Worried about who exactly had access to my Google and Dropbox cloud storage systems, I was looking for a personal cloud device I could set up at home. I found Filegear and now I know exactly who has access to my files. Who? It’s me and only the people I share my Filegear links to and not some Google employee (or hacker, be it from Langley or London!)
Running from public clouds
While Google Drive and Dropbox have sharpened up their acts since they started allowing people to store their files online around six years ago, there are often stories of downtime and even in Google’s case, millions of people being locked out of certain files due to an AI bot incorrectly labeling them as ‘abusive’.
The fact is, while keeping your data on a public cloud has a real attraction you may as well be putting your book collection in your municipal library rather than storing them at home where you and you alone can control who has access to them.
As we move through this world, friends become not so friends and sometimes even strangers as they move through their own personal journeys. When did you last go through the access permissions for all your Google Docs and allow / disallow people you might not even have seen on social media for years? These accounts can be abandoned and sometimes hacked without the owner knowing. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some control?
A final note is that I don’t like or trust many in our government today. The National Security Agency (NSA) works with a number of other international security forces including General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK where they allow each other to snoop on each others’ citizens since it is illegal to snoop on their own. What with Big Business’s ever closer relationship with government there are all sorts of supposedly good guys taking a look at you due to mutual security pacts that mean that no agency or business trusts its citizens.
Taking flight to Filegear
With these issues bothering me I decided to go to a ‘personal cloud’ for my family and I. My research showed that Filegear is definitely the best one out there.
Filegear is secure, with a firewall, 256bit encryption and most importantly it is easy to control just who sees what on the system from your phone app.
While moving something like 500GB of videos, business files and photos took a bit of time, triggering the move itself was easy and intuitive. You don’t have to fiddle with the router to create new ports – it is just plug and play. You don’t even to worry about how the different drives are journaled – they could be FAT32 or ExFAT – just plug them in and transfer.
Data loss: How many times do you want that data mirrored? With multiple drives, you can choose how many times you want your files mirrored across those drives so you never lose data when one drive gets corrupted drive due to age (or attack), you’ll always that data remains on another drive. You will never lose or risk losing the images of your child taking their first breaths or steps in this world!
Once you have spent just a few minutes or so plugging drives in and setting things up, away you go: give it the data to transfer and let it do its job.
Once on the system, Filegear gets to work indexing all your data in a range of ways. This means you can for example call up all your images of the weddings you attended and it will show you those. You batch edit metadata and add all your own tags, including locations, making it very easy to search for your files.
A final issue that sent me over to Filegear was the price. A $250 upfront fee was all I would pay for the lifetime of my using Filegear. That would mean that I would pay the equivalent of ten months of my subscriptions to Google Drive and Dropbox and never pay a penny again. OK, this did not include $200 in hard drives (I bought multiple so that I could mirror files automatically for security) – once that was factored in I would ‘stop paying my subscription’ in 18 months time. I’ve already paid that to Google and Dropbox!
You may hate big business for the same reasons I do – they are unelected yet set rules and principles in I have no control over. They may shut down services or reduce free tiers like Flickr recently did. In the case of Picasa, they may even just shut the whole service down and you will be forced to move all your data or lose it. Perhaps you just want to pay for something else with that 450 bucks every 18 months – a weekend away with your favourite other? Political or otherwise it does make sense to take the leap and free yourself from the bonds of public cloud. You never know who is looking at your data. Certainly from my perspective with the way that Net Neutrality has been so quickly and easily wiped out by our government, I am starting to wonder just what else could be changed with someone’s signature…?
By using Filegear, you stop spending money every month on cloud subscriptions, while keeping full control of your own data.