Cloud HQ a real winner!

I am really excited about all the new technology that is available for managing life online. We have now been traveling via RV for over a year and I don’t know what I would have done without some great services. This was a bit of a challenge for me technically as I was a software developer and have always had my own personal SERVER at home. Trying to figure out how to manage all the years of data I had collected became quite the chore. I settled on several items. However in managing all these items I encountered some issues. One was that my NAS drive that I purchased to be my traveling server crashed on me even though it had 4 drives and was RAID 5 striped so that if a drive fails you simply replace the failed drive and it rebuilds all the data. Unfortunately Buffalo Tech cannot explain why the entire system failed completely and refuses to boot at all and reports no bad drives so I have lost EVERYTHING I had locally.

However, I had backed up all my data to various online “clouds” before leaving home taking advantage of several free cloud services as well as a few paid ones. But this too can become quite cumbersome. I stumbled upon CloudHQ today and MAN OH MAN is this thing pretty slick! It has the ability to actually SYNC all my data from multiple sources so I can access the most important files from any service or share files with someone who prefers one service and with the new Amazon option of UNLIMITED storage I can have it set to automatically BACK UP all my other clouds to my Amazon cloud drive. I’m really excited about this and looking forward to seeing it in action.

My issue with travelling is having limited internet access and usually I’m restricted to crappy free wifi (you get what you pay for) or using my cell data plan. Currently I’m using 10 gig on a Verizon Jetpack and 10 Gig on my AT&T phone plan. I had to increase to 30 gig temporarily in order to upload lots of current files after the failure of the NAS drive. I’m taking no more chances with local data.

I have had one fear of the cloud drive companies going out of business. Using CloudHQ to do a backup of all my other clouds is alleviating this fear for me. I encourage you to check it out. See if CloudHQ can help you manage the cloud jungle!

I’ve been using CloudHQ now for a year and it has worked seamlessly to keep my data all backed up and increase my comfort of knowing my data is safe and sound. One of the best things is it doesn’t use up my data plan to keep things synced!

Just when I think CloudHQ has the perfect tool they add something new.  They now have a gmail extension that allows you to sync  Gmail labels.  I’ve utilized this feature by backing up all my SMS messages.  First I have an app on my phone that automatically backs up all my texts to my gmail account and saves them with the label SMS.  A few clicks on CloudHQ and I set up a sync from my gmail label SMS to backup to my Amazon cloud drive.  So now all my texts are not just backed up in gmail where I can quickly search for an old text but also backed up in Amazon in case google ever has a problem and looses my data.  You can find out more about this feature here.  :

Last night I decided to test the Office365 email feature.   A few clicks to create a sync from my Office365 email to my Amazon cloud drive and viola…done.  This morning when I awoke there was an email in my inbox letting me know my new sync was completed.  I didn’t know how this sync would look so I logged into Amazon cloud to see.  WOW.  Impressive.  Under the new folder name I set up in CloudHQ the sync created 3 new folders one for this year and the previous two.  Under each of these folders it created folders for each month of that year and under each year it created a folder for each day that I had mail on that date.  Under each date if there were any attachments it created another directory named Files and extracted the attachments.  WOW.  That’s organized!  I cannot imagine the time it would have taken me to just do one month of mail.  I chose to save my mail in PDF format because that’s a standard that’s easy for me to work with.  It had about 5 options of file types you could save so I’m sure your favorite type is probably in that list.

I urge you if you have more than one cloud service you use whether for business or personal go and check them out.  They offer a free personal account that lets you sync a few of the more popular personal clouds.  But the real meat is in the business cloud syncing.  Many of the most popular business cloud systems are available for sync and they are always rolling out new syncs and improvements to the old.  For me I’m a little skeptical of cloud systems.  Every one of them especially the free ones state emphatically on their terms and conditions that they are not responsible for any lost data.  I’m sure many of them do backup their systems but honestly they have no obligation to you or to me to backup all our data and they say so up front.  One serious glitch and all your data could be gone.  If you’re saving your photos to google photos what happens if they decide to limit storage space or they have a system error that deletes all your photos?  I know for me that would be a serious problem as I took the time to upload all our family photos to google.  But with CloudHQ I just had it back them up to Amazon and it stays backed up.

I did some searching yesterday just to see if things were working.  I use google drive for my most used documents because google drive is one of the fastest and easiest to use.  I have been updating several files lately.  I popped over to Amazon drive and looked up a few of the files I’ve been using and they were all there.  All up to date.

CloudHQ also notifies me when a sync doesn’t function and their system also keeps logs so you can see what has been going on with each sync.  So far I haven’t had any real issues other than a few little things like a sync didn’t run because the sync account needed to be reauthorized.  But every time I’ve been notified and it was easy to fix.

I’m not sure how much data I have moving through cloudHQ but let me give you a little idea.  I have six children.  Yes…SIX.  In 2000 we were fully digital with our photos.  By 2008 we were fully digital with our videos.  A few years ago I copied all our old hi8 videos to digital and began uploading them.  I’m up to 2008 that all our home videos are stored online with some cloud service.  Two years ago I took every photograph in our house that wasn’t already in a scrapbook and scanned them in.  All our photos from 1989 to the present are online with one cloud system probably two systems.  That’s a lot of photos.   We also owned our own business and had a server in our home for years.  Every document ever created was saved on that server.  When we moved full time into the RV I had to take that huge server and condense it for travel and protect it.  We have a 16 Tb NAS drive we travel with.  It has about 8 Tb full currently.  All 8 of those Tbs are saved to some cloud system.  Some of that 8 Tb is the photos and videos previously mentioned the rest is documents, install programs, kids school, etc.  For example we use Office365 educational bundle for our school and all our workbooks are scanned in and available on our SharePoint site for the kids to open and read or download and print if necessary.  Although I have copies of all this on my NAS drive if it fails (which it has already been replaced once due to failure) I still have SharePoint but if SharePoint fails and my NAS fails then what?  So I have my SharePoint site documents backed up to my Amazon drive through the CloudHQ.  Now I no longer worry about my NAS failing.  I no longer worry about my cloud services failing.  Triple protection allows me the peace of mind to know that no matter what choices someone else makes or in the case of a catastrophic failure of our NAS drive all my data is secure.

If you use cloud systems do yourself a favor and check them out.  They have a free account that works with some of the most popular cloud systems.  The real meat, however, is in the business plans which are affordable and well worth the money.