Google recently announced that any file type can now be uploaded to Google Docs storage. This means that you can backup genealogy databases, family photographs, or any other kind of file. Google gives away 1 gigabyte of file space free of charge and will also sell you more space for the modest charge of $0.25 US per gigabyte per year.
You should be aware, however, that a single file upload is limited to 250 megabytes. That should be big enough for any file with the possible exception of some of the largest uncompressed video files.
You may optionally share any folders on Google Docs with others. This makes a great method of sending large video files and other material to a friend or relative – perhaps those movie clips or photos from the last family reunion or another gathering. It’s also a great way to get people to collaborate on a project instead of overloading one person (like you!); everyone can simply share the files in an online folder. For example, if you are in a genealogy or other club working on large graphic files for posters or a newsletter, you can upload them to a shared folder for collaborators to view, download, and print. It certainly beats trying to send large attached files in email!
In order to use the new Google file storage, you must have a free Google account. This is the same account you would use to access Gmail. Next, you need to wait until Google updates your account to use the new feature. Google will be rolling this out to its thousands of servers over the next few weeks. You might already have access. Then again, you may have to wait several more weeks.
I just checked my account and was pleasantly surprised to find that I already have access to file storage.
Once you have access, click the Upload button near the top left of the Docs list homepage at http://docs.google.com. If you don't yet have access, you won't have an Upload button.
Click SELECT FILES to upload files from your computer. When the Browse dialog is open, select the file you'd like to upload to Google Docs. To select multiple files, press Shift or Ctrl and click all the files to upload. If you first select one file and then decide to upload more, click the SELECT MORE FILES link that appears after you upload the first file.
You can simply store the uploaded file in Google Docs, or you can convert it to Google Docs format so you can later edit it online. To store the file without converting it, make sure you deselect the option to convert the file.
Of course, you can retrieve your files at any time from any computer that has Internet access. The ability to share files with others is optional; you can turn that on or off as you please. You can share some files and yet leave your other files private.
This is a great free service. Even at the price of 25 cents per gigabyte per year, the paid storage space is a bargain. For instance, you can store 100 gigabytes for only $25 a year.
You can check your upload capabilities at http://docs.google.com. A tutorial is available at http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=50092&hl=en.