How to get 7GB of online storage for free
There was a time -- and perhaps this dates me a bit -- when I backed up my PCs on a tape drive. These days, we have a number of effective backup solutions, including external hard drives and online storage. In fact, it's a good idea to use multiple backup strategies simultaneously -- backing up to a local drive and the cloud ensures you have ready access to files if you suffer a hardware failure, but you can still get to your cloud copy if there's a fire or theft.
I recently looked at one of the newest players in the cloud space. And while they're aiming for the consumer market, their service works well for small business as well.
Mimedia is an online storage service that offers 7GB of storage for free, for life. That sounds great, and indeed, Mimedia likes to compare that number to the more modest 2GB you get from Dropbox. On the surface, that sounds great, but remember that Dropbox is primarily a file-sharing service, so you use it like an online hard drive to store files you want to get to from another PC or to share with friends and co-workers. Mimedia is primarily a backup service, where 7GB will hardly make a dent. To really use the service as designed, you'll need to step up to their premium plan, which delivers 250GB for $99 per year.
That said, Mimedia has a compelling feature that no one else offers: A free shuttle drive that you can use to back up your files. When I signed up with Carbonite several years ago, it took months for the service to upload the 500GB of data from my PC to the cloud -- months during which I was exposed with no online backup. If you request it, Mimedia will mail you a hard drive to copy your files. Mail it back, and they'll have a backup of your files right away.
You can download files from the Web and share them with friends or co-workers, but when it comes to using Mimedia as a file sharing service, Mimedia is not nearly as flexible or robust as, say, Dropbox.
Mimedia is an interesting backup offering. It's not perfect -- the initial 7GB of storage sounds great but won't get you very far in practice. And the premium plan buys you 250GB, which might not be enough if you have large media files. On the other hand, you can backup up multiple PCs with a single plan, up to the limit of the 250GB.
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