If you are always on the go and would like access to your files and folders or PC at home there are several free options out there. You can forget about carrying around thumb drives anymore. We will take a look at some of the more widely used applications. We have also broken them down into two categories; one for apps that just deal with the files and folders, and the other for accessing your machine at home as though you were sitting right in front of it.
A quick note here: A lot of these applications have similar features – ability to share files and folders with others, desktop applications to keep all files and folders in sync and the ability to access data on the go via smartphone apps. We will highlight the differences below.
- Box.com: Provides 5GB – 50GB of space. If you are interested in using them for the office, they have enterprise solutions for a price.
- Dropbox.com: Provides 2GB of space for free and has the simplest user interface of all the options. Also provides additional space for a price.
- Adrive.com: Similar to Box.com and provides 50GB for free. Also provides FTP access to stored content.
- Mediafire.com: They provide the most amount of space for free. There is no limit! No smartphone app for now but the data can still be accessed through a browser on a phone or laptop. Most widely used site by enterprises.
- 4shared.com: Provides 10GB of space for free. Similar to Dropbox in that a separate folder is created on your machine using the desktop application that keeps data in sync across all machines you choose.
These applications are to access your machine at home as though you were in front of it. In addition to accessing the files and folders, you can access all the programs you have installed on the machine (for e.g. if the machine doesn’t have Microsoft Office installed but you have it at home, you can work on Office documents on your machine). No data is stored on the cloud or any 3rd party site as with the File Sharing applications/sites above.
- Windows Remote Desktop Connection: Comes with Windows. All you have to do is enable it and grant access to users to access the machine (along with the IP address or host name).
- TightVNC: Available for Windows and Unix along with a Java client. Is open source so it can be customized to your liking.
- TeamViewer: Gives you the capability to share the desktop with another user. It can also be used for presentations and online meetings. Has a paid version for business use. Also has smartphone application so you can access your machine on your phone.
- RealVNC: Works across all platforms, Windows, Unix, Linux, MacOS (only enterprise edition). Also has a smartphone application.
- ShowMyPC: Also works across all platforms.Also has meeting and presentation features similar to TeamViewer.