DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

November 8, 2016

Do You Use Multiple Clouds?

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 5:42 am

Floyd wrote this week and asked an excellent question. He has several Cloud storage sites that he often uses.  Floyd has all the most popular ones; Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and Amazon Drive.  Keep in mind there are many more out there.

He wanted to know if there was any way he could log into all of them in one location instead of jumping back and forth logging into each.  One at a time is a hassle if you use the websites.  It is much easier if you just use each one’s local folder on your computer.  But what if you are on someone else’s computer and need to access one of your cloud pictures or files and you are not sure which location you put them in?

Wouldn’t you know, there is something for that and I have been using it often for several years.

It is called MultCloud (multcloud.com be careful there is no “i” in there) and it will allow you to access all of your cloud storage on one website.  To add one of your Cloud storage areas, click “Add Clouds” at the top.  Next, you can choose the service you want to add.  For instance, select Dropbox.  You will next be directed to log in to your Dropbox account.  This will allow MultCloud to access your account and display your folders and files.  Once you complete that your Dropbox folders and files will appear on the website where they may be easily accessed.

You may now add additional cloud storage on other services.  If you are like me you can also add other accounts from the same provider.  In my case I have two Dropbox, three OneDrive and only one Google Drive folders.  That way I have enough room to store all of my documents.  The reason I have extras from the same provider is that they only allow you a limited amount of storage per email address.  Therefore, if you have multiple email accounts you can also have multiple cloud storage accounts with the same company.

MultCloud

Once you have them set up what can you do?  You can download any file in any of the accounts to the PC you are using and edit away.  You can also delete them, upload additional files and folders, etc.

Once you install and set up MultCloud you can access your files remotely from any computer you are using.  What you would have been able to do on your local computer with any of your files you can now do anywhere including but not limited to photos.  If you travel without a computer and need your files this could be a lifesaver.

Go to the site and look around, not only will you find MutlCloud but you may get other ideas regarding other online cloud services you could use.

Just remember my thought regarding “The Cloud.”  It is as secure as its most displeased employee.  If an employee had the skills they could get into your information.  Yes, doubtful but it is possible.  Also, hackers may work on storage sites like these.  So, my advice is never store items with your SSN or any other personal information in it that you have a problem “getting out.”

January 6, 2015

2014 Sites in Review, Part 1

Welcome to the beginning of our fourteenth year together with the Double Click column.  Every January we review the sites that we visited in the previous year.  Today is no different.  So as always, if the site addresses are too long to type I have shortened them using the "bit.ly" app so the links may not look quite right.  Without further ado…here they are in their order of appearance with short descriptions of each.

Thanks for reading the column and emailing me with your great questions.  I love writing it and hearing from you! 

  • Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and ABC – add ".com" to any of those to view TV shows, movies, video clips, etc.
  • Chromecast.com – this Google device allows you to broadcast anything from your Android, iPhone or Windows phones and computers to your TV.
  • Chromebook.com – Computers that run the Chrome OS (Google) and have everything you need in the Cloud. 
  • Google Drive/Docs,  – Google’s Office substitute and a good one it is, with this you may not need to purchase Microsoft Office.
  • McAfee – one of the many antivirus applications available for your computer’s protection.
  • Libre Office and Open Office – the two leaders in the free Microsoft Office replacements.  Both are good; however, fall short in some areas. 
  • Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, IxQuick and StartPage – add ".com" to any of these for search engines, the last three do not track your searches but the first three do.
  • Google Location History – this site will show you where you have been in the recent past on Google Maps. 
  • Copy, bit.ly/roncopy – free online cloud storage, use the link shown and get 20 GB instead of 15 at Copy.com.
  • Dropbox, bit.ly/use-DropBox, same as above; however, you get 2 GB, many people prefer this to all the other online storage options since it was one of the first.
  • Google Drive and OneDrive, (by Microsoft) – Google’s and Microsoft’s cloud storage sites both at 15GB free. 
  • OneNote, Microsoft’s great note taking application, free online.
  • MultCloud, put all of your cloud storage on one site (notice spelling, no "i").

Tune in next week for the last half of the sites we visited in 2014.

September 23, 2014

August 5, 2014

Things Wanted, Part 2

I received quite a few emails following last week’s column.

First, with regard to Thunderbird – the email client mentioned – several users said they enjoy it and have been using it for some time. David suggested another similar program, "Windows Live Mail," by Microsoft.

Next, several readers chimed in with questions regarding the appeal of  Coffitivity and Rainy Mood  but others enjoyed each site.

Once upon a time, I was a staunch supporter of Google Drive and Google Docs; however, with Outlook.com – the free cloud version of MS Office – I believe Microsoft’s outdone Google.

Since much of the business world relies on Microsoft-formatted files, Outlook uses MS as its default format.  Also, Outlook.com is the place to be for free Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps in the cloud.

Users must have or create a Hotmail.com or Outlook.com account, which allows them access to the aforementioned apps and  OneDrive cloud storage of 15 GB. While not as full-bodied as the commercial versions, the apps are useful for everyday and they work with most every tablet and phone, too.

OneDrive - Outlook.com logo

Another frequent question I receive is, "Ron, which is the best Cloud Storage and how safe is it?"

New ones appear constantly and most offer a starter amount of storage, which is usually between two and five GB.

For users hoping to keep storage completely removed from Office applications, I offer the following suggestions.

Dropbox logoI’ve long used Dropbox, which I find very dependable. If you use bit.ly/use-DropBox, you’ll be offered extra storage. A few reported hacker scares have arisen, but little came of them and the situations were quickly resolved.

New users are offered 2 GB free to start and more may be earned in different ways.

Copy.com logoMy current favorite is Copy.com – use bit.ly/roncopy for 20 GB free – which has a few more options, though some may seem confusing.

In terms of security: If something is online, it can be hacked. That includes bank accounts, though those chances are more slim, due to protocols and regulations. 

Storage sites like are more likely to be targeted, which is why I don’t use them for anything more than photos and files without personal information, such as routing or social security numbers. 

If you find this column helpful, let me know.

May 13, 2014

April 15, 2014

Copy That

Over three years ago I mentioned an excellent product named Dropbox. Dropbox is a “cloud” storage program which allows you to save all sorts of files on a site located on the web. It allows you to “sync” your files without you doing anything to your free 2 GB container of online storage. If you have a file in your local computer’s Dropbox folder and edit it, it is automatically transferred to the online location. Pretty much an auto-backup utility. Dropbox has been and still is an outstanding product.

image However, I have found another that is very similar but it has several distinct advantages. I have been using “Copy” for several months now and cannot find any shortcomings. The site is copy.com. Please go there to visit but if you are interested in signing up use this link, “bit.ly/roncopy” to get extra storage. If you use that link both you and I get an additional 5 GB of storage.

image One large advantage is easy to see from the very beginning. It is that you get 15 GB of free storage. If you use my link above you get an extra 5 GB so you start with 20 GB of free storage.

For those of you who use Dropbox but would like more space please give it a try. I strongly urge all of you to use the training information they suggest once your signup, download and install is complete. It is very helpful and most of it is easy to understand.

Other than the amount of storage you get with Copy they have another neat feature called, “Fair Storage." For instance, my wife and I both have an account. We both have many pictures we want to store at Copy. If I have 6 GB of pictures on Copy and I share that folder with my wife it counts as only 3 GB each; it splits the difference. If you have 20 GB of files and share it with four other people only 4 GB would be counted for each of you. That is slick!

Here is another interesting feature I like. With Dropbox you have to sync the Dropbox folder which means that each folder and file you sync must be in that folder. With Copy you can do the same thing or create a shortcut in the Copy folder on your computer to the original folder/file on your computer. That way you get to leave the original files where you have always had them and sync to Copy.com. This makes it even easier to manage for me.

Many other features are available which you can find out about once you sign up. One final thought… Copy.com is owned by Barracuda Networks which is a well-respected company and has been around for over 10 years. They deliver security, networking and storage products based on network appliances and cloud services mainly for businesses. I have contacted them and they say that Copy.com is very successful and should be around for a long time.

January 14, 2014

2013 Sites in Review, Part 2

This week I will continue with the second half of the links we talked about last year at DoubleClicks.info.

Remember, if the site addresses are too long to type I have shortened them with bit.ly.  Here they are in their order of appearance with short descriptions of each.

  • Dropboxbit.ly/aszzao.   A very good cloud storage app.  Use the supplied link to sign up and get more space.
  • Kill Diskkilldisk.com.  This application will totally wipe your drive clean so that it is almost impossible to retrieve deleted data.
  • Nexus 7 2013bit.ly/1esugJz.  My current favorite Android tablet. 
  • Hulu.com and Hulu.com/plus.  The very popular free and paid TV movie streaming apps. 
  • Google Musicplay.google.com/music.  Google’s free/paid (depending on what you want) music streaming plus you can upload your own music to it and listen anywhere you have internet connectivity.
  • BGCallwww.vieas.com/en.  A wallpaper changer which was less than adequate at the time I wrote about it.
  • Google Keepgoogle.com/keep.  A very good note taking app where you can add pictures, lists, texts and be alerted by them using the time or location of your mobile device.  I just hope Google does keep this one.
  • Recuvapiriform.com/recuva.  Did you accidentally empty the Recycle Bin and need a file back?  If so try this app which is one of the better ones for recovering deleted files.
  • Facebook.com and Twitter.com.  Two popular social web sites.
  • PayPal.com. A safe place to pay for online purchases.
  • Device ManagerAndroid.com/devicemanager.  How to locate, send an alert or wipe your data from your Android device(s).
  • Ubuntuubuntu.com.  Operating system which operates as well as Windows; however, this one is free. 
  • Join Mejoin.me.  A free application for individuals, which will allow you to log onto someone else’s computer, while they are there.  Great to use for helping and training.
  • Should I Remove Itshouldiremoveit.com.  A free app that will locate and remove unwanted programs including adware, toolbars, bloat-ware, crap-ware and other junk.
  • AniPet Aquariumbit.ly/anifree. A nice live wallpaper for Android devices. Also similar for Windows and OSX is Serene Screen at serenescreen.com. 
  • Glympseglympse.com and Waze.com.  A good and much better GPS navigation app for your mobile devices. 
  • Chromegoogle.com/chrome, Firefoxfirefox.com, Internet Explorer – search at Microsoft.com, Operaopera.com and Safariapple.com/safari.  The five most popular web browsers.
  • OpenOffice (openoffice.org) and LibreOffice (libreoffice.org) are two similar but excellent free replacements for Microsoft Office. 

I look forward to continuing the discussions about software, computers, the internet and all sorts of technology this year.  I hope that you, your families and friends have a great 2013 and continue to join me in the newspaper, on the radio and on the web! 

July 16, 2013

April 20, 2010

File Storage in the Clouds

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , — Ron @ 4:55 am

I often receive questions about where you can save your documents in the cloud (online).  In the past I have written about Mesh.com and Google Docs.  However, I have found another one which, I believe is even better.  Over the past several months I have started to depend on Dropbox.com.

With Dropbox you get 2GB of free storage or more if you meet certain criteria.  If you decide to sign up for Dropbox use this link, http://bit.ly/aszzao. If you use this link, they give me 250 MB of additional free storage, so thanks in advance.  If you want more storage you can get 50 GB for $9.99/month or 100 GB for $19.99 per month.

First, let me supply some info about file sizes.  I have stored all of my columns from the past nine years on Dropbox.  That is about 750 columns and research documents.  They take up about 50 MB.  With the total of 2 GB of storage in Dropbox I could store another 40 years worth of columns. You could also store about 750 digital photos, depending on the resolution.

image

It is easy to use.  Install the software and sign up with an email address and password.  Then you will have a “My Dropbox” folder in your “My Documents” files.  Any files or folders you put in that folder are automatically transferred to the Dropbox cloud.  If you make a change to any file in that new folder it will automatically be updated to the cloud.  Smooth… and it takes no extra input or thought from you.

In my case I moved my “Columns” folder into the newly created “My Dropbox” folder.  After about three or four minutes all of those files were online.  As I type this column today and save it, the new version is online almost instantly.  By-the-way, as you try it keep in mind that the file will not be uploaded until you close it on your local computer.

That is not all it does for you.  Let’s say you have a desktop, a notebook and a netbook computer.  You can install Dropbox on all three systems. The entire contents of the “My Dropbox” folder will be duplicated on all three.  That way your important files are always available a few seconds after you start your computer.  If you only have one computer it is still a good thing since the files are safely backed up online in case your hard drive fails.

There is one last feature I will mention.  If you have a file you want to share with an individual or a group of people go into Dropbox.com and share it with them using their email address.

If this sounds like something you could use why not give it a shot?  I don’t think you will be disappointed.

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