Monthly Archives: August 2012

Senior Storage Analyst Recommends TappIn in Place of Cloud Storage

eric slack senior storage analystRecently Eric Slack, Senior Analyst for Storage Switzerland LLC., reviewed his experience using TappIn.  Here are the three reasons why he recommends using it.

1. Reduces the Cost of and Need for Cloud Storage

One of Mr. Slack’s favorite aspects of using TappIn’s shared access is that it will save you money on cloud storage and other online storage solutions.

“Re-buying storage capacity in the cloud (and paying for it every month) just so you can get at your content in multiple locations is a waste of money. Similarly, having to remember to upload files that need to be shared, (or will need to be shared) adds another layer of complexity to the workflow process,” Slack argued.

With TappIn, you don’t have to pay for more cloud storage to share more content.

2. Shares Access, Not Content

“While it may seem like a semantics discussion, sharing file access is quite different from physically sharing files and if access is all that’s needed, making copies of content in order to facilitate that access is inefficient,” Slack wrote.

Here Slack points out exactly what makes TappIn different from online storage solutions that are also designed to facilitate shared access. TappIn doesn’t require its users to move, upload, or sync any of the data they want to share, instead it gives its users access to that data wherever it may be stored (whether online or off).

3. Increases IT Control in Corporate Settings

“Besides solving the file access problem for users, TappIn facilitates the use of mobile devices within the existing corporate infrastructure and increases IT’s control over corporate data in the process,” Slack wrote.

One of the biggest issues in the popular Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement that has taken hold in businesses big and small is the concern over the security of sensitive data stored online and that is accessed through personal, non-work-issued devices.

Slack went on to explain, “TappIn doesn’t store files in the cloud, but instead, stores file metadata and device information in order to create a secure pathway between devices and facilitate sharing. Files are encrypted to maintain security in transit and compressed and optimized to improve performance.”

Thank you Eric Slack, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Now we’d love to hear from YOU!  What has your experience been like using TappIn?

The 3 Main Issues to Consider Before Using Cloud Storage

Researchers are predicting that 3% of all digital content will be stored online by 2016 .  The primary selling point of cloud storage seems to be the peace of mind it gives users.  It’s comforting to know that your photos, videos or other important digital files are nearly instantly backed up online and synced to your computer and safe in case of the unlikely event of a computer meltdown. As such, cloud storage has gained popularity vs. the more “mundane” option of external hard drives or network attached storage solutions. In recent years, most cloud storage providers started providing users with the convenience of on-the-go access to their cloud sync folder from multiple mobile devices.

Storing your stuff in the cloud is definitely a good way to go, but like all technology, cloud storage has its limitations. Here are three issues worth thinking about when you look to use online storage as a way to back up your files.

1. Security & Privacy: Not all cloud storage options are created equal

With the recent booms in BYOD and telecommuting in small to midsize businesses, secure online storage and file sharing solutions are in high demand.  With so many people using the internet to communicate and collaborate with coworkers on a daily basis, often needing to share sensitive information and documents, the need to make those interactions secure and protected is paramount.

Before you choose a cloud storage solution – especially one of the free ones being offered out there – take a close look at the terms of service (TOS) agreement. A few of the leading online storage solutions have led to scrutiny by privacy right advocates wondering who effectively owns users' data.

All online storage is vulnerable to security breaches from increasingly more sophisticated hackers.  Even market leader Dropbox experienced a securitybreach generating a discussion about the safety of cloud storage for the most sensitive data.

If you must choose cloud storage solution for your sensitive documents, as a general rule we recommend you steer clear of the free ones. Don’t risk the security of your data in order to save money, doing so may actually end up costing you a lot more down the line.

2. Cost of cloud storage: The more you store, the more you pay

As we’ve pointed out in a previous blog post, cloud storage can be costly. The more information you store in the cloud the more expensive it can get.  So saving all of your information online - especially if you are a digital media buff wanting to back-up lots of photos, graphic files, and videos – cloud storage may not be the best solution for you.

3. Access: If it’s not in your sync folder, you’re out of luck

Perhaps the biggest yet least talked-about limitation of most popular online storage and file sharing solutions like Dropbox or SugarSync is the fact that only the information you remember to sync ahead of time will be readily available for remote access once you’re away from your computer.

So what if you haven’t saved all of the data, video, and files that you need in these online storage solutions and you end up being away from your computer?  How can you remotely access your files then?

Unlike the Cloud and Dropbox and other online storage options, TappIn gives you secure, remote access (instead of storage) to their data no matter where it is saved.  With TappIn, you don’t need to plan ahead what photo or music file you may want to access once you leave the house.  You can access it all anytime, from any mobile device.

However, if you (or your employers) still choose to store stuff in the cloud or in other online storage solutions, TappIn is a great complementary solution.  It is compatible with most popular cloud storage options like Dropbox and SugarSync.  So you can access what’s in multiple clouds, even if you forget to sync.

4 Online Photo Sharing Solutions For Private Picture Sharing

tappin-photo-sharingHave you ever had to wait for a large photo album to load onto your Facebook? Or have you ever tried to email a folder of pictures only to get a maximum-size-limit-reached error message? There are photo sharing websites, but with so many website security breaches lately, how safe can those be?

Photo Sharing Solutions:

1. Photobucket
With 55 million users, Photobucket is one of the most recognizable and most-used photo sharing options on the internet today. Photobucket also gives you sharing and integration options (that other photo sharing services don’t) for pushing your photos and videos onto social media channels like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.

Once you set up a free account, you can begin uploading your photos and videos - accounts are capable of holding thousands of pictures and videos at once (up to 1GB). A download option for a Java-based bulk uploader allows users to upload many pictures at once. However, Photobucket automatically downsizes those pictures to 800 pixels wide.

Photobucket doesn’t have the same capabilities as other online photo sharing solutions, but if you are looking for a really basic and free online photo saving and sharing option with decent privacy settings and that has been integrated with social media networks, then Photobucket is probably your best answer.

2. Flickr
Perhaps the most popular online photo sharing solution, Flickr has been around almost as long as Photobucket, but their qualities and capabilities are a bit different. If you already have a Yahoo account, you can sign into Flickr with your Yahoo I.D. and password and immediately you will be taken to your Flickr account.

Once you sign in to Flickr, you can start uploading pictures and videos to your account from your computer, phone, or other mobile device. Flickr also lets you organize your content with tags and locations as well as notes and comments. While you can share those pictures with Flickr’s online community, you absolutely can also set your account to private.

Flickr’s user friendly design allows people to navigate the site more easily, however, the size limit for a free account is 300MB per month and only 2 video uploads. Though Flickr has a smaller capacity for pictures and video, many users agree that Flickr is the better photo sharing option over Photobucket.

Apps:

3. Instagram
As we pointed out in a previous blog post, this is a really fun and easy-to-use free app. Instagram is a bit different from Photobucket and Flickr in that its primary purpose isn’t photo sharing, but photo editing. However, with a large community of users (like Photobucket and Flickr), Instagram has also become a popular photo sharing solution.

Like Photobucket and Flickr, Instagram allows you to post pictures directly onto your social media channels. However, it’s different from those services in that you can also take pictures using this app. Also, unlike other online photo sharing solutions, Instagram does not have a limit on the number of photos you can upload to it.

It’s also important to remember that Instagram started as a more social way of sharing photos, so if you want to share pictures privately, make sure you are choosing the best privacy settings when setting up your account.

4. TappIn
Unlike any of the above photo sharing options, TappIn grants access instead of providing storage space. With TappIn, all you have to do is give people access to the pictures, videos, and files you want to share with them and then they can use the mobile device of their choice for safe and secure mobile remote access to that shared data.

With TappIn, you don’t have to store any of your photos or information online. Instead, you can save that data directly onto your hard drive and give specific people access to the pictures you specifically would like to share with them.

No uploading, downloading, resizing needed. Your photos are right where you saved them, and, by letting you choose who gets access to them, you retain much more control. Also, with TappIn’s SSL encryption, users can feel at ease knowing that the information they are accessing is encrypted.

And those are our four recommendations for online photo sharing options! What do you think? Do you use any of these? Which one would you recommend?

How to Share Videos Without Uploading Them Online

Many people have been asking how to avoid the hassle of uploading when sharing videos online.  Fortunately, if all you want to do is share a video with a couple of friends or family members, there is no need to waste your time or energy waiting for videos to upload on video sharing services like YouTube or Vimeo.

With TappIn, you don’t have to upload your videos to any platform or service.  You can simply grant the people you want to share your video with instant access to stream the video from their device! This means that instead of streaming it from a third-party server, it streams directly from the host computer . ;)

Here is how it works:

1. First, select the video that you want to share from your TappIn folder.

select the file to share 2. In the dropdown menu of the image, select “Share This File.”

share this file

3.  In the email box, add the e-mails of the people that you want to share the video with.  Then, add a subject in the subject line and a message in the message box (if you decide to), and you’re done!

Now all your recipients have to do to watch your video is click on a link that you sent to their inbox. 

tappin video sharing

They are now able to immediately access and stream it. Yes, it's that easy! Cool, huh? 

successful video sharing

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to find out how long it would have taken me to upload 40 minutes of video from Grandpa’s birthday :)

What are you waiting for? Get started and Try TappIn for FREE today. Special moments likes these should be shared instantly!

4 Mobile Apps that Facilitate Remote Access for Running a Business

Over 30 billion apps have been downloaded in the last year alone. But how many of these apps should businesses seriously use?

The four most important aspects of working remotely or from a mobile device are: secure access, easy communication, efficient expense tracking, and the actual doing of work on your phone or mobile device.

Here are 4 mobile apps that facilitate remote access for running a business:

1. For Accessing your Data Remotely - TappIn

Whether you use Cloud storage, Dropbox, Sugarsync, TappIn allows you to access your data (wherever it’s saved) from any mobile device at any time.  TappIn is the best solution for securely and remotely accessing your data.

2. For keeping in touch and telecommuting - GoToMeeting

Never miss another meeting again!  This allows users to participate in meetings via their mobile device.  Not only does it allow you to verbally communicate with other people attending the meeting, but it also allows you to see charts and graphs that are being shown at the meeting.

3. For keeping track of your expenses on the go - Expensify

Having trouble keeping track of business expenses?  Expensify’s SmartScan works with your phone by taking a picture of receipts of business expenses (recording the date, time, amount, etc.) and organizing that information within the app by syncing your bank accounts and credit cards to keep clearer track of spending.

4. For doing work - FormMobi

Also known as the digital clipboard, this app makes it easy for people in the field (away from a computer/office) to design and fill out customized forms.  A great app for a wide range of other professions, because it allows users to share multimedia style (including video, pictures, and graphs in your customized reports/forms) information with clients and coworkers.

Do you use any of these?

Sending Large Files Online

The number of internet users has been steadily growing every day since its beginning.  In recent years this number has exploded due to social media channels that allow people to connect and share content.  Going online has become one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with family, friends, and co-workers.

A large part of online communications is the sharing of information, pictures, videos, and music.  So what if you want to send someone large amounts of data at once?  The problem is that the most popular sharing options on the internet haven’t quite grown in their capabilities to include allowing people to send as much data as they want at one time.

Sending Large Files

Most email servers have a maximum file size both for incoming and outgoing mail.   The maximum file size is usually around 10MB, with Yahoo and Gmail extending file size limits to 20MB and 25MB.  However, if you are trying to send someone a video, or photo album, these new size limits can still make sharing large files difficult.

There are many file uploading and file sharing alternatives to email, however all of these options require you to sync to or upload your files in one storage solution (either in the Cloud, Dropbox, etc.), all of which have limits on the amount of data you are able to store in them.

Picture and Video Sharing

Though Facebook has taken steps to improve the photo uploading process, there is still a limit on the number of photos you may upload to a single album.  Social media sites and sites like YouTube have tried to make it easy to share pictures and videos, but the option to share pictures and videos on social media channels is designed to be a more public sharing option.

What if you want to share a large number of pictures or videos privately?  There are many sharing and storage solutions currently available, but because you have to save/upload/sync these large files, pictures, or videos in the Cloud, Sugarsync, or a Dropbox folder the whole process can be very time consuming.

No Limit File Sharing

And so, what do you do when you have large files that need to be shared online?  When you think about it, every storage solution is going to have a limit, so consider instead looking for a solution that gives people unlimited access to your information. By choosing unlimited access you can avoid limited file storage and sharing all together.

TappIn allows users to give family, friends, and co-workers instant unlimited access to their files and data they choose to share.  And because TappIn grants access and isn’t primarily a storage solution the people you share with don’t have to download or sync that information to their computer or mobile device.

How to TappIn to Your Dropbox Folder!

As I explained in the blog post 6 Reasons Why You Should Choose TappIn over Dropbox , Dropbox syncs content in a folder between the computer and their cloud storage facility. Since TappIn can see the file structure on your computer, we enable Dropbox users to access and share content in that folder located on the PC using virtually any mobile device.

Again, With TappIn you have one place for access and sharing without having to move your content all to one place - even if you are already a Dropbox user.

Here’s an example:

#1 I installed TappIn and Dropbox on my laptop.   I have opened a sample photo folder within Dropbox to show how the content looks.  Remember, using Dropbox I can only sync and access the content in my Dropbox folder.

#2 OK, now I am going to use TappIn from my iPad.  And show you how I can access the whole computer AND my Dropbox folder.

#3 After selecting the Dropbox folder, you can see that the identical file structure (including “Photos” with Boston City Flow, Costa Rican Frog and Pensive Parakeet) are accessible.

#4 Now that we can access this content, we can share it with someone.  Simply select the photo you want to share. The icons along the bottom (in order) allow you to share to a contact, text, directly to your Facebook account, email, print or open in another application.  For the purposes of this demonstration – we’ll email.

That’s the beauty of TappIn.  No matter where your content is located you only have to go to one place to access or share it.  So, get TappIn and get started!