Monthly Archives: November 2012

Free Online Storage — A Look at Capabilities, Capacities, and Benefits

Finding a free online storage provider isn’t difficult as there are plenty to choose from these days. However, just finding a free online storage service doesn’t mean that you’ve found the right online storage solution for you. In this blog post, we’ve taken a look at the top six free online storage providers today, comparing their capacities, capabilities, mobile and desktop apps, and unique benefits.


Google Drive


Capacity:

5 GB
free storage

Monthly storage
rate for 100 GB - $4.99


Capabilities:

Create Word documents, spreadsheets,
and presentations,
not ideal for
music or video streaming

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

PC or Mac
for desktop

Android or iOS
for mobile


Unique Benefit:

Best for online document collaboration as it
lets users open
docs in browser,
and updates in
real time


DropBox


Capacity:

2 GB
free storage

Annual price for
100 GB - $99.99


Capabilities:

Backup Word documents, spreadsheets,
and presentations,
not ideal for
storing music or videos

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

Mac, Windows,
and Linux
for desktop

Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire
for mobile


Unique Benefit:

For each person
you refer to
Dropbox, you
receive an
increase
of 500 MB more
in free storage.


iCloud


Capacity:

5 GB
free storage

Annual price for
50 GB - $100


Capabilities:

Good online
storage solution
for storing
and streaming
music and videos
as well as other
file types

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

Mac and Windows
for desktop

iOS only for mobile


Unique Benefit:

If you have an
iOS mobile device, this provider has
an automatic
backup feature
for iOS devices.


Microsoft SkyDrive


Capacity:

7 GB
free storage

Annual price for
100 GB - $50


Capabilities:

Great for
documents –
not so great for
other file types

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

Windows and Mac
for desktop

iOS and Windows Phone for mobile


Unique Benefit:

Largest free tier
of all the online storage solutions (even larger
for those with
an older
Windows
Live/MSN account)


Box


Capacity:

5 GB
free storage

Annual price for
50 GB - $239.88


Capabilities:

Best for
accessing and
sharing large
files online

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

Windows and Mac
for Desktop

Android, iOS, Blackberry
for mobile


Unique Benefit:

Great for online collaboration.
Users can also
brand Box-
powered projects
with their own
logos and colors.


SugarSync


Capacity:

5 GB
free storage

Annual price for
100 GB - $149.99

 


Capabilities:

Perfect for online document collaboration –
can also stream
music and videos

Mobile &
Desktop Apps:

PC and Mac
for Desktop

Android,
Blackberry,
Windows, iOS
for mobile


Unique Benefit:

One of the few
online storage providers that
is accessible on
all operating platforms

No matter which online storage provider you choose, these are the three most important aspects of an online storage provider:

  1. It’s capable of storing the file types (documents, music, video, etc.) you need stored.
  2. It’s paid plans are within your budget, if you need more storage.
  3. You’re able to access it through your desktop or mobile apps.

Hopefully, the previous table has helped you decide between which online storage provider you will choose to store your content.

Hopefully, the previous table has helped you decide between which online storage provider you will choose to store your content. However, as we’ve mentioned before all of these online storage solutions come with risks.  To learn more about tools and apps with which you can securely access all of your data no matter where it is saved (and to avoid risky online storage solutions), try out this 30 day free trial of TappIn Professional Edition.

Related Posts
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Protect Your Online Content from Theft in 4 Easy Steps

Protecting your content online is becoming a bigger and bigger concern as the Internet’s “sharing culture”-attitude continues to grow with popular social media platforms whose user-generated content are based around sharing online content. Previously, we shared with you five basic tips for safeguarding your content online and off. In this blog post, we will share with you how to protect your online content from theft in four easy-to-follow steps:

Step 1: Get a Creative Commons License

Getting a creative commons license for your work is simple. Once you’re on the Creative Commons website, click Choose a License from the License section of the homepage. The website then lets you select your license features, which license type you want, as well as a section that once you fill it out will help others easily attribute works to you.

Step 2: Incorporate the CC Logo on Every Page of Content

The “Choose a License” page of the Creative Commons website also has a section for people who have a web page. All you have to do is copy the code in the text box, and insert the icon onto each page of your website. This will prevent people for pretending they did not know your work was under a Creative Commons license.

Step 3: Include Watermarks in Images You Create

Images are some of the most popular content on the Internet today. Whether you take a picture with your camera or create an image on your computer, once you post that photo or image online, it’s fairly easy for anyone to save the picture and publish as their own. Including a watermark in the images you create will help deter people from stealing your images and easily making them their own.

Step 4: Use Tools to Locate Your Content Elsewhere Online

Even if you follow steps 1–3 fully, there are still ways in which people can and will steal your work. And so, to make sure your content can’t be found elsewhere online, there are a few online tools you can use to search the Internet for plagiarized content.

The truth is, the Internet is a space that was made for sharing content (with or without the author’s permission). Being diligent when it comes to knowing where your content is online at all times will be the only way you can make sure that your content isn’t being stolen online. To skip these steps and share content privately online, check out the TappIn Professional Edition 30 day free trial.

 

Related Posts
“Mega” Concerns over Unauthorized File Sharing Websites
Cloud Backup – An Examination of the 6 Best Online Storage Services
Putting Businesses at Risk – The 3 Big IT Problems with Online Storage

How to Use Cloud Storage - 5 Important Tips

As we’ve previously written, there are several different ways in which you can avoid online storage fees while still using online and cloud storage. In this blog post, we will share with you five important tips for how to use cloud storage:

Tip 1: Pay Attention to Storage Limits

Because there are so many free online storage offers from top cloud storage services, there is no reason you should have to pay to store files online. However, storing videos and music in your cloud storage solution can cause you to reach your free online storage limits much faster than you would if you were only saving word documents and text files. If you do store videos or music files online, make sure you aren’t exceeding your storage limit, and remove them from the cloud when you no longer need consistent remote access to those files.

Trick 2: Encrypt Your Cloud

Considering how many people are using cloud storage solutions for work and are accessing sensitive work materials from their online storage solutions, making sure that your data is encrypted when it’s in the cloud is important as data ownership in the cloud and cloud vendor security are both serious security issues today. There are a few tools available today that enable you to encrypt your data before storing it in the cloud.

Tip 3: Understand Your Cloud’s Streaming Capabilities

There are different cloud storage solutions for different forms of data. Many online storage and cloud solutions don’t offer comprehensive music streaming or video streaming features. Understanding which cloud storage solutions are right for which data will better help you to store more data online for free in the proper cloud storage solutions. For example, Google Drive, Dropbox and SugarSync are all great cloud storage solutions for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, while Cloud Drive and Cloud Player are better cloud storage solutions for streaming music.

Tip 4: Use Secure Devices to Access the Cloud

Do you know how secure your mobile access is? When using cloud storage solutions, not only do you have to worry about the security of the cloud storage solutions you choose to use, but you also must consider how secure your devices for accessing that sensitive data are. One way of doing this is to have your IT department install security features onto your mobile device. Another way of doing this is to use secure tools and apps like TappIn every time you access that data.

Tip 5: Bring Your Clouds Together

Recently, tools and services have been developed specifically designed to make it easier to access your data no matter where it’s saved. Use a tool or service (like TappIn) that will enable you to access all of your data no matter which cloud or network attached storage device it is saved in.

 

Related Posts
Putting Businesses at Risk – The 3 Big IT Problems with Online Storage
Finding the Most Private & Secure Approach to Remote File Sharing
How to Remotely Access Your External Hard Drive from Your Smartphone

Top 4 Mobile-to-Mobile File Sharing Apps

Mobile to mobile file sharing

Recently, we wrote a blog post on the top four mobile apps that facilitate remote access for running a business and we included TappIn for accessing your data remotely, GoToMeeting for keeping in touch and telecommuting, Expensify for keeping track of expenses on the go, and FormMobi for doing work on your phone.

The amount of time people are spending on their mobile devices has steadily increased every year along with the constant expanding capabilities of mobile devices. File sharing apps specifically, allow people to share and access files of varying sizes remotely through their mobile devices, which is an important aspect of many industries.

In this blog post, we’ve named the top four file sharing apps for mobile-to-mobile file sharing. And here they are:

1. Evernote

Not all digital data is Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. In some industries (architecture, engineering, etc.), drawings are often important digital files that need to be shared. With the Evernote app, you can take pictures of your pen and paper drawings with your smartphone (or tablet) as well as share and access those files from anywhere.

2. TappIn

Disclaimer: We think we’re pretty neat. TappIn is the most inclusive file sharing app available today as it enables you to share whatever file types you choose (including documents, music, photo, video, etc.) no matter where the files are saved and from any TappIn-enabled device. TappIn is also great for remote file sharing. Because there is no limit to the access, you can even TappIn to other file sharing solutions.

3. JotNot

Operating somewhat along the same lines as Evernote, the JotNot app lets you easily copy articles, documents, and notes, quickly upload them, and share them via email or with other file sharing apps like Dropbox, or even store them in online storage solutions like the Cloud. Scan entire newspaper articles or other large documents and share them easily with your phone.

4. Dropbox

Definitely one of the most popular file sharing solutions today, the Dropbox app enables you to save files to your Dropbox folder and access those same files from another device as long as they’re signed into their Dropbox account. Even though a recent Dropbox security breach has reminded us all that we’re only as secure as our cloud vendor, with an offer of 2GB of free storage, the user-friendly Dropbox is obviously a popular mobile solution.

Mobile devices like the iPhone and Blackberry have emphasized the importance of making it easier for people to work from their phones. Each of these apps has been designed to make it even easier to access, share, and collaborate online all from your mobile smartphone.

Learn more about the release of TappIn Professional Edition and get started using TappIn for business today.

How to Transfer Files from Your Computer to Your Android Smartphone

Android phone transfer files from computerIf you have an Android smartphone, odds are you use it for more than just making phone calls. Smartphones are designed for users who access multiple types of media from their phones on a regular basis. Whether it is music, videos, photos or basic documents, smartphones are capable of accessing and displaying that data unlike other phones.

But say you’ve downloaded a media file to your home computer, how can you transfer that file to your smartphone (or vice versa)? There are a couple of different apps available to you for transferring files from your computer to your Android mobile phone:

1. Android file transfer – this app allows Mac computer users to easily transfer data saved on their computer to their Android phone. However, this app requires that you physically connect your Android phone to your Mac computer with a special USB cord. The Mac computer and Android phone must stay connected until the file transfer has completed.

2. TappIn for Android app – this app allows you to transfer, share, and access data from your Android phone no matter where that data is saved. With the TappIn app, you can access data on your Mac, PC or Linux operating systems all from your Android phone without needing to connect the phone to the computer. With TappIn, you can remotely access, transfer, and share data.

Because people are using so many different digital devices (personal mobile phone, work cell phone, home computer, work computer, iPad, iPod, etc.) on a daily basis, these days being able to transfer, share, and access data between different devices from different manufacturers is becoming more and more important.

Whatever files you are transferring, sharing, or accessing, it’s important you pick an app that will allow you to easily and securely transfer, share, and access data between devices.

Learn more about TappIn’s security features.

Related Posts
How to Remotely Access Your External Hard Drive from Your Smartphone
How to Access and Share All of Your Files from Anywhere at Any Time
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3 Tips to Avoiding Online Storage Fees

Avoid online storage feesIf you are someone who uses multiple mobile devices (smartphone, computer, iPad, etc.) to access your files (music, documents, photos, etc.) you already know how convenient online storage solutions can be for remote file access and sharing. If you are someone who requires a lot of online storage, you also probably know how expensive online storage solutions can get.

Here we’ve listed three tips to help you avoid paying online storage fees so that you can access and share files remotely from anywhere without spending extra money.

 1. Take advantage of free online storage offers

All of the top online storage solutions offer a certain amount of free storage to start users off with. Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive, Sugarsync and iCloud all provide users with 5 GB of free storage, with paid plan options for more storage. However, depending on the file types of your digital property, only certain online storage solutions are capable of storing certain media files.

2. Use your hard drive and network-attached storage (NAS) devices for extra storage space

NAS devices can be expensive as well, but they usually come with more storage space as well as more control over your digital property. NAS devices and external hard drives also don’t have strict file specifications for what file types can be stored on them. So you can store everything from documents to photographs to music and videos.

 3. Use remote file sharing and remote file access tools

Many online storage solutions require you to save or sync all of your data in one location. With online collaboration tools with remote file access and file sharing capabilities, you can access data no matter where it is saved, even if it’s saved in a number of locations like a Dropbox, iCloud, and/or a NAS device.

The bottom line is, with so many online storage solutions offering vast free tier storage options, paying for online storage isn’t necessary if you find the right remote file access and file sharing tools capable of accessing all of those storage solutions from one place.

Related Posts
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5 Steps to Making Mobile Devices More Secure in BYOD Businesses

TappIn Secure Mobile Devices

We’ve written a lot about the IT risks associated with BYOD (bring your own device) and the need for businesses to design and implement secure BYOD policies, but if we only consider the security of our data when it’s online and don’t give a critical look at the devices employees are using to access that data, then we really haven’t done anything to address the BYOD risks we all face.

Today’s workforce is using their mobile devices as tools to access a wide range of work-related data and information, only adding to the already booming trend that is BYOD.  The BYOD trend has been met with a lot of excitement by employees and businesses owners alike as it allows employees to vastly increase their productivity while using the devices they are most comfortable with.

If you are a BYOD business, odds are you can’t afford to provide each of your employees with a company-issued cell phone. And because you are a BYOD business, your employees will be accessing your data from whatever device is most convenient (often times their mobile devices).  Making those mobile devices as secure and safe to share files remotely through should be considered incredibly important to all businesses (BYOD and other).

Here are five steps every business should take to make sure their employees’ mobile devices are more secure and safe for remote file sharing:

1. Choose mobile devices with advanced security capabilities – Your BYOD policy should include which devices are acceptable to use as well as which devices are not.  Make sure that the devices your employees are choosing to use have advanced security capabilities so you may enable them.

2. Use remote wipe capabilities – In the event that an employee’s phone is lost or stolen, remote wipe capabilities allow a third party to remotely wipe the phone clean of all data.

3. Enable encryption – If the device has an encryption option, make sure that it’s turned on and that your employee keeps it on.

4. Require authentication to access – Create an authentication password for the device so that whoever picks up the device can’t access it without a password.

5. Set up firewalls to designate different levels of access – There are some files and data that you don’t want all of your employees to have access to (especially if they are more sensitive).  You can limit which data employees can access with their own devices by using these firewalls.

And those are the five basic steps to making your mobile device more secure and safe for remote file sharing.  For more information about how TappIn is the perfect app for BYOD businesses, check out these related posts:

Senior Storage Analyst Recommends TappIn in Place of Cloud Storage
Four Mobile Apps that Facilitate Remote Access for Running a Business

“Mega” Concerns over Unauthorized File Sharing Websites

Mega Logo

The well-known, “flamboyant” founder of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, has developed a new version of his file sharing service named Mega. This new site is designed primarily to make it nearly impossible for U.S. law enforcement officials to figure out what files are being shared that violate copyright protections.

If you haven’t heard of Kim Dotcom, maybe you have heard about the high-profile raid by U.S. law enforcement on his New Zealand mansion on January 19th of this year. Dotcom was arrested and is still awaiting trial facing extradition to the United States to face copyright theft charges. He was also forced to shut down his file sharing service Megaupload.

By not using any U.S. domains, U.S. providers or U.S. hosting services, as well as encrypting files shares on the site (keeping them secret from even the site’s administrators), Dotcom hopes his new Mega site will be able to avoid the long arm of the U.S. law. And because the U.S.’s legislation of the Internet applies only to its citizens, Dotcom might’ve just figured out how to avoid another arrest… for now.

What These Concerns Could Mean for You

Unauthorized file sharing websites are not a new phenomenon, since the beginning of the Internet people have been looking for ways to share files whether they are authorized for sharing or not. Though most unauthorized file sharing is done around movies, music, television, etc., the concerns with these types of sites should be shared by all types of businesses.

The ramifications could be massive when you start considering the possibility of your employees using unauthorized file sharing sites to share your own company’s sensitive information. And because Mega has been designed specifically to make it nearly impossible to figure out what information is being shared, you would have no way of being able to figure out where the sensitive data leak is happening.

What You Can Do to Avoid a Mega Disaster

  1. Block all unauthorized file sharing websites from your network
  2. Include your policy on unauthorized file sharing websites in your company’s internet policy
  3. Provide your employees with safe and secure file sharing solutions

The truth is, you can’t absolutely make sure that your employees aren’t using these sites to share sensitive files. However, you can control what happens on your business’s network. Make sure you are monitoring it and making sure your employees aren’t exposing your data or your business to unnecessary cyber and legal threats.

Related Posts
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Finding the Most Private & Secure Approach to Remote File Sharing

The popularity of remote file sharing and storage services like the Cloud and Dropbox will only continue to grow as today’s workforce becomes increasingly more and more mobile. These file sharing services not only make it easier to share and access files with coworkers and customers, they allow employees to increase their productivity by making it extremely easy to share and access files from different devices.

But, while services like Dropbox continue to be used by businesses big and small, issues like the Dropbox security breach have helped highlight the need for businesses to look for and invest in more secure file sharing and file access services. The problem with finding private and secure services for file sharing, however, is that secure cloud storage solutions are expensive.

What if you could share files remotely and have access to any storage solution (online or NAS) without paying for more storage? With TappIn, you can privately and securely share files without paying for more storage, because with TappIn, what you are paying for is secure access.

With TappIn, you don’t have to save your files in a particular location or folder (as you do with Dropbox) because, with TappIn, you have access to all of your files anywhere, at any time.

While there are many reasons why you should choose TappIn over Dropbox, if Dropbox has already been widely adopted by your company and peers, you don’t need to change the service everyone else is using. Instead you can use TappIn to tap into your Dropbox. By doing this, your coworkers can continue using a program they are comfortable using and at the same time increase the security of remotely accessing those sensitive files.

Whether you’re sending large files, streaming music, or sharing pictures, security is becoming more and more important to how we access, stream, and share data. Learn more about how the TappIn Professional Edition lets you privately and securely access and share files. Or sign up for a 30-day FREE trial of TappIn Pro!

How to Remotely Access Your External Hard Drive from Your Smartphone

Do you know how many different digital devices you use in a day? Personally, my cell phone acts as my alarm clock as well as a phone. I listen to my iPod on the bus ride during my commute, work on my fancy desktop computer during business hours, then work on my (cheaper, less fancy) personal computer when I get home. That’s four different devices I use every day and I don’t even consider myself a very tech-savvy person!

Not only is the use of digital devices on the rise, but so are the ways in which you can save your data on these different devices. Online storage solutions have been designed specifically to allow you to save information online so that you may remotely access it from another device. However, there are a few issues to consider before using cloud storage:

  1. Cloud storage can get expensive
  2. Data must be saved online to access it
  3. Recent security breaches in online storage services

So, what if you could use your smartphone remote access to avoid all of these issues?

Well, by accessing your external hard drive with TappIn you can utilize your own storage solutions and avoid these issues:

  1. TappIn gives any web browser, tablet or smartphone unlimited access to your digital content, no matter where it is stored. And because with TappIn you are only paying for access, not storage, you don’t have to keep paying for it the more you use it.
  2. With TappIn, you don’t have to save or sync your files in one place to access them, because TappIn lets you access your files from your computer, network attached system (NAS), hard drive, online storage service, etc.
  3. TappIn not only keeps your digital content in the storage solutions you feel are most secure, but it also uses SSL encryption between you and your data so that you can rest assured that your content is being accessed securely.

So how can you remotely access your external hard drive from your smartphone with TappIn?

  1. On your smartphone, open your TappIn mobile app and select your home computer:
  2. You will then be taken to a page where you can select any files saved on your home computer.  Select the folder of your external hard drive (or NAS)

  3.  TappIn will display a list of all your files saved in that location.  Simply select the file you would like to access from the list and that’s it! Four taps and you’re done.

Four taps and you're done.  Smartphone remote access of your external hard drive doesn't get any easier than that!

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