New file-storage service will replace NetFiles by December

No more NetFiles. A new file-sharing system called Box will be made available Friday to all University students.

Box will replace NetFiles, which will be retired and permanently shut down Dec. 21, according to the NetFiles website.

Faculty and staff members were able to use Box over the summer. Marie-Christine Brunet, assistant dean of Engineering, uses Box for her Engineering at Illinois class, which she said is “speaker-based.”

“I sent an email to the speakers so that they can actually drop their PowerPoint presentations (in Box),” Brunet said.

She said using the system makes it easier to keep track of presentations and that Box is very accessible.

“I can really access it from anywhere because it’s Web-browser based, so I don’t need any special connection, so that’s very convenient,” she said.

Konstantinos Yfantis, acting manager of Teaching and Learning Services at CITES, said the program will also be useful for collaboration because it “allows for concurrent editing” and also “integrates with Google Docs.”

“(Box) has features such as ‘versioning’ on documents, so if there is a team that is working on a paper, you can upload multiple versions of the document,” he said.

Box additionally offers security for users when uploading and sharing files. Mike Corn, chief privacy and security officer for the University, sponsored the project that brought Box to the University. Corn said the system has “industrial-grade security behind it.”

“We’re very comfortable telling faculty, for instance, that they can store student information in Box, and it’s very secure,” Corn said.

He said security settings can also be adjusted for students’ needs.

Box includes other features, such as a desktop sync function similar to that of Dropbox, as well as mobile applications for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry, Corn said. It can also integrate with Google Apps and Microsoft Office in addition to the “full-featured Web interface.”

The application for enrollment in Box will be available Friday at “uofi.box.com”:https://uofi.box.com/, and Corn said he encourages students to sign up.

“I think that (they) will pick it up instantly if (they’re) at all computer-savvy,” he said.

Box will feature five gigabytes of storage for students and 15 gigabytes for faculty and staff when they sign up, according to a press release from CITES.

_Maddie can be reached at [email protected]_