View from Camp Muir on Mt Rainier, WA (Mt Adams visible in distance)

Remember, a cloud is just someone else’s computer.

You do not own or control it, so do not put any faith that your data will either be available at all, or available unaltered. This is the new age we live in, cloud data companies control the data, it belongs to them, and they have the ability, and so far the legal right to censor or modify your storage content. Let that sink in. While clouds are quite handy for storing our precious things, able to be fetched from any device at any time, and offer a great solution for a backup should fire, damage or theft occur on site… we strongly encourage you to use the cloud only as needed, and ALWAYS maintain a physical copy in order to control your data in person. Thumb drives, disk drives and portable/external drives are relatively cheap these days, and provide a sure fire way to keep at least a backup of your data.

We must move away from the big tech paradigm that has us reliant on cloud services alone for data, and take back physical control of our data where possible. This may mean going through the hassle of copying data to physical hard drives, USB drives, SD Cards, etc, however this is the only reliable way to ensure the safety of our digital content. None the less, most of us need some sort of cloud and file sharing application, just consider it a backup option to your bombproof physical backups.

Cloud storage is convenient, but subject to anything the cloud provider does to your data including modifying or deleting said data. With all that said, we like the cloud options listed below due to their privacy respecting behavior for the most part, and more trust in not censoring our personal files and data. For examples of extreme cases of companies like Google deleting customers’ lifetime of data read here.

Make sure to also read our page on Data Storage which covers physical data storage in greater detail. A good data storage strategy involves both cloud (one that you trust), and on site hardware for best insurance that your data is safe. Also consider using a cloud service that you own, instead of big tech solutions that highly abuse our data and threaten to delete your data at any turn of events. If you don’t have time to self host, consider one of the alternatives below for quick, easy use.

Data Storage

Cloud Storage alternatives:

Proton Drive










Spider Oak


Another Cloud option can be a server or VPS (Virtual Private Server) that you self host at your home on site, self host on a remote server (like Linode) or perhaps self host at a friend’s house. A couple of Raspberry Pi’s or old computers serving as VPS’s can offer a ton of peace of mind knowing that your data is safe. Also be sure to think through options for encrypting that data while at rest on those servers to further protect your precious information. (read more about Data Encryption here)

Data Encryption

A lifetime of pictures, important documents and business documents are all at risk if stored on big tech data platforms, take more control of your data. Use local backups often, and consider the cloud a mere extra convenience. See our Data Storage page to learn more about storing data locally.

Data Storage

Self hosted cloud options, these require some skill to setup, but will be incredibly rewarding:

Nextcloud  –  Etabase