What is life like when all your files are in the cloud?

Added on by odrive.

Efficient. Productive. Relaxed. Stress-free…

I’m the IT guy of my extended family. I worry about getting the photos off our phones and cameras, where to store them, and how to share them. I tirelessly organize our financial documents, health records, credit card statements, and other files… thankfully it’s all electronic these days so I can skip the scanner.

A year ago, if a blazing fire were to have broken out in my house and my family members could have grabbed only one thing to save, my daughter would have grabbed her favorite stuffed animal. My wife would have reached for her purse and made it to safety. I probably would have died of smoke inhalation disconnecting our NAS, tucking away our USB sticks and drives, and grabbing our laptops.

It’s like watching an episode of Hoarders and realizing I have a very bad problem. (But a fixable problem, at least).

These days, I’m a lot more laid back now that my files are in the cloud. Here are some reasons why.

 

No more hunting for photos on physical media

“Hey, do you know where that photo is of my cousin and I on our trip last year?”

Those are the words that used to precede a chaotic flurry of searching laptop hard drives, my NAS, USB sticks, memory cards, Facebook, and cloud storage to find that one file for some project that’s bound to be underappreciated by the recipient in the end.

But now at least the file is in the cloud… I still have to find it, but it’s much easier. (And if I would have been willing to use Google+ for my photos, I could have used their visual image search capability to make it even easier).

 Google+ Photo Search… it’s, uh, scary impressive. And useful.

Google+ Photo Search… it’s, uh, scary impressive. And useful.

 

No more buying storage hardware

Drop $300 for a 5-bay NAS. Set it up. Buy disks. Replace case fan. Replace disks as they go out. Buy newer, bigger disks as my storage needs increase. Rinse. Repeat. (Well, I certainly hope you never have to buy yet another NAS).

Buy USB drive, backup stuff from my computer… now I have multiple copies to manage and run into the physical media sprawl mentioned earlier. Rinse. Repeat. See therapist. Take anti-depression meds.

It’s actually easier and cheaper to outsource this to a cloud storage provider. Even the $300 NAS without disks could be 5 years of $60/year Amazon Drive storage. Physical storage is going out of style… there’s a reason why the best laptops these days can be sold without DVD drives on them anymore. The internet rules. And by extension, cloud storage rules.

 

Sharing files becomes natural

It’s important to remember that physical media can suffer from hardware failure or be lost, too. USB sticks and SD cards, in particular, get misplaced, stolen, or traded around until nobody remembers who has it. Who wants to manage multiple copies of things on physical media? With cloud storage, I can share with weblinks, or even share storage collaboratively if you have the right tools. This is the natural way to share files — instantaneous and simple.

 

No more lugging my briefcase and laptop around

I used to drag along a laptop bag to bring my work laptop home from the office every night. I don’t anymore. All the files I need are in the cloud… OneDrive has my MS Word and Excel docs, and GitHub has the code I need to access. So I can leave the machinery at work and still be able to work on things from my computer at home. And I can access it all from my mobile device in a pinch.

Bonus: if you are leveraging cloud computing as well, your company can be light-weight and mobile as well. My company did just that:

 

Desktop sync minimizes downtime effects (read: stress)

Do I ever worry that the back-end service will become unavailable right when I need it? Yes, of course. It’s my job to worry. But desktop sync has my back. I can work on changes even if I hop onto a plane or if the back-end cloud storage service goes down for a little bit.

Bonus: with odrive, I can also unsync files I don’t care about to turn them into placeholder files that don’t take up disk space. This is nice because I have more content in the cloud than I do hard disk space, so there’s no way I can have everything fully synchronized all the time.

 

Zero-knowledge encryption ensures that hackers can’t hack

Nothing is really safe anymore. Everything must be encrypted, and you must control your own keys. I’ll admit I don’t care about hackers getting into a lot of the stuff I have in the cloud (e.g. photos, files from various personal projects, etc.) as long as they leave it alone.

I do care about things that have social security numbers and other private data, though. And for those things, I’d feel safe only if I had a zero-knowledge encryption solution handy (e.g. odrive) for that set of important files.

 Zero Knowledge Encryption: encryption keys are safe when they are in your head, not your storage provider’s servers.

Zero Knowledge Encryption: encryption keys are safe when they are in your head, not your storage provider’s servers.

But in reality, if encryption was something that was so seamless I could take it for granted, I’d say screw it and just encrypt everything, even the stuff I cared less about. Why not? Might as well keep all the curtains closed. That’s something that is part of the odrive vision, too. It’s right around the corner…

 

So go ahead, take a load off and relax.

Get your files into the cloud and stop worrying about your files. And your family’s files or company files. Then kick your feet back and enjoy some peace and comfort, finally.

 There are better things to do with your time and energy

There are better things to do with your time and energy

 

And while you’re at it, take a look at how odrive can further transform your cloud storage experience even more… odrive isn’t a cloud storage provider itself, but we offer a way to unleash the full benefits of the cloud with whatever existing cloud storage you own.

  • Consolidate access to all your storage under one login
  • Get infinite, flexible sync to everything (even sources like Amazon Drive which don’t have a sync client)
  • Protect your files through strong, zero-knowledge encryption

The cloud can indeed change everyday lives!

 

Originally posted to our medium publication.  Follow us on medium to get the latest updates from us like this one!