Cloud Storage and File Sharing Solutions

Many people use more than one device as part of their academic and work lives. Computers with large displays are great for work, study, and research. A phone or tablet is better suited for quick searches and updates. A laptop is the ultimate combination of power and portability. However, when you want to share files between devices, it can be difficult and time consuming to transfer files back and forth. Likewise, if you are planning to work with a group of people on the same document, sharing files through e-mail can lead to multiple versions that need to be edited back into a single document.

An emerging group of file syncing and sharing tools addresses both of these issues. The University of Miami has three new file syncing and sharing services. All of them let you set up a special folder on all of your devices. If you use one device to make changes to a file, those changes are quickly synchronized across every other device with the special folder. All of these services also let you share files or folders with other users so you can write and edit them in a collaborative fashion.

Each of these file synching and sharing tools is described below along with the reason why you may want to select it. The videos come from Google, Box, and Microsoft. They show how each company is pitching their product for home or business use.

Google Drive (Coming Soon)

What is Google Drive: Like the other tools in this category, Google Drive is a file syncing and sharing service that copies your files to the cloud as well as to any other device that you have synced up with Google Drive. In addition to syncing and sharing files, Google Drive has a rich collection of collaborative tools that lets you and others simultaneously edit the same document in real time. This includes documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings.

Why choose Google Drive: Collaboration. Its collaborative features enable a group of people to create together in a quick and easy way.

Where do I learn more: The Point Solutions group has put together a support page called the Google Drive Learning Center.

How do I get started: Log into your Google Docs account by going tohttp://google.miami.edu


Box

What is Box: Box also allows you to sync and share documents with other users. The tools aren’t as sophisticated as Google Drive, but Box has some additional features. For example, there are precise controls on sharing a document such as the ability to share a file with a link that expires after a time limit.

Why choose Box: Security. The University of Miami contract with Box gives us assurances that data stored in Box will be encrypted, both on the servers and on your computer. This makes it the best of the three options if you are storing and sharing sensitive data.

Where do I learn more: The Point Solutions group has put together a support page called the Box Learning Center

How do I get started: Log into your Box account by going to http://box.miami.edu


OneDrive

What is OneDrive: Microsoft has also gotten into the file syncing and sharing business. OneDrive is a part of our agreement with Microsoft that also includes group calendars and e-mail. OneDrive integrates with the e-mail system making it easy to access and edit documents online. Files will sync across Windows devices, but there is no MacOS client at this time. However, Mac users can still access their files through a Web client.

Why choose OneDrive: Size. While Google Drive and Box currently offer about 25 gigabyte per user, OneDrive offers a whopping 1 terabyte (which is 1,000 gigabytes). This is a very big deal if you have large data sets or a lot of video to share across your devices.

Where do I learn more: The Point Solutions group has put together a support page called the OneDrive Learning Center.

How do I get started: Log into your University of Miami account by going tohttp://email.miami.edu and then click on the OneDrive link in the navigation bar.