So, how can you take your data on the road, and ensure access when you need it? Put your data on a Web-based storage site, or Web drive, and you can access it from any computer with an Internet connection. Better yet, the service is free.
The choice of Web drives is broad and getting broader; at last count at least 20 free file-storage sites existed, most offering a storage capacity of about 25MB per account. Seeking to differentiate themselves, these sites have added an array of features to make Web access to your data more convenient than your PC's hard drive. Some offer full "mobile office" functionality, providing not only on-line storage but e-mail, address books, calendars, and more. Two sites still in beta at time of writing, MyWebOS.com and NuoMedia, go so far as to offer online productivity applications.
But when it comes to plain old file storage, the baseline is pretty much covered by two similarly named sites: i-drive and X:drive. While the two sites offer some extra frills, their focus is providing you with free, reliable access to your personal 25MB on the Web. We took the services for a test run and found them a useful way to move and share files, and to access data while on the road.
Why wouldn't you want to store data on the Web? The reasons are few. Though you should always be wary about storing sensitive files online, even on secure sites, both i-drive and X:drive are Trust-e licensees and have detailed privacy policies; they won't sell your information or allow access to your data if you haven't authorised it. Overall, there's little to fear - and much to gain - from using these handy free Web drives.
X or i?