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Information Technology

Where Should I Store My Files?

October 20, 2011

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With the recent conversion of Google Docs to Google Drive, LC users have yet another option for storing and sharing large amounts of files. Between Google Drive, WebDisk, LCfiles, and the local hard drive, what is the best option for you? It depends on a number of factors, including redundancy (backup), collaboration, size, security, and access.

LCfiles, often called the J: Drive for a shared network drive and the H: drive for your personal network drive, provides space on our local servers on campus. IT backs up the network drives regularly, and provides 20GB of space for each user. While network drives can be accessed from anywhere, you will need to use VPN (Virtual Private Networking) to access our network from off-campus.

WebDisk is a service provided by IT which allows 1GB of web storage for each user. Like the J: Drive, WebDisk is backed up regularly, and IT can provide some support if files are damaged or lost. Individual files and folders may be shared via WebDisk, and WebDisk may be accessed via the web (webdisk.lclark.edu) or mapped to your local computer. You may also share WebDisk files with others as well as protect them using LC login credentials.

Google Drive provides cloud (web) storage while syncing files to your local hard drive and mobile device. Google Drive may be accessed via the web and provides unlimited storage for Google Docs and 5GB of storage space for non-Google Docs. An important consideration, however, is redundancy. IT hosts WebDisk and the network drive onsite, and backs up all of the data regularly. Google Drive is hosted on Google’s servers, and IT does not back up these items nor can we recover them if they are lost or damaged for any reason.

Your local hard drive is still an option as well. Most institutional hard drives provide at least 500GB of space, and, barring someone logging into your computer and taking files, your data is fairly secure. In this case, you are entrusting the redundancy of your data to yourself, so using backup software such as Time Machine is recommended as a contingency in the event of virus infection or accidental deletion.

For more information on recommended storage and backup practices, contact Information Technology at ext. 7020 or consult@lclark.edu. You’re also invited to attend our Storage and Backup workshop on November 27th at 10am