Once you get it up and running, SearchYourCloud proves an able companion to online storage.
The idea behind SearchYourCloud is a good one: This application is designed to help you secure and find all of the data you have stored in the cloud. Getting up and running with the application can be a bit tricky, but once you have an understanding of SearchYourCloud, you’ll likely find it delightfully simple to use.
SearchYourCloud is free for 14 days, after which you’ll have to pay $25 to keep using it. That price may seem a bit steep, but business folks especially are likely to find the convenience and security that it offers worth the cost…but only if they’re using a supported cloud service. That’s because SearchYourCloud doesn’t work with every cloud-based storage service out there: Right now it’s limited to Dropbox and Box, and offers plugins for connecting with Exchange and Sharepoint. The company plans to add support for Google Drive and SkyDrive, which will greatly enhance its appeal, but has not offered a timeline.
You access SearchYourCloud from the system tray, but this is not immediately apparent. Neither is how to use the application’s 256-bit encryption in order to secure your files. It took a phone call with the company for me to figure this out, but once the process was explained, I was surprised at just how simple using this application actually is. I just wish arriving at this understanding were a little bit easier.
From the system tray, you can initiate a full-text search of your cloud-based and local files. In my tests, results were quick and accurate, whether searching my desktop or my linked Dropbox account. Search results pop up in a new window that’s easy to browse, and once this window is open, you can initiate a new search from there, too.
Despite the emphasis on “Search” in SearchYourCloud, the application is just as much about security, the company says, something that was driven by a lack of security in most of today’s cloud-based services. Once SYC is running on your computer, a simple right click on any file will allow you to save that file, with encryption, to a connected cloud storage account.
If you’re using Dropbox, all of the files that you secure this way will automatically be saved to a “SearchYourCloud” folder that is created for you inside Dropbox. The only oddity here is that my SearchYourCloud folder contained several subfolders that I had to open in order to access my files. It wasn’t terribly time consuming, but it was a bit confusing.
SearchYourCloud will prove valuable for business people who need easy access to and secure storage of their important files in the cloud. Other folks are likely to find it too expensive, though, and some users may be put off by its lack of guidance when you first start it up. If you can get past that point, though, you’ll find this application pretty darn simple to use.
Note: The Download button takes you to the vendor’s site, where you can download the latest version of the software.
Liane Cassavoy is a veteran technology and business journalist. She contributes regularly to PCWorld and has written about business issues and products for Entrepreneur Magazine and other publications. She is the author of two business start-up guides published by Entrepreneur Press.