Everything is perfect with iCloud, it synchronizes your email, calendar, iWork documents, reminders, notes, and contacts. You can also use it to backup your iOS device, and track lost iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using the “Find My iPhone” iCloud App, . Like any other Apple innovation, it works out of the box, all you need is an Apple ID and “me.com” email account to use “Mail” syncing.
iCloud works seamlessly, however it lacks iDisk – a virtual drive that sync files to the cloud. The service is still available to current Mobile Me subscribers but will be discontinued anytime soon after the migration to iCloud.
Currently, the best free alternative to iDisk is Dropbox. I tried Box.net, and Sugar Sync, however I find Sygarsync a bit complicated to set up while Box.net don’t really sync local files to the cloud for free, you need a basic subscription to activate such feature. Dropbox offers 2GB of free online storage which you can upgrade to 50gb at $10 per month or $100 a year, 100gb at $20 monthly or $200 annually.
What makes Dropbox the best free alternative to iDisk are the following:
- Easy installation – Setup is simple and fast, you don’t even need to configure anything. Once setup is done you can access your local Dropbox folder using the desktop shortcut.
- Multi-Platform – Theres an application for every desktop and mobile operating system including Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone, Windows Mobile, and Mac.
- Supports multiple iOS apps including 1 Password, Documents To Go, To Do and more.
- The ability to share a folder that will be available to any Dropbox user of your choice.
- Up to 8GB of free storage. You get 2gb upon signing up, plus 250mb if you use a refferal link. Additional 250mb if you successfully referred a friend (250mb each friend), and an instant 250mb if you became a Dropbox guru.
Rumor has it (via MacRumors) that Apple purportedly offered $800 million to buy Dropbox last September. I’m not really sure why would Apple buy Dropbox if they already have iDisk, the obvious reason could be is to kill the competition.
The Apple community have mixed feelings about the discontinuation of iDisk. Currently, iCloud is useful if you use an app with iCloud support, like iWork Suite of applications. The only real alternative to iDisk right now is Dropbox.
A patent application revealed last February suggests that Apple is planning to create “Safe Deposit Box” which could be the next incardation of iDisk.
You can get 2GB of Dropbox storage + 250mb using this referral link, or you can go directly to Dropbox.com if you don’t want an extra 250mb to start with.
I’ve been using Dropbox for a while now, I used to share accounts with my wife, but the “shared folder” allows us to have a separate account and still share files, which gives us more
storage and extra privacy. If you know a better free alternative to iDisk, let us know in the comments section.
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