The only catch is that you have to sign up for the Box.net service through the iOS app to get it (though existing users apparently get it the next time they sign-in to their account as well).
Box has been around a long time, much longer than Dropbox – the most popular online storage service going. Normally, 50GB of Box.net storage would cost you $20 per month, with the free plan only offering 5GB. Box also has one huge advantage over most similar services in that it allows multiple users to collaborate on file(s) at the same time.
There is no free lunch.
Unlike Dropbox, there is no menubar icon for easy access. Also unlike Dropbox and Apple’s newly-released iCloud, Box doesn’t offer sync capability in their free accounts. To take advantage of your newly-acquired free storage, you’ll have to access it via your iOS app or the web-based interface. The individual file size limit has been lifted from 25MB to 100MB for this promotion, but it still prevents you from using Box for larger video file backup. Sharing files is easy no matter which option you choose.
However, since iCloud storage is currently useless for anyone that doesn’t use iWork, and most people probably have few individual files larger than 100MB to share, Box is an attractive option that’s difficult to pass-up on.
There is a free snack, though.
If you plan on using Box heavily, you can avoid the browser interface by mounting your Box account just like you would any external server.
- Simply visit the Finder menubar: Go>Connect to Server… (or just hit Command + K)
- Type https://www.box.net/dav (note the https) in the address box
- Type the email address your signed up with in the Username box and your password in the Password box
- That’s it!
Your storage bin will mount on the desktop like an external hard drive and you can drag and drop files to and from the server. In order to send a link to the files though, you’ll have to use the browser interface or the iOS app – a relatively minor annoyance, but one nonetheless.