Be The Master Of Your ownCloud Data, Installing ownCloud And Run A Similar DropBox Service Privately For Free

Dropbox and various online third party cloud services are great and free to certain expectations, but to truly have all you can eat buffet kind of expectation is definitely not the kind of thing that these cloud services can provide.  Right off the bat, one thing for sure that these third party cloud services cannot provide is the best privacy level that one could get with having storing data within one’s own private network.  Want to have more cloud space than the so called free space?  It’s not free, and you have to pay more for how many more Gigabytes you want and so forth.

ownCloud is a free, open source software which acts like DropBox, but you can download, install, and use it freely.  I think ownCloud does give you the opportunity to be 100% in control of your data’s privacy.  If you know how to implement robust security measures such as proper firewall and port-forwarding, you can even allow yourself to roam the seven seas and still be able to sync with your local data securely.  Unlike DropBox and other third party cloud services, you know you’re the master of your own data in the cloud when it comes to ownCloud those data.  OK, I begin to rant on unnecessarily.

Anyhow, want to know how to install ownCloud and use it?  Check out the video right after the break, I show you how to install ownCloud on Linux Mint.  Of course, you can follow the video’s instruction to do the same for Ubuntu, because Linux Mint is just an Ubuntu based distribution.  Enjoy!!!

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How To Use CrashPlan To Backup Data To QNAP And Backup QNAP’s Data To CrashPlan Central

Normally, CrashPlan won’t allow you to backup computer data to network share/drive.  Nonetheless, you can get around this if you’re using iSCSI.  In the video right after the break, I show you how to create iSCSI with QNAP (Network Attached Storage) server,  connect to QNAP’s iSCSI target, and format iSCSI share as NTFS share for Windows 7/8.  This way, you can use CrashPlan software (free or paid) to backup data from a local computer to QNAP’s iSCSI share, and you can go one step further by backing up the data of iSCSI share (on QNAP or whatever NAS that may be) to CrashPlan Central (cloud service for hosting backup data).  Enjoy!!!

We Need Google Fiber Sort Of Broadband Service Providers In Town To Boost Business Opportunities And Customer Experiences

Backup Backup Backup - And Test Restores

Backup Backup Backup – And Test Restores (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, broadband upload speed is nowhere near the speed that is desirable for people to backup their digital contents to third party backup service providers or I should say doing backups to the cloud.  I’m using Crashplan backup service provider, and it seems that it took me ages to backup my Windows 8 PC — containing 500 GB worth of data — to Crashplan’s cloud with AT&T U-verse 3 Megabit per second upload speed.  On the sort-of opposite spectrum of doing backups to the cloud is doing backups to a local network’s backup device or devices, and it turns out Crashplan software is doing so much better, like way better, when it backups the 500 GB worth of Windows 8 PC data to a NAS (network attached storage) and external hard drives.  Basically, at the moment, I see that Crashplan shows that it’s 97.2% done with a backup for Windows 8 PC to a NAS, 54.1% done with a backup for Windows 8 PC to an external hard drive, and 10.2% done with a backup for Windows 8 PC to Crashplan’s cloud.  So, I think you get the gist why doing backups to the cloud is super tedious and slow.  It really does take ages.

If one day Google Fiber ever comes to my town, I will definitely see doing backups to the cloud as a positive thing.  For now though, 3 Megabit per second upload speed is definitely too slow for me to do a backup from a local network to the cloud for 500 Gigabyte worths of data.  Imagine people who have like Terabytes worth of data, I wonder how would they feel if they have to do backups to the cloud.  With faster broadband such as Google Fiber, I believe the cloud with become even more popular.  If the cloud is not too expensive for people to store Terabytes worth of data and Google Fiber type of service is readily available, I don’t see how people would not find this combination a super delicious one.  Yummy bandwidth and data redundancy if we care not about the possibility of data leak from a possibility of weak computer security in the cloud.  Of course, don’t forget to encrypt whatever data when such data are to be stored in the cloud, yo?

I’m just talking about doing backups of data only, but obviously any faster broadband which is in the league with Google Fiber offers more than just the upload essential, because Google Fiber type of download speed (i.e., Gigabit per second bandwidth) can also bring more opportunities to people and businesses alike.  Just imagine the possibility of having Google Fiber type of broadband connection… more households may be able to enjoy playing games, streaming movies, listening to music, surfing the web, watching Internet TV, video chatting over the Internet, shopping online with enhance experience (e.g., interactive media shopping experience which allows people to use video chat and 3D interactive contents), and a lot more at the same time.

With such amazing possibilities — that I had mentioned — float to the surface of the pool when faster broadband gets deploy, we can definitely see modern businesses that rely on the Internet for revenues will see faster broadband a positive thing and a must thing to have.  For the people who are the consumers of all Internet and digital things, they  might be even more addicted to the Internet since they can do more all at once.  Imagine the fantastic feeling of a big size family when Google Fiber sort of broadband service provider is coming to town, the family will definitely not have to take turns to consume all Internet and digital things.

Tips To Protect Your Photos For A Very Long Time To Come

If you want to keep your photos for a very long time to come, you definitely need to take measures in protecting your precious photos.  Something as hard drive failure to accidental deletion can definitely erase the awesome picture moments that you had captured.  Of course, you don’t really have to be a fanatic with photography for you to take extreme measures to protect your photos, because protecting photos isn’t that hard as long you are willing to take some steps in giving you the chance to recover the lost photos.  Within the video right after the break, I give some tips that might be helpful to you in regarding to protecting your photos for a very long time to come.  Please enjoy it!

Cloud Is Not A Miracle, It’s Just Another Tool In Your Famous Computing Toolbox

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia!

(Whenever I refer to a cloud, I mean a third party cloud service, OK?)

The cloud, the thing that you do nowadays so the data will always be within your reach as if you just look up, point, see, and say, “That’s my cloud!”  Sure, it’s quite reassurance to know the cloud might save you from a rainy day when the cloud actually shines and the rain has nothing to do with the cloud, but it has to do more with how your computers and local backup suddenly say bye bye to your precious data.  The mighty cloud shines like a sun as it allows you to recover your data, but are you sure the cloud will always shine, bright, and dry?

You need to know that the cloud is for your convenience only, therefore it’s convenient but not really safe!  Convenient?  Yes, you can access your data anytime at anywhere as long any place has any Internet connection so any computer there is can allow you to access any file!  A promise of conveniency and an extra point of redundancy might be just what some people need, but be very careful in relying on someone to take care your precious data!  After all, it’s you who has the most interest in having such data out of harm’s way.

You might forget that an extra point of redundancy which the cloud promises might not be hard to set up yourself.  You can rely on any third party cloud service and ignore that any third party cloud service might just be the many servers that hum cozily in some datacenters, but these servers and datacenters are just as susceptible to hardware failure, data corruption, and hacks as your local machines.  In fact, third party cloud services might have more problems than your own machines since such cloud services have to scale up (e.g., bigger datacenter, more hardware, more sophisticated software) to keep up with demands.  If demands aren’t there, third party cloud services will eventually dwindle away along with your data.

Cloud is shiny, bright, and pretty alright, but it’s so gorgeous only when the sky is just as bright.  Cloud can get darkish and nasty when the rain pours down hard on you (this rain has nothing to do with the rain outside).  So, don’t think the cloud is a miracle for all data problems, but just use the cloud as any other tool.  Try to use the cloud when you actually need to backup some not so important data, because these data you want to have easy access to and care not so much if someone else might accidentally have a peek at.  The truth is, within the cloud you never will have total control over your own data (i.e., except for the cloud that you actually host and run yourself).  In a way, you can view the cloud as a safe where you can just reach for whatever at your convenience, and you know it will always be there unless…

The cloud should never be a place where you have had the need to keep your data safe and away from prying eyes.  If you want to have redundancy for your precious data in case of data corruption, hardware failure, and the likes, you should store or backup multiple copies of such data locally.  If you have to store or backup your data remotely, make sure at least you have full control of your machines (or even the cloud).  One good example would be installing a machine in a datacenter which allows you to sign up for a co-hosting (i.e., also known as co-locating) plan, because this way you have full control of your machines (i.e., ensuring you have full control of your data at the cost of paying some monthly fee).

People might argue that the cloud will give you more free time since you don’t really have to worry about hardware failure, security measures, other technicalities and responsibilities in keeping your data and machine safe.  Plus, it’s rather convenient!  Nonsense!  The cloud can have just as many problems, and you might not know anything about it since such problems might be taken care of without your presence.  Sure, you don’t have to take care of such problems yourself, but when the real problems come knocking at you anyway, it’s when you know you should be at the helm when the problems go haywire to no end.

The argument is that bad things happen, with or without the cloud, therefore the cloud isn’t a miracle but just another tool among tools within your famous computing toolbox.  Use it wisely, and you have the bright, shiny, pretty, and happy cloud.  Use it wrongly, and you have one heck of a monster that eats and might even share your data with another monster (i.e., a hacker’s machine).  You should take the approach to be safe than sorry when it comes down to how to use a third party cloud.  How so?  Check out the random tips below:

  • Only store data that you might want to share with someone in the cloud
  • Encryption can be broken, but if you must store super important data that you might not want anyone to take a peek at, you must encrypt such data in the cloud
  • Backup only unimportant data in the cloud
  • If you must share cloud data, make sure you have the option of creating a share directory so only people that you grant access can take a look at a specific directory and data
  • Do not allow people to have the ability to change your data in the share directory (e.g., no write permission, no execute permission, no delete permission)
  • If you must allow some people to download your data in the share directory, you must know that you’re liable for sharing such data (i.e., do not share data that aren’t yours)
  • Cloud encourages behavior where you log onto any computer to access data, therefore such data should not be important to you at all if you intend to log into your cloud through public computers
  • Cloud isn’t a miracle or should it be replacing your usual local storages, because it’s just an extra point in data redundancy plan of yours, but for unimportant data only
  • Cloud can be hacked and might be more targeted by hackers than your regular machines (i.e., all types of data for hackers to mine in a single point)