t
Oct 08, 2014

Cloud Storage - good or bad solution?

Hello,
I was wondering if any of you uses any type of cloud storage to backup data in the cloud?

I was using Dropbox but now that I've reached my free gigs limit, I'm not sure I should go for the paid version.
Especially as I recently used CloudBacko. They offer 100 Gb for free (here's the referral link: http://free.cloudbacko.com/?r=1d )

Is anyone else using a similar solution? I'd love to know!!

Thanks

S
10/08/2014

Hi Taylor,

Being the paranoid computer junkie that I am I have always tried to shy away from using cloud storage as it has many security vulnerabilities that strike a negative chord to my ear. Some of these inherent vulnerabilities can be broken down into the following:

 

1. If you can access, so can anyone else

2. If the cloud is down, your data is inaccessable

3. If you cant find a connection, you cant get your data

4. If the company goes under, there goes your data

 

This link might bring to your attention that the company flatout takes no responsibility for your data if it is compromised: http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/26730810/greenville-it-expert-cloud-sto...

 

The negative list can go on and on but here are a few solutions that you could possibly consider.

 

Keeping in mind the overall cost to benefit ratio you have several options at your disposal with each one being slightly more beneficial vs the cost of purchasing the product:

 

CD/DVD storage: relatively inexpensive but the cost can come to mount up. A spindle of DVD's can run you anywhere from $25-50 however the data storage is subject to how well you protect the CD/DVD's from wear and tear. You could equally invest in a blu-ray burner and capitalize on a much higher disk capacity, but once again the cost of doing so is offset by the fact that the discs are susceptable to all forms of destruction

 

External/Internal HDD's: These are relatively inexpensive in todays economy and may be the most cost practical solution for your data storage. Most users are more likely looking for a device that will enable them to travel with minimal gadgets and gizmos to hookup or carry around, however for basic file storage (pictures, music, movies, important documents) an external HDD is a sure thing. By doing a quick price check on Newegg.com I found 500gb HDD's for roughly $50 and 1TB HDD's for close to $100. Keep in mind these are JUST the hard drives and would require either an expansion slot on your computer or a HDD housing. Overall, depending on how clumsy this solution has the highest cost practicality as it provides physical security (even greater security if you encrypt the drive), you can always access it from your computer device and depending on how heavily you use the device the life expecancy is astronomically better than that of a CD/DVD.

(I wont list Solid State Drives as these are far more expensive and offer little incentive for a cost practical solution for what your intended purpose is)

 

Another solution can be found here:

https://gigaom.com/2014/03/01/how-to-set-up-your-own-personal-home-cloud...

 

You could explore the posibility of setting up your own cloud server in order to host your own documents. By having your own server, the overall chance of your files being compromised is marginally smaller than that of a large corperation as the typical hacker is interested more in the bigger gain rather than the individual user. (think shotgun blast). You could also explore the possibility of utilizing VM's to run a linux based server that would provide online access. Unfortunately this would also open up your network to a myriad of security flaws that would have to be addressed as you would be required to enable port forwarding on a wireless router/modem, implement a firewall to eliminate unwanted traffic, and a handful of other security fixes. (You could always just be dangerous and leave it unsecured....could come back to haunt you)

 

There are many many options available to you, however for the price that you would be paying over the course of a year, 5 years, 10 years and more you could easily implement a much more efficient, cost effective solution that may require a little bit of leg work up front but would pay dividends in the future.

 

Hope this was helpful :)

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