Is cloud storage safe for your kids’ photos?
My son’s first steps, my daughter holding my younger son at the day he was born-as a parent, these pictures of my kids are priceless and irreplaceable. That’s why it is so important to back them up.
I’ve heard from a lot of people, including family and friends, who say that they use external hard drives to back up photos because they’re afraid pictures in their kids could get out onto the web or that their cloud service might lose their photos.
It’s easy to peer where these concerns originate – it kind of feels like several couple of weeks we hear about some big company or service being hacked. Sony Entertainment Network , Zappos , even Symantec , which makes the Norton Antivirus software, were the victim of hackers. And Internet giants, like Microsoft Hotmail and Amazon , have experienced service outages and information loss.
But most people’s family photos are safer when stored online. Firstly, the files are encrypted on most major cloud storage sites using a similar level of security banks use for online transactions, both during transport out of your computer on your cloud service and as they sit in your service’s servers. And, unless you’re a celebrity, your loved ones photos are just valuable to you. Hackers go after corporations and other targets in hopes of financial gain, for notoriety or for political reasons. Frankly, most of our photos aren’t worth a hacker’s effort and time.
As far as data loss, cloud services are way more reliable backup solutions than external hard drives. Yes, in rare instances cloud-based services have lost data, but external hard drives can fail, too. What’s more important isn’t really whether your backup solution can fail, but if it is going to fail. An external hard disk drive is much prone to fail while your computer – whether from fire, flood or theft – leading to total lack of all of your precious photos. If a cloud service fails, you continue to have the unique photos in your PC.
So where in case you back up your photos online? If privacy isn’t a priority, the logical place for some could be Facebook. You may be losing image quality in the event you go that route. Facebook will only store as much as 4MP files, that is far below the unique files size generated by most digital cameras or even mobile phones today. Plus, back up won’t be automated.
You may additionally consider a commercial photo service, like Shutterfly. Just do not forget that some services require an annual purchase to continue storing your photos (Shutterfly doesn’t), your photos won’t be encrypted and the backup process won’t be automated.
I favor to use a cloud storage service, which automatically backs up my files. The correct services encrypt your data during transport in addition to while stored at the service; have apps for accessing data on mobile devices, so that you have access to all of your photos at the go; work with Macs and Windows PCs; and are easy to establish and use.
Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive provide automatic sync and are good, low-cost options. Eventually, though, I selected CrashPlan+ for its unlimited backup and SugarSync for its flexibility in syncing files stored anywhere in your computer.
This back-up service is a brilliant deal for those that have numerous photos and video. For $49.99 per year, you get unlimited backup for one computer. With CrashPlan+ Family at $119.99 per year, you may backup two to 10 computers. You could specify where files are backed up-to the CrashPlan server, to a family member’s computer or to other computers for your network-and the way often. You are able to set backup intervals from once an afternoon to real time. There are apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices to access your files at the go.
If you are looking to synchronize your files across multiple computers and create a backup, you should definitely elect SugarSync. With this service, you can also make a metamorphosis in a file on any computer you’ve got for your account and people changes can be automatically made to all the other computers you’ve synced. If you want to view a prior version of a file, SugarSync stores the last five, with only the most recent version counting toward your storage limit.
You can share folders or files with folks as read-only or with full access, which makes it great for sharing pictures and albums with friends and family. It’s also possible to access your whole files with Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone apps.
You can get a free 5GB account. Paid accounts start at 30GB for $49.99 per year for one user.
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Suzanne Kantra is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Techlicious. Email her at email@example.com.