The top 3 risks of cloud storage for photos and videos

So cloud storage has its perks. It’s convenient, easy to use and it gives you peace of mind… or does it? Here are 3 reasons why you should consider NOT putting all your digital eggs in one corporate own basket:

Cost

Cloud subscription ain’t cheap. If you have a modern phone that shoots 4k video and photo you will need a lot of digital real estate to store those large media files. And cloud providers are more than happy to provide you with storage space on their servers. But if for some reason you forget to pay for one month, all your media files are gone. And that is quite disconcerting.

Let’s take Google Photos for example. If you want 2 TB of storage you pay approximately 10 Euros per month (depending on your location). That equates to 120 Euro in one year. You can buy a 5 TB external hard drive for that money and store your photos and videos at home using FTP-based apps like Home Stash. Sure it’s a little more challenging to set up, but once you have it up and running, all your new media files are automatically copied to your own hard drive. And it all works via your wi-fi router at home.

And of course, a cloud subscription for your pics and clips is just one more monthly cost that you can avoid. Because if you are like me, when you add up all your pay for Netflix, Audible, Spotify, and other subscription services, you might get to a hefty sum.

Resolution

Cloud storage is notorious for NOT storing your photos and videos at native resolution. Some providers let you enable this option, but then, of course, your storage space will quickly fill up and you will be forced to upgrade. So if you lose your phone or delete the original media files, your cloud backup will only have your pics and clips at a lower resolution. That is why apps like Home Stash are popular as a backup to your cloud subscription. You do not get the same level of tech as with Google Photos for example, but at least your precious memories are stored at FULL size, and if you change or lose your phone you can easily backup the photos and videos archived on your personal hard drive. 

Safety and Privacy

When you use cloud storage, your data is somewhere on a large company’s server. And that company is responsible for making sure the pictures from your kid’s birthday are safe and secured.

But data stored in the cloud is more prone to attacks and data breaches than data stored on your own external hard drive. Sure if an extremely competent hacker singles you out he can eventually compromise your system. But this is highly unlikely. Usually, hackers target big data holders like Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Dropbox, etc. And it makes sense. Why waste energy and effort attacking ONE person when with one good hack in Dropbox you can have access to the data of millions.  

That being said, if you store your precious memories on your PC or MAC’s hard drive you are still vulnerable to ransomware attacks. This is where you accidentally download a virus that encrypts ALL the data on your device and asks for money (usually in the form of crypto) to give you back access to your files. This is why storing your pics and clips on an external hard drive makes sense. When you use Home Stash, the media files go directly from your phone to the external hard drive so any virus that you might have on your PC or MAC will not affect your stash.

Plus, you have no idea what companies do with your data. At some point, Google was under fire for training their AI (artificial intelligence) by sorting through billions of photos belonging to Google Photos clients. Not cool.

If you entrust all your invaluable data to a cloud storage provider, it becomes their responsibility to keep it safe, but you will suffer the consequences if this fails. For your own good, you should carefully investigate how transparent different storage providers are regarding their security practices before signing up for their services.

Home Stash for example does not store ANY data on their users. No accounts to be made, no phone numbers, etc. It just copies the media files from your phone to a storage device via your wi-fi router so you can have peace of mind that your precious memories are safe and secured on your hard drive in your home.