Review of Box.Net Online Storage






     Overview and History - Since 2005, co-founders Aaron Levie and Dylan Smith along with their ever expanding team have positioned Box.net as one of the most hot and trusty internet services for accessing and distributing content from anywhere. Right now, over 2,000,000 people, small businesses, and large companies around the world use Box.Net to simply interact with the data and people that matter most. Box.net is based in Palo Alto, California.

Security Abilities - Box.Net provides 256bit encryption on data whilst being transferred back and forth to it's storage servers. The Company host their servers at multiple enterprise-grade data centers with current audits, 24/7/365 monitoring and recording surveillance, on-site security guards, mantraps, and strict admittance controls. All power and environmental units are in an N+1 redundant design to assure fault tolerance. Redundant power feeds, UPS devices, and onsite blackout generators ensure perpetual performance and strong infrastructure. each file is automatically backed up to a physically distant site. This ensures that they always have duplicate copies of your data.

Backup Features - Box.net is not a backup solution, still, you can make upto 5 different versions of files if you have the Individual account or upto ten versions if you have the business account.

Restore Options - Not counting the file versioning detailed above, there is no restore functionality.

Control and Analysis - This is a web-based product with no software to install on client devices, therefore CPU and bandwidth throttling will not apply.
Logging and Reporting are available but exclusively in the Enterprise edition.

Interface - The interface is beautifully simple to use and offers easy uploading and sharing of files and folders via the web portal. The Business and Enterprise editions offer an Admin Portal and the ability to manage multiple accounts.

Device Support - If your device can get to online, then you can use Box.Net.

Limitations
- The Lite and Individual editions cannot be used for business.
- The Lite edition has an single file size limit of 25 Megabytes while the rest of the editions have a 1 Gigabyte file size limit on
- There is nevertheless, no limit on how much you can transfer.
- File retention for deleted files is 30 days which is the industry standard.

{File Sharing and Collaboration - With all editions, you can invite people to collaborate via email and you can import your email addresses via comma-delimited files or directly if you have an Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail Account.
- Uploaded files can be managed in folders or directly in your home page. Once you have a folder you can:
- Request collaborators to share the files in the folder.
- Link|Attach|Connect} to the folder
- Share the folder
- Embed the folder in a website
- Add comments and tags
- Enter a description for the folder
- Monitor activity in this folder via email notifications
- Set the accesslevel for the folder:
- Private, Collaboration, or Global
- If sharing globally, you can assign a Vanity name to the folder
- One further nifty feature is the ability to set an expiry date on the folder sharing.

Synchronisation - There is no file or folder synchronisation.

Web 2.0 Integration - This is where Box.net shines most bright! Box.net uses the OpenBox standard which means it is completely compatible with an evergrowing number of Web 2.0 applications. Everything from iPhone apps to Online Office apps suchas Zoho and EditGrid to eFaxing via eFax to managing CRM with SalesForce and all your favourite Social Networking sites. You can even add Google Analytics to your account so you can find out how people are accessing your files.

Customer Support
- Phone support is available but not on a toll-free number and only in business hours.
- Email Support is accessable via a webform on the contact page.
- Non-interactive support is good: There is a fairly detailed FAQ section; a Knowledgebase; a forum and a blog. A demonstration and case studies are also available.
- A free trial is offered for the Business edition.
- We found the support staff to be friendly, knowledgeable and willing to help in any way they could.

Ease of Use - Box.Net is so {easy|comfortable|effortless to use. You are up and running very quickly. Once you have uploaded or created some content then you really start to see how easy it is to use. Collaboration is really easy and it becomes a so simple to work online with others when you have a easy to use, streamlined and clear environment to work in.
Cost
- Box.Net offers 4 packages as shown below:
- Lite: free
- Individual - $9.99 / month
- Business - $15 / month
- Enterprise - Price on application
- Initial setup on all packages is free
- There are no options for further storage.
- There are no limits to the amount of devices that can be used with the service

Initial allowed storage amount
- Lite: 1Gb
- Individual: 5Gb
- Business: 10Gb / person
- Enterprise: infinite

Conclusion - If you are looking for an online backup solution then this is NOT the package for you. If you are hunting for a really intuitive,uncomplicated and simple to manage internet collaboration package then look no further. The functionality to setup email notifications when files are updated or added in one of your project folders is a particularly useful touch.
Box.Net is the best online collaboration tool we have reviewed so far.






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Posted on 2010-08-04, By: *

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