file storage

JustCloud – Really, Just a Cloud

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If your first impression from the service is that it is exceptionally unpleasant and user unfriendly, you are in the exact place where we are. And it doesn’t get any better when you familiarize with the system.

Probably the most irritating part is that the mailing system of JustCloud sends you an email literally upon every move you make within the platform. Also, since it does not actually provide a free version (but if you trick it, it does!), it constantly reminds you that you need to upgrade to a paid plan by pop-ups and adds on the web application and on your task bar if you install the application. It says it only gives you a 14-day trial version. However, truth is that even when this period expires, there is no problem to use the service, although it becomes even more annoying. If you stop using the web or desktop application, you will continue getting emails begging you to come back.

Upon registration the system gives you various discounts, usually about 20% off of your plan price. Actually, the longer you wait during your free trial, the bigger the discount offered to sign up for paid account.

After you register an account on the JustCloud website, the desktop application automatically starts downloading on your device. It performs backup of your files to cloud.

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You can assign scheduled and automated backups and not bother manually performing them later. The platform provides a Drag & Drop functionality, which makes it easy for you to place the files you need to backup in the specific folder of the cloud system. You can also set parameters for the amount of system resources to use and specify not performing backups unless your computer is idle.

The file sharing system is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. It offers applications for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry. With the online cloud storage system you can share files with friends and other users. You can invite them by email, Facebook, Twitter or provide them with a custom link.

Using the Control Panel functionality you can easily trace the transition of your files to and from the platform, the space you are using, the space remaining, the time remaining for your payment plan, and many others. The control panel allows you to access all of your backed up and synced files from any device with an internet connection, anywhere.

However, here is one serious breakdown. If you decide to upload your files and (since in this blog we particularly talk about photos) large collections of images, you can only upload them on a one-by-one basis! How is that possible?! Also, once uploaded, the platform structure is not quite clear and you may have difficulties finding and sorting your files. Here is a web view of the options the platform provides.

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JustCloud offers 24/7 Technical Support and online help, which could be quite necessary because the service is not too user friendly and intuitive, as you notice.

Shortly, for personal use, JustCloud works fine for backing up and syncing files now and then. However, for professional use, we would recommend other data backup services.

Infinite Storage for your Photos in Bitcasa’s Infinite Drive

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Bitcasa is one of our favorite cloud storage platforms on the market. What we most like about it is its so called Infinite Drive. Unlike others, it does not simply create a folder on your computer system, but it establishes an external drive for your multiple files and folders. The only difference from your internal drives is that the Bitcasa virtual drive does not take space on your computer. As they call it, this is your external hard drive in the cloud. This file storage system allows you to drag and drop files and folders just like any external hard drive. The documents you’ve placed on this virtual drive won’t take space on your computer and will be accessible from any other devices you use. This is especially helpful when you store media, such as photos. You can easily back them up from your mobile, directly in the cloud. You can also simply drag and drop them in your desktop drive and have no worries about their safety.

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When installed, the Bitcasa application appears as an icon in your tray bar, and also, as an external drive on your system. This way you can easily reach it and use it.

Also, the price/quota ratio of Bitcasa is very good. You can get up to 20 GB for free and up to unlimited storage space for just 99$ per month. Even in its free version, you can store a large collection of photos. There are no limits to the file size when you upload your images. 

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You can choose between using Bitcasa on your computer, on your mobile device or on the web. Or on all of them! The platform gives you the opportunity to share files and folders instantly with other users. One way of doing it is by right-clicking on a file, located in your Bitcasa virtual drive. The Send this to a friend option appears. When you click on it you can easily generate a link to share with other users. Alternatively, you can select the Send option on the website after you have marked the file(s) you plan to send. A link is automatically generated and you can send it via email or share it on Facebook, Twitter or an instant messenger.

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The Bitcasa platform provides secure cloud storage by ensuring end-to-end encryption for your files. This way you are the only one who can see your files. You can safely backup all your media and access it via Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as any mobile device. You can access your files even offline.

Shortly, what is most specific about Bitcasa is that it helps you save valuable space on your non-virtual drives. The cloud storage system automatically backups your files even on mobile. You just need to download and install the Bitcasa application for iPad, iPhone or Android.

Your Photos are Secure in Cubby

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Cubby is all about simplicity and security. It is mostly a professional use cloud storage platform that gives you 5GB free storage space and up to 25 GB through Cubby’s referral schemes. The paid plans are concentrated around business collaboration and offer up to 1 TB of data storage space per five users. Our guess is it will probably suit fine for teams of professional photographers, working on common projects.

Cubby allows teams to easily and securely work together via one common file storage and sharing system. Since the platform is supported on various devices, such as mobiles and desktop ones, your photos are directly synced on any devices you use.

If safety is your biggest concern when storing your photos in the cloud, Cubby guarantees that it protects your information so your data stays secure. No third party will ever view your photos, except if you share them. Cubby protects your data with AES 256-bit client-side encryption. Activity monitoring is also available, but only for paid plans.

When you install the desktop application, you simply turn your folders into cubbies and they automatically and securely sync with your web application. You can sync multiple computers and devices all at once. You can share documents with anyone, without letting them make changes to your cubbies. When you upload your photos to your cubbies, you can collaborate on privately shared cubbies in order to work on the same set of files and access unlimited versions in the archives.

If you choose to install the Cubby desktop application, it will create one large folder for you, called My Cubby, where you can store your digital data securely. It will be automatically synced to the cloud. Through the desktop app you can create other cubbies or turn a folder on your system into a cubby.

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The desktop app offers a number of options, such as Sync, Share or generate a Link. Also, the On button enables linking and online access from cubby.com and mobile apps. You also have the opportunity to remove folders from being cubbies using the X button, thus cleaning space on your file storage platform. This way the folder will be no longer synced or shared through the desktop application.

The web view is also very simplified. It only gives you the folders (cubbies) you have created on your desktop app. Also, if you create a cubby on the web, it will appear on your app.

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To upload your photos to the cloud, you have two options – though the web or through a mobile or desktop application. To upload through the web, open the destination folder and click on the upload button at the top of the folders.

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You can drag and drop your files or you can click on the Choose Files or Choose Folders button to upload your photos.

To upload photos through your desktop device, simply drag and drop your files to the desired cubby folder and they are automatically synced with the web.

When your files are already uploaded to the web platform, you can easily share them with other collaborators if you click on the three line button at the rightmost of your files. Choose the Link option and the platform will generate a link that you can provide to your collaborates.

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To share an entire folder, open the main folder view and choose the Share now option to the right of your folder name. When you do so, you will be asked for your recipient’s email address. When you perform this your colleague will receive an email invitation to join Cubby and receive your share.

As we previously mentioned, in Cubby your photos are really safe, because client-side encryption is available for all users, regardless of whether they use a paid or a free plan. However, one more security step – the Cubby Locks – user-held encryption keys, is available only for paying users.

Your Photos Feel Comfortable in Firedrive

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Firedrive – definitely a nice place for photo lovers, even for professional photographers. The online cloud storage platform gives you 20 GB of free space. That’s as a starter. Unfortunately there is no referral scheme through which you can get some additional megabytes, but let’s face it, compared to others, the quota is quite generous. Of course, you can always upgrade to a Pro plan, which can offer you up to unlimited space. Fortunately, for those who are unwilling to pay for cloud storage, even the free version provides all the basic functionalities.

If you plan to backup to the cloud the photos that you make using your mobile, Firedrive fails in this respect. It does not have a dedicated mobile application, nor a desktop app. However, there is a browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome that lets users upload other files found online directly into Firedrive without having to first download and then re-upload the file. This is a wonderful feature for photos found online, isn’t it? The only way to upload your mobile photos, however, is using the Firedrive mobile-optimized website through your phone or tablet. Unfortunately, the mobile version of the website does not support all of the available options.

If you prefer to use the web version through your computer, you will definitely be pleased. It offers a very simplified and easy to use view.

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On the web you are first presented with a set of pre-created folders for your Images, Videos, Audios, Documents and Shared files. However, you can optimize your workspace the way you like it by creating new folders. You can use Firedrive to store multiple photos, even professional-quality ones, by uploading them using the arrow icon to the top right of the screen. The upload file-size limit is 1 GB, so there must be no problem uploading processed high-quality photos. The data storage platform is suitable even for professional photographers.

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When you upload your photos to the web, you are automatically provided with the option to share them or copy a link to your files, which you can provide to your friends and colleagues for direct download.

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If you click on the Share option, next to your uploaded files, you are given a list of sharing options. The list is larger than you would expect. You can share your photos through almost any platform on the internet. You can also perform a sharing through an email. Simply enter your recipient’s email address in the sharing field and you are good to go.

You can protect your photos by setting if they will be private or public. If you choose to make them private, they will only be available for you, not for sharing with other users. You can also set a password for a folder or file, this way making sure no one will have access to your information.

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Firedrive provides a wonderful photo preview, using which you can view your photos in real size, by simply clicking on them.

To examine the additional options available for your images, right-click on an image and a drop-down menu will appear.

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The Settings menu basically controls your privacy settings. It provides very helpful data security features.

There are also many other benefits of Firedrive, which provide additional flexibility to the file storage platform. For example, you can make an unlimited number of groups to easily share files with other Firedrive members. You can also upload multiple files at once through a web browser. One of the best things for media storage is that you can view over 150 file formats without downloading them. This is also great for storing videos.

Transfer your Photos through Various Clouds

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If you are not certain about the security of your photos in your current cloud storage provider or on the social networks, this is probably one of the best services for you. Cloudsfer is not a cloud storage space, it is a cloud storage migration platform. Using it, you can transfer your data from one cloud to another or from a social network to a cloud, without the need to copy your photos or other files manually.

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The platform is free and when you sign up you are provided with the opportunity to select a migration plan. To start, simply click on a cloud storage or a social platform you would like to transfer your files from. For this article, we chose to migrate our files from Dropbox. However, you can also move them from OneDrive, Instagram, Facebook, Box, Google Drive and Copy. Once you select the service provider you would like to transfer your files from, you are asked for permission to access your files and folders.

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When the transfer is already configured, you are asked to submit the Migration Plan via Cloudsfer.

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Afterwards, Cloudsfer asks you to specify the online storage platform you plan to save your files to. If you have chosen to move your files from Dropbox, you can choose as a destination OneDrive, Box, Google Drive and Copy.

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In our example we chose Box as a destination file storage platform for migrating our photos. At this point Clousfer asks you to allow access to your Box space.

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When you provide access, you are presented with a summary of your Migration Plan. You can Save it, Schedule it and Edit it. When you save your migration you are sent to the final screen of the process, when you can choose to Execute your plan or Delete it.

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You can perform such plans multiple times combining various social platforms and clouds.

MediaFire for Professional Photographers and Amateur Photo-takers

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Being a wonderful cloud storage platform, especially for storing media, MediaFire initially gives you 12 GB of free storage space, but they offer a nice referral scheme, through which you can get up to 50 GB. This is wonderful news for those who store large collections of photos. The 200 Megabyte per file limit is, however, unpleasant, but it is sufficient for most of the photos you make. The MediaFire Pro and Business accounts, on the other hand, do not impose such limitations, and if you are a pro, you may consider choosing one of those two options for a very reasonable price.

The web interface is very user friendly and offers preliminarily created folders, one of which is dedicated to your photos.

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You can easily upload your photos to the web photos folder. Actually, the online storage system gives you picture samples, already stored in your folder, in order to introduce you to the photo options available.

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To benefit from the various options available, you have a number of choices. You can either mark your photo(s) by putting a check mark to the left of it(them), and an options bar will appear in orange in the upper part of the screen. There are options, such as Share, Download, View, Move, Copy and Move to Trash. Also, when you right click on a file, you also get a list of the available options. To open a photo, left click on it and the platform will open a preview screen.

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The photo preview that MediaFire provides offers a number of additional options. You can share a photo directly through the preview screen. Also, you can see your photos in different sizes and even rotate them.

To upload your photos to the web, click on the Upload button at the top of the web interface. It gives you two upload options – from your computer and from the web. Also, you can simply click the U button on your keyboard to upload files to the file storage platform.

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Using the latter, you can directly download a file from the web by providing its address.

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And lastly, let’s discuss the sharing options, since you will probably want to share your favorite photos with your friends and colleagues. To do so, open the folder where your photos are stored, mark them and choose the Share option at the top, or right click on a photo and choose Share from the drop-down menu.

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The online storage platform will generate a link which you can copy and paste through email or messenger to your collaborates. Also, you can use a social platform to share your file.

OneDrive as a Secure Space for Your Photos

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Microsoft’s OneDrive – what a nice place for photo maniacs! Formerly known as SkyDrive, now the online storage and backup service is much more flexible and encompasses multiple features and options, providing syncing and storage apps not only for PCs, but also for Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

The file storage platform has now become much more generous in terms of prices and free space offered, by its 7GB free storage space upon sign up, plus up to 8 GB bonus space, which users can get through its referral scheme.

First of all, to safely store your countless photos to the cloud, simply click the Upload button at the top menu of the web service or place them in the One Drive folder on your computer, created by the desktop application (if installed). Once placed in the OneDrive folder on your computer, you will instantly see your files uploaded to the web. They are now in a safe place where they can be viewed only by users you allow to do so.

Once uploaded to the web, your photos are ready for sharing with your collaborators and friends. Also, OneDrive has widely surpassed its competitors by creating wonderful photo sharing and viewing options. When you open the folder where you have stored your favorite photos, you will get a wonderful pictures preview.

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When you click on a particular file, you get multiple additional features and a lot of information about the file itself.

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You can play a slide show of the pictures in the folder; you can add tags to your pictures; you can tag people in your photos, and you can even embed your photos on your blog or website. To share your favorite photos with other users, click the share option, and you will be sent to a screen, where you need to enter the email addresses of the recipients of the files and add a message, explaining the content you are sending.

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Below the message box you can set recipient rights, such as Edit, View Only or Public. Also, you can set if the user needs to have a Microsoft account or not in order to receive and use your files.

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On this screen, the Invite People tab is open by default. If you click on the Get a Link tab, you will be provided with the following additional options.

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You can share the generated link on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Weibo, or you can simply copy it to the clipboard and send it using an instant messenger.

Generally, OneDrive is a great service when we talk about storing and viewing photos. Ideal for photographers and photo lovers. Especially considering the recently decreased prices, we definitely think this is one of the best cloud services for photo storage on the market.