In case you haven’t heard, the cloud is the latest and greatest way to store your Mac’s files, and every tech company with a clever name seems to want you to store your files, photos, music, photos, and movies in the cloud?
What’s ‘the cloud?‘ It’s just a bunch of servers with large storage capacity that reside somewhere out there and connected to the internet. iCloud is a cloud service. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and hundreds of other companies have cloud storage plans and Box is yet another.
Before I dig into what Box does, let me explain one very important benefit of copying files from your Mac to a cloud service. Backup. If you keep all your files– documents, photos, movies, music, etc.– on a single Mac, you’re ripe for a catastrophic event.
Mac dies. Files gone.
Keeping files somewhere else besides your Mac makes sense. Box, among others, lets you do just that. I won’t scare you with the Plans and Pricing, but suffice it to say the free 5GB storage won’t go far, but it’s certainly easy to use and they make it that way so you’ll use more storage and be required to pay more money (by the month, no less).
Files you store in Box can be organized however you wish, and viewed from pretty much any device with an internet connection (iPhone and iPad included). Sharing files from Box is easy, too. Grab a link for a file stored in Box and send it to a friend or co-worker and they can download it.
Stored files can also be edited and shared with the online collaboration feature, so Box differs substantially from iCloud and other services.
Here’s the kicker for me. Price. Yahoo!’s Flickr photo service now gives users one full terabyte of photo storage which sets the bar of expectation much higher. And, for what it’s worth, other than plain vanilla documents, 5GB of storage just isn’t much, and certainly not enough for me to engage in a habit of storing valuable files online.