The cloud is a safe and secure place to store personal and business files, whether for collaboration or sharing. To manage cloud storage, you will need to sign up with one of the numerous cloud service providers. Apart from the big names like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and IBM, other cloud providers exist. Some of these cloud service providers give access to more free storage space than the big names. For example, Amazon gives 5gb, Microsoft 10gb, and Google 15gb but Blomp beta offers 20gb free storage space.
In this article, we will introduce nine (9) cloud storage providers and how to manage cloud storage in the platforms. In our previous article, we listed 21 cloud storage service providers; you can make your choice from the list.
Cloud storage management
Cloud storage management is the process of ensuring that data stored in the cloud are accessed by privileged users. As a cloud storage manager, you have to ensure that users have the right privileges on data. These privileges include the right to view or view and edit shared data.
There are different levels of cloud storage management. Some require advanced technical knowledge, but our emphasis is on free cloud storage solutions. All you need is knowledge of how to create, store, access, and share your data. Almost all free cloud storage solutions have similar functionality with a few differences. To acquire more knowledge on how to manage cloud storage, enroll in our OneDrive cloud storage tutorial.
You can manage cloud storage in two ways, by using:
- Each cloud storage platform. Here you will manage each of your cloud storage account using the named cloud storage platform, e.g. OneDrive.
- Central cloud storage management server. This enables you to manage multiple cloud accounts in one location.
We will explore how to manage cloud storage using single platforms. In our later article, we will discuss how to manage cloud storage using a cloud management server.
Manage Cloud Storage per Account
In our previous article, we looked at three (3) cloud storage platforms that automatically sync with your device. However, the platforms discussed below have an app that syncs your files with your device. We shall discuss the following free cloud platforms: Jumpshare, Sync, pCloud, Smaccloud, 4shared, Blomp, Yandex Disk, Degoo, and Box.
Jumpshare is an interesting platform you can use to manage cloud storage. It integrates file sharing, screen recording, and screen capture to its services. To help sync your files, they have software for Windows and Mac operating systems. Also, available is an app for your IOS devices (app for android devices is not available presently).
Using Jumpshare to manage your cloud storage is very simple.
- Sign up and get 2gb free cloud storage, by filling a simple form.
- Verify your email, and download desktop software to sync your files, depending on your Operating System.
- To use the web application, log in to the jump share platform. On the left pane, select Upload to upload your files.
- After uploading, Jumpshare will create a new folder using the number of files you uploaded. Locate the folder by selecting My Uploads, and rename it.
- You can add more files to the folder, or upload new files using the Upload button to create another folder.
- You can share the entire folder or each file in the folder. To share a file or folder:
- Point at a file or folder and select the Setting icon. From the dropdown menu select Share.
- On the share files/ folder dialog box, enter the email address of the people you want to share with.
- Click Send.
- Notice also that you can do other things from the setting dropdown menu, such as delete, download, etc.
Jumpshare is one cloud platform that combines cloud storage with screenshot capture and video recording.
Manage Cloud storage with Sync
Sync is a secure platform you can use to manage your files on the cloud. It provisions free 5gb storage to new users. This storage space can be extended to 25gb using a referral link. Each time someone clicks on your referral link to sign up you get 1gb additional space. Also, if you complete 5 items in the Get started bonus, you will receive 1gb making it a total of 6gb.
If you have used Dropbox before, using Sync wouldn’t be a problem. Just like Dropbox, Sync gives you access to sync your files using desktop and mobile apps. With Sync, you can recover deleted files. To manage cloud storage using sync, sign up first.
- Fill the simple form and click Sign up free. Then go to your registered mail and verify your email.
- After verifying your email, log in to the Sync web platform. You can download the desktop and mobile apps if you wish.
- To upload files and folder: on the right pane of the platform, select Upload. The upload dialog box will appear, select files/folders and wait for the upload to complete. Select Close to return to the platform.
- You may decide to create a folder and place your files in the folder. On the right pane select the New folder. Type a name for the folder and press Enter.
- Create a shared folder by selecting New shared folder on the right pane.
- On the dialog box that appears: enter folder-name, each user email, and click the plus (+) sign, display name. Click the Create Share button.
- To copy/ move files to another folder:
- Select the files/folders you want to copy/move
- Select Copy/Move on the right pane
- On the Copy/Move dialog box, select where to move the files/ folders.
- You can choose Sync Folder or Vault. Vault is a kind of archive folder. Files stored here cannot sync to other devices.
- Click the Copy/ Move button when done.
- To create a secure link:
- Point to the file and click on the Share button, and select Share as link.
- From the dialog box that appears, fill the email box and click on Send email.
- If you delete a file, you can simply recover it by clicking on Show deleted files on the right pane. Then select the files and click on Restore.
- You can perform other tasks such as add users, preview, download files, etc. If have questions, please, send in a comment below.
With Sync, you can safeguard your confidential files and make them 100% private.
Manage Cloud storage with pCloud
Pcloud is another useful platform you can use to manage cloud storage. It gives you free 5gb storage when you signup, and another 5gb when you complete some tasks. You get 1gb each when you upload a file, download and install pCloud apps, turn-on automatic upload, and invite friends. This means you have 10gb free cloud storage with ease when you sign up for pCloud.
You can also increase your quota to 25gb when you invite at least 10 people. This means you get 1gb for each successful invite. Inviting friends can also allow you to own free 500gb lifetime storage. To qualify for this, sign up here.
If you are a business owner, pCloud gives you the leverage to manage cloud storage for your business. You will have a whooping 30days free trial during which you will be acquainted with the platform. You can store files, pictures, music, and video files in your pCloud storage with maximum security. It also allows you to backup your files from other cloud storage platforms. Compatible platforms are Onedrive, Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
Another feature pCloud has over other cloud storage platforms is its seamless audio playback. With pCloud, you can upload your audio files, create a playlist, and play your songs directly from the platform. Use the Audio link to manage audio files as shown below.
To manage cloud storage with pCloud, do the following:
- Sign up and sign in to your pCloud platform, the window opens.
- Use the links on the left pane of the window to manage cloud storage in pcloud as shown above.
- Click the Files link to reveal its submenu.
- You will manage all your files and folders from the Files window. Use the above links to manage your files and folders.
- Point at a file or folder to reveal the ellipses (…). Click the 3 dots to display the dropdown menu. From this menu, you can archive, copy, move, rename, etc a file or folder.
- Select a file/folder to reveal some menu buttons next to the name of the file/ folder. You can click any of the buttons to share, delete, copy, etc the file/folder.
- Select Backup to display backup window.
- In the window, choose which cloud platform you want to backup and click Start.
- A window appears requesting for you to sign in to the given cloud platform or link to it. When completed, click on the Set Backup button in the dialog box that appears.
- The backup runs until it is completed.
- Other commands such as share, download, etc work in the same way as have discussed previously.
Manage Cloud storage with Smaccloud
Smaccloud is another free cloud storage provider. It gives you access to 10gb free data storage when you signup. By using Smaccloud you get all the benefits of cloud computing in one platform.
The following features of Smaccloud distinguish it from other free cloud storage platforms.
- You can configure scheduling and trigger conditions for events
- You can customize your theme, font, and color to brand your corporate identity.
- File security is assured. Files are encrypted before uploads to the cloud using AES 256-bit encryption. Also, file sharing uses SSL/TLS encryption protocols.
- It provides a user management system, where you can add, edit, and delete users.
With the above benefits, managing files in Smaccloud is the same as other platforms except for a few exceptions. After you have signed up for Smaccloud storage, log in to access the dashboard.
In the left pane of the dashboard, you will see Channels and Users. Use the channels window to manage channels, and Users window to manage users.
- Create users by navigating to the Users window and clicking on Create User. See the video below.
- Create a channel by navigating to the Channels window and clicking on Create Channel. Fill the form and select an image for the channel icon. Click next to select users that will have access to the channel. See the video below.
- After creating users and channels, go to the Channels page and select a channel of your choice.
- Within the selected channel, you can create a folder or upload files, as shown in the image above.
- You can also share the files and folders you created within a channel.
- To share a folder, click on the vertical ellipse next to the folder and select Copy Link. Whoever receives the link will be able to download the contents of the folder.
- To share a file, click on the vertical ellipse next to the file and select Copy Link or Share Link. Whoever receives the link will be able to view or download the content of the file.
Smaccloud has great security features that ensure that your files are safe during uploads and sharing.
4shared is a simple cloud storage platform where you can store and share your documents, images, music, and video files. You do not need to do anything as required by some platforms to get your free storage. As soon as you sign up for a free account, 4shared gives you 15gb free storage space.
With 4shared, you can manage cloud storage with ease using its mobile apps for Android, Blackberry, IOS, and Symbian. It also has a music app for android phones. With this app, you can play music files uploaded to your 4shared account without a third-party app. This means that you can upload as many songs as you want without using up your device’s storage.
Managing files in the 4shared dashboard is the same as other platforms. Log in to your 4shared account and use the icons to perform the necessary operations on your files. Just follow the same procedure as has been described above to upload, download, share, copy, etc. With 4shared you can download your files and folders as a zip file.
Manage cloud storage with Blomp beta
What does Blomp have that is different from other free cloud storage platforms? With Blomp beta cloud storage:
- You will get 20gb free cloud storage as soon as you sign up and verify your email.
- You will have access to Blomp beta software to sync your files on Windows, Mac, and Linux Pcs.
- You have access to the z: drive software for Windows Pc. Use the Z: drive to save/ backup your files so that you can have access to them from any device.
- Store any kind of file including video, images, music, etc, and have access to them using a 3rd party software.
- Increase your storage capacity to up to 200gb for free by inviting a friend. You will get free 20gb for each invited friend who signs up and verifies his/ her account.
Managing your files in the Blomb beta cloud platform is as simple as using the OneDrive storage platform.
- Log in to the Blomp Beta platform
- On the left pane of the dashboard, select the My Files link.
- On the My Files page, use the Create Folder, and Upload Files buttons to manage your files.
- Click on an uploaded file to download it or use the download button. Right-click on a file to rename, copy or cut the file.
- Right-click a folder to rename, copy, or cut the folder. Use the paste to paste a file in the folder, and properties to view the folder properties.
- Blomp secures your files and makes you an independent user.
With Blomp beta, your files are safely kept for your use at all times. Blomp free does not permit collaboration, hence, use it for files only you can access.
Yandex Disk is a modern cloud storage platform that has the same features as OneDrive and Google Drive. With one account you have access to firstname.lastname@example.org, video meeting, and 10gb free storage space. With the Yandex disk platform, you can share your files, and edit them on the cloud using MS Office online apps. Getting started with Yandex Disk is easy:
- Sign up for a free account by visiting Yandex Disk. Note: you need a valid phone number.
- On the dashboard, navigate to the links on the left pane to access your files, photos, etc. Just like the OneDrive platform.
- Use the Telemost link to start or access video meetings. Use the Mail link to access Yandex mail. Use Notes to create notes.
- To create a file or folder, use the Create button. On the create flyout, select Folder to create a folder. Select any of Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation, and Album to create a file.
- After you have created files and folders or uploaded files, you can perform different operations on your files. You can rename, share, etc. Use the knowledge of OneDrive to manage your files and folders in Yandex disk.
Yandex Disk provides an alternative platform to OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox. If you want to switch from any of the above platforms, Yandex is the best alternative that provides similar features.
- Degoo is a cloud storage platform that gives you 100gb free storage space as soon as you sign up.
- It also promises an additional 500gb free space if you invite a friend or watch ads. For each friend invited, you receive 5gb space; you can invite up to 100 friends. For each ad watched you receive 750mb, but ads must be watched on an android device.
- You are permitted to upload files from only three (3) specified devices. But you can view and download files from any device.
- As soon as you sign up, you can start uploading and sharing files and folders. It is that simple with the degoo platform.
- Use File Explorer to view and manage files and folders. Files are grouped into a gallery for images, music for audio files, and documents.
- To perform operations on a file, point at the file and select the horizontal ellipses. From the drop-down menu, you can rename, share, etc.
- Degoo gives you the largest file storage that no other platform offers.
Degoo is the only cloud storage that gives users 100gb free storage on sign up. Though much is not known about the security of your files, it’s worth a try, especially for non-sensitive files.
Box is a seamless collaboration platform that integrates with different third-party apps. It enables you to upload and back up files from different applications and share them accordingly. Up to 1500 apps integrate with a box including Salesforce, Slack, Adobe, Office 365, GSuite, WordPress, etc.
To start using Box for free,
- Visit https://www.box.com/pricing/individualy and select Individual Plans.
- Under the Individual plan, select Sign up, for a free account. You will receive free 10gb to manage cloud storage.
- Log in to the box cloud platform and start collaborating with your colleagues.
- On the dashboard, use the links on the left pane to navigate different pages. E.g. recent, sync, etc. To sync your files, download the appropriate app for your device on the sync page.
- Use the Upload button to upload files and folder, and the New button to create a new file.
- Select your image icon. From the drop-down menu, select Account Settings. On the account settings page, select each tab, and set your preference.
- For example, on the Sharing page, select how people will collaborate with you. Would you allow the sharing of files and folders or restrict sharing?
- Perform file operations as you would do on other platforms. Integration is one file/folder operation that enables you to send a file/folder using Gmail or Chatter.
Box is a cloud storage platform you would always love to use. It is simple to use and collaborate with others and has great app integration features.
What size was your first flash drive? What is the size of your most-used external storage device? How portable and safe are they? When I first started using the computer and the internet in the early 2000s, we knew nothing about cloud storage. At that time, people were not familiar with cloud storage technology, let alone how to manage cloud storage. Also, the use of the internet was not rampant, especially, in the 3rd world countries. So, we mostly use the internet to check and send emails.
In my later years in university, I started using the internet for research purposes. Econometrics and Operations Research were my best courses, and I love research and data analysis. During this period, we had low internet speed which is about 56kbps dial-up modem. Hence, we could not do much as we can boast of today. Also, during these periods, we predominantly used 3½ floppy- disk, later we had 64MB, 128MB, … flash drive for storage.
Today, we have a flash drive of up to 256GB, and cloud storage is here. You can get more space in the cloud and avoid carrying storage devices around. The solution is to sign up with one or more of the above free cloud storage platforms. Which among them do you find more excited? Which would you easily use to replace your GDrive? Next week we will look at how to manage cloud storage with a central server. Before then, let’s hear what you think below.