Tablets are fast becoming devices not just for consuming content, but for creating it, too. The problem is once you’ve created files, transferring them to other devices can mean USB flash drives or data cables, which can be a pain if you’re moving about between different computers. That’s why cloud storage has become so popular — it essentially allows you to store your files online and access them at any computer through a web browser or a specific app. And best of all, it’s pretty darn cheap, too; in fact, we’ll show you how to get 12GB of free ‘smart’ storage that automatically syncs your files between devices.
While most cloud storage options will work happily over a web browser, ideally you want options that have a native Android app, so here’s what we recommend.
Price: Free | Requires: Android 2.1 or later
Google Docs is a great way to create documents and spreadsheets online, and be able to access them almost anywhere at any time. Docs has now become Google Drive and includes 5GB of free cloud storage. If you have an older Honeycomb (Android 3.x) tablet, you won’t have Google Drive installed, but it’s a free download from the Google Play store.
Price: Free | Requires: varies with device
Dropbox is pretty much the patriarch of smart cloud storage and although you only get a measly 2GB when you sign up, the fact that it includes automatic syncing with all of your devices makes it a must-have. It’s also ideal as a budget shared drive with work colleagues, allowing you to work from home or collaboratively. You can access and edit your documents; for example, edit Word files through the free Kingsoft Office suite.
You can get an extra 500MB of free storage with Dropbox simply by using the automatic photo upload feature from your Android device to your Dropbox account. Dropbox also has other ways to boost your storage, up to 18GB.
Price: Free | Requires: Android 1.5 or later
SugarSync may not be as well known as Dropbox, but I reckon it’s every bit as good and comes with the added bonus of 5GB of free storage just for signing up. It automatically keeps your files synchronised between devices and like Dropbox, allows you to edit files as well as share them with other SugarSync users. There’s also an iOS version of this one.
Combining cloud storage
By signing up to all three options, you’ll get 12GB of free cloud storage to play with. And while that’s great, remembering which cloud storage you used to store that important file can get a bit tricky. That’s where Otixo comes in — it’s a web service that allows you to combine your storage under one Windows Explorer-like file manager inside your web browser. It’s free to sign up and you can get 2GB of free bandwidth per month. Your cloud storage account passwords are secured with Otixo by 256-bit encryption, so it should be pretty safe.