Computers and Internet

SkyDrive – Access your local files from anywhere

This is something I learnt today and thought I’d share it with you. I like SkyDrive (http://skydrive.live.com) as it provides cloud storage that can be accessed from any Internet-connected device. What I didn’t know was that it also allows you to access files on your PCs from anywhere.

First, you will need SkyDrive client for Windows 7. You can find it here (once you go there, click on “Get App” button I’m highlighting in below screenshot). Keep reading after the image below.

During the installation of the SkyDrive for Windows, there is a subtle check mark that you can easily miss. It is enabled by default, and can be adjusted through settings once it’s running. Here is a screenshot of that:

When you enable “Fetch Files” option, as long as the Windows PC running the SkyDrive client is online, you can access any and all files on it from http://skydrive.live.com

Here’s how it looks from the web. I will provide couple of screenshots so you have better idea on how the UI looks like. First one below is the landing page where you click on the computer name (circled, showing as “V”), and all of its resources show up on the right pane.

Next screen shows what I get when I click on local disk “C:”. You can download any file, access any folder. Note that downloading an entire folder doesn’t appear to be possible. You can download files individually, or, you can copy individual files to SkyDrive cloud storage. This “Copy to SkyDrive” option is interesting. Consider that you need some 10 photos from different places on your home server. You come here first; one by one copy them to SkyDrive. Then, from SkyDrive cloud storage you can share them via an e-mail link as you normally would.

SkyDrive gives 7GB free storage for new users, and allows limited time free upgrade to 25GB of storage for existing SkyDrive users. You can see this 25GB free upgrade link on “Manage Storage” link when you logon to http://skydrive.live.com

That’s it.

1 reply »

  1. Hello Mr. Eris,

    I use 2 mesh accounts simultaneously to sync folders on 5 computers. One account to sync a folder with others that I collaborate with and another account to sync personal folders. I enjoy the fact that synced folders and sub folders remain at their current place with no need to move as with SkyDrive. Peer to peer syncing is what I need because these are large files. I do not feel comfortable having certain files stored on a cloud but need to access them on each of my computers. I also use remote desktop and remote to my computer at work when I am away. I’ve been using microsoft products on all of my computers at home and at my business (injury clinic). All of the features and reliability of Windows Live Mesh has made my life much easier. Now that Microsoft is deciding to pull the plug, it has got me scrambling to find another product that is suitable before it goes out.

    Why would Microsoft offer a product that people have been using for years and then pull the plug, replace it with another product that is of no comparison, and leave its users to hang out in the cold. It would be understandable to replace a product with another one that can perform the same functions plus additional features but to replace it with one that is deficient is beyond me. Does Microsoft not know of all the troubles and inconveniences that its current users will begin to experience at the cut off date? If SkyDrive is unable to do what Windows Live Mesh can then PLEASE leave Mesh alone. I hope that Microsoft shows that they really do care about their customers and that it’s not about all the money that they will be making off of SkyDrive that would make them be willing to leave their customers hanging with an inferior product. I’m extremely disappointed and will be thinking carefully about obtaining any products from Microsoft in the future if Mesh is unplugged without a comparable or better product. I would pay to use Windows Live Mesh but would not even consider Skydrive. Please, please leave Mesh alone. Thank you.

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