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PASS...A Free, Secure File Storage Option

Posted: March 19, 2013

All faculty, staff and students at Penn State have access to up to 10 GB of free, secure file storage space where they can save files. This space is called PASS and can be accessed from anywhere an Internet connection is available.

You may have heard of PASS, Penn State’s file storage space for faculty, staff and students. But, you may wonder how you personally can benefit from taking advantage of this resource.

PASS stands for “Penn State Access account Storage Space”, and is a file server that is run by ITS at Penn State. Everyone who has a Penn State Access Account is automatically allocated an amount of PASS storage space. (Sorry, people with “Friends of Penn State” accounts are not eligible for this service.)

The default amount of space that everyone begins with is 500MB. However, this amount can easily be expanded up to 10GB by going to https://www.work.psu.edu, logging in, and modifying the amount next to “Change quota” on the left side. There is no charge to expand your storage capacity in this way. If you require more than 10 GB of storage, additional space can be purchased for a nominal fee (8 cents per GB per month).

What are the benefits of using PASS?

PASS is a great place to store your files, can be accessed from any computer with Internet access and can be configured to allow other Penn State users the ability to share your files (access to PASS is limited to PSU account holders only). Penn State's central ITS unit performs regular backups of all the files in PASS, and can recover any data you may accidentally delete in your PASS for up 1 year. They also keep the last 4 versions of every file for 6 months, to allow you revert to a previous version if you mistakenly overwrite an important file.

There are many ways to access your PASS from within the office as well as at home or on the road. One of the simplest methods is to install a utility on your computer called MapPSUSpace (available from https://downloads.its.psu.edu under the File Transfer heading) that will connect your PASS to your computer and list it as the X: drive (alongside your computer’s C: and D: drive). This makes it incredibly easy to access your files. Ag IT can also help you map your PASS as a drive on your computer.

When you are working on a computer other than your primary computer, you can access your files anywhere, anytime you have an Internet connection! Just go to https://webfiles.psu.edu and log in with your Penn State Access account. Once logged in, you have access to a web interface where you can interact with your PASS, uploading and downloading files as needed.

PASS, a secure alternative to storing files locally or in cloud based solutions such as Dropbox, is something Ag IT encourages users to consider. As we continue to work toward consolidating into one primary domain and leveraging Penn State computing resources, use of PASS is something we expect to become common practice.

If you would like to learn more about PASS or get assistance in beginning to use your space, feel free to contact the Ag IT Helpdesk and we would be happy to help.