Storing Files Online

Mozy. Geocities. Webshots. File Factory. KeepMyFile.

Heard of any of these sites before? Those who have may be familiar with the new phenomenon called file hosting – essentially, a Web site that hosts personal files – consider them a life (or space) saver.

With the introduction of new gadgets such as mp3 players and digital cameras, finding storage to put them all in has left some stranded. Many products boast their capacity to take loads of pictures or save thousands of songs, but consumers have started to realize storage is a must when going beyond even the largest capacity.

In response, some Web sites are giving its customers the opportunity to truly have the ability to store thousands of pictures, songs, and documents – all for free or monthly fees costing no more than lunch. Since April,, which offers both free and paid services, now has over 100,000 customers according to Josh Coates, founder and CEO of the company.

A free subscription to the site garners 2 GB of free storage, which is the equivalent to two pick up trucks of written text. By paying a monthly fee of $4.95 per month, users can essentially save as many trucks of storage as they want.

Not all are impressed by file hosting sites and take a more reliable, though a more costly, route. Arts Village coordinator Gordon Ricketts chooses to save his photos to an extra hard drive rather than using the Internet.

“I don’t even have to save it myself,” he said, referring to his plethora of files. “This [hard drive] does it all for me.”

Aside from recreational use, these sites provide a practical means for students to save important information. Working on a research paper? Saving it to a file hosting site not only relieves your computer of wanted memory space, but also protects your files against mishaps such as computer or flash drive theft.

“What we do at is provide a very simple and secure way to back up people’s computer files,” says Devin Knighton, public relations manager at Berkeley Data Systems-Mozy.

“Mozy allows for up to 30 days of unlimited versions of files, and also allows a restore,” he said, while highlighting the advantages of a site such as this for the average college student. Essentially, 10 copies of the same tweaked paper can be changed again, deleted, and restored.

Josh Smith, freshman, appreciates the ease and security of using sites that allow file hosting.

“I left my flash somewhere and was having computer troubles, and if I didn’t have sites that host my stuff I would have had to write my paper all over again,” he said.

Students without the benefit of expensive extra hardware can take full advantage of file hosting sites, which Knighton says are essentially “external hard drives stuck in the Internet cloud.”

Got lots of files taking up space and looking for a financially comfortable place to save – and protect – extra files? File hosting sites may be your best bet.