Big Changes at AOL Include 5GB Free Online Storage

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Time Warner Inc.'s AOL service early next month will offer 5 GB of free online storage to all Web users with an AOL or AIM screen name, outdoing rivals like Google's Gmail, Yahoo Mail and MSN's Hotmail.

This comes soon after AOL, Dulles, VA, launched a free video service and free e-mail accounts to broadband users.

The free storage will be powered by AOL's Xdrive service. It is intended to let users back up files like photos, documents, music and videos.

Users will be able to access their files on the Web and share them with others by granting file/folder permission. Files can be moved via drag-and-drop tools and are automatically backed up.

There will be no charges for users to upload or download.

Users who need more storage can upgrade to a premium service with 50GB of storage, AOL said.

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