Online storage is the ideal solution for off-site backups. I’ll be writing an in-depth article about how to set up an automated home backup solution in a future post, but this post is to let you know about a storage site called ADrive that gives you 50GB (!) of free storage space online.
Here are the details. You can only use their web interface to browse the files and they have a Java applet to upload files. You can make your files available to others by putting them in the shared files area which turns them into a torrent.
It’s great for storing your files in a central location. Wherever you are, you can login to the web site and access them.
The service has some drawbacks. You can’t use it for automated backups or incremental uploads (meaning you point it at a whole directory and it only uploads files that haven’t been uploaded previously), but their FAQ says automated backup support is coming soon. You’re limited to 1,000 files or 2GB per upload, making it tedious to upload your 40+GB collection of MP3s. When you’re uploading files you can’t use the browser for anything else. When you’re downloading files it shows all the files in one list. That is good and bad. It makes it easy to grab everything at once, but it’s harder to find a specific file if you have thousands of files on it. I consider these to be minor annoyances, but annoyance nonetheless. The major negative I found was that downloads take a heck of a lot longer than uploads. I uploaded several GBs of files in less time than it took me to download 14 files that totaled just under 60MB. I can’t imagine how long it would take to restore the 12GB of files I have on there now.
It appears they’re making money with advertising, but bandwidth is expensive, so I’m not sure if they’re breaking even or not. If they’re spending more than they’re making, they may not be around for long. Their products page says they’ll have premium storage plans in the near future to provide more revenue.
In summary, I wouldn’t use ADrive as your primary storage solution, but it’s a good secondary storage space. Use it as a convenient storage space, but make sure if it were to go away tomorrow you wouldn’t mind. It never hurts to have multiple copies of your data, just in case.