Ask LH: Where Can I Store Massive Files Online?

Dear Lifehacker, We currently have 4TB of data spread across too many external hard drives. We were thinking of setting up a local storage RAID array, but we have this huge internet connection and thought it might be worth storing the data online as well. The problem is finding a solution that is cost effective, and allows large files (12GB and larger in some cases — my partner is a graphics designer and video editor). What do you suggest? Thanks, Big Picture

Picture by kookalamanza

Dear BP,

It’s an appealing thought, but I suspect in your case the home RAID option is ultimately going to be better for you. We’ve covered off online storage and backup services before, but very few options offer a cheap or simple way to deal with extremely large files. “Cheap” is the relevant term here; no-one is going to offer you a free service when you’re dealing with 12GB files, and many of the paid services still restrict file size even if they offer “unlimited” storage. YouSendIt, for example, has a 2GB file size limit. Megaupload doesn’t impose file size limits on its premium accounts, but you’d need to use FTP to automate the uploading of new files.

The other potential issue with this kind of storage approach is the need to get it into the cloud in the first place. Especially if you’re regularly changing and altering files, you’ll quickly consume a lot of bandwidth on your home internet connection. You’d certainly want a plan with a terabyte allowance (or an unlimited one) if you’re going to go down this route, and the initial setup is still likely to take a very long time. All up, I’m not sure the game is worth the candle in this instance.

That said, if readers want to offer recommendations for specific services for maintaining large file collections online, we’d love to hear them in the comments.


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