What Cloud do you use?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by anne_kerr, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Wondering what I can use so "paranoid me" can make sure I don't lose my stuff on long trips. I could use a portable hard drive but, hey, I'm paranoid. Maybe goblins will take it while I'm asleep!
     
  2. [[can make sure I don't lose my stuff on long trips]]
    Have you considered the speed and stability of the internet connection during these trips? Do you feel that you're going to be able to upload everything you've shot every night?
     
  3. Rob,
    Good point. I hadn't thought of that! I had assumed I would get some good connection somewhere... England would be better off in this respect than a small town in Vietnam, maybe?
     
  4. England may be just as bad as the middle of Antarctica. You are depending on wherever you're staying to have a stable, fast, internet connection for uploading (assuming) hundreds of megabytes of images overnight. How many of their customers are going to have those needs? Very few, therefore they would not spend the money to have an internet connection to support this.
    Buy a couple solidstate hard drives in external cases and backup to them every night.
     
  5. It's always good to store backups "off site," which is what a cloud service does, just in case of fire or earthquake or theft or whatever. I've used both Dropbox and SugarSync in the past and I think I like Dropbox better, but each service gives you 5 GB or so of free storage and you can decide for yourself which you like better. There are plenty of other services with small amounts of free storage too. And if the 5GB or 10GB or whatever isn't enough, you can always purchase more.
    Use caution however. When I installed Dropbox on my computer, it somehow corrupted my encryption program and I lost access to all my encrypted files. Very strange. I recovered (because I had backups) and then installed a different encryption program and all is well now. I was a bit irritated, but the first encryption program was very old and I should have replaced it years ago.
    Use caution again. Cloud services can be a bit confusing. It's very easy to delete something from a hard drive and see it disappear from the cloud and all your other hard drives too. Make sure you understand the system.
    Use caution yet again. Data on the cloud is supposed to be secure, but the people running the cloud will have access and there is always the danger of hackers. I certainly wouldn't put the nuclear launch codes on the cloud. And don't even think about encrypting your data. That's just a "Come Get Me" flag to the NSA and the FBI and everybody else. They will think you are a terrorist or a drug dealer or something.
    Finally, here's a suggestion to be really secure. Back up all your data to an external hard drive and leave it in a safe place at home before you leave on your trip. Now all you'll be risking is the new data you create while you're traveling. Carry an external hard drive with you and back up to it every day. You will then have two copies of everything, including your new data. Then back up the new data only to the cloud every time you have a good Internet connection. You should be in pretty good shape if disaster strikes.
    Hope that helps. Cheers.
     
  6. Do NOT use ANY of the cloud services. I just retired as a CIO in the finacial services sector with 25 years in technology.
    Use your own USB external drive AND leave copies on your storage cards.
    1. The cloud is not secure. Period. The 'cloud' is shared storage on someone elese's hard drive.
    2. The terms of service gives you NO recouse if your files are lost or compromised. Nada.
    3. You have no idea who is looking at your data. Besides the NSA.
    4. You HAVE to have an internet connection to look at it.
    5. You can be cut off from your data at the drop of the hat.

    I cringe when folks tell me how much they love the cloud. It's a disaster waiting to happen. Just say NO to cloud storage.
     
  7. Anthony's advice makes sense if you use the cloud as your only source for backups. It should be obvious that it can be one component to a complete backup solution. A cloud provider can be a good choice for supplementing backups for certain groups of users.
    With no disrespect intended to Anthony's career, there are significant differences between a financial services sector company and an individual user who's hobby is photography. You cannot possibly approach the latter with solutions appropriate for the former.
    [[And don't even think about encrypting your data. That's just a "Come Get Me" flag to the NSA and the FBI and everybody else. They will think you are a terrorist or a drug dealer or something.]]

    The equivalent real-world example would be Dave telling you to not put locks on the doors to your house because the police will think you're hiding something. Such a statement is, obviously, very silly.
     
  8. I still don't use Cloud Storage:
    1. because I'm not 100% sure that whoever provides it keeps it securely
    2. because I'm not 100% sure that whoever provides it won't suddenly stop providing it, or start charging exorbitant fees for it
    3. because my broadband is probably worse than Vietnam so upload of data is PAINFULLY slow.
     
  9. Rob is right that the cloud should never be your only backup - but Anthony's warning are a bit over the top. Cloud solutions are not a disaster waiting to happen; they're just also not the end-all-and-be-all solutions some people want to make us believe.
    The terms of service gives you NO recouse if your files are lost or compromised. Nada.​
    This concern is a valid one. However, "the cloud" does not have a single set of ToS. Each service has their own. And this is something to seriously consider indeed.
    Roughly, for consumer use (or extremely small business use), there are 2 sorts of cloud storage: the free ones as mentioned by Dave (dropbox, skydrive, google drive etc.), where you will have a ToS as the one Anthony warns for. There are also professional cloud backup solutions (Norton Backup, Carbonite for example) which have distinctly different ToS, different strategy, different SLA etc. They do cost money, though less than you might expect.
    It really depends on your own approach towards backups, and your wants and needs - services like Dropbox and Skydrive are geared towards sharing, ease of use, accessibility from all devices via web or apps, have integrated photo-viewing website tricks etc. The backup services - none of that. They're backups, period.
    If you carry an external HDD, sufficient memory cards to not have to format them, then adding a free DropBox or Skydrive account into the mix will surely help remedy the fear of loosing (bandwidth issues aside, though!). If you want a real total solution for all of your images, I'd look into the real backup solutions and see if they offer a plan that suits your needs.
     
  10. [[And don't even think about encrypting your data. That's just a "Come Get Me" flag to the NSA and the FBI and everybody else. They will think you are a terrorist or a drug dealer or something.]]

    The equivalent real-world example would be Dave telling you to not put locks on the doors to your house because the police will think you're hiding something. Such a statement is, obviously, very silly.​
    I'm not so sure about that. Internet traffic is monitored by government agencies and when the monitoring computers see encrypted data it gets their attention and they may flag you for additional scrutiny. The same is true if you use certain words in email messages or on forums. It's probably not a crisis if all you're doing is encrypting a photo of your cat, but be aware that it happens. And as far as a real-world example is concerned, it's more like putting locks on the doors to your house and then having a armored car parked in front with guys carrying big bags inside. You're trolling for trouble, and that is silly. Cheers.
     
  11. [[I'm not so sure about that. Internet traffic is monitored by government agencies and when the monitoring computers see encrypted data it gets their attention and they may flag you for additional scrutiny.]]
    Dave, I don't think you have a very good understanding of how encryption is used on the internet. Any connection made where the address is https:// instead of http:// is an encrypted connection. For example, the default behavior for Facebook login is over https://. As are all bank websites. As is even a basic search on Google.com. All those connections use encryption. So, if you've ever used google, or done any electronic banking, you've used encryption.
    [[And as far as a real-world example is concerned, it's more like putting locks on the doors to your house and then having a armored car parked in front with guys carrying big bags inside.]]
    That analogy is absurd and further demonstrates your misunderstanding of how and where encryption is being used. I can only encourage you to do some more research rather than making assumptions in absence of facts. You might also want to read up on the Dunning–Kruger effect while you're there.
     
  12. Anne is talking about *temporary* photo file backup for *trips*. Not for storing sensitive information.

    I just use a MacBook Air and various external storage to back that up. Easy, light weight, much faster than any cloud and internet link considering RAW file sizes, and available everywhere. And having a laptop allows me to Lightroom process photos on the road, write, keep in touch, read the news, etc. With that I could always send some files to my Dropbox acct, if needed.
     
  13. [[Anne is talking about *temporary* photo file backup for *trips*. Not for storing sensitive information.]]
    Yes, the topic has drifted too far from the original question.
     
  14. I've started tentatively using "cloud"-based tools for backing-up while I'm travelling, but the challenge is the internet speeds in most places. And I've only tried in the US and Canada, so I'm not exactly in the middle of nowhere. But a day of shooting could be, say, 300 photos, with RAW and JPEG that's almost a GB and it can take a while - say at 5mbps, if I'm doing the math right, it would take 2.5 hours to upload the day's shooting. And I think that most wireless set-ups in hotels would not sustain that speed.
    As far as some of the previous commentary goes "the cloud" does not exist per se - it is a concept made up of off-site storage, available over a connection, provided by many, (many, many) companies. It's about making sure you know what you're getting when you sign-up, and using cloud-based storage as a part of an overall strategy, which should include some more tangible, closer-at-hand resources like portable hard-drives.
     
  15. Even if you get a good connection, it can still be S L O W, depending on the ISP and the upload speed of your online storage provider I use Comcast Cable as my ISP, and about 4 months ago, I thought I'd use my Box.com account as an additonal backup medium for my ACDSee Pro 6 backup routine. I thought it would make a great and convenient "offsite" backup location It literally took all day to upload the backup to Box.com when it only took 20 minutes or so to create the Bkup.
    The upload driver was smart enough to not get in the way of whatever else I wanted to do (though I suspect that also slowed the thing down some). But I could see the potential problem of forgetting that it was running and screwing something up. At this point I believe that external HDs are still the solution of choice for me.
     
  16. Hi Rob,
    Your Dunning-Kruger reference was pretty offensive for a friendly discussion like this. Don't expect that kind of thing from me. And I'm familiar with https, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and the newer Transport Layer Security (TLS) and how they relate to secure Internet connections for banking and so on. But there is a big difference between securing a communications link and securing the data itself and the latter will get you noticed, probably more so if the encrypted data is in an email or an attachment or sitting in the cloud than during transmission, assuming the link to the cloud is (semi-) secure.
    And, hey, I thought my analogy was pretty good! You've locked your house (encrypted your data), but the bags of money show there is something valuable in there (because the data is encrypted). I was kinda proud of it.
    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  17. stp

    stp

    I just take three bus-driven external hard drives, all exact copies of each other. I like redundancy. At home I have three 3-TB external drives for permanent storage, one of which is kept in a bank safe deposit box.
     
  18. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    I have been travelling for a while and I use SD cards for backup. I backup my SSD hard drive incrementally to 2 32GB class 4 cards. I store each card (+ 3 others) in a waterproof case about a big as a cigarette packet. This method gives me up to 128x2 GB of backup storage.

    I don't shoot RAW and I am not the most prolific photographer so you might need bigger cards.
     
  19. I use Photoshelter.
     
  20. I use Photoshelter and iCloud. I grant all of Anthony's points (they are good and solid) and fortunately have and carry enough SD AND CF capacity to to have to erase and re-use the in camera media in the field.
     

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