Files at Your Fingertips: Using the Internet for Storing and Sharing Files

File storage. It’s a big problem these days simply because of the plethora of choices out there. There’s at-home cloud-based solutions, business-class solutions for small and medium-sized companies, remote cloud solutions, and of course the traditional offline hard drive backup. There’s even the somewhat dated disc and tape-based backup solutions.

But, you’re committed to the Internet. The cloud is where it’s at. Here are your solutions, and the kind of network setup you’ll need to pull it off.

Organizing Files: The Basics

OK, so you’re committed to getting organized. The first thing you need to do is sort everything in your computer into a few basic groups. Order all files according to one of several defining characteristics. For example, you may decide that your thinking is more organized when you file things by type. So, you sort out everything on your computer based on the type of file it is (i.e. image file, music file, etc). This is how most people do it.

However, you may find that you actually do a better job of organizing by filing things according to their purpose. So, you may have a file for clients (if you’re a business) that contains various different file types associated with the same client.

Either way is fine, but pick one and stick with it. Continuity and uniformity are more important than organizational style.

Online Programs Used For File Management

There are a lot of online programs out there for organizing your files. But, one of the best, by far, is a program called Paper Tiger. It uses an innovative indexing method to eliminate a lot of the hassle associated with traditional paper filing methods. It can also reduce the amount of paper in your life.

If you’re already paperless in your home or business, then the program simplifies your life even further. If you’re not really a power user and don’t need extensive filing capabilities, some of the features and functionality of Paper Tiger are hard coded into the Mac and to some extent, Windows.

If you want a fully online system, Google Docs is cheap and very effective.

P2P File Sharing Schemes

File sharing is another great way to manage files. If you need to share non-infringing files with a lot of different people, a program like the Vuze bittorrent client can help you distribute files efficiently – more efficiently than some other file sharing schemes out there. Email are limiting in that you generally cannot send files that are larger than 2GB in size. P2P file sharing programs, on the other hand, allow you to send files of an unlimited size.

Backing Up Files

Last, but not least, do not forget to backup your files. Backblaze is a small company, but they’re probably one of the most innovative companies when it comes to backing up information. You can also go with a more mainstream service like Carbonite too – plan on paying more though.

Finally, if you want more control over your backup, consider buying an NAS drive (network attached storage). It functions like a personal cloud that you can back up files to.

Irma Campbell is a data management guru. With a head for administration and years of experience managing digital files, she enjoys writing about file organization, sharing, and security in the digital age.

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