Web Analytics

In other mintywhite tutorials we’ve seen how to make your USB into a functional power house, installing Ubuntu, encryption, portable applications and backups .  There can be some files which change all the time which are essential, such as password storage (Keypass) that has latest details that you need to access from the office, a meeting or school. One of the best ways to make this work is with online backup  and it won’t take you more than 10 minutes. MintyWhite is here to show you the best and make the choice easy.

In this review we’ll look at the free online storage services: Binfire, SkyDrive, Wuala, iDrive and Mozy


The most simple, no-frills service is Binfire. I’m not sure where that name comes from, but it’s about “running your online office”. This is derived from its collaboration functions and affinity for having contacts with and messaging other members. I feel this would be most suited for use at school, or institutions where you are working off a simple computer with very limited privileges.

It has a good clean layout with supportive, functional buttons for your files and services.

Ultimately it feels like navigating through colourful FTP, but what was most perturbing was when I found the public files section. There seemed to be many of people’s files open to browsing and search and I’m not sure of the real use of this…

…But one of the other features is the online collaboration with other members. This may be of real use when working with others team members at different locations. It ‘s easily the best service for users with limited technical ability and was the only one found to have live chat technical support.

Binfire is, therefore, an option worth considering but a simple one that is superseded by higher storage.

Get started with Binfire


SkyDrive is Microsoft’s answer to the free online storage movement and supports its own online services and applications suite. You can synchronise your computer and devices with Windows Live Essentials, otherwise navigate through the online web interface. SkyDrive offers you a INSANE 25 gb free, which is the largest I’ve found and is the best value by far but, this is offset by the 50MB per file upload limit. Some archive programs (winRAR/7zip) can separate archived files into certain amounts. The advertising is a bit of a pain aswell – a common trait as it is within the MSN Messenger program as well.

SkyDrive is a solid option with astute upload and download times and a blatant flow to useability. If your already part of the Microsoft “LIVE” circle, such as using MSN Messenger or Hotmail , this simple and easy 25GB worth of storage is already awaiting you.

Get started with Skydrive


Wuala (pronounced wah-lah) is a unique and technology driven service from the storage company LACIE, that will have every security minded user happy; as everything is encrypted prior to upload, using  128 bit AES, 2048 bit RSA or SHA-256 algorithms for encryption, signatures, integrity checks and even has fragments sent to multiple locations. They have a small introduction video that introduces you to every feature and concept. Initially a free user is given a miniature 1Gb, only expanded further by referrals to friends (up to 6gb), purchase or trading.

Through trading local storage, a user can attain the same amount online for ‘free’, up to a 100Gb. One of my main issues is that I never have enough space, so I’m not entirely sure how applicable this is. Most notable is the online and local application as they are exactly the same: the “Remote Access”  utilising Java looks and acts exactly the same as the desktop application.

For super secure and fast upload storage Wuala is your best option above all. Keep in mind though, for all the strengths of  Wuala, the space constriction is its largest weakness.

Get started with Wuala


iDrive is a jack-of-all-trades free storage with up to 12GB of storage. It starts out with 2GB and then with a quick mail out to e-mail contacts (via Hotmail or Gmail), you will have an extra 10GB of storage immediately  and that’s the end of the story. Take note that no one has to click or sign up.

iDrive has both an online login in as well as an application. This application integrates into your system for drag-and-drop back ups and automatic synchronizing of specific files automatically. Furthermore, iDrive has encryption to, from and on the server, a WordPress plug-in for site backup and a mobile device backup  application (iPhone, Blackberry and Android).

Now this is definitely a favourite and surely makes it easy to have those files you need backed up for remote access. But even then, with all the options, the useability can suffer a little. This is where Mozy comes in.

Get started with iDrive


Mozy seems to have been created  with useability strongly in mind, having a heavy modern-styled Mac OS feel to its website and application. Mozy is very similar in many respects to iDrive with support, an application that automatically synchronizes files,  throttles bandwidth and it even has a referral service earning you 256MB of storage per viewed e-mail.

I didn’t find the ability to upload files via the Mozy website, so downloading the application is the only way to go. The good news is that the application is straightforward to use and will not crowd you with too many options. It will, however, initially want to back up your bulk file types but, with access to a few settings, single file and encryption are easily manipulated.

Mozy even goes so far as to put an explorer function in, similar to iDrive, yet seemingly more direct and functional. Again Mozy improves by providing a support area that helps out with troubleshooting and fills you in on some details.

So if the multitude of options is getting you down and the technical details are too much – I’m sure Mozy will help you out.

Get started with Mozy

There are so many remote backup services out there that it’s worth signing up for at least one. There are so many quality brands with brilliant features that is was hard to keep it simple. So do not hesitate getting one now, if only to set up a weekly file sync. There are so many of us that have had hard drive failure, let alone fire or theft destroy our data, so protect yourself today.

About swooper

The secret squirrels friend - the hamster on the wheel of tech.

Free PC tips by email

Search Windows Guides


10 thoughts on “Stress-less Storage Salvation (Online Backup Solutions)”

  1. zappa says:

    Personally I think all these options and others not mentioned as a fantastic solution, but only for use of generic information unreserved personal and professional.
    We have no guarantee of use / abuse of the documents stored online, even after deleted, because if we have chance to recover almost all information of a disk or memory, also people who have access to online support disks can recover any information.
    For many users it is always advisable to use the contracting of service “hosting + domain” or in more extreme cases, set up a local server and manage the access.
    Today there is a large variety of offering “hosting” of high quality and with high security at prices affordable to anyone really.
    Of course we can not be totally safe, but we always have more security and we know who has access.

  2. David Robins says:

    Thank you to the author for reviewing binfire in this article. We are working on the next version of the site, it has a new UI plus enhanced collaboration and project management tools. I would like to give the author a sneak preview of the site if he would like to.
    David Robins

  3. Winnie says:

    The above article was so good.Well i personally use and online backup called safecopy backup.To me it is stree-less too.Thanks once again

  4. Rich says:

    David, I've sent the author a not to get in touch with you at your gmail address.

  5. David Robins says:

    Rich, Saw it, thank you very much!

  6. Swooper says:

    In this review I tried to get a range of service that were each a little different, and completely free.
    In regards to online and security, it does take a substantial effort to make sure things are secure as possible and in a worse case scenario, we may may be simply making it a longer process for people to crack. Thus, if security is a concern utilising encryption is a obvious (such as truecrypt). In this area, I felt Wuala was the best option, given the fact it encrypts it on your drive then splits it over 3 servers.

  7. DreamTick Interactiv says:

    You forgot talking about the storage plans from http://fdcanada.ca/en/online-storage/

  8. Home Security Systems says:

    Of all these options I find iDrive to be the easiest to work with. Mozy’s customer service and troubleshooting capabilities are weak if you are sticking with the free option, and while BinFire is a really great tool, sometimes I find the functionality is limited. It all depends on what kind of data you are backing up, however. If you are like me and simply looking to place your multimedia/personal files somewhere, BinFire can be great. But if you need something that requires more heavy backup, you would want to go with the reliability and reputation of Mozy. What is your experience with DropBox?

  9. David says:

    We have released a new version which has much more functionality. In addition to easy to use fie hosting, it has project collaboration features like tasks and milestones with dependencies, group chat and a real cool interactive whiteboard.

  10. David Robins says:

    I forgot to mention that the message below was for the new version of http://www.binfire.com

Comments are closed.

Computer tips in your inbox
Sign up for the Windows Guides newsletter to get PC tips and access to free Windows books (More details)

Subscribe now
Popular Guides

See which sites have been visited on your PC (even if private browsing mode is used)

Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

Best Free Anti-malware

Hibernate vs. Sleep vs. Shut-Down

i3, i5, and i7; Dual, Quad, Hexa Core Processors. How to they Differ?

Intel's Ivy Bridge Processor: new Features

Submit Your Tip
Submit your computer tip to us; receive full credit for all published tips

Windows Guides on Facebook