Free: Students love the word. Free means that they have more money in their wallets. Weber State University is now giving students a lifetime 50GB of free, online storage through a program called Box.
Box started several years ago as a small project. It was limited to a small group of testers that were willing to pay for it. As the project grew, the information technology (IT) department figured out how to offer the service to faculty and staff members at Weber State University for free.
During the summer, the IT department launched Box free for students, however they didn’t advertise it until fall semester. Box allows more accessibility, communication and collaboration among students, faculty and staff at Weber State University. Making academia more accessible to students is one of the main goals for the IT department at Weber State University.
“A lot of people nowadays have mobile devices and having access on your mobile device is critical to succeeding in our goals as a university, accessibility is one of our main goals,” said Ty Naylor, the IT training coordinator for Weber State University.
Box allows students to access their files and folders on their mobile devices all over the world without compromising their data’s security.
“It seemed to have everything we wanted, both accessibility and security,” commented Naylor.
Although Google Drive is available for students, it does not encrypt your files and leaves a major security risk. In addition, Google stores data all around the world, which leaves another security risk among users. Weber State University owns the servers which contains all the data held within Box.
“For regular classes, I don’t really care if people read my essay. If I was writing a story or something, I’d want it protected. I’ll use it, especially if it’s free for my lifetime,” said Davis campus programming board member, Jessica Cairo.
Students have already started utilizing Box. Approximately 1,200 students have signed up for the free service according to Naylor.
“I’d use it, because it would sync up to my phone and it’s free,” said sophomore Madison Myers.
Students will be able to access their Box account even after graduation and for the rest of their lives.
“Once they graduate, it doesn’t leave. They can have that 50GB of storage indefinitely,” Naylor said.
Once students graduate, they just need to change their default email to their regular email.
Box allows approximately 25GBs upload at a time. This allows large projects to be uploaded with ease.
“I could see photography enthusiasts going berserk over this,” Cairo said.
Box also allows you to collaborate with other people through its sharing capability. The owner controls the level of access to their folders and files, from co-owner status to an upload only status.
The upload only status does not allow the contents of the folder to be viewed, only to upload a document into the folder. This security can be utilized for professors who do not want to use Canvas in their classes, but wish to be more green.
To allow even further collaboration, Box allows users to access the Box note, which is a simple word processor that allows more than one user to access it and work on it simultaneously, similar to Google Docs.
Similar products such as Dropbox offer a free trial of their service, but to utilize the same amount of storage and the same collaborative efforts as Box, it comes with a monthly fee of $15. Box allows students, faculty and staff to utilize the equivalent of a secure paid service absolutely free.
Box is available for every mobile device. To sign up for Box go to weberstate.box.com