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View Full Version : What about using a hosted web server for extra storage?




lidomkj
Mar 6, 2008, 09:47 AM
I have seen mutiple ways to get extra storage for the macbook air. I have not seen anyone talk about using a hosted web server.

I have 750 gigs of storage and 7500 gigs of bandwidth each month. Guaranteed 99.9% uptime plus free unlimited IMAP email accounts, daily remote backups, etc. All for $6 a month. I started thinking that I should purchase another domain (which is free with services) and just use for my macbook air.

It seems to me that this would be the most secure and easist to set up and maintain.

I just want to make sure I am not overlooking something that will cause problems down the road for me, but as of now, I could not see anything.



Mikebuzzsaw
Mar 6, 2008, 09:58 AM
Do you use FTP?

I think you're fine. Most people don't have the advantage of renting out their own web sever. They just use their home mac as a server.

clayj
Mar 6, 2008, 10:05 AM
Lido, you raise a good point. Getting a good web hosting solution eliminates the need for you to have to reconfigure your home network to allow your MBA to access it from the outside. From that perspective, it can be very secure.

However, one problem with using a web hosting solution is that first word: "web". A web site is not accessible in the same way that a file server is... although you can access files through your web browser, you may not be able to access them through other applications. For example, you would not be able to configure iTunes to store music on a web site (unless there's some feature in iTunes which allows this that I'm not aware of). And since web sites are usually read-only, you'd have to use some unconventional process (like FTP) to write files up to the server after you're done working on them on your MBA.

Another issue that's worrisome from a legal perspective deals with copyrighted intellectual property. What happens if you post your music files on a web server, and then other people figure out how to access them? If that happened, you'd technically be guilty of illegally sharing music... I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want the RIAA breathing down my neck. If I keep such files stored on my home server and then access them remotely, no one can legitimately accuse me of sharing them with the public.

I'm not pooh-poohing your idea, just playing devil's advocate for a minute. I do agree that you could use a web host to store files that you wanted read access to, but a web host does not equal a file server.

Krevnik
Mar 6, 2008, 10:13 AM
I'm not pooh-poohing your idea, just playing devil's advocate for a minute. I do agree that you could use a web host to store files that you wanted read access to, but a web host does not equal a file server.

WebDAV. :)

Although I would mostly stick to using a host like that for archival purposes. Files you access constantly would suffer from really poor performance and are better kept locally.

yippy
Mar 6, 2008, 10:15 AM
I had the same idea and have a large webspace as well. However, I found one huge drawback that makes this almost completely impractical. The upload speed. I found that I never got more than 100kB/s up which is way to slow to upload anything near a reasonable amount of data. At that rate, to upload the 50Gb of stuff I wanted to it would literally take a week, assuming no slow downs.

So unfortunately, using standard web hosting as files storage space is simply not feasible.

lidomkj
Mar 6, 2008, 10:22 AM
I'm not pooh-poohing your idea, just playing devil's advocate for a minute. I do agree that you could use a web host to store files that you wanted read access to, but a web host does not equal a file server.

That is exactly what I was looking for! I want to know potential pitfalls.

If I stored everything out of the public folders, someone would have to hack the website to gain access to these files, correct?

Also, what if I password protected the domain access? That would be 1 extra layer of security, correct?

In regards to running your own server and opening your router, do you not have the same risk of attack? Would the risk at home be slightly greater or less?

I am just trying to evaluate my options to have the most security without having to use my usb hard drive.

clayj
Mar 6, 2008, 10:34 AM
If I stored everything out of the public folders, someone would have to hack the website to gain access to these files, correct?Yes. But because the files are stored on a web server, you'd have to use port 80 (HTTP) or port 21 (FTP) to access them. You can't just browse the files using the Finder.

Also, what if I password protected the domain access? That would be 1 extra layer of security, correct?Yes.

In regards to running your own server and opening your router, do you not have the same risk of attack? Would the risk at home be slightly greater or less?Well, the risk of attack is pretty small either way, actually. But if you use the "Even More Secure" steps from this thread ( http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=429956 ), then the "bad guys" need to know FOUR things to be able to get to your files: Your home domain name or IP address, the port number you set on your router, your user name, and your password. One disadvantage of using a hosted web server is that you cannot change the port numbers used to access files.

I am just trying to evaluate my options to have the most security without having to use my usb hard drive.Understandable. I just think that using a web host versus a proper AFP-compatible file server is going to introduce wrinkles that will slow you down.