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Safe House Online data storage ain't free anymore, but your company still needs it.

By Mike Hogan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Free? You want free online storage? Of course you do. We'veall been taught to regard free Internet this and that as our right.(The only cure for that line of thinking seems to be to start yourown Web business.)

But, like so many other dotcoms, online storage providers arelearning they can't rely on Web ads or relationship-marketingnewsletters to cover their costs. When Net advertising wanedearlier this year, online storage companies' free userssuddenly turned from assets into overhead. In dotcom parlance, theycouldn't be "monetized.", which once provided 100MB of freestorage, has quit providing. Ditto for, whose 7.6million customers could once get up to 300MB free. High-profileDriveway, once a partner to MSN, has discontinued its end-userstorage services. The best it hopes to do now is sell its storageplatform to other Web sites.

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