The cloud (a mystical name for storage out there somewhere on the Internet) has become the first place for storing all kinds of things, including photos, videos and other personal files. With services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive and a stack full of others, it would seem like the toughest thing you have to do in this space is simply figure out what service is right for you. However, there are still some downsides to these choices and maybe there’s something else worth looking at.
Cloud storage has become very inexpensive, with many services offering free starter solutions. Yet some people are still a little leery about putting their personal information out on someone else’s servers. There have definitely been cases where large companies have been successfully attacked by hackers and information has been at risk. Keeping all of your files at home is an effective solution for this, but then what do you do when you want to access your files on the go? A personal cloud solution is what you need to do.
There are a number of personal cloud solutions now available. The first is to buy a hard drive that has personal cloud support - Seagate or Western Digital, for example. These solutions allow you to connect your hard drive to the Internet and then access your files from wherever you happen to be, provided you have an Internet connection. These solutions are fairly straightforward, but don’t offer much more than just basic access.
I recently acquired a Lima and have, so far, been very impressed with how it works. A small device, Lima connects directly to your home router or modem and then has a USB connection which you then attach any hard drive to (including older drives that were out before the “cloud” became a thing). You can connect anything from an old 500 GB drive to a brand new large 4 TB one and set it up using either your Mac or PC desktop computer. Once you have created an account and linked it to the device, you can now access your files anywhere.
In my case, I’ve downloaded the iPhone app and connected it to my account. While most personal cloud solutions just allow you to access whatever files you “dump” into the drive at home, Lima offers this and the reverse. It is now (with my permission) backing up the photos and videos on my iPhone to the Lima Cloud drive which means that I can access my iPhone pictures from any computer - even if I don’t have my phone with me. It’s automatically creating a backup of all of my photos and videos too, without me having to pay a monthly subscription service. Lima even has an option to copy files to your local device so that you can access content when you're offline.
There is definitely a newfound comfort in storing files in my own personal cloud solution. I don’t have to worry about the security of my files since I’m too small of a target for hackers and the solutions presented here all use military grade encryption. With eliminating monthly service charges and a low cost to entry with most of these solutions, I think I’ll have to pinch myself because what was once a dream in the clouds is now a much grounded reality.