by Bill Rounds
How to Vanish
by Bill Rounds:
How Independent Contractors Make More Money for Everyone
is a great way to get a little bit more privacy. Separating your
sensitive files from your physical location gives you flexibility
and security. But are you exposing yourself to more risks by trusting
your data with another company?
minded people, cloud security can be just as important as convenience.
There are lots of cloud storage options, so which one offers the
best cloud security?
There are three
contenders that provide very good options for cloud storage which
can also provide the cloud security and privacy needed. Dropbox,
which we have discussed before, SpiderOak
and Wuala. Check
out how these three services stack up against each other to decide
which, if any, you think is best for you.
lets you store, sync, access and share selected data online.
the content of your files, however, the file names are readable
to Dropbox. Also, they maintain control over your password so there
is a possibility that your password, and thus your data, could be
compromised by rogue employees, warrantless searches, etc.
For this reason
we have urged Dropbox users to encrypt their sensitive files with
the open source
encryption program Truecrypt
before putting them in Dropbox. Open source software is the most
trustworthy way to prevent surreptitious access to your data and
get more cloud security.
you to access your files, or save new files to your Dropbox folders,
from any web accessible computer. You do not have to be using your
own computer to access or save new files. This can be very handy
for travelers working from internet cafes, people working from a
different office computer, or if your own computer is lost or damaged.
the simplest of these three options to setup and use. The lower
default privacy and security settings make it easy to integrate
with other services and easier to use in general. It is also extremely
easy to customize the cloud security you want by encrypting your
own sensitive files with Truecypt and leaving less sensitive files
encrypted by Dropbox.
with SpiderOak and Wuala, offers 2 GB of free storage space. That
can be enough storage for a few critical documents, like birth certificate,
passport, etc. There are ways to increase storage, including paying
about $10 per month for 50 GB or $20 per month for 100 GB.
provides encrypted backup, storage, access and sharing of your files.
encrypts all of the files backed up or shared through their service.
The encryption is done on your own computer with the SpiderOak software
that you download so SpiderOak's central servers never have
control over your password.
That way, the SpiderOak employees or other snoops cannot read the
files you have uploaded to your account, not even the file names.
is not open source so there is no way to verify the claim that they
do not have surreptitious access and cannot grant surreptitious
access to others. It is still advisable to encrypt sensitive documents
separately with Truecrypt before backing them up with SpiderOak.
you to access backed up files from anywhere, but you cannot upload
new files to your SpiderOak account from a remote computer. This
may be inconvenient for people who might be working from an internet
cafe, etc. This loss in convenience is the price paid for increased
more features than Dropbox so it is a bit more complicated to use,
although it is still fairly simple. Because of the limitations in
accessibility it is harder to integrate with many other applications
that you might have.
to the 2 GB of free storage, every 100GB of storage costs $10 per
month. That is about half the price of Dropbox.
is like somewhat of a hybrid between Dropbox and SpiderOak.
your data automatically before it is uploaded, similar to SpiderOak,
although it is based on more open source projects than Dropbox or
SpiderOak. It is not completely open source, so the same open source
caveat generally applies. Wuala is, however, based in the EU where
there are stronger
data protection laws than there are in the US.
a way to access files via the web. This gives you access to your
files from an internet cafe or other places, not just from your
own computer. It still allows you to encrypt and decrypt your data
locally, maintaining the high security while still providing the
ease of use.
Wuala is able
to support drag and drop file management, much like Dropbox. This,
and other features, make it less complex than SpiderOak, which does
not have drag and drop features.
The cost of
Wuala is about the same as SpiderOak, which is about half the price
These are at
least three good solutions for online backup, file sharing and storage
which still offer cloud security. Each has different features and
capabilities that will appeal to different people. If you want flexibility
you can use Dropbox. If you want automatic strong encryption, you
can use SpiderOak.
If you want a bit more of a hybrid, try Wuala. You can combine any
one of these with Truecrypt for maximum
privacy and cloud security.
with permission from How to
Rounds, J.D. is a California attorney. He holds a degree in Accounting
from the University of Utah and a law degree from California
Western School of Law. He practices civil litigation, domestic
and foreign business entity formation and transactions, criminal
defense and privacy law. He is a strong advocate of personal and
financial freedom and civil liberties.
© 2012 How
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