Public or Private Cloud Services?

Have you ever left home and (too late) discovered there were some files on your home computer you forgot to bring? Have you ever had a need to check up on something that wasn't quite as virtually accessible as you'd hoped? Or... did your otherwise brilliant synchronization services not run as expected and, as a result, you don't really have access to important data at a given moment?

I thought so. Well there are, as you know, plenty of "free" Cloud Services, attached to your vendor, service provider and what have we. Free ... but to a limited extent. And not everyone fancy these publicly available services, feel comfortable storing person sensitive data somewhere in the world (likely don't know where), under some unknown legislation. This might not be a problem, yet some people, as well as companies, remain skeptic.

So your personal data remain stored on the domain of a company that may, at any time, change their policies (read disclaimers?), be forced to change their policies, become sold or divested. We can assume many of the larger companies will exist tomorrow, in 10 or 20 years from now, but will all? In what shape or form will they exist? And who are their owners?

Yet, with the use of social media these days it does sometimes seem many don't care, think it's irrelevant or matter. This is a little bit scary. one person's exposure may affect third parties. 

Rightfully you should consider potential consequences, sooner rather than later. Mail data is one thing, files, pictures, movies, documents quite another. Anyhow, there already have been plenty of cases, episodes, stories, about cloud services being compromised, data either hacked or leaked. I hope you're not one of them who've had the experience. More will come, it is inevitable. Then again data can be compromised residing on a local computer too.

Over time your megabytes turns into Gigabytes and maybe Terabytes of personal files. Digital Stuff we don't want to throw, or don't have the time to throw, and would like to access, from anywhere, at any time.

The large internet/IT companies, having spent millions on analysis, studying our digital dependency and user patterns of course knows this. Which is why they invest so much money in shared "free" services. They know that one day you need more, you depend on them and then... you'll get the bill. And they also know that the further one gazes into the future, the less likely we, the consumers, are to take the daunting task and move our Terabytes, maybe one day also Petabytes of data from one provider to another. Again, for the majority of us, this might not be a problem but rather an advantage. 

Freedom of choice more often than not is regulated by our own needs. 

So then, how about Private Cloud Services

Fortunately for you and for me, much thanks to constantly improved technology and rapidly dwindling costs, we can today quickly and easily set up a private cloud. This is something big internet services providers and companies that have spent billions on infrastructure, may not like to talk about. Nor do they perhaps like to talk about the fact that even your private cloud can be used for sharing what needs to be shared. Has the same capabilities as theirs. 

And the costs keep coming down steadily, services are getting better and easier to set up, so easy you need no special knowledge. But it's still a good idea to flip some pages in the user guide! 

What's more, the next generation of private cloud or home network devices are scalable, allows you to plan years ahead. Add another Terabytes or two, by two clicks of a button. A data central for yourself, as well as for your family. With backup, hidden away in your basement or mirrored somewhere else convenient. 

Not long ago I bought a device that offers both backup/safety, for computers, hand held devices and mobiles phones, with full outside firewall access. It detects when our cell phones or tablets are on the LAN or wireless network, and starts backup automatically. Per definition as accessible and private/safe as any other internet available cloud service. With one distinction that matters to my household, it is only us accessing it. And with todays increasingly more powerful internet connections at home, it's no problem with several household members accessing or streaming data simultaneously. 

Something worth considering?

I would say it is. There are plenty of vendors selling technically good, cheap and scalable solutions. Begin with a couple of TB, scale according to needs. With mobile networks at 4G level you can easily get files from your private cloud to your device without much problems. Backup of your devices if course another matter, coming home it's being deteced on your wireless network and backup may start automatically if so you desire. 

So here are ten good reasons for considering a personal or private cloud solution for home or office:

  • No usage or subscription fees
  • Bigger storage options (1TB to 16TB)
  • Faster access when on the same network at home or office
  • Remote access using web browser when out and about
  • Remote backup so you always have a copy at home or office
  • Option to use apps to access your personal data (files, music, video, photos)
  • Choose your storage sizes, number of bays and size of hard disks
  • Unlimited storage space, expand this easily with external USB drives
  • Stream your own videos and music wherever you are
  • Easy setup with Cloud services offered by manufacturer

Well, that's it for now, over the coming months I probably will blog more about this topic, cheers! :)