Guru’s Guide to Cloud Storage Sharing

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Technology has revolutionized storage and dissemination of information. Long gone are the days when people needed hard disks and physical storage devices to have their data safe. With cloud storage technology, it is possible to store and easily access your data online without the need for a memory card or any storage device. Contrary to what most people believe, however, cloud storage isn’t only for keeping personal files. This technology also allows one to share, with lots of ease, any information. Whether to your friends, colleagues or even the general public, sharing your files over the cloud is easier than ever before.

As opposed to the conventional information dissemination techniques like emailing, which might be limited, cloud storage allows you to share larger files faster. The shared file is automated to synchronize into the computers of those you share it with. You can also decide to make the files accessible to the public by simply uploading them to the internet. Depending on the application you are using, file sharing from the cloud storage folder is achievable in different ways.

Dropbox

Dropbox: how to share files

To share your personal files with someone over Dropbox, right-click the associated files either in your desktop folder or on the Dropbox website. Select Share link option. This enables Dropbox to create a public link, and all you need to do is send it to anyone you would like to have access to the information. You might also want to post it on the internet for everyone to see. Remember that anyone with the link can access and even download the shared file. Ideally, it might not be the safest way of sharing personal data.

It is also possible to share your files with particular people. To achieve this, right-click on the Dropbox folder and go to Share this folder option. When you are using the Dropbox website, right-click on the folder and choose the option Invite to Folder. This will take you to the page where you can add the individual email addresses of the people you would like to share the files with.

Upon accepting the invitation, each one of them will be able to view and download the associated content. It is worth noting that those on your share list must have Dropbox accounts to be able to access the shared files. Also, anyone you share the file with can make changes to it, including editing and deleting some content, unless you are subscribed to Dropbox Pro or Dropbox Business.

Google Drive

Google Drive: how to share files

The sharing features of Google Drive are similar to those of Dropbox. Simply right-click a file in your Google Drive folder and select Share in the submenu. By default, your files can only be viewed by you, and the sharing option extends the viewing rights to those on your share list. Making the file public requires you to click the Change option: choose Anyone with link to let people access the files through the shared link or you can choose Public on the web option − this will allow Google to index the file. Ideally, it might even appear as one of the search results if someone is looking for related information.

Similar to Dropbox, it is also possible to share your Google Drive files with particular individuals. Upon adding the email addresses and clicking Share, these people will receive an invitation enabling them to access the file. Advanced sharing settings can set who has the editing rights for your document. Unlike Dropbox, which requires a subscription for one to be able to do this, Google Drive provides this service for free. More interestingly, one can view any changes made to Google Drive files in real time. This means you can be editing different sections of the file at the same time!

For those on the receiving end, synchronizing the shared files with your computer is an easy process. Go to the “Incoming” and drag the individual files to “My Drive.” This done, you will be able to make any changes to the shared files, and they will automatically be synched back.

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive: how to share files

Microsoft OneDrive allows one to share files over the web, but not through a desktop. The built-in sharing options, evident in Google Drive and Dropbox, are not necessarily available here. With Windows 8.1, it is not possible for one to synchronize shared files to the desktop.  If you prefer to keep files on your PC, you might want to consider other options.

To be able to share a folder or file from OneDrive on Windows 8.1, right-click and choose Share to and OneDrive. This option redirects you to the same file on the OneDrive website. You can invite specific people to view the file by entering their email addresses. As the owner of the file, you can extend the rights of editing to the invitees or simply allow them to view the files without necessarily making changes. Interestingly, you can also determine whether they need to log in using a Microsoft account or not.

With Get a link option, you can easily create a link to the shared file. Anyone searching the internet for related content will be able to view such files as part of their search results, although accessing the shared information is restricted to those using OneDrive.

Fast and easy sharing of files is one of the greatest advantages of cloud storage technology. Are you using only one of these services or all three of them? Be sure to tell us in the comments below! And for more internet tips, look at our how-to guide to Softpedia and the collection of best download managers!

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