Best Online File Storage?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Huntn, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Huntn, Dec 3, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013

    Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Based on Cost/GB, Features, and Security, what is your verdict?

    I'm considering dropbox, mozy, and iCloud.

    I've posted this because I just discovered JustCloud a free unlimited online storage company and I have to ask what is the gimmick? How does a company like this make money, unless they are charging business customers?

    I'm going to sign up, but I'm looking for feed back before I start uploading my data onto it. Thanks!

    Update: Free for limited time... :-\ Duh...
  2. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran
    Are you just wanting to have access to files online or are you looking for a full online backup solution? I use crashplan for online backup and Dropbox for smaller items that i just want to have quick access to.
  3. dash2345 macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2013

    what is the privacy assurance of these online storage places ? when google is handing over data to US, I wonder if these smaller companies will keep our data private ?
  4. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran
    I cannot speak for companies based overseas but I can say that just about any company in the US must and will have to comply with a court order to hand over data. I think you need to be more worried about these smaller companies actually being targeted because they won't be able to launch a fight against a court order like a Google, Dropbox, or any other big company can try to.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Look at how they use encryption. If the data is encrypted before it leaves your house there is NO WAY anyone can look at it. Yes they can snoop and see you are moving data but the data is encrypted.

    The key is if the data is encrypted BEFORE it leaves your house. Ask how it works if you care about this.

    (Please no arguments about the NSA having magic powers to guess keys.)


    They might get a court order but they can't decrypt encoded data, it would be like a court ordering your pet pig to fly.
  6. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I'm considering a significant online backup solution. I can't say I'll put all of my data there, just the stuff I can't afford to lose. The way I see it, it is about cost/GB, ease of transfer, security, and long term viability. I imagine it's one big pain for the consumer, if the a online storage company has to shut down.
  7. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    I love iCloud for what it does best (automated backup iOS devices, sync calendar and contact data, Photo Stream as a method of automatically transferring iOS camera roll images to my Mac...), but it is not an effective backup solution for Mac-based data (with the exception of calendars, contacts, keychain, etc.). Its document storage capabilities are limited to those applications that support it, principally Apple's Pages, Numbers, and Keynote applications, and the process of moving all pertinent files into iCloud is harder than it ought to be.

    For sharing and storage of document and data files, regardless of application, then a service like DropBox is necessary. For comprehensive off-site backup, then CrashPlan or similar is the better choice.

    For my needs, the free iCloud and DropBox accounts are enough. However, comprehensive, off-site backup costs real money. For that, "lowest bidder" should not be the primary consideration, just a tie-breaker if more than one service meets your requirements.

    For my money, "backup of important documents" is not something to be manually managed. You forget to save something to iCloud or DropBox, you're out of luck. A comprehensive backup may seem wasteful (why pay to save all the junk?), but it can be completely automated, and therefore more likely to cover your butt when you need it.
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I suggest that you de-couple the concept of offline storage and backup. They are two independent things.

    Different service providers do blur the two... but my recommendation is to purge those thoughts from your mind and decision process.

    Some examples:

    1) Dropbox does versioning of data... but I do not trust it as the sole copy of my data. I use it to sync multiple computers together... but the computers are independently backed up.

    2) Most cloud backup providers allow some mechanism to share data between different computers (ex: get access to certain files while you are remote). I choose to discount those features completely, and instead focus on using them for just backup... and prioritize my decisions on how well they backup.

    By keeping those as two separate functions, I think that I get a great set of features and that my data is both accessible and yet secure.

    In analogy... don't end up with a "spork"... the world's worst spoon, and the world's worst fork. It is usually a crappy experience.

    BTW: I primarily use Dropbox and Crashplan+

  9. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I'll think some more on it, thanks! Right now I have time machine and separately I have dual TB drives that I back important stuff up on (2 copies) however, that does not cover me if the house is wiped (storm/fire), so I'm considering a permanent presence online for my important docs.
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Crashplan works well for what you want. It's $5 per month for unlimited amount of data. The catch is that uploading is slow, say 50GB per day if you have a very fast connection. They claim not to throttle but they do. I get about 0.6 MB/second upload speed. But you can mail them a 1TB disk and then the speed goes to 1TB/day for the first 1TB.

    You can get access your backed up data over the web or over IOS or you can ask them (and pay for) then to ship to a 1TB disk filled with data.

    The software is god and can be used for local and peer to peer backups. They suggest you backup to a local disk or RAID as well as to there storage. They also support a remote RAID that you control. Software supports all of this

    I use Dropbox for sending data t people posting a file on-line. But CrashPlan is for backup.
  11. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008

    Frankly, I would recommend DropBox. It's compatible with almost every app out there so it's integrated. Not so sure about the pricing as I have the free account - they have a lot of perks running from time to time so you can easily add storage. I had 50GB with them but that expired so now down to 8 but will probably add 15 or so through other perks.

    Box is also a nice alternative though they do not allow you to upload files over 100MB unless you pay them.

    Google Drive works well as well but I've heard some complaints about their TOS and data security (no source).

    Sugarsync was a fav. of mine until I switched to DropBox - not sure how they are doing now but worth a look.

    Lastly, SkyDrive is also a worthy competitor. I somehow got 25GB through them so I use them from time to time and it works well.

    iCloud - I am not so sure. You're limited to what all you can store. You must also have an app or sort to upload to iCloud. I.E. you cannot just go to and upload a folder of PDF's for work.
  12. 1911 macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
    What's your budget?
    What are the capacity requirements?
    I looked at many of the online services, and had a problem with their privacy policies, but thats just me.
    I decided to purchase a Synology NAS device, then implemented Cloud Station which is free with a Synology.
    I maintain my own cloud, no files on a server I cannot control. My files remain on my premises.
    There is a client for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
    I'll admit, the initial cost was a bit more than I wanted, but in the long run, I have no monthly fees, and I get to sleep at night knowing where my files are.
  13. powerstrokin macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2013
    I just read a news article about Dropbox specifically the other day.

    Long story short- Dropbox searched through a user's files, found something illegal and then notified police. User was arrested.

    Illegal files or not aside, the point is that Dropbox did not act based on a court order. They willingly stepped in and turned over information on a user without ANY legal push to do so.

    They were sure to note in their response to question that upon finding said information in a user's dropbox storage area, they immediately remove any/all encryption THEY place on files, but are unable to remove any that the user may have placed on said files.

    The real moral of the story is that if a person has a file of any type (legal or not, that isn't the concern here) that they do not want anyone else to see, it should NEVER go online ANYWHERE.

    Any file hosting site/company can promise security all they want, but the security should never be assumed to be actually true.

    Also keep in mind that any information transferred between two computer systems which will use an internet service provider of any kind is subject to interception/viewing.

    Don't talk to me about how the NSA CAN'T break encryption because I will not have it. They can, they will, they do. To think any kind of encryption is unbreakable is foolish to say the least.

    One could argue that for normal file backups/storage the online solution would be fine. Maybe...
  14. Windowsrefugee macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2011
    Microsoft Land
    I agree. I use CrashPlan for my backups (in addition to TimeMachine). This allows for redundant backup on site and remotely in case there is a disaster on site. In fact, CrashPlan can back up to remote (and local) computers or drives attached to a remote computer for FREE. It is only if you want to store data on their servers does it cost anything.

    DropBox is great for sharing documents, etc. but I would not use it for back up due to cost, security, etc.
  15. Mr Pink57 macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2011
    a van down by the river
    I've been using Crashplan Proe for a while now, I am fortunate enough to have a long time friend being a big wig there and got a real good deal on service through them. Before them I never really invested much in backups besides to a external HDD which I still do through Crashplan but also have their cloud.

    I've used Crashplan on Linux, Win, and now Mac and I will say the service is the smoothest by far on Mac. This I think has a lot to do with their offices filled to the brim with Mac tech, everyone there is using a Mac or iPhone.
  16. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Thanks guys! I'm still deciding but Crash Plan is looking good.
  17. Stunned Monkey macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2013
    Just another vote for CrashPlan. I have a family plan which allows unlimited backup from multiple PC's. Works great.
  18. onemustfall macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2013
    I also CrashPlan, seems pretty good so far. Still waiting for the initial upload though...
  19. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014

    since thread already woken from the dead....

    You can look for providers with good security. I use arq which ties into AWS. Data is encrypted client side with a password only you know. Thier admins cannot backdoor in via admin powers (put another, lose the password, do a say reinstall and even you can't access old data).

    If at some point the feds wants your data...well they can get the data (no one is fighting a court order if issued high enough) and have fun cracking the encryption on it. Which, tinfoil warning, they do can and do now anyway.

    Why I consider the NSA whistleblower to be a idiot. A well intentioned idiot, but an idiot none the less. Wrecked his career and his life to tell us what many of us already knew. All he did was have some of us go we have one less tinfoil hat to wear.
  20. fisherking macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    crashplan has saved me twice over the last few years. it works well. the first backup takes forever (logically)...i ONLY backup my home folder (and a few key other folders).

    works well, and the one time i needed tech support, they were very helpful...
  21. RIZZO124 macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2013
    I have a synology rackstation and also implemented cloud station. It is very well done and works as advertised. Just make sure, however, that you backup your synology server! Sure you're protected by raid 5 but in the slim chance the sever craps out, you're SOL if don't have a backup. I backup to a 2TB external USB drive connected to the rackstation.
  22. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    Update- initially chose Amazon Cloud Drive, cause it is cheap, but cancelled that before the trial was up. The service was not as transparent and convienent as Drop Box and Google Drive, plus 1000 file download limit was unsat and the desktop App was subpar. Currently spending $1.99 per month for 100Gb at Google drive.
  23. dodong macrumors member


    Mar 2, 2007
    Perhaps, the Lima Cloud Storage software is what you need. It enables you to store & share big files on your computer, smartphone, and tablet wherever you are.
  24. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2013
    I have tried a lot of them but I always go back to dropbox.
    Ease of use and most other people you need to share stuff with already have a dropbox..
  25. LiveM macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2015
    Don't get too excited about encryption. It will all come undone in the future thanks to quantum mechanics and the law will be happy to wait if necessary.

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25 December 3, 2013