With over 50 million users, Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services on the market today. It's simple to use, affordable, and has an extremely wide range of systems that it supports. With software available for desktop consumers using Windows, OS X, and Linux, as well as mobile consumers using Android, iOS, Blackberry OS, or smartphone web browsers, nearly every conceivable individual with a need for cloud storage can pick up Dropbox.
Furthermore, Dropbox has a multitude of add-ons that range from being developed by the company to being developed by its user base. There simply isn't a more robust community in the cloud storage sector in comparison to Dropbox, a positive aspect for consumers who wish to make the switch.
Unfortunately, Dropbox has its fair share of issues, although the majority of them are out of users control. The service has dealt with multiple security issues in the past; including a hack this summer that resulted in spam emails being sent to a portion of its user base. Further problems with privacy settings, as well as a situation in 2011 where accounts could be accessed without a password, have added to the small but not insignificant security concerns around the company and its product.
FixYa users who utilize Dropbox for personal use aren't discouraged, especially if they are using the service for things like photos, music, or other light entertainment fair. However, personal users utilizing Dropbox to store personal financial information or similar items that would pose a security risk should steer clear. The same goes for mid-sized businesses looking for an easy way to share bank statements or proprietary business information.
Released in April of 2012, Google Drive was the next step for the search engine giant in developing their Google Docs platform. Google Docs, which preceded Drive and still provides the foundation for the service today, was a way for users to remotely collaborate and edit shared documents and text files online.
With the number of individuals who use Google applications like Gmail, YouTube, and Google+ reaching the mid-six figures easily, having a Google account to access Drive is simple. If you have an account with any of these services you already are able to access Google Drive and get to work.
Despite its popularity and ease of adoption, Google Drive still has its problems. Although security concerns are not as prominent amongst FixYa users compared to other cloud devices, Drive still experiences some general usability issues that need to be addressed. For the most part however, these issues can be solved quickly.
Since people use Google Drive to sync files on their computer with those on the cloud, moving the file, changing the name, or deleting the file on your computer can cause some issues on Drive.
If the file is in a new place on your computer or was renamed:
- Select the Drive icon on your computer.
- Choose the "Local Google Drive folder is missing" option.
- Locate the folder via the search tool.
- Select the folder. Everything should be fixed.
If you deleted your Google Drive folder:
- Select the Drive icon on your computer.
- Choose the "Local Google Drive folder is missing" option.
- Click Disconnect account.
- Sign in and choose a new Drive folder to use.
Despite not having the brand name visibility amongst the average consumer like Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox has, SugarSync is a very viable and solid option for users who want a rich feature set to store their data in the cloud. One feature of SugarSync that eludes the majority of its competitors is the rate of syncing that occurs automatically amongst the files you are currently sharing. With "sync" in the name it makes sense that this would be a strong asset to the platform, but the results really do work out quite well?instead of manually syncing your files to have them updated when sharing, or scheduling a sync at some arbitrary time throughout the week, SugarSync automatically tracks and updates files immediately after you make a change to them.
For small companies who are juggling multiple time-sensitive projects, this is a huge benefit as it avoids any accidents where a team member forgot to sync an update they just made. Furthermore, since syncing is done in real-time, it's just another benefit for users who experience a crash or similar detriments when working on a file.
As with all cloud applications however, SugarSync does have problems. The lack of QuickBooks support makes it a no-go for financial users, minor syncing issues are present, and storage space "bang-for-the-buck" is less than its competitors.
The majority of complaints from SugarSync users cannot be fixed at the time of this report's publishing, as they are largely just a byproduct of the feature set provided by SugarSync. Quickbooks, a popular business accounting software that many businesses use, is unable to be supported or synced with other users. As we mentioned before, this makes it a tough sell for financial users.
Another common complaint is storage space pricing. While SugarSync does have a 30-day free trial available as of this posting, as well as a five-gigabyte free plan buried at the bottom of their sign-up page, pricing is higher than other cloud services (iCloud notwithstanding). Furthermore, iTunes files are notoriously dodgy as SugarSync encounters issues with sharing between different devices
However, it should be noted that these issues are minor in comparison to those experienced by users of competitive offerings. FixYa users seem to be more positive overall about SugarSync as a cloud service than its counterparts.
Companies are pushing cloud storage hard nowadays in an effort to give consumers the bene?ts of extra storage space for applications, games, movies, and other downloaded materials, as well as allowing consumers the ability to seamlessly transfer the above-mentioned resources to their various devices.
It should come as no surprise then that Apple's consumers, who generally own more than one device made by the company, are heavy users of iCloud as it allows them to transition from one device to another without a hitch.
Unfortunately, users are experiencing issues with the iCloud on the new OS X Mountain Lion when they try to do a multitude of things. Whether it be signing up for the service, syncing the "Notes" application between devices, or backing up ?les and other applications, iCloud on the new Mountain Lion is not perfect by any means.
Your ?rst step will be to sign up for iCloud and ensure that all of your devices can be synched.
In order to enable iCloud on your computer, do the following:
- Click "System Preferences", click on "iCloud", and go to "Mail"
- Once in "Mail" set up an @me.com email address (this is email hosted by Apple)
- Click the check mark next to all of the applications and services you would like to use with iCloud
To enable iCloud on your iPhone or iPad, do the following:
- Click on "Settings", click "General", and then click "Software Update" to ensure you are running iOS 5
- While still in "Settings" and select iCloud
- Go to "Mail" and enter in the @me.com email address you set up on your computer
- Select all the applications and services you would like to use with iCloud
As we've mentioned, some users are experiencing trouble ?nding the "Notes" application between their two devices.
Our ?rst recommendation would be to use Evernote, a note taking application that does everything Apple?s "Notes" app does but better. If you're beholden to Apple however, and don't think Evernote is for you; here is how you work out the kinks to enable "Notes" on all devices.
If using an Apple iDevice:
- Write a note in the "Notes" application either on your phone, iPad, or computer
- From your computer or iDevice, open up the "Mail" application
- Underneath all of the email functions (Inbox, Sent, Drafts, etc.) there will be a folder called "Notes"
- Open that folder and start utilizing the "Notes" app today
If using an Android or other smartphone mobile device AND using Gmail as your email service provider:
- Open the "Gmail" mail application from your mobile device
- Enable the "Notes" function you see alongside "Calendar" and "Mail"
For a company founded back in 2005 that received funding from Dallas Mavericks owner and serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban in its early stages, Box got off to a great start in the cloud storage sphere. Numerous accolades followed, with the two founders receiving Business Week's "Best Entrepreneurs 25 and Under" award in 2009 and picking up awards in Silicon Valley as well.
Where Box differs from the majority of its cloud storage competitors is how it applies the concept of sharing files online. While the majority of the other cloud storage companies are pretty cut and dry (edit file, sync with other devices), Box has a much more collaborative platform that encourages interaction. What this means is that people can add comments about the file that are accessible by anyone with permissions, implement and view tasks set by other users that relate to the file, and invite other users quickly and efficiently.
In essence, Box is much more than just a mere cloud storage service. It's a project management tool that allows users to go through every step of the process and collaborate in a way that's lacking in the vast majority of other services, although it should be mentioned that Google Drive is pushing hard in that direction as well.
It's not perfect, however. While security issues do not appear to be a problem for large-scale business accounts, FixYa users have reported concerns with security for their free personal accounts. Furthermore, uploading files can sometimes be an issue for users, as well as laggy response times when using the web-based applications.
None are deal breakers however
If you are unable to upload a file to Box, complete the following steps:
- Restart your computer and clear your browser' s cache
- Do not use the bulk upload option as it is much more prone to fail. Upload single files one at a time.
- Go into account settings. Disable using flash for uploads and ensure you are uploading files with the "compatibility" setting instead of "normal" setting.
- Upgrade your Java and Flash software.
- Upgrade your web browser. Box works best with the newest versions of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer
- Disable any browser plugins you may have running in the background. If this fails, uninstall those plugins.