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Use WebDAV to access online storage like a local disk

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There are lots of companies offering online backup and storage facilities on the internet and it can be hard to choose the right one for what you want. Each service has slightly differnt features and one that you might want to look out for is WebDAV. This stands for Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning and what this means is that you can use the online storage as if it was a hard disk drive attached to your computer. It will be slower to access because files will have to be uploaded and downloaded when you copy or move them, or open and save within a program, but it can be very useful and it's a great way to use your online storage space. setting up online storage as a disk drive with WebDAV is quite easy and here's how to do it.

For this tip, Apple MobileMe (www.me.com) will be used. MobileMe is mainly aimed at Apple Mac users, but there's no reason why other people can't use it and most features work OK with Windows. You get 20Gb of online storage space and on the Mac this appears as a disk drive called iDisk. You can access iDisk, your online storage, from a Windows PC using WebDAV and no software is required. If you use Macs and PCs, it means that you have a shared disk drive that can be accessed on both platforms and that's quite useful.

In Windows 7/Vista click Start, Computer. At the top of the Computer window, click Map Network Drive. You can set the drive letter to anything you like providing it doesn't clash with any other drive you have. It should default to an unused letter anyway. In the Folder box, enter http://idisk.me.com/UserName. If you're using MobileMe then replace UserName with your account name, if you're using some other online storage service you might need to consult the online help or FAQ to find out what the URL is. It will be a similar format to the one above.

After entering the URL, tick the box to Connect using different credentials and continue. You'll be prompted for your username and password and once you enter these, the online storage space will appear as a disk drive in the Explorer window. Just use it like any other disk drive.