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Opinion 150 Shares 18 comments

Three good reasons not to use the cloud

Though certain users require a lot of storage on their devices, others prefer to store their data in ‘virtual spaces’. In my opinion, the cloud really isn’t a solution to our problems. Quite the contrary, it presents more problems that are even worse than the ones we already have. In this article I’ll outline for you what I think about the cloud and its associated dangers.

But before launching into why exactly I don’t like the cloud system, it’s important to clarify something: I am in no way disputing its practicality. The storage space is far bigger than any physical support that exists. Still, though, I tend to use as little virtual storage as possible, and I’ll explain exactly why here.

As you probably noticed, this article is filed under “Opinion”. That means that everything written here is purely the author’s opinion on the matter. The arguments listed in this article are personal and may, of course, differ from person to person. It’s very possible that what’s written doesn’t apply to you in the slightest––if this is the case, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments.

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With more need for physical media, you can save your files online. © ANDROIDPIT

1. The cloud, as a concept, seems a bit suspect

By definition, my personal data belong to me alone. Why should I share them with just anyone, then? You might say that the people in charge of the cloud have better things to do than to peruse the files that I upload to my cloud, and in practice…that’s true (except for in certain instances that are specified in the fine print). In any case, the concept is the same: someone has access to my personal data.

I think it’s really sad that technology is pushing us––willingly or not––to renounce a basic right. It seems like a given that someone should be the sole owner of their own data. But time and time again, we’re won over by the sparkle of different technological marvels that, ultimately, lead to even more inconveniences.

The Robin smartphone from Nextbit uses the cloud system, but at least it has a minimal internal memory capacity, too. If you like the cloud, you should be able to find a friend in this phone.

The Robin smartphone from Nextbit uses the cloud system

2. I just don’t need it

Considering what I do with my smartphone, a microSD card is mostly sufficient for my needs. The rare photo I take is of my niece or a remarkable landscape, but I’ve never succeeded in filling my internal 32Go memory. A space with even more gigabytes of storage doesn’t do much for me.

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A micro SD card enough for me. © ANDROIDPIT

There are a lot of people, though, who take tons of photos and videos and who, for reasons that escape me, never look at them but also can’t bring themselves to delete them. These people would therefore need a lot more storage space and, so as not to have to buy extra storage device, often tend to prefer the cloud. Here, the cloud has a significant advantage, considering it costs significantly less than classic storage devices (and is sometimes even free).

3. When it comes to security, there’s always a risk

Like I’ve already said, I can’t really get behind the idea that my data would be hosted on a platform out of my control. It would just take one unauthorized person gaining access for it all to fall apart. In cases where your phone or storage device is stolen, you’re the only person who is impacted.

Hacking has become an internet currency, on a big and small scale. Be it through phishing or some other method, it is always possible for someone to steal your password. Which means it’s your responsibility to make it as complicated as possible.

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Theft is not only physical but also virtual. © ANDROIDPIT

But you’re not only risking the loss of your data when storing things on the cloud, you’re also risking your privacy. You may say that it doesn’t matter if your account is compromised, you don’t have anything to hide, but for a lot of people this isn’t this case. Do you remember what happened with the Apple cloud not too long ago? A lot of people’s information was compromised. They fixed the problem and it’ll never be an issue again? I’m…not so sure. Why even risk it?

One thing is for certain: whether or not it’s welcome, it’s difficult to escape the cloud. Today it’s practically impossible to avoid, even I use certain cloud services, though I don’t like it. I can really only urge you to pay attention to the data that you store there, specifically if it’s your bank info or other possibly compromising data.

Do you think the cloud poses certain risks or do you consider it to be a safe storage space? Maybe I’ve just completely missed the mark and the cloud truly is a modern-day wonder.

18 comments

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  • Remember, ever silver cloud has a black lining...

  • As far as using the cloud, I have one simple rule, if I'm happy for it to be a front page news story for the world to see then I'm happy with it in the cloud, if not it stays local.

  • I agree with many of the points stated by the writer and commentators. But, I do use cloud storage a lot. But, like anything else on the internet, I use it with care.

    One person stated that he would rather put his photos on a card so that others may share them. What? How does that work? Couldn't figure that out. I use some cloud services for just exactly that reason. It is easy to send a link via email and have them see the photos. No matter where the are in the world.

    Another thing is picking your cloud service to fit your particular purpose. For sharing I use rather unsecured services like DropBox and Google. For stuff I don't intend to share I use a secured service like Mega that encrypts at the connection side and on the server side.

    And I use a VPN because even the providers are required to monitor what you send and receive.

    I say cloud services are as good as your knowledge about them is. Do your research.

  • Mark G. 2 months ago Link to comment

    One huge disadvantage of using Cloud storage is most broadband suppliers limit the Upload speed/bandwidth. This makes uploading large amounts of data a nightmare (especially when you spend the last few hours uploading only to get a error message at 99%).
    Generally download speeds are sufficient to use the cloud.

    Obviously this issue gets worse at peak times. This isn't specifically a cloud supplier problem rather it comes down to poorly funded infrastructure. Once 100% of the country has access to high speed broadband then using the cloud should be no less reliable than traditional hardware (SD/USB/SSD/CD/DVD).

    Peace ✌

  • Recently I was tempted by an offer of 1TB of cloud storage for a low price. I googled them to see how they perform. It was an instant cure. Many complained of the upload and download speeds starting quite fast, but then getting ridiculously slow. What is the use of 1TB of storage, if it takes you an eternity to backup? But even worse: how much use is a backup in the cloud, if it takes you days, or even weeks to restore the backup, if you need it. I decided to back up locally.

  • I agree with the author's comments on storage of photos and home movies, if I was to to do this at all I would put them on SD card, so they can only be accessed by my family. I never really used cloud facilities until recently when I purchased a chromebook and 100GB of Google cloud storage which came free for a year with it, I also have 25GB free that came with a phone I purchased so decided to upload movies to it, instead of using SD cards.
    The ease I have found using Google drive across platforms and devices, also an incloud player has been very handy indeed, I also paid for an additional 100GB at just £1.70 a month, at this price purchasing a 128gb SD card gives about anything between 2-4 years same usage of Google drive dependent on card bought, however, the convenience is priceless.
    I also as the author am weary of security and also the company going bump, which with being a new technology companies fight for dominance or just to turn a profit and many hit the wall. I think Google is positioned well and security is tight so no worries anytime soon, it is updated often and has many third party app support cross platform, and has very good unbroken streaming of your own movies and TV series not forgetting music or ebooks which can be opened through quite a selection of third party apps, also which can be installed for free, or for extra features for a nominal cost.
    I understand the author's comments formed from his opinion, however, without wishing to come over as rude I don't think he has fully grasped the convenience of 'the cloud' as a media centre and not just somewhere one may upload important documents, personal photo's and home video, rather than the latter.
    Just one example to give, upload all them cds you have at home, to download and transfer on SD card to play on your car stereo, or even dvd's you have, especially children's favourite films to keep them from getting bored on long journeys in the car to and from holidays, or even on them in the evening, or even download a book you've been promising yourself you would read but haven't had the time, sat outside your holiday home or wherever on a late summer night evening.
    There are even many apps outside of the playstore, where you can get access to the latest films where you can stream or dare I say it download, and then put on SD card or upload to the cloud to stream like you would any other service if you so wished, not that I do this myself as I'm a big movie buff and buy loads of buleray movies and if they don't come with the digital download extra, you can rip these then upload to the cloud (correct software permitting).
    For media use it is an excellent option to use the cloud, and I'm sure their are others that I haven't come across yet that are just as useful, but if just using as a place to store photo's (a service which Google photos offers for free, and doesn't add to storage if quality changed in settings), or home movies even music than a SD card will suffice, because unless you run a small business even through an eBay or Amazon accounts, with the other associated apps available, ie: Google spreadsheet and so on, I personally can not see a typical use for your average consumer to make use of cloud services as the author does also, unless as a convenient media centre to use wherever you may be on the planet, without having to drag along your entire collection with you.

  • I don't trust or use cloud services for anything at all if I can avoid it so I don't put anything there that couldn't be put in print in the local newspaper. I did use it last year when I was transmitting signed PDF files back and forth between my fiancee in Thailand and here due to the 14 hour time difference, but the only access to the folder was through her login to Dropbox account and her unique password, separate from mine.
    I've been online since the early days of BBS's and I know that nothing you keep online is secure truly, so I limit my exposure.

  • "When it comes to security, there’s always a risk"

    Couldn't agree more.

  • Mark G. 2 months ago Link to comment

    I have been a keen user of cloud storage for the last year or so.
    I have a 1TB* account with Microsoft - which I use for photo back up / documents / and a back up of my S5 (*free for year - not sure if I'll continue paying)
    I have 50GB with mega, which I use as a secondary back up of my music collection & music videos.
    I have 50GB free with Dropbox which is a secondary back up of photos & videos.
    Lastly I have Google Drive which only has 15GB, I use drive as another secondary back up.

    I have a fear that one of the cloud services becomes bust or suffers some alien attack I would lose my data so I decided to spread the risk.

    I also have a full backup on USB and CD, I have been contemplating purchasing a WiFi SSD drive.

    I've never felt that my data is less secure using Cloud storage.

    Peace ✌

  • storm 2 months ago Link to comment

    Certainly the cloud is not particularly secure. The cloud has reliability and expense issues. I've commented about these in other topics here at AP, particularly in the Nextbit Robin articles.

    But the cloud is certainly useful when it is available and used within ones tolerances for security. Discarding the cloud completely will fit some users but that is not necessarily valid reasoning for all users.

    I too like uSD cards. I require that my devices support them. However, I still sync my photos automatically via Dropbox on my home wifi--automated with Tasker. It's far more convenient to have the photos ready on my desktop than to fuss with cables or uSD cards--particularly where I have to eject the SIM to get the uSD card, which can necessitate a reboot. Similarly, Evernote captures my work on the go and that work is ready at the desktop as well because of the cloud syncing content.

    Ereaders, while the content is stored locally, Nook shares my bookmark between devices so I can keep reading from the same page as I switch between them. That's a handy "cloud" feature.

    Android pretty much is a cloud service itself. Your Google ID backs up wifi passwords, game content, screen layout, apps. Email is also just a primitive cloud service. But more so now where very little actually resides on your phone. it lives on the mail server. All of this is easily transferred to a new device or a clean install of your current device no matter how much you like or dislike the cloud.

  • steve 2 months ago Link to comment

    If your only using the cloud for photographs like my old girl use to throw her photographs in an old biscuit tin and stick them at the bottom of the cupboard and eventually end up in the attic. Who wants to look at them, who wants to look at your boring old snaps.Photography is probably one of the biggest 21 century cons, making the cloud an even bigger scam if you buy into it.A small biscuit in the attic might have more accessibilty and access than the biscuit tin in the sky.

  • I could say I don't use the "cloud" but...
    what's the play store.. I pay for goods and services, apps films etc all of which are stored where?... most of it not on my device..
    same with Amazon they have, keep,store all my purchase history and payment details etc,
    all cloud based...
    I don't need extra storage, like Drive or Dropbox, if I did I'd consider it no more of a risk than using Amazon or the Play Store.
    biggest issue I've got with the "cloud" is really my own ignorance of how it all works..

  • Dean L. 2 months ago Link to comment

    I've been slow to adopt using the cloud. I've used Google drive and docs most recently to work on a project with a classmate. Actually worked quite well. Starting to use it a little for other things as well. One nice thing I like is that you can access and edit your files from different devices without having to transfer files from one device to another (like from PC to tablet to phone).

  • How about an article where you tell the advantages of cloud as well. (I think you guys had one earlier)

    The cloud is still remarkable and useful for us. there are files which are personal and private and some which are not. The fact that you can share folders with others, schedule your backup and select which folders to update online is for people who don't have time to manually backup everything. And besides the cloud is extremely secure unless you're specifically being targeted by the wrong kind of people. Also hacking is not as simple as you might think, it's mostly always phishing which helps them access your data.

    7/25/50 GB online storage for free with enough features is extremely beneficial when you get the power to access your data anywhere.

  • For all mentioned here: My sentiments exactly...

  • Mark 2 months ago Link to comment

    First of all there is no cloud. All you are doing is renting space on some company's server. If you have one of the so called free cloud storage plans or options with your device. They are making money on your data by selling access to it or using it to advertise to you. Like the old saying gas, grass, or ass nobody rides for free applies to everything. Nothing is better than having your data on your own SD card that is the only way to keep it safe as it can be in this day and age. If you think the cloud is safe ask Jenifer Lawrence how she feels with her photos and others all over the net. The "cloud" is nothing but a money making scam.

  • It's not suspect. It's not good, there is nothing to suspect. Verizon and AT&T love for you to use the cloud so they can charge data rates to access your data. It's not secure.

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