“Everything’s online these days” is a common refrain and becoming more relevant to our lives. Most major tech companies provide some kind of free ‘cloud storage’ (Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, Box) and even note-taking services like Evernote and OneNote need to store those notes somewhere. This is also a clever way of keeping customers tied to one service/manufacturer by tightly integrating our files and online lives into our phones therefore encouraging people to stay loyal to particular brands. cloudHQ is a company that wants to turn this into a strength rather than an awkward disadvantage by effectively linking these various online facilities.
cloudHQ is a service that continuously synchronizes and replicates data between multiple cloud services and cloud accounts. They can transfer files between Google drive, Dropbox, Microsofts OneDrive, Box and other services directly online so they are not moved via your own hard drive (or indeed internet connection). You can set up one-way sync which effectively means that you have one ‘main’ storage service and a back-up service which maintains a copy of everything in your primary storage and updates files as and when they are changed. It can be a particular folder or folders that are synced or it can be the entire account. You can also make this synchronization two-way so that any changes you make in any of your online storage is reflected in all other systems.
I stumbled across cloudHQ recently when I took the plunge and bought a Chromebook. Chromebooks have very small storage (16bg in my case) so rely on Google’s apps and services for all productivity and, more importantly, storage. This meant I was faced with a question I’ve avoided for quite a while – will I be able to move away from Dropbox? This is my favourite cloud based storage but looking at things subjectively it is also my smallest. I have 6.8gb of free storage with Dropbox but over the years I’ve also accumulated 38gb on my Microsoft OneDrive, 50gb in my Box account and 125 on Google Drive. I have tried to manage this storage effectively and failed miserably. In the end what I have done is kept the core data I seem to refer to and use regularly (about 4 gb worth of documents / program files / music) in Dropbox and then use whichever native storage on the device I am using at the time for anything more esoteric. This has meant I have a lot of data up there but in a bit of an unmanageable way. Now via an easy to use Chrome extension I’ve used cloudHQ to move my ‘core’ data to Box and to Google Drive as back-ups with an ongoing sync between Google Drive and Dropbox so I can modify and add documents to either and the changes will be available across both. I am also strongly considering using the service to link all my drives permanently.
Obviously this is best suited to businesses who want to maintain an easy backup of their primary storage and groups of collaborators (be they businesses, students or simply like-minded individuals) so they can be sure that all documents are updated and current. They also have a personal plan more suited to individual usage for those of you who move around a lot of data or change devices a lot and there is a free trial to see if you like the service. You can find out more here and a link to the Chrome extension here.
Have you moved into the cloud yet? Will this service be of use and is it worth paying for? Are you sticking to your hard drive no matter what? Let us know in the comments section below.