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Done with the cloud? Alternatives for online backups

Tony Bradley | Nov. 15, 2013
Take control of your data with hard drives, services and apps

Private cloud
Another advantage of storing data in the cloud is that you can access it from virtually anywhere, anytime, via a mobile app or Web browser. A network-enabled external drive like the Western Digital (WD) My Cloud provides the same convenience.

My Cloud offers 2 terabytes or more of storage, and WD has apps for both Android and iOS that let you access the data stored on the drive from wherever you are. The apps also integrate with cloud services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive, enabling you to transfer files from your My Cloud drive to the cloud, or vice versa. WD also has a four-bay version called My Cloud EX4, which adds the assurance of a RAID array's mirrored copies.

ioSafe offers a networked version of its patented disaster-proof drives. It features two drives set up in a RAID configuration with similar syncing and mobile app access, for use as a private cloud.

Another option is a service like Younity or MiST; these services index your data where it is and make it available from mobile apps and other PCs.

With Younity or MiST, the data itself stays in its original location—on your mobile device, or your Windows or Mac computer. The source of the data has to be turned on and connected to the Internet for the data to be accessible from other platforms or devices, but you can use these services along with some other backup alternative to enjoy the same anywhere-access to data that you get from the cloud.

Backing up your data using a mix of these tools isn't as turnkey-simple as using an online service. But once you have have a process in place, you can confidently kiss the cloud goodbye.


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