Many of the Live services from Microsoft have gotten upgrades this year. This article will focus on SkyDrive and how to use it, why you’d want to use it and what you can store there.
All that’s needed to start is a Microsoft Live ID. If you have a Hotmail, Livemail, X-Box or Messenger account, you already have one, if not just use the above link to get signed up. Then you’re ready to start adding documents, pdfs, pictures, videos – even .exe files can be uploaded. When you first click on the ‘add files’, it will bring up a screen where you can choose to add your docs/photos or whatever to a new folder or an existing folder.
Before uploading, it will ask what ‘permission level’ should be on that particular folder. Don’t bypass this step. The default is Public, so if you don’t want family pictures publicly viewable, select a different option. There is the ‘Only Me’, then ‘Friends’ and a couple of others. Be careful of the ‘Friends’ option as it’s based on people you have in your Contacts list and/or Messenger List and I’m not quite sure how all that works. I usually select the ‘Only Me’ to be safe. Then later on, you can adjust it or get a link to send to someone to share.
You can open Windows Explorer and drag files onto the window. The only thing lacking here is the inability to upload entire folders. Instead, open up your folder, select all the documents and drag them over into the new folder you created in the step above. Uploads are quite fast. I uploaded 360+ pictures and it took under 5”. I selected all my photos from within Windows Live Photo Gallery and there were folders inside folders. Although all the pictures were uploaded, the folder structure didn’t make it. So if that’s important to you, you’ll need to remember to first make your folder and then upload all the photos for that one folder.
Why Use SkyDrive
- It’s secure with the best encryption available
- It’s FREE
- You get an automatic 25GB of free storage (I still haven’t run out)
- Ability to set up multiple Windows IDs and link them for easy access to any of your documents/media
- Convenience – access your documents or pictures from any internet-connected computer and show people your pictures, work on a document (with the free Microsoft Web Apps), or download what you need
- Give someone a link to view photos, documents or videos and don’t mess around with trying to email them. Be sure to choose the option where the recipient doesn’t have to have a Live ID to see what you’re sharing
Although SkyDrive’s come a long way, there are still big plans for the future when Windows 8 is released. AND – if you have a Windows Phone 7 (like I do), having your SkyDrive docs and photos instantly accessible will be a great experience.