Clueless about Cloud Storage. Please Help?

This is something critical I need to do, so how better to get it in the forefront of my mind then to write about it. But on this matter I tend to procrastinate even though it’s so important to me. It just feels like a hurdle and a chore as I’m not as tech smart as I wish I was.

I need to find the best cloud storage option and not have to rely on external hard-drives which have devastatingly failed on me in the past. After I have painstakingly copied files (mostly precious family photos and videos), one day when I plugged it into my computer it just refused to read anything. Just too fragile an option to rely on when it comes to those priceless memories.

Loosing digital copies of photos with a hard drive totally failing on you would be close to loosing a physical family album to a fire. There is no way of recovery. Reminds me of how my aunt lost the only copy of her wedding slide show (it was all in slide show format in the 70’s). Or how I’ve lost some old style videos (think 80’s VCR) to fungus.

I like the idea of storing stuff somewhere where you can assess it from any device, but I also need it to be exceptionally private and secure. I’m not interested in the social element of sharing photos etc. Just purely safe storage. And lots of storage space too. I’m thinking at least 500 GB. Even better 1 TB because you’ll always need more space as time goes on and you accumulate more of those precious memories.

Another thing I’m looking at is ease of upload. If the uploading is going to take forever (like on flickr) and limited to 200 files each time, then it’s going to be a major pain.

As I’m ditzy when it comes to technical stuff, I also need it to be user friendly but not like the Apple Cloud where I don’t really know where my stuff goes and I don’t feel in  control of it. I like to be able to manage and delete files as though they were on my own computer.

Need your help kind readers. Are you using cloud storage for personal photos and videos? Which do you recommend for an iMac user?

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis

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8 Responses to Clueless about Cloud Storage. Please Help?

  1. LL says:

    Hi! It is pretty difficult to find free reliable online storage, especially at 500gb.

    What I have done is kept everything backed up on a physical drive (if I can remember) but I mainly have it synced to different free services:

    Picasa Web Gallery to host my videos, pics, etc, while I use Google Drive to host my documents and things that I work on that will be constantly updated. I am very paranoid, so I also use Skydrive & Dropbox as a second backup for photos as well as documents.

    As you can tell, I do not have very many files to keep track of. Once I reach the maximum limit for Picasa, I will probably further divide my online cloud accounts.

    Of course if you are willing to pay, you have more options than I am aware of. However, I am still nervous about relying on cloud storage. You may/may not have heard of the Streamload/mediamax situation in which the company lost all of its data for both free and paid users. I was one of those users, and it has made me pretty wary of online storage. I use it for convenience, but I ultimately prefer to rely on a backup drive.

    I do not have a Mac, but isn’t there the iCloud?

    Anyway, I am probably not very helpful, but I thought I’d just share my own experiences and system. Good luck!

    • bookjunkie says:

      This is very helpful LL…thank you so much. Guess I have to rely on both an external HD & a cloud to be safe.

      • LL says:

        I hate to be picky, but I would hold off on something like buying a huge 3tb HD. Drives these days are evolving into solid state drives, which are much more reliable than the current standard.

        The idea is, standard HD are more prone to breaking down just due to the mechanics of heat, spinning, etc. However, with solid state drives, they behave similar to flash drives, which means they have no moving parts (no mechanical breaking/wearing down). And if these SSD (solid state drives) somehow have damage or a corrupt part of memory, you are still able to access the other parts of the drive. However, with a standard hard drive you are not; if one part of the disk is not working, the entire drive may not work.

        It is not a huge reason, but it has definitely put me off from buying bulk HD. I am too much of a nerd, I guess. SSD are also incredibly expensive and haven’t even reached 1tb. My favorite feature of external SSD’s is the compact size; smaller than the standard hd.

        Anyway, that was just another fyi, haha.

        • bookjunkie says:

          Thanks so much for the great advice. That makes sense and I’m eager for the solid state drives in larger capacities.

  2. sos says:

    I am not too into cloud storage but for smaller files – email them to oyurself, google drive, icloud, dropbox perhaps?

  3. Xmen says:

    Given the low cost of external hard disks today, I recommend that you purchase two external 2TB hard disks for backup. Having both hard disks fail at the same time is extremely unlikely. For PCs, get the newer USB 3 hard disks even if your PC does not support USB 3. USB 3 is a huge time saver on PCs that support it. (Firewire on Mac is fine.)

    I would also remove the external hard disks from the computer after regular back ups. This prevents a virus infection from wiping out your back ups.

    As for SSD, current manufacturer guarantees seem to be on the low side. So I don’t recommend them for long term back up at this time until they have proven their longevity. Further, they are expensive compared to hard disks.

    Using cloud storage for back ups can consume a lot of bandwidth. Even if your cloud storage is “free”, your service provider (e.g. mobile phone, ISP) may meter and charge you on your bandwidth usage. For huge back ups, this can be very expensive. A secondary concern is privacy. You may have read about NSA and governments having access to your online files. In some cases, your files may be made public by mistakes. (E.g Facebook accidentally made user private data publicly available or some hackers break into your cloud storage.)

    Hope this helps.

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