Amazon, which has long been providing web app hosting services and storage for software developers, has opened up its vast catacombs of web-based storage to the masses by introducing Amazon Cloud Drive. Amazon Cloud Drive, as the name suggests, is a cloud-based storage account that allows you to upload files that can be accessed 24/7 from any computer with a web browser. Read on to learn more about the features that come with this new service from Amazon.com.
5 GB of Free Storage Space
To encourage users to try out its new cloud-based storage service, Amazon is offering 5 GB of free storage space to all users. This is enough to hold about 1,000 songs, 2,000 photos and 20 minutes of HD video. If you want more space, you can upgrade to 20 GB for $20 a year, 50 GB for $50 a year and so on, all the way up to 1000 GB for $1,000 a year.
Unlimited Access from Anywhere
The convenience of cloud-based storage is that you can access your files from any computer with a web-browser. There’s no software to install in order to download files saved on your Amazon Cloud Drive, and you don’t have to carry around USB sticks, burned CDs or any other type of physical media.
Amazon Cloud Player
Amazon also lets you playback music files directly from your Amazon Cloud Drive from any web-connected computer or Android device. Furthermore, MP3s that you buy from Amazon’s MP3 store are automatically saved in your Cloud Drive and are not counted against your quota.
Because your files are kept in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about recovering your files if your computer is damaged, lost, stolen or otherwise compromised.
How It Works
Using Amazon Cloud Drive is simple. Just:
1. Log in to Your Amazon Cloud Drive at https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive (if you already have an Amazon.com account, you don’t even have to sign up).
2. Click “Upload Files” in the top-left corner.
3. Download files at your leisure.
You can use the Amazon web-based uploader, or you can download the Amazon MP3 Uploader client, which automatically organizes your multimedia. You can upload files of any type and organize them in folders as you see fit. Or, you can use the search function to find files in your Amazon Cloud Drive quickly and easily.
Limitations and Considerations
While the Amazon Cloud Drive is certainly exciting, it’s far from perfect—or groundbreaking. Amazon Cloud Drive doesn’t have a syncing client, as do Box.net, SugarSync and Dropbox, thus making backing up frequently changed files somewhat of a chore. Furthermore, you should note that while it’s free to access your files, if you do not have an unlimited data plan, you could quickly incur overage fees when using your Amazon Cloud Player on a regular basis. To avoid this, keep a close eye on your data usage throughout the month and use WiFi whenever possible when accessing your Amazon Cloud Drive or Amazon Cloud Player from your Android device.