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Five reasons to have a personal private cloud at home

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By Kirk Steinklauber

What does it mean to have a personal private cloud at home? I’ll explain in more detail later in this post, but in very simple terms, it means that you have access to computing resources like your personal data and applications from anywhere.

Since there are personal and partially free cloud solutions like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and iCloud, many of you are probably wondering why you should be interested in pursuing a different solution or, even worse, a solution that you have to install, manage and maintain.

personal private cloudWell, don’t worry if you’re already happy with your current and existing solutions. You don’t need to change your current preferred tools, but I want to at least share with you the benefits and advantages that you can get by having a personal private cloud—especially in the security space!

The majority of these partially free cloud solutions are mainly focused on providing storage services so you can store your personal and sensitive files, business data and confidential data. However, outside of these basic functions these tools don’t provide you additional applications that might help you manipulate your data beyond the ability to have this data sync among multiple devices.

So back to the original question: what is a personal private cloud? Like the description of the partially free cloud solutions, a personal private cloud would have similar computing services. The difference is that you would be hosting these at your own premises (or house). Your next question might be: how can I do that? The simple answer is to have a local Network Attached Storage (NAS) device attached to your internet router. There are many commercial and cheap options available for acquiring a NAS, but if you don’t feel comfortable with any of them you can try to build your own. (If you’re interested in learning about how to create a personal private cloud using NAS, look out for my next blog post.)

Now, as promised, here are the five reasons you should build your own private cloud:

  1. Larger storage

For online tools, there is always a threshold for the amount of storage that you can get for free. Once you cross that threshold, the free part becomes a paid service. That’s fine if the amount of data that you want to store is relatively small and won’t exceed the threshold. Comparatively, with a local cloud storage solution you can get terabytes (over 20 times more space) of storage as opposed to the gigabytes that are available at no extra charge from online tool offers.

  1. Faster uploads

Aren’t you tired of having to wait forever while uploading pictures from your vacation to your online cloud storage? If you have a personal cloud inside of your home, the transfer speeds will be local area network (LAN) and wireless speeds that your local network can handle.

  1. Cheaper costs

Many of you will wonder how a personal private cloud can be cheaper if you have to invest in the hardware plus the effort to configure it. And yes, it does require an initial investment, time and effort. However, in the long run it will be cheaper. The price of one TB of online storage can be recovered in less than two years of having your own personal private cloud, and after that it will be free of charge for the same capacity!

  1. Ability to sync data among multiple devices

Like with several online tools, you can have the same functionality of a central repository that makes your data accessible from all your personal devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets and more). Your data is synchronized across all your devices, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of what you left in which device.

  1. Peace of mind (because I will freak out if someone else hosts my data)

I will be honest with you here. I don’t really like the idea of having third parties hosting my personal data. This is not because I have top secret data or confidential data or even anything inappropriate; it is because I think my personal data is valuable to me and I don’t want anybody else to have potential physical or logical access to it. If you think like I do, then you should seriously consider hosting your own data.

So there you have the five reasons why you should consider having a personal private cloud. What are your thoughts? Do you still prefer to use partially free online cloud solutions or will you consider deploying your personal private cloud at home? Follow me on Twitter @ksteinkg to discuss this and stay tuned for my next blog post on using NAS to create a personal private cloud.

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