Until recently, the only thing I'd ever used cloud-based storage for was the Xmarks extension for Firefox (And other browsers, but I do wish they'd support Opera already), which handily backs up all my bookmarks, and then no matter where I go, I can access them. Lost bookmarks are a thing of the past.
On a side topic, I also recently signed up for, and got into the Xmarks for Chrome (And Chromium) beta. So far, it's good. Chalk up one more in favor of my using Opera.
But to the point, that was all I'd used it for. With some issues still plaguing my old laptop, and moving around computers meaning I'm often away from where I've put this file, or those documents, I decided to finally look into them.
Ubuntu One was my first target. It's free, it's integrated into Ubuntu, and it looks pretty good.
What was the downside for me? I couldn't get it to synchronize on demand. If I added something to my local folder, I had to log out and back in again to get it to happen.
Also, there's no way of telling who's logged into it - my laptop logged me right in, without asking me for a user name or a password, and provided me with a Ubuntu One folder - but my laptop's and my home's main desktop PC seem to be using two different accounts.
After a little frustration, I moved to Dropbox.
Dropbox is what every app should be - clean, simple and to the point. I enabled the software repository for Karmic via Ubuntu Tweak, but that wasn't essential as they tell you how to do it on-site as well.
I installed it, logged out and back in, because it has to integrate with Nautilus, and since the GNOME desktop is basically an embedded Nautilus, that's the safest option.
Run it from the menu, and it lets you know you have to use their proprietary daemon. After verifying this wasn't going to cost me anything, I let it go ahead and download it.
Now, this download took a while, so I can only assume it's a fairly large one. But the clean and simple dialog allowed me to keep watch, a definate plus, though I would have liked to know where it was downloading to.
Finally, I registered on the site, went through the tour (Because it nabs you +25MB of storage space) and all was done.
Added my laptop as well, and now it syncs whenever there's a change - even when both computers are running Dropbox and both logged in at the same time.
It's also impressively quick at it too.
Ubuntu One needs work, but to my knowledge, it is a beta, so that's understandable. Dropbox, which is also in a testing state really, is still superior to it for now, and thankfully, it works on all three major OS. Or so it claims, I've yet to actually use it on Windows, and I don't even know anyone who owns a Mac.
Ubuntu One vs Dropbox? Dropbox wins me over, no contest.
But, if you're thinking of trying either - take my advice and try it yourself - you may find Ubuntu One does better for you.