THE COMPUTER HAS MADE life easier for architects, builders, and contractors who send and save files and images. The necessary hardware and storage space can get pricey, however. Santa Monica, Calif. –based Xdrive offers a solution: an Internet-based virtual drive that allows construction professionals to cut the cord—so to speak.

“Xdrive is a place to put your files where you can always get to them and share them,” says Steven O'Brien, COO of the company. The site operates in much the same way as a local “C” drive, except the material is saved in every user's own password-protected box on the Internet, not physically in office.

Why is this a good thing? For one, users can access files from anywhere and from any computer. And the company says users won't lose files.

The process is fairly simple. Users register on the company Web site,, set up an account and start saving—files as well as money. Two plans are available: $9.95 per month for five gigabytes and $19.90 per month for 10. No additional software or hardware is needed, says O'Brien, adding, “With Xdrive, everything comes bundled.”