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Poll: Do you currently use cloud services to store data?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / February 15, 2013 10:43 AM PST
Do you currently use cloud services to store your data?

-- Yes. (How is that working out for you? Any security concerns?)
-- No. (Why not?)
-- I'm thinking about it. (What's holding you back?)

Vote here:
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Tried it, don't like, don't trust
by wpgwpg / February 15, 2013 11:22 AM PST

I tried the MS Skydrive, and the free cloud space I get w/Comcast. Actually I guess I do use it for my Kindle Fire, but only for a few non-personal things like a book or two and one or two games. The other two are painstakingly slow to upload to, and Skydrive is much more awkward to use than it should be. I have a very fast download speed, but uploads are simply too slow. Then there are security and reliability considerations. When I can buy a 2 TB hard drive for just over $100, it's not at all obvious why anyone would want to use this abomination. As for backup, I can do that to an external hard drive, and put a copy on a flash drive locked up in my car (which has a security system). I have on occasion put some data in my safe deposit box, but that's really overkill for me.

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by Luhng / February 15, 2013 11:38 AM PST

With the storage available today (portable and otherwise) combined with knowledge of how many major on line companies have been compromised, who would even consider it?

It's fairly easy to figure, if you want to run a company over the internet providing storage, you will need to charge more than the price of the storage.

So, the only reason I can see storage would have any purpose is to use it away from your normal location and if that storage was greater than what you can carry on a micro USB (64Gig x the number of USB's) you're not going to be able to afford to download it anyway even if you had the time.

Perhaps if you want to share, but that's not storage it's transfer.

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Do you currently use cloud services to store your data?
by Amphilogiai / February 15, 2013 12:01 PM PST

Never have, never will.

I trust nobody particularly storage and social networking sites.

My information is always secure.

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You get what you pay for.... "free" may not work!
by Tania Grant / February 15, 2013 12:26 PM PST

I subscribe to Carbonite, and it is great. It does cost money, about $60.00 a year. Carbonite automatically backs up your documents and pictures, etc. It encrypts the information and stores it on 2 servers. It uses the same encryption that the Federal Government uses. In case of a disaster to your home or only a melt-down to your PC, you can download your information from any location to whatever new PC you are now using. Or, you can merely download whatever file you can't find or erased accidentally. I have peace of mind and don't have to worry about remembering to "back-up". Carbonite places a little green circle on your files to show which have been backed up and an orange circle on those which are scheduled. It's fun to check out a big file document when you saved it, to see an orange circle appear beside it. Then before you are ready to quit, I sometimes check again in my Windows Explorer to see that this very recently saved file now has a green circle. <span id="INSERTION_MARKER">



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I have free Cloud on my Amazon FireHD tablet
by dmbflorida / February 15, 2013 12:26 PM PST

Since I just got a free use of the Cloud using the tablet, I will consider storing non-essential files and graphics.
I have never thought that it was secure "to save to the clouds". I have dropbox but don't use it.
I use an external hard drive for backups.

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No. No reason to.
by Hartiq / February 15, 2013 1:16 PM PST

I have no family with a computer who would need any files I have.
I suppose I could share photographs but I have no family or friends who would be interested.
Film and music sharing are naughty and I wouldn't do it, I would rather just send them a link
to or Amazon.
Similarly with software, which updates too often for a downloaded copy to be very useful anyway.
I don't collaborate with others in projects, as I'm retired and "resting".
I have enough storage for my few emails.
What else would I need cloud storage for?
I think I'm seriously asking the question. Would I benefit from cloud storage for *anything*?

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Following up me.
by Hartiq / February 16, 2013 1:21 AM PST
In reply to: No. No reason to.

One or two other issues with cloud services.
My latest and greatest home super-computer has a 3 TB drive. That's 3000 GB or three million MegaBytes. Very few cloud services allow anything like that amount of storage. Add in the odd few 1.5 TB external hard drives I have and it would be unrealistic to expect anyone to offer to back it up.
Sure, none of them are exactly full, but they will be eventually.
I have looked at online storage solutions and they now offer 2 to 20 GB of "free" starter storage and charge for anything over their free limit. Were I to store a backup of everything I could the cost would be more than I earn. Probably more than a large mortgage.
Beside the cost is the issue of bandwidth. My broadband provider is marvellous where downloads are concerned. I frequently top 20 Mbps easily. *UP*loads are something else. Uploads are stuck in the 300 Baud modem era. I exaggerate a touch but uploads are woefully slow. I've looked around and *no* local provider seems to think uploads are important.
Even were I to consider a life in the clouds, getting everything there would take about a millennium, and, in spite of my broadband being "uncapped" and "unlimited" the "Fair Use" clauses would allow the provider to both throttle my feed and to charge me an excess. A *massive* excess. Probably more than my house is worth.
The cloud might be useful for sharing a few pictures or documents but cost and bandwidth and cost of bandwidth considerations make it a poor joke as a replacement or even a functional addition to desktop local storage.

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Look harder.
by porsche10x / February 16, 2013 4:08 AM PST
In reply to: Following up me.

Hariq, you might want to check again. There are a lot of services that can meet your needs, not for free, but for very little money. Unlimited backup and/or briefcase-like file access is available for less than $10 per month from Carbonite, Nomadesk, Livedrive, Backblaze, and Crashplan, just to name a few. Also, many plans are available with several terabyte limits, equally affordable. Many plans are available with more features for just a little more. Just google "unlmited on line storage". I even found one for $35/year unlimited. I don't know where you live, but I can't buy a house anywhere for $10 per month.

I know that some areas have more broadband options than others, but I pay $79 / month (OK, $130 with tax, cable boxes, etc.) for TV, phone, and broadband, 25 Mb symmetrical (yes, up and down) with no limits or throttling from Verizon.

Also, you may find that for as much data as you have, it's usually a one-time deal. With a lot of backup services, it takes days or even weeks to back up initially, but then keeping sync'ed is much more trivial and happens in real time. After all, you're not generating 3TB of NEW data every day, right?

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Thank you.
by Hartiq / February 16, 2013 8:53 PM PST
In reply to: Look harder.

I must admit I am running on information I gathered when I last looked sometime early in 2012. Things may have improved since.
Bandwith-wise, I'm in UKland. Ain't no such animal as "unlimited". "Terms and conditions and fair use apply."
But you are correct, I exaggerated for effect.

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Data and file storage in the cloud
by jrfoleyjr / February 15, 2013 1:44 PM PST

I use DropBox for data and file storage and I like it because it gives me access to the files etc. across my several computers including my laptop in my network. I can update a file from any of the computers and that update is available to all of my computers. With dropbox a file is available locally on the hard drive and once the computer connects to the net it will sync with the cloud and the other computers in my net.

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by deborahcmoi / February 15, 2013 3:00 PM PST

I am thinking about it to sync everything.
Haven't done it yet because the concept is too virtual.

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convential backup to cd
by pawpawmacx / February 15, 2013 5:56 PM PST

I'm an 82 year old retired systems worker who started with some type of computer in the 50s. that finds it easier and maybe safer to back-up all my files on a dvd cd.Alittle wary of cloud, Obama, and any other central location of storing everyones junk and dont understand why you are. Those folks can get what they want anyway

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Go External!
by jnuss / February 15, 2013 10:18 PM PST

For data archival, I use an external hard drive. I have both 500GB and 1TB external drives and so far my
storage needs are met as they are only partially filled. Best of all, I sleep better, knowing that my data is
safe, unconnected to the internet. Secondly, I have no monthly or annual cloud service fee to pay. If
I need to share data with someone, I use a flash drive.

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Wow, so many "no's"
by porsche10x / February 15, 2013 11:42 PM PST

I am surprised, no, shocked at the poll results. A resounding "no"? Really? I use cloud storage all the time (Dropbox) and also have some Microsoft account that I never use. I would have absolutely no security issues whatosever with even the worst online storage provider. Why? Because I only cloud-store files that I don't mind sharing publicly (In fact, I actively wish some hacker would spread my band demos around the internet x a million, making my band famous. Heck, I'll give you my user ID and password. I can just see the headlines now: "Jazz trio on national tour after hacked demo goes viral").

The survey is binary, simple yes or no. It says "your files". It doesn't say "all your files" or "your important financial data" etc. Do that many of you really use no cloud storage for any reason, ever?

I frequently need file access from multiple computers at multiple sites. Also, I use Dropbox to share files too large to email.

I'm also curious. How many of the "no's" never check their credit card accounts on line, never do on-line banking, and never even buy from Amazon, Newegg, etc.

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Oyster tools.
by Hartiq / February 16, 2013 9:13 PM PST
In reply to: Wow, so many "no's"

I have never used an oyster knife but I have used many other knives, forks, spoons and tongs. I have never found a use for an oyster knife as I have never tried oysters.
I have a mobile phone but I've never needed a smart-phone.
I don't know about the others but in my case I don't use one tool the Internet offers but I *do* use many of the others: obviously as I'm here, bothering y'all. I do banking, email and shopping online because I *hate* waiting in queues in banks and shops. (In the very few times I have visited a bank, I have *always* encountered a queue. There seems to be something very wrong with their time-management procedures.)
I've just never found a reason to keep my stuff in the clouds. I don't travel much and I don't have widespread friends and relatives I keep in touch with, and as mentioned earlier, the costs and effort involved are large.
Were I in your situation, with music files I wished to publicise, I would use online storage to allow fans access to at least some of it, as a taster, but I don't have anything to sell.
I don't even program any more.
I am not anti-cloud, I just don't need it. Yet.
On the subject of music, specifically yours, could we ask for URLs, please? Or is that banned by CNet's anti-spam policy?

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Oyster tools
by CobraII / February 17, 2013 3:07 AM PST
In reply to: Oyster tools.

I hope you don't leave you emails on the servers (cloud) and download all of it to your computer.

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I do. Download, I mean.
by Hartiq / February 17, 2013 7:52 AM PST
In reply to: Oyster tools

I have always downloaded my emails because that was the only option when I started using email and I've never seen any reason to move to web-mail. As I've said before, I have *lots* of offline local desktop storage and I don't email many people anyway. Two or three of my photographs of plants are probably more bytes than a month's worth of emails.
I keep loads of stuff locally, mostly backed-up. Not that very many of my emails are ever worth keeping, anyway. Very little I say is of any lasting importance - as you can no doubt tell from these fora.
If it matters, I currently use Thunderbird for emails. I don't have a Gmail or Hotmail account so allowing hundreds of thousands of emails to accumulate online was not a real option.
I know people with web-mail accounts. I've even helped some people fix theirs when they were having issues. I've nothing against web-mail, I have just never needed it.
It's another oyster knife. Valuable to anyone needing it but too specialised for me.

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Cloud storage - HAH!
by etek / February 16, 2013 12:51 AM PST

"Cloud storage" or any other similar name is just another term for "FREE today and big monthly charge$ tomorrow."

Remember when water was free?? Now it is a multi-billion dollar biz, just so the gullible public can buy tap water in a plastic bottle...... The convenience is breath taking!!!

Be big boys and girls and store and manage your own data in house!

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Well, I am not counting my dropbox - why?
by Gerdd / February 16, 2013 6:03 AM PST

I am not storing my data 'in the cloud' - and I don't expect I ever will.

To be sure, I am running a small drop box that supports my sharing files with friends. This is primarily to avoid big email attachments.

But I don't call that storing my data in the cloud.

That would entail entrusting my important and confidential data to an external service provider, possibly in another country, possibly with no "lifetime guarantee" that my data will be safe and secure and reachable at all times.

And that is so much less than what I can achieve with so little effort today using my own devices.

Obviously, all my data is properly backed up, my critical data is online on more than one system and the synchronization between these instances is as much my first level of backup as it is a small effort to ensure easy access at any time. There is also a USB stick that contains those files I may need on an overseas trip even if the laptop should get stolen, such as a scan of my passport.

In the IT industry, by the way, the term "cloud" does not just describe the storing of personal data off site. The "cloud" consists of lots of virtualized computing resources, typically whole systems with lots of processing power, memory and disk storage, often with application software installed that runs a company's business.

Some large companies organize their own computing resources in a "private cloud" for better management and utilization of their reosurces. Other, usually smaller, companies may rent similar resources from service providers in order to run their applications on rented infrastructure. Correctly implemented these configurations can easily and quickly be scaled to the momentary requirements. Again, this serves to optimize resource utilization and thus cost. In a third variant of this scheme a service provider may offer specific application services to their customers that are implemented in a cloud configuration; a popular example would be

In such public cloud configurations the problem of data privacy and security tends to be much more fundamental than when we store our personal data on someone else's disk.

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Cloud services
by MorrisSouthHound / February 16, 2013 8:30 AM PST

I have a back up service which I rely on, Carbonite, plus I have an automatic external hard drive storage system. Cloud storage seems to be another target for hackers.

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Upload 12gb from a day's work
by splungekid / February 16, 2013 10:51 AM PST

'Great' idea for documents. If you don't mind the increased potential of prying eyes.
Being a professional photographer, and based upon current upload speeds, try uploading 12gb after a wedding, a commercial shoot, or actually anything. Then multiple that by 'X' numbers of jobs.
On top of this are confidential sessions for companies, and for individuals, who are already concerned about others seeing their photographs. Let's store things in someone else's hands.
Cost saving? If you think so.
Finally, copyright. Amazing that images upload to various Clouds transfer their copyright to the owners of the Cloud service. Nice idea - for them. Not so much for us who derive our income with our images.
In all, thanks, but no thanks.

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by val_w / February 16, 2013 11:48 AM PST

Do I use it to store data? Yes I use Dropbox as an 'extra' storage of my photos...and as a means of sharing them with family(and useful to link via mobile when out and about)...and the odd impersonal file document. I allow Amazon to "Archive" my kindle e-books when i've read them.

I would NEVER upload personal and important files to cloud storage. (I know photos are 'personal' but I'm not that paranoid)

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Cloud storage
by CobraII / February 17, 2013 3:02 AM PST

I you don't download you email to your computer you are using cloud storage. Just a thought.

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I have a friend who works that way.
by Hartiq / February 17, 2013 8:04 AM PST
In reply to: Cloud storage

She had a problem with her Gmail account. I fixed it. While doing so I saw that she had four hundred thousand emails in her inbox. All of them were "wanted and needed". Job offers and other good stuff.
I tried to introduce her to the magic of Thunderbird with folders, subfolders and rules and filters that would download her inbox and move mails into separate folders depending on source or subject.
She preferred to keep her messy, incoherent gigantic Gmail inbox.
Not everyone is me.
And aren't we all glad of this?

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I'm really not too sure about this....
by MadDog843 / February 20, 2013 9:13 AM PST

I have one "cloud" that I use, and I use it only to share between my own devices. It has 5GB of storage (Really nothing) but it works to send documents and the odd song back and forth between my Android Devices and my Computers. It's ASUS Cloud Sync and it comes with my ASUS Transformer Pad. It's nice because like iCloud all my images and videos that I take on my phone (Samsung Galaxy SIII) and my Tablet, are automatically synced to my two desktops and my laptop. I don't actually use cloud storage though. I delete everything that is in the "cloud" as soon as it has reached all my devices. I don't trust it number one (They are still a company that can "check" on your data, no matter how reputable) and like has been previously mentioned, why would anyone want to rely on a service that comes and goes and requires a data connection when we have physical storage? Flash drives are cheap, hard drives have come come in prices, you can find decent external hard drives with massive storage (1TB-2TB) for under $100. I would prefer to have all my stuff with me, than stored "somewhere else" I would rather see more technology go into building longer lasting and larger SSD's for a cheaper price, than see better "cloud" technology. I want cheap 256GB long-lasting flash drives and 768GB or larger desktop & laptop SSD's that will last fifteen years. Or another sort of refined Hard Disk Drive, something fast and reliable. That's my main issue with technology...nothing is reliable anymore. It's not that Hard Drives area bad storage solutions its just that they are not built to last. I have many hard drives from the mid 90's that have been abused for years and years and are still ticking...I have some that are a couple years old..and trash.... That's the kind of "Storage" I want.

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"Cloud Service" means Data on a Server
by msfleis / February 22, 2013 12:11 AM PST

My 2-22 response to a CNET quetsion about whether I would use Cloud Services

Title: Cloud Service" means Data on a Server

I won't use Cloud Services as long as the owning company can go broke, bankrupt or bought by a less safe company.
The word "Cloud" implies an untouchable, secure location but I expect that before too much time passes, we'll read about a site being hacked.

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