Using Windows Live SkyDrive for Cloud Backup

I use Windows Home Server as my primary backup solution, but since the server sits in my apartment, I also needed some kind of off-site solution, preferably cloud-based. Since I already use a bunch of Microsoft software, Windows Live SkyDrive seemed the natural way to go. It also offers a whopping 25GB of free cloud storage and it will integrate nicely with the upcoming Office 2010.

My only beef with SkyDrive was that it didn’t integrate easily with Windows, I needed to use a browser to upload files to the service or install a third-party utility. Fortunately, this is no longer necessary, as it is now possible to hook up a SkyDrive folder as a network drive in Windows Explorer. This makes things so much easier. Paul Thurrott has the details in his Windows 7 Tip Of The Week.

SkyDriveNetworkDrive

Now I can use my documents folder on SkyDrive just like any other drive in Explorer. Of course, since the data is not cached locally, there is a small delay every time one switches folders as Explorer has to retrieve the folder contents from the cloud. When using this only to backup a bunch of files every once in a while like I do, this shouldn’t be an issue, though.

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