Okay, let me get this straight...

My GMail account is good for 1GB. I could probably use some of my next invites to get myself a few more accounts, let's say 4. It seems reasonable. That's 5GB of e-mail storage.

My Yahoo Mail Plus account has 2GB of storage (employee perk). I could add a few more "normal" Y! Mail accounts at 100MB each. 10 would get me another gig, bringing my Yahoo total to 3GB and my grand total to 8GB.

The upcoming Hotmail upgrades will bring 250MB per account. I could sign up for, oh... 8 of those and get another 2GB. That'd be 10GB total.

All for "free."

I still remember filling up my first 1GB hard disk and being pretty pissed that it would have cost about $1,200 to get another. Yeah, it was a 5 1/4" inch full height Segate SCSI disk. A real brick and a half. I traded a whole laptop for it.

Nowadays, I just need to turn my files into e-mail attachments and store them on my various free e-mail accounts.

Or I could wait a couple months and use the freely available software that manages all this for me. Heck, maybe someone will write a Linux kernel module that presents it as a virtual filesystem.

If this "Internet Operating System" and Web 2.0 stuff is really happening, I think I've just found the filesystem we'll all be using--in one form or another.

Posted by jzawodn at June 24, 2004 01:49 AM

Reader Comments
# justin said:

As long as you don't post company confidential stuff on gmail , you should be ok.

I'm using gmail as my online library now - pdfs , readmes , docs, interesting web pages (saved), blah blah.

OT : i've got more some invites to give out -
check my blog

on June 24, 2004 02:26 AM
# JJ said:

An internet OS would probably be handier if it didn't have a web interface for accessing it... but I guess if it can't bomb you with ads, it does not make a lot of sense.

on June 24, 2004 04:13 AM
# Simon Jessey said:

Hotmail is boosting its storage capacity too. Paying customers will get 2GB, and the rest will get 250Mb.

on June 24, 2004 04:25 AM
# TDavid said:

1 GB, heck even 10GB isn't that much space these days. Not when you start factoring in music, movies and if you are a webmaster images, PSDs, etc.

I've been tracking and documenting the spam usage and it appears at least in our case, two domains that have been around for awhile will burn that 1 gig of spam in less than 90 days.

on June 24, 2004 05:28 AM
# Rafe said:

Gmail's terms of service limit each person to one account. Obviously you can open as many as you like and they probably won't figure out, but technically, doing so violates the TOS.

on June 24, 2004 06:28 AM
# Doug said:

Jeremy, there is a flaw in your thinking. This is no longer 1995. 1 Gig Hard Drives don't cost several hundred dollars anymore. In fact, you can buy a 60 gig for $50 or less probably. Thats a hell of a lot more storage than the 10 gigs you are talking about, and it is a hell of a lot less hassle than having all your files spread across multiple emails that are spread across multiple email accounts. For $50, I'd say thats worth it.

I don't see the new email services causing people to store files on email. People will do it some times. For instance, if somebody sends me a large document, I may as well just keep it there. Theres no sense in deleting it. Also, if I want to be able to access a file from anywhere I would just email it to myself. I do this a lot with homework so that I can reach the file from the computer labs at school. But long term mass storage? I think not. I've had an unlimited email account at my office for years. It is probably up to 5 gigs by now, but I've never had the urge to use it for file storage. Especially considering I have a 60 gig drive at work and a 120 gig drive at home.

on June 24, 2004 07:19 AM
# Doug said:

Whoops. When I said my email box is up to 5 gigs by now, that was a bit of an exageration. I just checked and it is only at 200 mb. Who would have thought?

on June 24, 2004 07:23 AM
# Justin said:

What about attactment file size limits? I guess you could just somehow encode the binary data as ascii text (base64 or something) and paste it into the email directly...

on June 24, 2004 08:06 AM
# Danne said:

Storage prices have come down considerably in years, and home networks are starting to become more mainstream...but...Easy access to important files would be the benefit to using web email's new storage limit.

While I can VPN into my home to grab something when need be, if I'm out somewhere without my PC, then having access to common files is a benefit.

on June 24, 2004 08:33 AM
# kim said:

"good" for 1gb. gmail has been broken since yesterday... now it's just throwing 503s. you get what you pay for ;)

(no i'm not really annoyed, every service/product has bugs to work out, and it is in beta still. but people seem to be putting it on a pedastal, and it's going to fall quickly, i think)

on June 24, 2004 09:44 AM
# kim said:

of course, *now* it works, as soon as i post a comment about it having been throwing 503s for the past 30 minutes i was trying to load it. nevermind...

on June 24, 2004 09:45 AM
# Adam said:

Hey would it be possible to get a GMail invite from somebody? I'm curious to check it out but I don't personally know anybody that has one. Thanks in advance!

on June 24, 2004 09:48 AM
# Tom Simpson said:

The biggest problem with it (that I see) is that gmail only allows certain file types. I tried to upload a .zip file and it would not allow it. It would be nice to know what kind of attachments "are" allowed. Mybe they say, somewhere, but I haven't looked into it more, yet.

on June 24, 2004 10:20 AM
# Sri said:

From Gmail's TOS:

"In addition to (and/or as some examples of) the violations described in Section 3 of the Terms of Use, users may not:

* Create multiple user accounts or create user accounts by automated means or under false or fraudulent pretenses

So, it doesn't matter whether multiple accounts are created under false or fraudulent purposes OR not, creating them still violates the TOS.

on June 24, 2004 10:26 AM
# jr said:

Yeah, I can see where that would be a barrier.

Arr, Blackbeard, t'is no use. Our days of plunder and booty are gone. The scurvy dogs have gone and put up a "No Trespassing" sign.

on June 24, 2004 11:10 AM
# Brendon J. Wilson said:

Apparently you're not the only one thinking along these lines - less talk, where's the code? ;-)

on June 24, 2004 01:10 PM
# BLACKOUT said:

Storing files on email accounts is a great idea. What are the chances that gmail/yahoo lose our files ?

on June 25, 2004 04:37 PM
# rocos said:

Hello, would you like to send me an invitation?
I like Gmail, but have no invitation:(

on June 25, 2004 06:17 PM
# Jay Liew said:

hmmm ... is there an attachment size limit? may have to use some kind of file splitter to breakup a file if there's a limit on attachment size.

/me crosses his fingers and hopes there isn't a limit

on June 27, 2004 04:07 AM
# Shantanu Oak said:

Doug said:
> Jeremy, there is a flaw in your thinking. This is no longer 1995.
> 1 Gig Hard Drives don't cost several hundred dollars anymore.
The flaw is in the calculation.
1 GB + 1GB + 1GB != 3GB
1 GB + 1GB + 1GB = 3 login names and 3 passwords to remember && keep checking all accounts to keep them active && remembering in which account I have saved the file I am looking for.

Another point is related to the "attached file".
I completely agree with this article "Stop Using Email to Share Files".

Infact, I will like a feature in gmail to archive only the message part after deleting attached file. Yahoo allows it, but in the opposite direction. It allows to save a file to briefcase without the message contents.

Tom Simpson wrote this:
> The biggest problem with it (that I see) is that gmail only allows
> certain file types. I tried to upload a .zip file and it would not

I can attach any file to the message while I send a mail, but can't receive .exe (and other potentially dangerous) attachments. Those e-mails will bounce back to the sender.

The biggest problem for me is that gmail supports IE 5.5 or newer browsers. I am still using 5.0!

on June 27, 2004 07:41 PM
# Wilhelm said:

Someone named Oak writes:
> The flaw is in the calculation.
> 1 GB + 1GB + 1GB != 3GB
> 1 GB + 1GB + 1GB = 3 login names and 3
> passwords to remember && keep checking all
> accounts to keep them active && remembering
> in which account I have saved the file I
> am looking for

Sounds like a job for 3 minutes of Perl.

on June 28, 2004 12:47 PM
# Aristotle Pagaltzis said:

… come again?

I don't see the point of screwing about with multiple retarded web interfaces requiring a quadribajillion accounts to store a handful of files while working around each system's individual restrictions, when you can rent a complete server with root access for like $50/month — a figure that includes 60-200GB storage and a domain.

I'll sooner start hitting myself in the head with a fry pan than use freemail services for large scale file storage.

on June 28, 2004 02:11 PM
# the fool said:

I think the argument of wheter this should or should not be used as an online HardDrive is moot.

The fact is that some people will, and some people will see it as far too much of a hassle.

The biggest thing keeping me from ussing it for easy access of some of my important documents is that it doesn't like long file names or special charachters.

Oh and btw I have had a gmail account for a little while now, How/When do I get invites to give out.

on February 15, 2005 06:34 AM
# technoboy said:

Free 1TB email accounts are available at

on March 8, 2005 05:21 PM
# robotguy4 said:

I though that 30 gigs was a lot for email, BUT 1TB?!?!?!?!

Holy crap...

on February 8, 2006 02:09 PM
# Robotguy4 said:

Wait a second... Its a motor bike company!

on February 8, 2006 02:13 PM
# jdtaylor said:


If you are prepared to pay a one off fee of $29.95 Mailnation offers 1tb email accounts and as I have just noticed Hriders have shut their service down this will be the only provider around which offers 1tb as I don't think there are any other providers around that I know of at the moment and I am not sure how many more there will be.

on February 26, 2006 04:40 AM
# gurdas singh toor said:

Type your comment here.

After you submit the comment, check your email. There will be
a link you need to click to make your comment visible.

Your email address WILL NOT appear on the site, so don't worry
about being anonymous, even if you think you are.

on October 12, 2007 08:17 AM
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