Why I only use the cloud for backup

Because it’s just not that reliable.

Like Facebook? Have all your photos on it? What happens when FB blocks your account? They have almost a billion users and not a single customer service rep you can call.

Google? Same.

None of those services are all that unreliable in the traditional sense, the occasional outage is not that big a deal unless the only copy of that document you need is on Google Docs or Hotmail and you can’t get to it.

The biggest problem is that you have no recourse if access to your account is blocked which can happen for any number of reasons.

Make sure anything you care about is in at least three separate places and test your backups. The data you save could be your own.

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7 Responses to Why I only use the cloud for backup

  1. Matt says:

    I trust google, facebook, flickr, youtube, etc to stay online. I also assume that the account of anyone whose content I want to access regularly will eventually be blocked or closed, and all that content will go away forever from the cloud. I’ve devoted a fair amount of effort to building tools to automatically download all such content, just because I’ve been burned too often.

    (Yeah, I use a gmail address. It’s not my only one. It’s just the only one I give to strangers. And gmail is a very long way from being the only place my emails are stored…even the ones which go through it.)

    So my attitude is pretty much the converse of yours. I’m fine with the cloud for live data…but I will never, ever trust it with backups.

  2. wizardpc says:

    I like the 3-2-1 backup strategy
    At least 3 copies of data you can’t afford to lose
    At least 2 different storage mediums
    At least 1 offsite backup.

    And yeah, 100% cloud just seems kinda stupid to me.

  3. alan says:

    I use 4 or more depending on what the data is.

    All my computers are backed up to Time Machine volumes constantly. The two “important” ones are also mirrored nightly to USB drives. My main notebook is constantly backed up to “the cloud” (currently Crashplan).

    I also keep stuff on Amazon’s S3 service. All the VC episodes are archived there along with periodic copies of my iTunes library and my Aperture libraries. (If you’re just uploading and storing S3 is amazingly cheap.)

    In addition to all that, I keep a lot of stuff in Dropbox, Spideroak and Wuala.

    No, I’m not paranoid at all. I know how fragile this crap is.

  4. Robb Allen says:

    You could always ask for a refund from FB or Google!

  5. Borepatch says:

    Backups are like carry pieces: two are one and one is none.

    Well, carry pieces that where you keep one at an off-site facility.

  6. Old NFO says:

    Agree with Wiz… That is ‘my’ methodology.

  7. Jake says:

    I don’t trust the cloud for anything if I can help it – including not digging through my private data. It’s a convenience, nothing more.

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