File Storage and Sharing in the Cloud: Box.net Review

box.net reviewIf you are still wondering what cloud computing, cloud apps or cloud business is, consider visiting Box.net and sign up for a free account. Here is why.

The definition of ‘cloud’ is pretty much ambiguous today, and there are controversies in determining which web applications or services considered as cloud services, and which are not. Indeed, cloud computing and cloud business concepts are pretty new, and businesses are still considering their options regarding anything related to cloud computing for business.

But one thing for sure, Box.net is definitely a cloud business, as it fulfills some cloud computing criteria: Resources can be accessed on-demand, the services are scalable, and you can do business and access tools and apps from one, single location.

What is Box.net?

Box.net, in essence, is an online file sharing services. You can create folders, store files in them, do online collaboration with your team or potential clients alike, and do whatever you want with them – just like the way you work on your projects and tasks in your own PC or laptop. Want to attract a larger crowd? You got it – You can access Box.net community to collaborate with fellow cloud fans.

The key feature of Box.net is OpenBox. OpenBox apps allow you to share your folders and files with iPhone, salesforce CRM, iPad, Android, LinkedIn, NetSuite, and many more – literally hundreds of them. More about this later on.

How to use Box.net

The whole start-up process won’t take you more than 5 minutes – even less. Just sign up with Box.net, fill in your details and choose the level of services you demand:

Free plan: Your first 5 GB of storage is free. You can store and share files, but that’s all about it, really. This plan is perfect if you want to store files and share them occasionally.

Business plan: This is the best level of service. You can get a 15-day free trial with no obligation whatsoever. You can enjoy more space – 500 GB, faster uploads, better security and more collaboration capabilities. If you wish to continue your subscription, Box.net only charges you $15 per user per month, allowing you to have more than 3 users in the same account.

Enterprise plan: This plan is perfect for die-hard cloud fan and ready to run your business in the cloud. You can do anything in the cloud: Store and share files, access enhanced collaboration, full custom branding and advanced security controls – all supported by a dedicated support team. Pricing: Contact Box.net sales.

You can start uploading files to the cloud by simply creating a folder. Then you can start uploading your files.

To upload files, you don’t need to install anything although installing a small Java applet allows you to do things a little bit faster.

What to do with the files? You can invite and engage with collaborators and/or share your files and folders with various OpenBox apps. To better understand how OpenBox platform works, please watch this overview:

How Box.net can help your business

Box.net embraces the power of cloud computing. You can gain access to resources on demand. The resources will always be available, and can accommodate your needs, whether you are a 5-person business or a 5,000-person one – all without the need for additional infrastructure, ever.

Such benefit means one thing: No more investment and running costs required to establish and maintain your business IT infrastructure; all done reliably and securely in the Box.net cloud.

Not only for getting projects done, you can actually move your entire business operations to the cloud, rendering your business lean and nimble, responding well to changes and challenges.

I recommend you to sign up with Box.net’s 15-day free trial program to test the services. You can stop or continue using Box.net services whenever you want – no risk on your part.