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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Storage: local or online?

Fabrik has got me thinking.

The basic premise is an online storage system which is also very efficient at organising and sharing your content. The idea is you upload all your media, where you can then access it from any computer, it is safe (in terms of professional-quality backup at-least, but what if the company folds?), and you share the bits you want to.

This contrasts with the existing plays by the likes of Flickr and Grouper, where all your content is kept on your own computer and you upload your "best bits" to share.

It will be interesting to see if this proves popular. I believe a system for storing useful documents online, e.g. via Omnidrive if they ever get their act together, could be very useful. But would you trust your whole digital life to a remote company, especially when hard drives are now so cheap? Plus there's the fact that, except for a lucky few, uploading gigs of data takes a long time even with broadband.

I prefer to keep my data on my home computer. I have a desktop and a laptop, and use the free FolderSync software to keep two copies of My Documents up-to-date on each machine. Off-site back-up with something like Mozy would, of course, be useful a useful complement to my system but certainly wouldn't replace it. I'd be too worried that the company would go bust. The only companies I would trust with such a service are the big boys like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

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