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Possible alternative to cloud storage

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Greg Andonian
Possible alternative to cloud storage
on May 30, 2013 at 11:33:14 pm

When it comes to storing data in the cloud, I like the idea of accessing things from anywhere, but the idea of uploading my personal files up to some server somewhere doesn't. I also don't like the idea of having to pay a monthly fee to have a capacity higher than a flash drive, and worry about what's going to happen to my files if I'm unable to keep paying it (Sound familiar? ;) )

I've always thought it would be really nice if there was a hard drive that I was able to have at home and access from anywhere like I could with a cloud solution. Recently I learned that Western Digital does have something like this, called the MyBook Live:

http://wd.com/en/products/network/networkstorage/

Anyone here used anything like this? I hadn't heard much about stuff like this, so I wasn't sure if it just came out or hasn't caught on for some reason- but I for one really like the idea of a cloud solution that's measured in Terabytes instead of gigabytes, has no monthly fees, and sits right here next to my desktop.

I only have one computer right now, but I do have a smartphone, and being able to save a video file on this drive and stream it to my phone to show someone, or do a backup of my phone's files that's on-site instead of being sent to Verizon would be cool. I'd also like to get a MacBook eventually, and this would allow me to share files between there and my PC, and access things that I store at home while I'm out somewhere else or vice versa.

And, with something like this, I could walk into any edit bay in the world and download my Premiere preferences and any other files I might need... without having to pay a subscription fee every month. ;)

This seems like a great solution, and I'm surprised I haven't heard more about it. Anyone see any downsides to this?

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Possible alternative to cloud storage
on May 31, 2013 at 12:35:19 am

I don't think that's anything unique to WD. For example, a few years ago I bought a ReadyNAS Duo enclosure from Netgear and it can be accessed over the Internet. I have a couple of 2TB drives in it right now but I just use it as a home media/file server so no I don't expose it to the Internet.

The potential downsides basically boil down to you are on the hook if things go south. What are the odds of it becoming unavailable while you are away (unit crashes, home ISP goes on the fritz, power outage, etc.,) vs services like Dropbox, MS Skydrive, Google Drive, Amazon storage, etc., becoming unavailable? I also like using cloud storage to backup import files just incase my local machines are destroyed by a power surge or home fire (god forbid). Security is also all you as well.




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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Possible alternative to cloud storage
on May 31, 2013 at 12:38:44 am

Greg -

While it certainly sounds like a great idea, it appears that the MyBook Live simply uses an outside service to give the user access to the files anywhere:

http://www.mionet.com/?tag=txt

This service got really panned in a CNET review:

http://www.cnet.com/network-storage/western-digital-my-book/4505-3382_7-341...

Of course, that's just one review, but it seems to me that these types of drives are just in their infancy, so there should be some technical shakeout going on over the next year or so.

I'm personally happy with Dropbox for longterm storage of my critical files (Outlook .pst, key business documents in Excel format, and other mission critical business stuff. I've had some problems with Dropbox for large file transfer, and often opt to use SoShare, which allows me to send up to a Terrabyte for FREE:

https://soshareit.com/v2

It uses the bit torrent format, and somehow manages to blow away the speed of Dropbox, especially on the receiving side (my client).

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Greg Andonian
Re: Possible alternative to cloud storage
on May 31, 2013 at 2:25:26 am

[Joseph W. Bourke] While it certainly sounds like a great idea, it appears that the MyBook Live simply uses an outside service to give the user access to the files anywhere:

http://www.mionet.com/?tag=txt


That mionet stuff does sound really bad, but the review was written a while ago and a user comment at the bottom made me feel better:

It no longer uses MioNet it uses WD2Go which is pretty good. I'm assuming it's with WD2Go that PC-Less downloads was added as I am able to download and upload files to my NAS using the WD2Go app from my laptop, desktop, Android phone and tablet. I've not had any problems since I purchased 1 early this year

So it seems the "shake-out" phase may be over. I do agree there are risks involved that something like Dropbox wouldn't have- but that could cut the other way too. What if there's a power failure in the area that the dropbox server with my data on it is in? And this MyBook drive could crash, yes, but the DUO version has two drives in a raid mirror, so that makes me feel better.

The only big downside I see to this particular drive, is it only connects through the network. If I'm at home using the computer that's right next to the drive, and I want to copy a lot of data to it, I'd rather use USB 3 instead. (Hey Andrew- does that enclosure you got have USB 3 on it?)

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Possible alternative to cloud storage
on May 31, 2013 at 3:02:50 am

I think that both options are a two-edged sword - I've run into Dropbox problems (they use the Amazon Servers) where I was trying to deliver a project to a client, and my access was severely limited for the better part of a day - I ended up sending it via SoShare, but I pay 100 bucks a year for my DB account, and it bugged me.

I didn't catch that user comment, so it sounds as if they responded to the negatives about MioNet, and came up with a better solution. I have a Drobo 8TB unit for my backup system, but it's only hooked up to my workstation (although I do send so stuff to it from my desktop machine via SyncToy, and back that up - scripts and small files).

I think that what it boils down to is that we all need redundancy, and whether it's on the desk or in the cloud, none of it is fail-safe. Even Drobo says that no backup solution is failure proof until you have a weekly set of backup drives off-site. I know I don't...yet.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Possible alternative to cloud storage
on May 31, 2013 at 3:26:48 am

Buffalo also makes pretty good web accessible devices.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Possible alternative to cloud storage
on May 31, 2013 at 6:18:38 am

[Greg Andonian] "(Hey Andrew- does that enclosure you got have USB 3 on it?)"

Mine only has USB 2.0, but it's also 3yrs old. I think the new models have eSATA, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. The ReadyNAS enclosures are also kinda like mini-computers so you can run both official ReadyNAS apps on them as well community made apps called "add-ons". It's a bit more geeky/complex than just a regular NAS, but it's also more flexible.

As Joseph mentioned, it really is a pick your poison situation as nothing is fool proof. I guess the best solution would be to mirror your data on your local 'Cloud drive' and a cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive.




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Brandon Cordy
Re: Possible alternative to cloud storage
on May 31, 2013 at 6:34:53 am

Most people I know (self included) use the Dropbox desktop utility to designate a drive on their machine(s) for cloud sharing. So if the server goes down, I have my files in at least one of several places.


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Brandon Cordy
Re: Possible alternative to cloud storage
on May 31, 2013 at 6:32:01 am

It isn't so much that those types of drives are in their infancy; WD, Seagare, and others are trying to sell simple and easy versions of personal home servers that can be set up by consumers with minimal fiddling with ports and IP addresses.

It's not a bad option for some, but anytime you need something you'll have to deal with any bottleneck caused by upload speed from your home Internet to your remote location. For work files, if they're too big for my Dropbox account, I'll just FTP them. With any cloud service, I'm often using it to co-locate files and to share them with others.


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