Cloud Storage : My Personal Experience

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Yesterday in the Mobility Blog BlackBerry group, one of our members misplaced his 16GB memory card. That led us to discuss cloud storage as an alternative to traditional storage such as memory cards and flash drives.

Like almost every Nigerian user, I was sceptic about using anything relating to cloud storage in the past. My number one argument was that if I upload my files online I might not have the same level of control as opposed to if I have them on an external hard disk.

So in that vein, I let my scepticism get the better part of me and I did not embrace any cloud solution, until two months ago.

I own a 500 GB external hard disk that I use as a backup of all my important documents, games, videos and audio files. I was in my dorm room about two months ago when suddenly the external hard disk fell from my hand.

My heart skipped a beat as I picked it up, quickly found my laptop and I plugged it in to make sure that it was still working. As I suspected the fall must have damaged something as my 500GB hard disk has refused to work since then.

Knowing that all my data was gone just like that and there was nothing I could do gave me chills. I thought of all my files, most importantly my documents.

Then I shrugged off the hypocritic idea I had about cloud storage and me not having control. The reason is because the moment I came online and gave my details to Facebook, Google and co anyway. I have not had control over my details since then. It’s only God that knows what they have done or been doing with it without my consent. So I proceeded to create accounts at Box and Dropbox – both prominent cloud storage solutions.

Due to some loyalty programs, my Box.com account is now credited with 50GB which is more than enough for me to back up important things like documents, old pictures and my device drivers.

Conclusion
Cloud Storage in Nigeria is not very appetising to the internet using populace and I understand why. There are bandwidth constraints, fear of lack of control e.t.c. However, if there is one thing that I have learnt, albeit the hard way – it is that I should have at least had my most important files uploaded.

Since we stay in this our unique country, we should not see cloud storage as a replacement to traditional storage but instead as a complimentary feature in case trouble (gbege) happens with you beloved 1TB hard disk. Documents and pictures will not require as much bandwidth as opposed to you backing up a movie.

If you plan on embracing the use of cloud storage, you should endeavour to upload things like documents, presentations and old pictures first before you consider things like video files or audio.

READER COMMENTS

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  1. Yeah! There is no substitute to the cloud storage. It has came to stay whether we like it or not. Yes, we may be sceptic, we may even be outright antagonistic to it. But if you love and cherish your documents, it’s the way to go. I use Dropbox and Evernote mostly and have no issues with them. They do perfectly what they are designed to do. You may have fears the providers peeping your documents but unless you have incriminating informations and are aspiring to become United State President there is nothing to worry about.

    As I told the guy in the mobility BB group chat, he is lucky to have misplaced the memory card. It could still be found. Emma’s example above is scary. Or my 32Gb memory card with all the info inside gone when the card became a piece of plastic overnight. Never trust mechanical or digital storage. Always have duplicates and a cloud back up.

  2. the idea behind backup is having alternative storage(s)- cloud or not.

    Cloud Storage has the advantage of “accessible anywhere” – when/where there is reliable internet connectivity. That means- NOT Nigeria. Not having access WHEN I need it could sometimes be as bad as Not having it at all

    So..

    I would rather maintain multiple hard disks / SDCards than rely on any Clloud storage stuff.. Those multiple storage media can not all get damaged or DROWNED all at once, or can they?

    the key is to have duplication (mirroring) and distribution (don’t put all your eggs in one basket) in your backup strategy.

    As an example of the “risk” of cloud storage (who can you sue?), I temporarily “downloaded” numerous ebooks using UC Browser`s UDisk Cloud Storage facility.

    My plan was to physically download those ebooks to an external medium, much later, when I have enough”data”.

    Alas, when I tried to login, I was unsuccessful. Repeatedly. ebooks gone. who can I sue? Will suing even bring back the lost documents?

  3. Cloud storage is here to stay, it is even baked-in into operating systems (WP8, W8 for example). There are several options (Skydrive, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Amazon cloud storage, iCloud, Carbonite) For some professionals, backup is not important but CRITICAL. (think of professional photographers- how can you re-create a client’s lost wedding pictures?)
    Rule of thumb for backups: At least 3 backups, in at least 2 kinds of media (eg hard disk and optical disc) with at least 1 offsite (in case of natural disasters) Cloud storage fills that offsite need. Even cloud storage servers are backed up at sites around the world so it will take the Earth been wiped out to lose everything.

  4. Only the very important files that I think I may need on emergency ever make to the cloud. And yes, I have Gigabytes of digital materials I consider important to me but I’m not ever considering uploading them to the cloud and that has more to do with cost than with privacy, security and control.

  5. @Harry,

    ///…. and that has more to do with cost than with privacy, security and control….///

    then, you probably need a dirt_cheap BlackBerry phone with an Etisalat SIM on board..

  6. Unfortunately, Blackberry is not exactly an option for me. I’m OK with the local backup. I may need to feel the pains of data loss through local backup to go the Blackberry route.

    And if I’m to go the Blackberry way, it will be mostly for downloads than for backup. I’m old school on backup and storage the way Mr. Mo is on physical QWERTY keyboards. It is most likely going to take more than just Blackberry to change me.

  7. I’VE GOT 5 EXTERNAL H/DISKS MIRRORED, A PC + A LAPTOP AND A 16GB + 4GB S/DISKS TO BOOT.

    NEED I SAY MORE?

    OH YEAH. I USE DROPBOX, GOOGLE DRIVE + EVERNOTE (for less revealing stuff).

  8. I totally agree cloud storage is a good option, but it’s only as viable as your internet connection.

    I rarely use it, save for some few documents.

    if passwords for services can be hacked then surely cloud storage passwords too are as vulnerable. I have a copy of my files on my phone, flash drive, pc, partition, memory card in my modem. That’s fair enough for me. when we have true reliable internet, I will be willing to buy 1 TB of cloud storage to use.

  9. I can’t even remember when last I used a flash drive. I rely on dropbox and Sugarsync for backing up and syncing my files across my laptop, netbook, iPad and BB. I just can’t imagine myself plugging and removing a flash drive just to move my files across those devices.

    Even if I find myself somewhere without any of my devices, I can log on to the internet with any other device and access my files. So cool, isn’t it?

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