app for Windows installed on a PC, you can use the Fetch files feature to access all your files on that PC from another computer by going to your account at SkyDrive.com. You can even access network locations if they’re included in the PC’s libraries or mapped as drives. When you browse a PC’s files remotely, you can download copies of them to work on. You can also stream video and view photos in a slide show. To access files on your PC remotely, make sure the PC you want to access is turned on and connected to the Internet. SkyDrive also needs to be running on that PC, and the Fetch files setting must be selected.
I have mentioned this feature before here on the blog and can attest to using it frequently (without problem) from my work location to access the files on my computer at home (including external drives).
Here’s how it works:
If you are concerned about security and storing personal document type files online, you may want to consider converting the document file to the PDF format, then password protecting the PDF file. Password protection of online files is one of the most requested features out there.
What I stumbled across, through experimentation, is that Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive can handle and open password protected PDF files, using their built-in (online) viewers. When you go to open a password protected PDF file using either of these services, you will be prompted for the password, and the PDF file will be opened online, without downloading, using either of these services.
This gives you an additional level of security protection when storing or sharing files using either of these services’ PLUS, the convenience of keeping the file online (and not downloading it). These were the only two file storage (and sharing) services I tested, where this will work; however, there may be other services, as well, that can handle or open a password protected PDF file. I also found that you need to be using a modern web browser, as well.
I know you are probably wondering, how do I convert my file to the Adobe PDF format and how do I password protect it? The easiest way to do this is to download the FREE Nitro PDF Reader, which has a built in a PDF creator (or printer).
After you have downloaded and installed the Nitro PDF Reader, you will notice that when you go to print a document, you will see that a new printer is on the list called “Nitro PDF Creator (Reader)”. If you want to convert the document to an Adobe PDF file, simply select the printer labeled “Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader”). Basically anything that can be printed on your computer to a regular printer can be printed to “Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader)”, including image files, spreadsheets, Powerpoint slides, etc…
Using Nitro PDF Reader you also have the ability to password protect any PDF file you desire to create. When you go to print on your computer, the print dialog box typically appears. When it appears, select the “Nitro PDF Creator 2 (Reader)”, then click on and select “Preferences”.
Once you select preferences, the “Printing Preferences” dialog box appears. You will then notice a tab labeled “PDF Security”. Click on that tab, click on “Require a password to open the document”, enter the desired password, then click on the “OK” button, then click on “Print” to generate (and create) a password protected PDF version of the document.
I know this may seem like a lot of steps, but really it is a cakewalk. After you have created the password protected PDF file, then simply upload the file to either Google Drive or SkyDrive. Your file can now be stored and opened online, with the additional security of password protection.
GEEK BONUS AREA
I happened across this service called Backup Box that gives you the ability to backup and transfer files (and folders) from one cloud based file storage site to another. For example, let’s say you want to move from Dropbox to Box, then Backup Box is a service that can make the transfer happen in a seamless manner. You can also use Backup Box to schedule and automate backing up files from one service to another.
Backup Box helps you transfer anything to anywhere. We support transfers between cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Microsoft SkyDrive, and things like (S)FTP servers and databases!
Feel like moving from Dropbox to Box? Or from Google Drive to SkyDrive? Use Backup Box to make the process a snap!
Like from your website to Dropbox. We support FTP, SFTP, Dropbox, and many more.
WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, databases? No problem, back it all up!
Easily create schedules to handle transfers when you’re not around.
Archive and timestamp your transfers to keep historical data.
No plugin, scripts, or any nonsense to worry about. Manage everything from our awesome web interface.
I’ve said it before, “If you can think it, someone else has done it!”. Recently I was thinking that it would be nice to have a portable app that would allow me to access my my SkyDrive, Box and GoogleDrive accounts from my flash drive. This scenario would allow me to quickly access these accounts, perform file and folder operations, from any internet enabled computer, without going through the normal browser login process to do the same.
Sure enough, after some searching, I came across a portable WebDav client, called CarotDAV, that gives you the ability to access your web based FTP, SkyDrive, DropBox, GoogleDrive, Box, and SugarSync accounts.
CarotDAV is a Simple WebDAV / FTP / SkyDrive / DropBox / GoogleDrive / Box / SugarSync client for Windows OS, available free of charge. It is also able to read GoogleDocs or IMAP.
Don’t let the term WebDav client turn you away in thinking that this is some high tech process; when in fact it is not. This is as simple as downloading the CarotDav portable software, installing it to your flashdrive and entering the settings to your online accounts. The only problem I encountered was that I was not able to access my GoogleDrive account (which may be an issue on my part); however, I am able to access my Box and SkyDrive accounts with ease. Regardless, CarotDAV has given me a good way to get to my online files without performing a browser login (which, in itself can be a security issue on another computer). I also like the fact that I can password protect access to CarotDAV.
CarotDAV is available both as a portable program and installation package that works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
One of the hottest (most popular) Google Chrome extensions and Firefox plugins out there right now is the extension (and plugin) called attachments.me .
Before I get into the telling you more about this extension, you need to know that there are three ingredients required in order to use attachments.me:
This may sound like a lot to ask for, but once you get the ingredients together and cook this up you will end up with something special that makes your email experience very powerful and efficient.
Once you are setup, go to the attachments.me website in either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. The site will automatically recognize the browser you are using and will prompt you to install the attachment.me extension (or plugin). Once you install the plugin, log into your Gmail account and attachments.me will walk you through the process of making the connection between your Gmail account and your online file sharing and storage service(s), as indicated in step 3 above.
The benefits of using attachment.me is this:
Easily send, share and save your attachments to your cloud storage services. For example, if I receive an email with an important document attached, I can send, share and save that document to either my Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and/or SkyDrive account. I can even pick what folder to save the document to.
You can search for text inside your attachments, not just in the email.
You can establish rules to setup automatic filing. For example, if my brother sends me pictures on a regular basis, I can setup a rule that when an email is received from my brother and it contains pictures, attachments.me will automatically forward the pictures to my SkyDrive account and place the pictures in the pictures folder.
Attachment.me is very secure; using bank level encryption for all communications.
A hot news item this week in the world of computers and information technology has been the re-design of Microsoft’s SkyDrive from its’ standard file management interface to the more metro look (that is the defacto Windows 8 GUI). If you have a Hotmail (or Outlook.com) account, then you can easily get access to SkyDrive. I highly recommend you take advantage of SkyDrive, because Microsoft is really getting this right.
With SkyDrive, you get 7 GB of free storage with SkyDrive—that’s enough for over 20,000 Office documents or 7,000 photos. For most people, this is plenty of space. But if 7 GB isn’t enough, you can add even more storage for a low yearly fee.
It was not the metro look that captured my attention or that you can now upload and store any type of file; instead, it is a very powerful feature in SkyDrive that allows you to remotely access your files and folders on your Windows (or Mac) computer from anywhere you have internet access. For example, if I am at work and I need a document file from my computer at home, I simply log onto SkyDrive account where I am able to see my entire file/folder/drive(s) structure on my computer at home. This sort of reminds me when I used to manage network attached storage devices (NAS), with the end user interface being quite similar to this.
As long as your home computer is “on” and is running the SkyDrive software, you can access any file you need from your home computer—from anywhere.
In fact, you can browse through files just like you would if you were sitting in front of that PC. Want to show someone a photo on that home PC? You can view photo slide shows and videos on that PC from any browser, from any computer.
Here’s how it works, straight from the horses’ mouth:
Your PCs that have SkyDrive for Windows installed will appear in the Computers menu. Choose the computer that has the file you want, and you can view, print, or download the file you forgot.
Recently I posted an article about Box, an online file storage (and sharing) service. The article, “Log Into Your Box Account From Your Android Device and Get 50 GBs of FREE Online Storage” provided instruction on taking advantage of an offer that Box was promoting for Android users. I definitely took advantage of this offer and got my 50GBs of space.
So far, my experience using Box as an online file storage option, has been an excellent experience. The only thing that I was missing with this service was the ability to access my online files directly from my desktop. To do that would require signing up for one of the paid options to download their desktop software.
From experience, I knew there had to be another method to access these files and it was not long that I came across an article at Instant Fundas (titled: How to Access Box.net Files From Windows Explorer?) , that provided a solution. Not only did this article provide a solution, it also taught me something new about a HTTP protocol extension called WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning) that allows users to create, move, or change files directly on a server. Guess what? Box offers WebDAV support, giving me a FREE solution to my problem. After following the instructions as Instant Fundas, I can now access my Box files directly from Windows Explorer.
If you are currently a Box subscriber, I encourage you to visit Instant Fundas to get step-by-step instructions on how to set this up. It worked great for me and just may be the solution you are looking for, as well.
If you use Box (online file storage service) and Google Docs, then you are well aware that there is no easy way to sync your online files (and folders) with your computer; UNTIL NOW!
I came across an online service called SocialFolders where you can sync your files at Box, Google Docs and more (such as Evernote) from one location. You can also transfer files from one service to another and the cool part is that it acts just like any other folder you are accustomed to in Windows explorer. SocialFolders performs the sync tasks in the background while you are working on your computer giving you an automated way of backing up your files (online and offline). – (see video below)
SocialFolders enables you to sync (nerdy word for synchronize) the Windows Explorer with your online accounts: social networks, photo sharing applications, online storage services, etc.
Syncing means that the content of your websites will be updated when you update it in your local folders, and vice-versa.
To get started using Social Folders:
SocialFolders currently supports Facebook, Flickr, Google Docs, Instagram, Photobucket, SmugMug, Box, YouTube, Picasa and Twitter. Appears SkyDrive support may be in the works… From what I can tell, it appears that SocialFolders allows you to sync up to three services with the free version.
Note that YouTube allows only uploads, whereas Instagram allows only download. All the other services work both ways.
Box is an online file storage service that typically gives you for FREE, 5 GBs of online file storage. The 5 GB limit is the typical amount you see for most services in an effort to get you to try the service; HOWEVER, Box has an interesting offer that is hard to refuse (providing you have an Android device such as a smartphone or tablet). Now through March 23, 2012 if you download Box for Android and log into you’re your Box account from an Android device, your account will automatically be upgraded to 50 GBs.
In addition to getting a storage bump, your file upload limit will jump, too; you’ll be able to upload files up to 100MB – like photos, presentations and documents – in your Box account for easy, quick access from anywhere.
If you currently do not have a Box account, simply go to the Box website and sign up for the FREE 5 GB account, then download and install Box for Android (from HERE). Sign into the account from your Android device and voila’, the 5 GBs magically turns into 50 GBs.
The only negative thing I could find with Box is that they do not offer (for FREE), a Windows desktop syncing application; otherwise, Box is one phenomenal online storage service. The more I use it, whether it is from my Windows desktop or from my Android Device, the more I am leaning toward making it my primary online storage service.
I think the feature I like the most about Box is the file preview feature. For example, if I have a MS-Word file stored in Box, I can get a nice clean preview of the document in its’ native format; which in most cases for me, is all I need. There are also editing options available for many file types.
Store all kinds of files online, then arrange them into folders just like on your desktop. Box provides anytime, anywhere access to your files from any device – whether you’re in Nebraska or Norway. Throwing thumb drives in your bag, transferring files to CDs, stressing about a stolen laptop – that’s yesterday. Today, everything’s on Box.
Send a LinkPaste it into an email or an instant message, even send directly from Box.
Share a Whole Folder of FilesCreate a new folder, upload files, then invite others to join.
Receive Real-Time UpdatesSo you always know when someone’s viewed, edited or commented on your file.
Invite Others to Share and EditTurn folders into shared online workspaces, where all your files are in one place and anyone you invite can view, edit and upload files – even add more content.
Post Comments and DiscussionsWhether it’s a quick comment or an in-depth discussion, keep the whole team on track by exchanging feedback in one place.
Get Real-Time UpdatesWith Box’s real-time updates and email notifications, you always know when teammates add, edit or comment on shared files.
HOT HOT HOT – Protect Yourself with HotSpot Shield @ TTC Shelbyville
Yesterday’s article I talked about, SkyDrive – Your Password Protected Hard Drive in the Cloud, that is available for FREE (from Microsoft). SkyDrive gives you 25 GB’s of of storage space that you can use to store files online (in the cloud) that can be accessed from anywhere there is internet access.
Following the posting of that article, I started to wonder what FREE options are there available to sync the files on my computer or tablet or smartphone with my SkyDrive Account. As a result I went on the hunt and found the following options available that will help you take full advantage of SkyDrive:
SDExplorer (to sync and access your SkyDrive Files from the Windows platform – your desktop or notebook computer):
SDExplorer is a free, easy-to-use, but very powerful extension for Windows Explorer. With SDExplorer you can perform all everyday operations with your documents on Microsoft Live SkyDrive™ using Windows Explorer, as if they were on your computer itself.
SkyDrive Browser (to sync and access your SkyDrive Files from the Android platform – such as tablets and smartphones):
Microsoft’s SkyDrive service is a nice chunk of cloud storage—25 GB, to be exact. Now you can view, download, and send your files in SkyDrive from your Android phone with SkyDrive Browser.
With SkyDrive on your Windows’s phone, it’s like having a thousand wallets for photos and hundreds of briefcases with your latest files. You can keep files to yourself or share them. Add photos from your camera phone manually or automatically. SkyDrive will also synchronize notes you take in OneNote.
With SkyDrive for the iPhone, you can now easily access, manage and share files on the go. You can also upload photos or videos from your iPhone to SkyDrive.
Windows Live SkyDrive is the 25 GB online (cloud) storage space that is available (FREE) to anyone who has a Windows Live Account (e.g. Hotmail Account). 25 GB’s of FREE online storage space is nothing to sneeze about and is worth its’ weight in gold. The advantage to using an online service such as SkyDrive is that you can upload your files then share or access them from anywhere on the internet; PLUS, you can create, edit, and share Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files online—even if you do not have Microsoft Office installed on your PC.
The only complaint that I have with SkyDrive is that it is limited in functionality when it comes to the file management aspect of the application. Sure, you can rename, copy, delete, etc. individual files; but trying to perform these operations in bulk is not possible.
A solution to this problem is a software application, called SDExplorer, that will give you the ability to access your Windows Live SkyDrive files directly from Windows Explorer.
In other words, after you install SDExplorer you will be able to access your SkyDrive files directly from Windows Explorer and perform the same file operations that you typically perform (such as cut, copy, paste, delete) – as if the files were on your computer.
The real beauty to SDExplorer is that you can perform bulk file operations, as well, such as: Renaming objects; Deleting objects; Copying folders with files and subfolders; and, Changing folder share types.
If you are worried about security with SDExplorer…
SDExplorer uses the standard Microsoft library for working with Windows Live ID™ services. Your personal information does not leave this library and is not even passed to the SDExplorer engine. Additionally, all of your online storage-related traffic is transmitted using the HTTPS protocol, protecting your data from snoopers.
There is a FREE Base Edition of SDExplorer and an Advanced Edition of SDExplorer. [CLICK HERE] to compare the editions and I think you will find that the FREE Base Edition is all you will need to access your SkyDrive files from your home computer.