For many smart phone users, being able to access their computer’s files while on the go is a huge plus. This didn’t use to be very simple and required considerable effort through painful copy-paste and frequent sync attempts. However, recent storage and backup options for free have made this process much smoother. Interested in the best mobile options for online backup and file storage, accessible on the go? Try out these top choices for the iPhone for free today!
DropBox is arguably the biggest name in cloud computing and online storage today. It is one of the leading options for simple and painless online storage, for free. Users receive 2GB free from the start, with more storage available through purchase, referrals and so on. The app for Dropbox is a solid choice for online storage, also available for free and running on both the iPhone and the Android systems.
The DropBox process is fairly simple: Users install the DropBox program onto their computer, register an account and setup password options. DropBox installs as just another folder onto the computer. To sync a file to the DropBox backup, users just copy and paste or save files to the DropBox folder. Then, whenever DropBox is booted up (users can leave it always running if they desire), it will automatically upload files to its servers. From here, users can access the file from other computers and mobile devices. Just install DropBox on these other devices in the same manner, including with the same users login info, and items will automatically sync when DropBox is loaded.
The DropBox app is a pretty slick option, with very simple yet useful controls and smooth loading. Server connections to backup files always seems to be very quick and browsing through backups on Dropbox is never a pain. Like the local/PC program, the app doesn’t require users to login from the start, definitely a security concern if one’s iPhone ends up in the wrong hands. This can be changed through the app’s security settings, but many users frequently neglect to do so.
The DropBox app and the local PC versions don’t require the user to login at bootup, unlike many other cloud and sync programs. This is one of the major concerns for users worried about the security of their DropBox accounts. All it takes is one computer or iPhone to be lost and someone else could access the users DropBox files. The other major security concern for DropBox users is just how secure their data is in the hands of DropBox itself. Questions have been raised about the encryption practices of DropBox and of just how much access DropBox employees have to each user’s private account. The key issue at stake is the client vs server side encryption process. Several security experts have raised concerns about the DropBox’s security process and a recent lawsuit has been filed over a major data breach at DropBox.
Wuala is another free option for online backup plus synchronization across multiple devices, including the iPhone. Wuala is a little more difficult than DropBox to install and it operates differently as well. Instead of installing a Dropbox-style folder for users to sync files through, Wuala actually installs as an additional computer drive. It’s not present through My Computer until actually booting up the program and logging in (required). From here, users can select to copy and paste files they want to save and backup, update or set automatic sync backups, etc. Wuala boasts a free 2GB for users from the start, with more purchasable or gained through referrals. Features found in Wuala include backup, file sync, sharing files with registered and unregistered users, private files and more.
To access Wuala on the go, a handy Wuala app is available for free for Android and iOS devices. The iOS version is pretty slick and installs nicely, even on older iPhones. Users need to login each time they open the app, an added layer of security that is not the default option in DropBox. For users who can’t decide between the two, consider installing both, and using DropBox for frequently-accessed, non-sensitive files, and Wuala for core syncs and secure files.
Wuala’s blog points out the big selling point for this storage program very clearly. “Services like Box.net, Dropbox, Gmail, Flickr, Facebook, etc. all have full access to the data you store with them”. Wuala boasts client-side encryption, allowing the customer to feel more at ease about the security of their files. Still, the actual encryption source code has not been released by Wuala and this has led some to claim that the program is actually not as secure as it may seem. Still, Wuala does at least appear to be a better choice for a more secure storage option than DropBox, although with slightly more hassle involved in setup.
Overall, both Wuala and DropBox are solid backup applications with fantastic app support on the iPhone and other iOS devices. For those looking for a very easy install and setup, DropBox may be the best choice. However, for individuals more concerned about security and sync options, Wuala looks to be a better option.