Idisk - The Most Versatile Component Of Mobileme (Part 2)

9/10/2012 4:08:32 AM

Alternatively, try...Box

Box ( offers three plans: personal (free), business ($15 per user per month) and enterprise (pricing on request). The free account is more generous than Dropbox, giving you 5GB, although it gets more expen­sive if you choose to upgrade to the 25GB or 50GB personal plans, at $9.99 and $19.99 per month - there are no discounts for annual subscriptions. The free offering limits you to 25MB or less per file; on either paid level, this is 1GB. (On Dropbox, as long as you don’t exceed your allocated storage space there’s no file size limit when uploading through the desktop app and even via the web inter­face you can upload files as large as 300MB apiece.) A free BoxMounter app can mount your remote Box folder in the Finder sidebar, where it mimics a local server, like iDisk.


Alternatively, try... SugarSync

Like Box, SugarSync ( offers a free account that starts out at 5GB. It lets you sync any number of files across any number of devices, with both web access and dedicated apps for OS X, iOS, Windows and other mobile devices. A neat Magic Briefcase syncs files across all devices, but you can choose on a case-by-case basis where other folders are synced, making SugarSync more configurable than Dropbox. It has excel­lent built-in file security, with deleted files stored in a dedicated folder until you actively remove them from the server, so they’re safe even if removed from all your client devices. Files in this folder count against your stor­age, but if someone shares a folder with you, it doesn’t; nor is there any limit on the size of individual file you can upload.

Description: SugarSync

Alternatively, try... Microsoft SkyDrive

Microsoft SkyDrive ( offers the most generous free account, at 25GB, and although the maximum individual file size is 100MB, that’s still more than the free Box option (25MB). When Windows 8 shipped, the maximum file size will increase to 2GB. To sync files with your Mac, you’ll need to set up Windows Live Mesh (see, although synchronization has access to only a fifth - 5GB - of your total SkyDrive space. There’s also an app for iOS. It’s not possi­ble to upload files using FTP, but you can create Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint documents directly in your SkyDrive space using Microsoft’s browser-based apps. A Windows Live ID is required; if you have a Hotmail address or Messenger account, you’re ready, otherwise it’s free to create.

Description: Microsoft SkyDrive
Microsoft SkyDrive

And the finally...

One last iDisk alternative to consider is Google Drive. At the time of writing, it was rumoured to be launched by the time you read this, likely offering Dropbox-like functionality with a 5GB free account and working on Mac, iOS, Windows and Android. Given the clash with iCIoud and the fact that Apple isn’t best friends with Google these days, it seems unlikely the companies will have worked together to achieve seamless OS X and iOS support, but time will tell...

How to retrieve your iDisk data

As we may have mentioned, MobileMe will cease to be on 30 June, and along with it every scrap of data you have on your iDisk. So it’s rather important to download any iDisk data you want to keep (and don’t already have duplicated elsewhere) before the shutdown.

The easiest way to do this is, if you haven’t already, to enable synchronization of your iDisk to your Mac. Go to System Preferences > MobileMe > iDisk and click Start. (You can see this on p63.) If you have a lot of data on your iDisk, do this last thing at night so that downloading all the data won’t impact on your regular broadband use. Once you have your files locally, you can upload them whatever new service you choose just by dragging them to your synced folder.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to perform this transfer from one service to another that doesn’t involve copying all the data on and off your Mac, so you may be looking at a big download and an equally big and therefore much slower - upload. If you’re broadband tariff is capped, that could be an issue too. If you want to minimize the impact, compress your iDisk files first and down­load them in one lump, rather than running through the sync operation.

To do this, log in at, select all the folders you want to download, then click the cog icon and select the Compress option to zip them into an archive. You can then down­load this in the usual way, by selecting it and clicking Download.

If compressing so many files results in a really humungous large archive, reduce the risk of a failed download by compressing files in smaller batches.

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