In the past couple of years, cloud storage has become more and more popular with people. There are so many different options to choose from: Dropbox, Bitcasa, Box, Google Drive and so on. One of the many advantages of cloud storage is that you can easily share a document with someone else. For example, if I create a document and put it into Dropbox, it is very easy for me to share a link with someone. I don’t have to type out an email and attach the document to it. That process, although easy, can be cumbersome and has some definite downfalls.
Now days, with so many people using cloud services, you almost expect most people that you share documents with to be using them. The problem though, is that there are so many different services to choose from and not only that, but what if you are sharing documents back and forth with someone who isn’t using a cloud service you are using?
Let’s say, for example, that you are using Dropbox, but the person you are wanting to share files back and forth with doesn’t use a cloud sharing service. That can definitely be a pain for you and the other person. That’s why today I am going to be reviewing a web application that will let anyone upload documents to your cloud service, whether they are using it or not. Let’s take a look at EntourageBox and see how the cloud can make you collaborative.
Getting Set Up
Using EntourageBox is very easy and is really not all that hard or complicated. The whole premise of it is that it lets others who may not use the same cloud storage as you or who don’t use it at all, have the ability to share documents with you to the service that you use. The first thing you are asked to do is to choose a storage that you normally use. You have three options to choose from, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Amazon S3.
Secondly, depending on the service that you choose, you now have to some options to set up. For example, in the screenshot below, I chose to go with Dropbox. I can add an email address so that people I request to send a document to can also send a message with their document. Then, I would designate what folder I want the documents to go to. Lastly, I can add a layer of protection by making it password protected so that only people who know the password can upload documents to that specific Dropbox folder. Once this is done, you are now given a unique url that you can share with others.
Sending Documents To Your Cloud Service
When you are ready to send out the link, you can easily send it through email or post it to social networks by copy and paste. When they click on the it, they are taken to EntourageBox where they can now choose what they want to share and upload it. Files that people want to share can be up to 50 mb in size. Once this is done, the document is now in your Dropbox and you are good to go. It really is that easy and it takes no time at all.
Over the past few months I have noticed other services that are similar to EntourageBox that are starting to pop up here and there. One of them, AirDropper is one that I also took a look at. Their service, without going into too much detail, is very similar to EntourageBox. The only difference is that they exclusively use Dropbox and not other services like Google Drive or S3. That is really where the main differences end though. You still connect to a cloud service, then set some things up and then a link gets sent to the people that you want to upload documents to your Dropbox. A couple of the other ones that I have seen out there also mainly use Dropbox as the cloud storage to connect to and are nothing special compared to these two.
I can really see the use for something like EntourageBox and I think it can serve a purpose for people. It can definitely be useful for freelancers as well as others who like the convenience of having documents just sent to the cloud and not through email. I like that EntourageBox let’s you have the option between Dropbox, Google Drive and Amazon S3, but I would love to see the addition of more cloud services. Also, at the moment EntourageBox charges $2/url if you want to bump the upload size from 50mb to 300mb and no ads.
The one thing that I like about a service like this is that whether or not people use a cloud storage service, you don’t have to worry about that. You send them the link, and they can upload a document, whether it be from Dropbox or from their hard drive. Then it easily gets put neatly into a folder that you designate in your cloud storage of choice and you can access it from any web enabled device. That is the beauty of the web and cloud working together for you to make your life easier and letting the technology do all the hard work for you.