I am curious, anyone here fully switched to "Cloud" storage?

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Rob Daviau
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On a recent Maximum PC podcast (which I love) I heard a very quick and subtle comment about at least one person no longer using USB drives in favour of DROPBOX and similar cloud storage options. My thoughts were:

Never been a big fan of storing anything online and having most sites and services change the term to THE CLOUD has not changed that opinion lol. Besides, "CLOUDS" are volatile, leak and disappear ALL THE TIME lol. Hell, it really was not that long ago I switched to Email services like Gmail and while sure, I think it is brilliant I was very apprehensive about going full Webmail over my computer mail client where I could store and backup messages to my HDD, but as far as storing anything really important or sensitive on the internet ? NO WAY? I hear some people don't even use flash drives anymore because of DROPBOX and the like, thanks but I will keep all my personal/sensitive files backed up locally and a second backup of that. I have learned a lot of hard lessons over the years about dependable file storage and while I think such services are a nice option to have access to files anywhere I STILL question the security and long term dependability of it all. Old fashioned? Maybe, but that means experience goes with it, I wont be crying when the servers go down or get hacked.

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Mark Vergeer
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Cloud - non US situation

There are huge benefits as it is very easy but there are security issues too. I do see the benefits and have experimented with syncing Android and iOS and OS X devices and having the same settings available is very nice. Also Windows 8 does do synchronization across various PCs and tablets.
A local Home server with ZFS and/or a RAID backed up to another server in a trusted environment somehow feels safer and actually is safer with all this internet hacking and what not. But that's not for all and most users probably will be very happy using cloud services - I really detest the term cloud as nothing is more fragile, fleeting as water vapor...

Storing your files in the cloud using the big US based services has a couple of major drawbacks for users in other parts of the world. Often access to the services are slow and uploads / downloads are a fraction of what is possible with local internet bandwidth. Then there's the NSA PRISM program. I got nothing to hide but privacy really seems to be a thing of the past isn't it?

Not sure what to make of this story on that PRISM program.

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Bill Loguidice
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Cloud

Rob Daviau wrote:
I totally get having access to files on all your devices / computers and having them all syc up etc. I was meaning if anyone was using all those cloud services completely in place of local storage, of course I would have it stored locally as well despite any online storage I might use but that was mainly my point to have it stored / backed up locally as well, I personally would consider it foolish is someone was storing everything online only thinking there was absolutely no need for any type of local storage/backup as well and it would not surprise me to hear someone doing just that these days.........perhaps someone who say bought a Chromebook and only saves to the cloud and not locally.......

Yeah, I think that scenario is only realistic with a Chromebook. By default, you can only use the services I mentioned in combination with local storage. Even the Chromebook has some local storage/cache. I agree, not using the cloud for redundancy in combination with local storage is foolish, particularly when it comes to unique files. Obviously with services like Amazon, iTunes, etc., that can analyze your music library and give you remote access to the audio doesn't have to worry about anything being local ever since it's trivial to recreate that same file even in the event of a catastrophic loss of their server.

In any case, the point is, cloud storage is one of the great computing innovations. It's backup without having to think about it, plus all of other benefits (easy sharing, access from any device, etc.). Anything just stored locally is for more likely to be outdated (only as good as the last backup) or unreliable (you never know when system issues will crop up).

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Rob Daviau
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Oh

I totally get having access to files on all your devices / computers and having them all syc up etc. I was meaning if anyone was using all those cloud services completely in place of local storage, of course I would have it stored locally as well despite any online storage I might use but that was mainly my point to have it stored / backed up locally as well, I personally would consider it foolish is someone was storing everything online only thinking there was absolutely no need for any type of local storage/backup as well and it would not surprise me to hear someone doing just that these days.........perhaps someone who say bought a Chromebook and only saves to the cloud and not locally.......

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Bill Loguidice
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Yes, I've long since been on

Yes, I've long since been on Dropbox. I have one of the large capacity paid accounts. Between that, Evernote, Skydrive, and Google Drive (the latter two only when needed), I can not only share anything and everything with everyone (important for book writing and other collaboration projects), but also allows me to keep all of my stuff effortlessly synced between my various systems and platforms, both work and home (and I have a lot active). And, when a system does inevitably break or go down, I've lost exactly nothing, since I can work the same on any other system. That's the power of using the cloud effectively (and don't forget, just because it's in the cloud, doesn't mean you don't have it locally as well. It's all redundant.).

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