Nothing like a little seismic instability to get you considering the durability of where you store your writing. After the 7.1 shaker we had early morning January 24, a member of 49 Writers reached out to me to ask about storing his writing in “the Cloud.” He faithfully backs up his computer on an external drive (Good! Yes, do this, and more than once a month!). But what if there’s another big shaker and that external drive is destroyed along with his beloved computer? Then what?
Enter “Cloud” storage. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it simply means storing your files on an external server someplace else. In other words, your files live on a computer located outside of your home or office. Most cloud storage solutions have redundant backups, so if the warehouse (or server farm as the computer gurus call them) which contains the computer that stores your files should burn down, explode, get flooded, etc., your files are safe because they are located in several places.
I use two kinds of Cloud storage, and I am manic about backing up my hard-drive. It’s fairly easy for me because I work on a Mac, and the operating system comes with iCloud, a cloud-based storage solution. I also have a DropBox account which I use for work. DropBox is great because files can be shared with multiple people, and they exist locally on your computer so if you have no internet connection, you can still work. When you reconnect to the web, the local files update the copies stored in the Cloud. (BTW, iCloud works the same way.)
There are many many options for Cloud-based storage. I couldn’t begin to knowledgeably explain them all here, but I can point you toward two recent reviews:
- OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box: Which cloud storage service is right for you? on c|net
- The Best Cloud Storage Services for 2015 on PC Magazine’s website
Of course, because I’m one of those poets, this whole discussion has led me down the rabbit hole considering what’s the durability of any of our work? For whom do we write? And why? What happens to all of those words when we’re in a different type of cloud storage?