Oct 22, 2022

(+) You Can Build Your Own Safe and Secure Cloud-based File Storage Service

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Cloud-based file storage services provide convenience and security. Having a second (or more) copy of a file stored elsewhere provides a lot of safety in case of hard drive crashes or accidental deletions. Such cloud-based file storage services include Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, iDrive, SugarSync, Box, SpiderOak, and probably a dozen or more others. However, all of these services have one thing in common: they store your files on other companies’ servers. Many individuals and almost all corporations are reluctant to do that for security reasons.  Many individuals and almost all corporations and non-profits do not want to keep their secrets stored on someone else’s servers.

Luckily, there is an easy answer: store your files on your own servers or on rented servers that are TOTALLY under your control, not accessible to anyone else.

Instead of trusting someone else to keep your files safe and secure, you can create a privately-owned equivalent of Dropbox and the other commercial file storage services. You can have any of these private file storage products installed in a computer in your own home, in your employer’s data center, in a data center where you have a server installed, or you can rent space from a web hosting service, space that is encrypted by you and not visible to anyone else unless you give them the encryption key. Thanks to encryption, even the data you host on someone else’s servers will be invisible to the system administrators of that service.

Anyone who does manage to access your data, which is doubtful, will only see something that looks like this: 


However, when you log in with your encryption key, you will see everything in exactly the same manner as it was when you stored it on the cloud-based file storage server(s).

The data you keep on your own file storage service will be safer than the data you keep in your own desktop or laptop computer. Also, you may keep all your data secret to yourself or you may share bits and pieces of it with others, as you wish. You can also create your own multi-user service and assign separate (and private) file storage areas to other family members or to your company’s employees. Each person may have his or her own private and secure space and yet be able to (optionally) share selected files, pictures, videos, music, and more with others, if desired.

Still another option is to have some or all of the items stored in your file storage service automatically copied to your other computers and also be available to iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. You can save documents, pictures, videos, music, and more on your desktop computer or take pictures with your smartphone and have them automatically copied to your private file storage server plus to your desktop computer, office computer, and other devices as you wish. 

In other words, the file storage service you create can operate just like Dropbox or Google drive with only one significant difference: YOU control everything; you are not dependent on the whims of the folks at Dropbox or at Google.

I created my own cloud-based file storage service this week and have now moved almost all the items I previously had stored in Dropbox, Google Drive, SpiderOak, iCloud, and elsewhere to my new file storage server in the cloud. All my files, pictures, videos, music, and more are now available in my own private cloud and are automatically being copied (or replicated) to my two desktop computers.

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