Replacing iDisk with online storage of your own


With the June 30, 2012 death of Apple's MobileMe service looming just a little over two months away, some Mac users are still wondering what to do to replace one of the keystone pieces of the service -- iDisk. Macworld's Glenn Fleishman provided some tips today on how to replace iDisk with your own online storage using some common Mac apps that let you treat a remote FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, or Amazon S3 server like a Mac volume.

The trick, says Fleishman, is to get file-sharing access via a hosting company or a storage system like Amazon S3, Google Storage, or Rackspace Cloud Files, and then use either Nolobe Software's Interarchy (US$30) or Panic's Transmit ($34) to create a Mac-mountable volume.

Of the two Mac apps, Fleishman notes that Transmit works most like the default mode of iDisk. It provides a glimpse into the remote server's file structure, but doesn't download or sync files locally. As such, if you need to open a large remote file to edit it on the Mac, you must first wait for the file to be downloaded. After an edit is made, saving the file requires the file to be uploaded back to the source. That can definitely take some time.

Interarchy's Net Disk feature is more like iDisk with synchronization enabled, allowing a Net Disk to synchronize changes to your computer, from your computer to the server, or in both directions. This ends up working more like Dropbox, where files are stored locally instantaneously, but then synchronize with the server behind the scenes.

Fleishman includes instructions on how to create a mountable disk using either Transmit or Interarchy. Just remember to get your iDisk replacement into place prior to June 30th!