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If your experience of the Internet is limited to email, UseNet and perhaps a small amount of facts and figure checking (financial markets, etc.,) you could be forgiven for thinking that there is no way that you could possibly require high speed Internet.

After all, what possible need could you have for watching video clips or streaming music to your computer?

You don’t have any require for these things, nor for online gaming or file sharing. You might even be puzzled as to what attractions these things hold for other people.

However, one particularly useful aspect of high speed Internet is the access it affords to online cloud storage services. These services allow you to retain a backup of important data that can then be accessed from other devices, such as a mobile phone, tablet, notebook or a computer in a different location, and thanks to a fast broadband connection you can take advantage of this space (a portion of which is usually offered for free) and travel without disks and documents, calling them down from the cloud only when required!

Top Cloud Services

Various cloud services are available for you to take advantage of; this is a small selection of some of the most popular:

Windows Live SkyDrive

Provided free from Microsoft, all you need to access 25 GB of free storage is a Windows Live login. SkyDrive is a great way to save backups of documents and photos, and is also available as an online repository for documents created in Microsoft Office Live, the browser-based version of the popular productivity suite.

Using the SkyDrive with the Windows Live Mesh software on your computer (available as part of the free Windows Live Essentials pack) you can automatically sync the data you want to backup from your computer, leaving the mesh tool to update any changes that are made. Live Mesh and SkyDrive are particularly useful as a free online backup solution, and documents stored in SkyDrive can easily be accessed from other devices, such as Windows Phone 7 handsets.


Possible the most popular cloud storage solution is DropBox, a service that offers 1 GB of storage (additional storage is available by upgrading) per free account which can then be accessed either via your desktop or from any number of mobile apps across many different mobile platforms.

Despite some recent security concerns, DropBox is a great way to share data between computers and devices. While you might not use it for vital data, you might take advantage of DropBox and the storage it offers to share photos and non-sensitive data. The advantage DropBox offers is that it makes being able to call on data you have saved to the cloud quick and easy, so for example if you unexpectedly meet a friend that you haven’t seen in a while you can call on family photos and download them to a mobile phone to share.

McAfee Online Backup

Another popular service, but one which is available for a fee, is McAfee Online Backup. Like DropBox and Windows Live Mesh/SkyDrive, this tool runs in the background on your PC, quietly keeping your online backups synchronized with the folders you have specified.

This is a useful cloud storage tool, one that runs without fuss on your computer or laptop and usually without hogging resources.

Something to Consider… Bandwidth

Various capacities of cloud backup storage are available, and it is here that your current high speed Internet account specification comes into play. Slower speeds are probably more suited to smaller cloud storage, as a rule of thumb, but remember that bandwidth also plays a part in these things. The more data you have to sync, the greater the initial bandwidth requirement. If there is a chance that you might exceed your bandwidth usage, you could be liable for an increase in your Internet bill.