Last week I posted two articles “No more USB access to public computers” and “More reasons for online storage“. In the first article I listed 8 online storage service providers that had a free storage option. I didn’t receive any other suggestions so I will be reviewing the options in that list.
The storage options:
Acid Test: A sure test, giving an incontestable result.
When I first thought about the different kinds of tests I could do. It all came down to what basic functionality would everybody expect from online storage without question. If a solution didn’t pass this test, then it did not advance to the next round of tests.
Here’s the Acid Test (Basic user expectations):
- Browser based
- Software should not be required to upload/download files
- Basic document handling
- Browser based document upload
- Browser based document download
- View document
- Send document via email
- User Collaboration
- Share files
- Share folders
- Basic Publishing functionality
- Make a file visible on the internet without logging in
My goal was to verify each service with the Acid Test:
- Create an account (requires email)
- Login to service
- Upload a file
- Download a file
- Email the file
- Make file public
- Logout of the service
- Access the public file without login
I didn’t grade these storage options yet. I just wanted to make sure the online storage services passed the Acid Test. If they passed, then I would go into further detail adding scores and comments.
Practically all of the free services passed and only 1 failed the Acid Test. I really tried to give every service a chance. If the service asked for software to be installed, I would cancel the install. I wanted to see if the user interface was good enough to work without the desktop software installed. The software the service was trying to install was a desktop component that interacted with the browser.
The only service that absolutely required a software install was Mozy. All the other services survived nicely without the desktop application. Since Mozy did not pass the Acid Test it was disqualified for this contest.
NOTE: The reason the desktop software cannot be installed is that the service must support a user’s online storage needs entirely via browser. There’s nothing wrong with providing the desktop software as an option for backups, it just can’t be required for functionality.
For my next post, I plan to do a comparison of the surviving online storage options.