Mar 1, 2011

Emergency Document Retrieval

Imagine this scenario: You're out and about when you realize you forgot to email that important document before you left the computer.  Now it's sitting at home on the computer and you are nowhere near home.  What if everything that was on your computer at home was easily accessible on your iPhone or iPad.  You have a couple of good options for this.


Dropbox is a service where everything put in a special folder or directory is synced with "the cloud" and synced with all your other computers that have Dropbox installed.  Using a free Dropbox app on the iPhone, you can retrieve any file stored there.  You could put all your documents in the Dropbox folder if you want to have access to all of them.  You can even open them and edit them in other document viewing apps such as Documents to Go.

You can put other files like photos and MP3 files in the Dropbox folder and view or listen to them also on your iPhone or iPad. For free, you can get 2 GB of storage, which would be used up fast if you put too many photos or audio files in the Dropbox folder.  You can get 50 GB or 100 GB of storage for a monthly cost of $9.99 or $19.99, respectively.

It's a good option if you have a number of documents that you know that you need access to anywhere.


Carbonite is a backup service as opposed to a syncing service.  Carbonite for $55 per year gives you unlimited, encrypted backup of anything on one of your computers.  It's main purpose is to give you effortless backup to the cloud that you don't lose your data, even if your house burns to the ground (along with that spare drive that you back up your files to).  However, the way it works has a very nice side effect.  Everything backed up is accessible via the Carbonite web site and via a free Carbonite app.  This means that any file you have on your computer is accessible from your iPhone or iPad.  From there you can email any file or simply view it (if it's a document, picture, etc.).  It can even play MP3 and AAC files.

Depending on your needs, any of these options is a good one.  I like Carbonite the most because I have access to a copy of everything that I've backed up without even having to think about it.  I used Carbonite today to send a document to my wife that she couldn't find.

Which one of these are you using or are you thinking about using?

1 comment:

  1. You have to include the quintessential Apple "cloud" service- MobileMe, which is, as one would expect, easy as pie to use with iOS and Mac OS/X devices. $99/year gives you a .me email, 20GB of cloud storage which can be used with lots of apps, including iWeb, Photo Gallery, iDisk, etc.


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