What this page is NOT ABOUT is On-line Inventories.
It is about Data Storage methods and options for your Home Inventory data. The first Home Inventory Data Storage Solution focussing on how to use a Google Email account, as a FREE Safe / Secure online storage place, for your partial / completed Home Inventory.
For information on the following Home Inventory Data Storage options, please click:
Online Data Space is easily available for storing your completed Home Inventory. When choosing the option of storing your Home Inventory online as a safe Off-Site Storage option, you should take into account:
- Accepted files formats.
- The number and size of files to be uploaded.
- Dial-up / Broadband limitations.
- Time to upload / download.
- 24/7 accessibility.
- Availability to send the files / inventory elsewhere ie email / ftp.
- How will power outages affect your Home Inventory access?
Whilst the above is not a complete checklist, it does provide a starting point, when thinking about storing your Home Inventory data online. Questions & Answers relating to Online Inventories can be found in an article we wrote on Choosing Online Inventories.
DO NOT - Store your partial / completed Home Inventory on your PC! This is often the first item to be focussed on in a theft. We would recommend whilst the inventory is being built, you keep it backed up to a CD / DVD or one of the above Data Storage devices. Any media / data storage device is best stored in a FireSafe or Off-Site!
Home Inventory Data Storage Online Solution #1
How To Use Google Gmail To Create A Safe & Secure Home Inventory Data Storage Option.
At the time of writing this information [June 2009] Google supports a whopping:
7.3 Gigs of FREE Home Inventory Data Storage
This is ample space to store the average Home Inventory! After you have set up a Google Mail account, with a few more modifications you will have a safe / secure online storage place for your Home Inventory.
The ADVANTAGE of this solution is that it takes only 10-15 minutes to setup. This solution is FREE!
The DISADVANTAGE is that Google for whatever reason, may stop the ability of being able to do this. Note this is not a new implementation though, as users with the 'know how' have being using Google Mail for the purposes of data storage, for well over a year now!
Instructions On How To Set Up A FREE 7.3 GB Home Inventory Data Storage Online.
Step 1 - Set up a Google Gmail [Gmail] account.
Step 2 - Download this small application GMail Drive [gmailfs113.zip - Latest version 1.1.3] from one of the download links:
Option #1 Option #2 Option #3
Information about GMail Drive - Sourced from WikiPedia.
GMail Drive is a free third-party Windows Shell name space extension ("add-on") for Google's Gmail. GMail Drive is not supported by Google. It allows a user to access a virtual drive stored in a Gmail e-mail account by causing the contents of the Gmail account to appear as a new network share on the user's workstation. In order to use this add-on, the user needs a Gmail e-mail account. The add-on enables the user to use the standard Windows desktop file copy and paste commands to transfer files to and from the Gmail account as if it were a drive on the user's computer.
In order for GMail Drive to operate, the computer must be connected to the Internet and the user must have a Gmail account. A broadband connection is preferable, though not necessary, as all operations are done through Gmail and consequently over the Internet. GMail Drive uses the inbox of the Gmail account to store files and creates a virtual file system on top of the Gmail account, enabling the user to save and retrieve files stored on the Gmail account directly from inside Windows Explorer. GMail Drive adds a new virtual drive to the computer under the My Computer folder, where the user can create new folders, copy and drag-and-drop files to, but does not give an actual drive letter, such as C:, preventing its use in all DOS applications, and some older Windows applications.
When the user creates a new file using GMail Drive, it generates an e-mail and posts it to the Gmail account's inbox. The e-mail appears in the normal Inbox folder when using the normal Gmail interface, and the file is attached as an e-mail attachment. GMail Drive periodically checks the mail account (using the Gmail search function) to see if new files have arrived and to rebuild the virtual drive's directory structures.
Multiple computers can connect to one Gmail account thus allowing GMail Drive to act as a multi-user file server.
Consequently, restrictions on the Gmail service are also enforced when using GMail Drive. For example, files larger than 20 MB cannot be uploaded, as the maximum file size of Gmail attachments is 20 MB. In the past, Gmail also prevented users from transferring certain file types, such as an executable or ZIP archive. (Remark: It seems possible now to transfer those file types to a Gmail Drive.) Some users bypassed this restriction by renaming the file extension or by putting it into a RAR or 7zip archive. A GNU software package named PHPGmailDrive even makes it possible to link different Gmail accounts together, and with some manual changes you can have a Gmail Drive built out of several Gmail accounts. - Source WikiPedia
Step 3 - Unzip the application. What we did was rename the application to GMail.exe, create a shortcut to it and place it onto the desktop. This makes it easier to run and access. Click on the application GMail.exe to run. In Windows Explorer you should now see the Gmail Drive appear, looking similar to: