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Up In The Cloud: Cloud to Cloud File Transfer
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Up In The Cloud: Cloud to Cloud File Transfer - Executive Leadership Articles

Up In The Cloud: Cloud to Cloud File Transfer

Executive Leadership Articles

Up In The Cloud: Cloud to Cloud File Transfer

The consumer cloud storage market has been hot for several years now—so hot that service providers compete for our attention with free storage quotas, hoping that as our storage needs grow (and they always do), we’ll shell out the price for added storage and extra features. On a consumer level, one can conceivably stretch multiple free cloud accounts a long way: five free gigabytes in this free cloud, three free gigabytes in that one, and so on until our collection of cloud drives is like a row of small lockers, each with its own lock and storage capacity.

If we’re really organized, perhaps one locker is for our work-related documents, while another is strictly for personal photos and still another is a backup of our music library. If we’re less organized, we might have all kinds of stuff in each locker, making it supremely difficult to track down that peach cobbler recipe we saved but for some reason didn’t put on Pinterest.

Getting organized from here means downloading files from the cloud to our computers and then uploading them to their new, tidy locations in one of these clouds. Not only is it very time-consuming, but it eats up bandwidth and local storage like crazy. Sometimes, we fill our cloud quotas, or the amount of space in our free accounts changes, or a cloud provider ends its service and gives us thirty days to pack up and move out, and we have to move stuff out of one cloud and into another just to stay within our limits or not lose it forever.

For tasks like these, there are a small handful of interesting services which let us connect a large number of cloud drives, putting them in front of us like multiple drives on one computer, then transfer them from cloud to cloud. For example, if a Dropbox is approaching its storage limit, we can transfer a whole bunch of stuff from Dropbox to OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, or one of the other cloud services, optionally deleting them from their source cloud once you move the files.

We gave three of these services a quick spin and found very little difference in functionality. Each combines a large number of cloud drives (some well-known and some relatively obscure, and some as specialized as Flickr and Evernote, plus drives accessible via FTP and SFTP) into one desktop-like environment. Each offers synching options, scheduled synching, and other options. Each has a free plan, with paid plans with extra data transfer, security, or features.

One note of caution if you’re thinking of doing your own research. There are at least fifteen services integrating multiple cloud drives in one place, letting you view, search, preview, sync, and transfer files in one easy desktop-like view. However, most of them don’t offer real cloud-to-cloud transfer: instead, you effectively download from one cloud to your computer and then upload from your computer to another cloud, which is the very thing we’re hoping to avoid. Before you spend any money or waste any time, if you want cloud-to-cloud transfer, start with these and then look for something similar. At first glance, they’re all going to look pretty much the same, but the schematics of the transfers can be everything.

Otixo comes with 2 gb of data transfer per month for free, or about 13% of a free Google Drive storage quota. It offers a desktop app and a mobile app. Paid plans offer increased functionality as well as increased transfer data. Basic paid accounts get 5 gb per month of data transfer with upper tier accounts getting 50 gb per month. Plans start at $6.67 per month billed annually and go up to $12.50 per month billed annually, with slightly higher fees for monthly billing instead. Transferring files is easy and fairly intuitive.

Cloudsfer offers 5 gb of free data transfer with no time limit. Additional data transfer begins at $6 for 8 gb of data and goes up from there, depending on how much you need. Because of the pay-by-the-gigabyte structure beyond the free allotment, Cloudsfer feels a lot more suited to a large, one-time migration than a regular drive management system. Perhaps this would be a good choice if you decide to change from one large, paid cloud service to another.

Multcloud comes with a pretty whopping 2 terabytes of free data transfer, which is equivalent to about 133 free Google Drive accounts. Some find the mechanism for transfering from one cloud to another slightly convoluted, but we thought it was easy to use. Data transfer felt slow, however, and when we executed a multiple-folder transfer, we had time to have lunch and walk the dog before our transfer was complete. Still, it might have taken just as long to download everything from one cloud and then upload it to another. If 2 tb isn’t enough data, Multcloud offers a points system for earning more data: sharing links on social media letting others know about Multcloud earns points, as does referring others who sign up or sharing files via Multcloud. Simply sharing a referral link earns 100 gb of data transfer. Alternately, $7.99 per month earns a few extra features and unlimited data transfer, so if you’re a real cloud jockey, you may find this a reasonable price.

The generous free allotment by itself makes Multcloud the best option, at least for starters. We especially liked Flickr and Google Photos as options, as we prefer serious redundancy on photo storage, and since we’re slightly wary of Evernote’s endurability, we like the option of duplicating content from there. Of the three services, Cloudsfer offers the least connectivity with cloud services, but if one of the available drives is what you need, the 5 gb quota is a plus. Otixo’s large number of connected services is impressive too. 2 gb isn’t quite enough to get us excited, but a reasonable unlimited monthly plan is appealing for those of us who have regular transfer/sync needs.


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Up In The Cloud: Cloud to Cloud File Transfer - Executive Leadership Articles

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