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Do you store your personal files in the cloud? I do but I’m a bit iffy about the whole thing.
It’s just so freakin handy though!
I save a document in my Dropbox folder on my work PC, I can then work on the same file on my iPhone during my commute, then finish my work on my Mac at home. All without worrying about using a USB drive, copying/moving files or backing anything up.
There are a number of different services offering cloud syncing for your files, all with varying benefits.
Apple’s iCloud is too tightly connected to their iOS apps, so there’s no real storage to just save your random files.
Drobbox seems to be the most popular, being the first to market and the simplest to use. However they only offer a measly 2GB on their free plan.
There’s Microsoft’s SkyDrive, which offers 7GB of space for free, however being a Microsoft product, the usability is muck.
And then there’s Sugar Sync which seems to be a clear winner with 5GB free, a great user experience and cross platform/device support.
So…the big news this week is that the almighty Google have launched their cloud storage service Google Drive, aiming to give the rest of the competition a huge clobber up side the head.
They’re offering 5GB free(with the option to upgrade to 25GB for just $2.50 a month), cross platform support(iOS support to follow in the next few weeks) and integration with all the Google apps you know and love(Gmail, Docs, Picassa etc).
So whatsa the problem you ask?
Well it’s Google, and they love a bit of the oul behavioral targeting.
The small print when signing up states:
“you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.”
So does this means Google are actively looking at the content of my files in order to target ads? I ain’t cool with that.
The other big beef I have with cloud storage is that there is no real protection from data deletion or loss.
MegaUpload for example was recently raided and shut down by the US Gov’t. Their users were basically told “sorry, we had to delete the lot”! Looking at the terms & conditions for most cloud services, none of them will guarantee the safety of the data uploaded to their servers.
Call me paranoid and backwards, but for me(for now), I will be sticking with Dropbox for working projects and also backing up my files to a hard-disk in the safety of my non-fireproofed home.