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I have been doing my reseach on the best FREE online backup solution. Its basically to backup my project works (around 5GB in HDD).

I am not willing to pay for the service and would like to constraint myself within the FREE usage limits.

So here is the features I would love to have:

  • Automatically detect the changes in the files of y project folder and automatically sync with the cloud (all in the background, regularly)

  • I might not have internet 24X7, SO I would like to see a all the offline changes reflected online as soon as I get access to internet.

  • Net drive ( Want a feel of my external HDD, on CLOUD). Would so love to have it listed among my local drives.(or rather along the left bar of windows explorer, just like how they have place the skydrive in 8.1)

  • Sync between devices (have a win8.1 lap and an Android Tab, so...)

  • File sharing (via link copy paste) might be good.

I feel myself inclined towards Google drive, Sky drive (as I already have account on both and is kind "integrated" into both).

  • Please share with us why you are not considering Google Drive or SkyDrive? What are the reasons that make you not so sure about your decision. – Mohammed Joraid Mar 2 '14 at 8:50
  • One draw back of Google Drive compared to Dropbox is that googl drive must always start with en empty folder. Therefore if you for some reason refreshed/reinstalled your os or completely uninstalled/installed again google drive app agent. Then you need to delete the data into your drive folder and re-download them again or change the folder. – Mohammed Joraid Mar 2 '14 at 8:54
  • As for wanting it to me mounted as a dirve, yo can do this -> superuser.com/questions/109407/… – Mohammed Joraid Mar 2 '14 at 8:55
  • My main reservations agaist GDrive and Sky drive is that I have to duplicate my project folder into their working folder (eg: the GDrive folder is in "C:\Users\<username>\Google Drive"). I want something which can use my current folder for monitoring. (just like how we add our music folder to some audio players monitor folders list), witout having to make local duplicates. For the time being, I am using Gdrive, and have duplicated my project folder inside Gdrive folder. Also I have set up "free file sync(realtimesync)" to sync both the folders..which is clkumsy.... – qzyDO Mar 7 '14 at 9:47
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Yandex Disk is a competing service to Google Drive, and has twice the amount of space you specified in the free offering (10 GB). I use it on a semi-regular basis (more of an archive since the space is quite generous in the free offering), but it'll meet your requirements:

  • Syncs changes per-device when you become connected again, allows for working offline
  • Can appear as a network drive
  • Works across PC / mobile devices
  • Granular access for sharing (rather simple interface)
  • Free plan caps at 10GB, which more than suits your needs

It comes with a pretty simple installer that handles the basics of setting up shortcuts, how it starts, etc. I believe a bandwidth management tool was built into that, but I was an early adopter, so I'm not sure what the installer actually handles now. Still, it's pretty simple to set up.

It's also got a rather extensive WebDAV compatible API that allows you to do neat things (or have a programmer do them for you, if you're so inclined); this permits you the opportunity to make creature comfort features. SDKs are available for Windows / Windows Phone, Android and iOS - however WebDAV is WebDAV - so any suitable client would work.

I'm quite happy with my limited use of it, it's always worked when I needed it to work and I've never had a problem with lost data. Google has a whole lot of servers around the world, so it might be a bit faster for you than Yandex depending on where you are - that's a consideration you didn't mention, but when you're talking about gigs of network storage, it kind of matters. Still, 10 GB free is quite nice, and it's a pretty mature offering now.

A bit of a closing note, I'd suggest a bit of redundancy when using third party storage services. Sure, you've got 10GB on Yandex, but maybe also store the 3GB of that which you really care about on Google Drive also - better safe than sorry when it comes to that.

  • I am impressed....But do I have to copy my existing data to a "yandex folder" or can I simply upload the existing folder without copying to the "yandex folder". – qzyDO Mar 7 '14 at 9:36
  • I think you can simply upload the existing folder, what remains is, will the sync program pull that back down to your 'yandex folder' - resulting in the same duplication and use of bandwidth. I'm reasonably certain the Yandex folder can't be a shortcut, but that'd be something to check before you start (could save you some time) – Tim Post Mar 7 '14 at 13:59
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Dropbox matches that fairly well (though tbh I think that may be slightly too broad as I can think of quite a few things that I know to theoretically match - dropbox I know from experience).;

  • Automatically detect the changes in the files of y project folder and automatically sync with the cloud (all in the background, regularly): Yes
  • I might not have internet 24X7, SO I would like to see a all the offline changes reflected online as soon as I get access to internet: Yes; as soon as you are online (and have the app active it will start synchronizing.
  • Net drive ( Want a feel of my external HDD, on CLOUD). Would so love to have it listed among my local drives.(or rather along the left bar of windows explorer, just like how they have place the skydrive in 8.1): Not really; you have a folder view of your current state but I suppose you could probably probalby map it as a drive.
  • Sync between devices (have a win8.1 lap and an Android Tab, so...): Yep - there is n android client as well as windows clients.
  • File sharing (via link copy paste) might be good. That is available via the web interface.

  • Pricing: 2GB default for free; though with a couple things like automatic picture uploading from camera you can get 5GB without much effort. For larger size requirements see their pricing page.

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