Half a Dozen Uses for OneDrive

If you don’t trust Microsoft, you should probably stop reading. If you don’t trust Microsoft, you probably won’t trust OneDrive with your files.

If you’ve decided you’re never going to trust “the cloud”, you can stop reading now as well. There’s no getting around the fact that OneDrive is, at its heart, a cloud-based service.

If you have Windows 10, especially if you have Microsoft’s Office 365, you already have OneDrive available to you. (If not, it’s easy to get.) If you’re interested in learning how you can put OneDrive to use, read on.

I’m convinced that OneDrive is one of Microsoft’s most under-appreciated services.

Read moreHalf a Dozen Uses for OneDrive

Is the Cloud Dangerous?

One of the comments I received on my article on lessons learned from a fairly public online hacking was very concise:

“That’s why the cloud is dangerous.”

I think a lot of people feel that to varying degrees.

I disagree strongly.

I also think believing the cloud is dangerous prevents you from taking advantage of the things it can do for you — things like protecting your data…

… as well as a number of things you’re already doing, and have been doing for years.

Read moreIs the Cloud Dangerous?

Five Reasons I Went All-in with Dropbox

I use Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and Amazon Web Service’s Simple Storage Service (S3) for online or “cloud” storage and backup. Each has their pros and cons, and each has their role in my setup.

I was reviewing my costs recently. I noted that I have over a terabyte of photographs safely backed up to S3, and concluded that S3 is both inconvenient (it isn’t really “simple” to access) and possibly my most expensive option.

Thanks to a recent change, I’ve settled on Dropbox as my most effective online storage solution.

Read moreFive Reasons I Went All-in with Dropbox

Is Online Document Conversion Safe?

Many programs on the internet let you do things such as change a Word document to a PDF by sending it to the cloud and then having it return converted. How safe is this?

The short answer is my most common answer: it depends.

It depends on who is providing the service and how sensitive you feel your documents are.

There are good services and bad services. Fortunately, there are also alternatives.

Read moreIs Online Document Conversion Safe?

How Can One Service Take Down So Much?

As I type this, a surprisingly large number of web sites – including some aspects of Ask Leo! – are recovering from a massive outage at one of the internet’s major cloud service providers: Amazon.

While the specifics of what caused the downtime has yet to be made public, the outage serves to highlight some important aspects of the modern internet, and raise a few questions along the way.

Read moreHow Can One Service Take Down So Much?

What is Cloud Computing?

So what on earth is cloud computing? Is it beneficial? I keep hearing all about “the cloud”, just what is it?

The best definition of “the cloud”, or “cloud computing”, that I’ve run across is, to paraphrase:

Cloud computing is just using someone else’s computer.

In some ways, it’s too simplistic to be useful, so I’ll dive deeper and explain more.

At another level, it’s wonderfully simple and perfectly accurate.

Read moreWhat is Cloud Computing?

Why I’m (slowly) Switching to OneDrive

I’ve been using Google Drive and Google Docs for several years. With the addition of functional (albeit somewhat crippled) versions of the applications on my Android mobile devices, it’s a quick and easy way to have documents with me wherever I might be. Add to that the ability to share documents with my assistants, and it’s become a valuable resources in how I handle my data.

I recently started playing around with Microsoft’s offering. They, too, now offer somewhat crippled versions of actual Microsoft Office programs for free on both the web and mobile, including my Android phone, integrated with their online “cloud” storage offering, Microsoft OneDrive.

But there’s something fundamentally different about Google Docs and Microsoft Office Online, something that has me now in the process of slowly switching to OneDrive, and potentially even shifting some of my other files from DropBox while I’m at it.

It’s all about backups.

Read moreWhy I’m (slowly) Switching to OneDrive