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21 tips for supercharging your cloud storage

Rick Broida | April 30, 2013
Cloud storage isn't just for files and photos. With the right tools and services, you can do much more: organize data, or automate uploads and downloads. Synchronize, of course. Score extra space without paying an extra cent. Run a basic Web site from a cloud service, manage media, or even fax.

11. Create your own cloud storage service

If you run a website, you might have copious amounts of spare online storage. OwnCloud helps you turn it into your own private Dropbox, able to sync and share files, calendars, notes, and more. You can use it with an existing domain or even a spare Linux machine in your home or office, and from there the sky's the limit. Setup does require a bit of technical savvy, but Lifehacker has a great tutorial on getting started with OwnCloud.

12. Share some space, get some space

Symform works off the idea that you have to give some cloud storage to get more cloud storage. The service gives you 10GB to start with, and you can earn lots more by contributing extra gigabytes from your own hard drive to its distributed network. Give 100GB of local storage, for example, and get 50GB of Symform storage. It's all secure, encrypted, and totally free. The more cloud storage you share via Symform, the more you can get for yourself.

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13. Save Web content to read later

It happens all the time: You notice a great review or feature story on PCWorld.com (or some other site), but you don't have time to read it right now. With one click of a bookmarklet, you can "clip" that page for later viewing. Both Instapaper and Pocket can store your clips in the cloud and format them for easy, clutter-free reading on mobile devices.

14. Stream your music library

Liberate your music library from your PC by sending it to the cloud, making it available anywhere you go (and also acting as a handy backup). One of the best options is Google Play, which lets you upload up to 20,000 songs--including any you might have in iTunes--and stream them to other PCs and devices. Its Windows client automatically syncs newly added music, and there's a download option in case you need to restore your library.

15. Publish a blog or website

Whether you need a quick-and-dirty website or you simply want to avoid paying domain and hosting charges, check out Pancake.io. This free tool turns your text files into webpages, and then it uploads them to your Dropbox account, which effectively serves as the host. For more advanced Web spinners, Pancake.io supports CSS, Markdown files, PDFs, GIFs, and other common file types.

16. Back up your blog or website

Whether you blog about cupcakes or run an online cupcake business, it's vital to back up your site. You never know when a hacker might attack or a server might melt, destroying your hard work in the process. If you're a WordPress user, the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plug-in does exactly what its name suggests. For everyone else, Backup Box can archive Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and other sites to just about any cloud storage service. Both options are free.

 

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