Online file sharing now ubiquitous thanks to cloud storage services

Online file sharing now ubiquitous thanks to cloud storage services

Online storage, file sharing and data backup is all the rage these days. While perusing the latest tech news, you can’t go for long without reading all about the cloud, cloud, cloud! Cloud solutions! Cloud backup! Cloud storage! And while the term “cloud” might be the latest catch-phrase for storing data online, the concept has existed for quite a long time.

One of my first encounters with this type of service occurred back in the early 2000’s, when I signed up for a free Xdrive account. This now defunct service was one of the initial pioneers in online data storage, offering consumers free online storage space to house their data. Xdrive provided software that integrated with Windows Explorer, allowing for a seamless user experience. The online storage simply showed up on the PC as an additional drive letter, the X drive. It was easy to use and worked relatively well.


Interestingly enough, I didn’t use Xdrive for file sharing, data backup or any of the other most common modern day uses for online storage. Years ago, we didn’t have Terabyte hard drives available and purchasing additional storage was expensive. I used my Xdrive simply to add additional storage space to my PC.

Advances in online data storage and cloud services

These days there are a plethora of online storage, backup and cloud services that you can use to store your data. Many of these are cross-platform, providing access to your files across your entire range of computing gear; PCs, smartphones, tablets and other devices.

The most common use for online file storage is data backups. Personal computers utilize hard disk drives and flash storage disks for housing local data and these storage devices have limited lifespans. A hard drive will always fail, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. And when your hard drive does fail, do you want to lose those priceless family photos or your other important documents stored on the local drive? Subscribing to an online backup service can ensure that your data is kept safe. Many of these services provide software that will automatically backup your data for you, making it dead simple to protect your files from local drive failure.

Additional advantages to using online storage services include the ability to collaborate with multiple users, document versioning, file sharing and access to your data from any Internet connected location.

Visit to learn more about online storage providers for you or your business.

About Wes Novack

Wesley Novack is a Technologist working in the software industry, with extensive experience building and managing highly available applications, services, and systems in the public cloud. He has a breadth of experience in online publishing, the consumer electronics industry, and building internet communities. Wes enjoys hanging with his family, skateboarding, hiking, the vegan lifestyle, and a good cup of tea. You can find him on Twitter @WesleyTech.

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