Looking for a Great Online Storage Solution – App RevIew of CloudHQ

CloudHQ syncs your cloud from the cloudCloudHQ-logo

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a lot of cloud storage spread out across multiple cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, SugarSync, and Microsoft SkyDrive. And while I’ve already migrated most of my digital life to Google Drive, I still keep the other services around and use them to store a few miscellaneous files here and there. I’ve also found that, while I think Google Drive is the most robust and versatile cloud storage provider of those I’ve mentioned, Dropbox has much better third-party app support – not to mention the fact that people I work with share files using a variety of different services, including Dropbox, SugarSync, and SkyDrive.

In other words, even though I personally prefer Google Drive, I’m still finding it difficult to completely abandon all of the other cloud storage services. Luckily, CloudHQ makes managing and syncing multiple cloud storage services incredibly simple – and you don’t even have to install any extra software on your desktop, making it a perfect service to use on my Samsung Chromebook.

Here’s how the service works: first, you sign up for a free trial at CloudHQ’s website using your Google account, and you select the services you want to sync. In my case, I decided that I wanted to sync my Dropbox and Google Drive accounts first, although you can also select Basecamp, SugarSync, Box, Evernote, SkyDrive, and SalesForce. And just in case you ever need help along the way, there’s a convenient chat box that appears on the lower, left hand side of the screen.

 

Their list of supported services is:

  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • SugarSync
  • Basecamp Classic
  • Basecamp
  • Evernote
  • SkyDrive
  • box
  • Gmail
  • salesforce

Among these services I use three combinations together with Google Drive which I will describe in the following.

Google Drive + Dropbox

As described before this is my main use case for cloudHQ. I have a Dropbox subfolder in Google Drive and cloudHQ simply synchronizes that folder with my Dropbox: whenever I put a file in the Dropbox on my laptop it is uploaded to the Dropbox servers and from there synchronized to Google Drive so I have it available on my Chromebook. This all happens within the range of a few seconds, so there is not really any relevant delay. The web interface also has a component to view and resolve conflicting files but I did not encounter a situation to use that yet.

One particularly interesting feature here is the automatic conversion of files to the Google Docs format. If you enable that feature all compatible files are converted to their corresponding Google Docs formats in Google Drive and you can edit them in Google Docs right away. If you disable this feature you can also simply import the documents in Google Docs and they are converted on the fly. The automatic conversion is also particularly interesting if you enable offline synchronization in Google Drive/Docs. Then you basically have all your compatible documents from your Dropbox also synchronized offline to your Chromebook. So if you often travel with your Chromebook outside of any network coverage this could be very useful.

Google Drive + Evernote

I use Evernote for taking notes in meetings and conferences or to prepare notes for meetings. Unfortunately the Evernote app on ChromeOS does not support offline synchronization of the notes from Evernote. Here also cloudHQ helps by synchronizing my notes from Evernote to Google Docs documents in Google Drive which are then also available offline.

Google Drive + box

As a third small use case I also enabled  synchronization between a subfolder in Google Drive and my box account. I don’t really use box for anything, but it supports access via WebDAV. Mounting a WebDAV folder on a Linux machine is a lot easier than installing the Dropbox client. So if I ever want to get some files from a machine into Google Drive quickly, this would be my fallback solution.

To sum up, cloudHQ is a very, very useful service. If you have a Chromebook and also use cloud services outside the Google ecosystem, it might even be a must-have for you. One last remark: I did not have to get in touch with the cloudHQ support yet, but from what I heard they seem to be very nice and competent.

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