File Storage & Sharing

A variety of services are available for storing and sharing files.  These are described in the sections below.


The Physics Department provides AFS service for secure file storage and sharing.  Windows, Mac, and Linux are supported.  For more information, see here.

Box provides 50G of storage to all UW faculty, staff, and students.  Files can be shared with others and can be synchronized between multiple computers.  To get started, see here.

Using Box as a Backup

One way to backup your Macintosh or Windows computer (especially laptops) is with Box. We especially recommend this approach for laptops, because the Physics Department's backup programs are not well suited for computers which are often disconnected from the network.

Box can keep the contents of a designated folder named "Box Sync" synchronized between multiple computers: Box uploads the contents of the Box Sync folder to their servers. Then, if you install Box on another computer, the contents of the Box Sync folder gets copied to the other computer too.  If you don't want the full contents copied, you can have it omit some folders.  If you need more than the standard 50G of space in Box, you can request more.

Box also has the ability to restore deleted files or previous versions of a file. If you accidentally delete a file or make edits you do not like, you can revert to previously existing files, up to 10 versions old. (One does not need to synchronize to other computers to make use of this feature.)

Google Drive

Google Drive provides 30G of storage to all UW faculty, staff, and students.  A useful feature is Google Docs, which provide word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation editors in your web browser.  Multiple people can edit the same document at the same time if you give them access.  This can be useful when working with remote collaborators on proposals, reports, papers, etc.  To get started, go here.

Department Backup System

UW Physics provides a tape backup service for desktops and servers.  If you would like your computer to be backed up to tape, read more here.  For mobile devices such as laptops, a solution such as Box (see above) may be better.

Backing up Personal Files

UW employees and students who wish to backup personal files may be interested in a special UW rate for Crash Plan, an Internet-based backup service.

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