There are a few tools that will make life easier for any PC user. There are two that I feel would make any of you out there wonder how you survived without them before.
LastPass is a tool that hopes to be the “Last Pass(word)” that you will need to remember. Having to use a different username and password on multiple websites used to be a real pain. Then tablets and smart-phones arrived and now it is totally unmanageable. The usual two solutions are to use the same password everywhere (which means an admin on any site you use can pretty much pretend to be you on the Internet) or to write the passwords down.
IE and Firefox both store passwords for you though. On the PC you use most of the time. In an easy to recover format. But go to another PC (eg. your work laptop) and suddenly the safety blanket is gone.
LastPass fixes all that by securely storing your passwords in the cloud. Install it right now. Let it import all your passwords and never forget a username/password again. You will be much more secure as a result too!
The other tool you need to get is DropBox. It is storage “in the cloud” with one key difference – it isn’t just in the cloud. It copies your folders to every machine you install the client on. The key benefit of this though is that if you go off-line (laptop on the train for example), you are working from files on your hard disk,not the Internet. When the Internet comes back, DropBox puts the latest copy in the cloud and then pushes it out to all your other computers.
Because of this distributed model, it is also a backup system like no other. Version control comes as standard
Got an ipad or iphone? There is a client for that too. Need to share files with somebody else? Yep. Does that.
I recommend installing DropBox and setting your “My Documents” folder to be the same as your DropBox folder. You will never need to worry about backups again. Of course if you have more than 2GB in your Documents folder, you may have to be a bit more selective.
If you need something like DropBox but the files need to never be stored in the cloud, take a look at PureSync instead. I use this to keep the files I use at work in sync between my laptop and server. When I go through a tunnel, the local copy is still available. When I’m back online, the updated copy gets pushed to the server in real-time. Nice.
You can also use it at home and to sync files between your PC and that shiny NAS (disk on the network) that you bought from PC World. There is no 2GB limit but you will have to pay £30 for the software. A Bargain.
OK that was three bits of software, not two. Sorry about that.