It seems that the Web 2.0 thing to do is to primarily use web-based applications, preferring them over programs that you actually have to install on your home computer. Not only does this make it more convenient — so you can access and manipulate your stuff no matter where you are in the world — it’s usually much more economical, because online solutions like WordPress, Google Documents, and web-based email are usually free. Yeah, you can’t beat that kind of pricing.
For today’s ReviewMe review, we’re taking a look at Orbitfiles.com, a website that offers free online storage of all your documents, photos, music, videos, and whatever other files you want to be able to access from anywhere. It also makes for a great backup solution in case your home computer goes down the crapper.
Up to Six Gigabytes for Free
With unlimited bandwidth and virtually unlimited transfer speeds (dictated primarily by your internet connection), Orbitfiles makes it easy to maximize those six gigabytes of free online disk space. The main restriction to the free “Platon” plan is that the individual file size is limited to 100MB, so you won’t be able to stash a high-quality home video, for example. Moreover, if you want to share your files with your friends, you have to purchase “traffic” for those visitors.
By contrast, there is the much bigger “Zeus” plan that costs only $20 per year, upping the ante to 70GB of disk storage and increasing the maximum individual file size to 1024MB (1GB). This plan also allows for direct downloads.
A minor detail that I have to point out, though, is that the people at Orbitfiles don’t seem to understand the difference between bits and bytes. Each byte (capital B) consists of eight bits (lower-case b), but when they tell you that the free Platon plan has 6Gb, what they mean is 6GB. I know, I’m nit-picking, but it’s something that they should definitely fix in the site’s documentation.
Layout and Ease of Use
Plenty of white space, but also a whole lot of text, the Orbitfiles site layout feels a little cluttered to me, especially with the third column on the far right dedicated solely to a Google Adsense skyscraper. That ad spot feels tacked on and utterly unnecessary. I understand that they want to monetize the site, but I’d be more comfortable with a banner at the top.
If you’re making use of the online tool, you can only upload one file at a time. This can also be a bit of a pain, particularly if you have many small files to backup. Luckily, there is the free Hercules Uploader, a desktop tool that lets you drag and drop entire folders at a time. Unfortunately, this is only available for Windows-based systems at this time, so Mac and Linux users are restricted to the web-based tool.
The interface isn’t exactly the prettiest in the world, but it works. It’s also a little strange that when you’re navigating through your stored files, it does not display the name of the current folder, but rather one level above that.
The Orbitfiles FAQ is very extensive and answers many of the questions you may have about the service, whether you are opting for the free 6GB option (as most people undoubtedly will) or the $20 Zeus plan for 70GB of online storage. Like most other web-based companies, Orbitfiles also has a company blog to keep you up to date on what they’re doing, including the mobile version of the site.
Orbitfiles Helps You Make Money Online
This is John Chow dot Com, after all, so you knew that making money online had to have something to do with this review. Well, in addition to granting you access to your entire photo collection and other pertinent files through an online tool, Orbitfiles also has an automatic affiliate program that gives you 10 cents for each member you sign up. No, it’s not a lot of money, but you’ve got to start somewhere right?
The above widget says that you get 1 gig, but they have recently upgraded that to the six gigs I’ve been mentioning throughout this review. Go on, sign on up.