Cloud Storage Pros and Cons

Posted July 2, 2015 By Mom
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Is It Time To Switch To The Cloud For Backups?
As with most tech decisions, the answer is: it depends.

I am not yet storing my backups to any Cloud service. I probably will make the switch at some point in the future, but I’m not there yet because for me, so far, the cons outweigh the pros.

 

Cloud Storage Pros

1. Your stored files are available to you anywhere you can get internet connectivity.

2. No need to store your own, multiple, local backups: a reputable, quality Cloud storage provider maintains its own backups and guarantees that in the event of some kind of problem with the primary copy, they can restore from a backup copy.

3. No worries about local disasters: since your files are stored on a server that’s far, far away, even if your home or office burns down, your files will still be safe in the Cloud.

4. With some Cloud services, the option for file sharing is available: you can grant access to specific files or folders to specific people by granting them login credentials and certain rights on your Cloud drive – this can be very helpful for multi-worker projects where people from around the country or the globe need to share files or have access to the same files, for small businesses, or for families that want to share some, but not all, of their files with one another.

 

Cloud Storage Cons

1. Your stored files are only available to you anywhere you can get internet connectivity. Anywhere you can’t get (or don’t want to pay extra for) WiFi, you still need to keep a local copy on your computer, flash drive, memory card, etc.

2. Expense – nowadays you can get a quality external drive with vast amounts of storage pretty darned cheap. I bought the one pictured above as a Father’s Day gift. It cost me less than $55 (with free Prime shipping) and it has a capacity of 1 terabyte.

By comparison, one year of unlimited Cloud storage on Amazon is $59.99. Google Cloud storage pricing is based on an annoyingly complex formula where you’re charged per month by the gigabyte and by how frequently you access your files. Other services charge as much as $50 per month for unlimited storage. I’ve yet to find a single option that costs the same or less than that drive above, and I don’t need more than 1TB of storage.

3. File transfer speed to and from the Cloud can be slow. You’re totally at the mercy of your WiFi connection when trying to upload, download or access Cloud files. This is no big deal for small files, but when you’re talking about video, large graphic/image files or database files, you may be in for a very frustrating wait that you wouldn’t have at all if you were accessing those files from an external hard drive plugged directly into your computer.

 

Those three factors above are what’s keeping me from going with the Cloud for backup. For now, I’ll stick with my local, external backup drives. But if those three factors aren’t as important to you as the advantages of Cloud storage, Cloud storage may be the more attractive option for you.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

If you’ve decided Cloud storage isn’t yet for you, but you need more storage than the little 1TB drive shown above, the 4.5/5 star rated Seagate Expansion 5TB Desktop External Hard Drive USB 3.0 is a great way to go. It offers FIVE TERABYTES of storage, speedy USB 3.0 connectivity, and it’s a great value at its current sale price of just $129 (price as of 7/2/15) — that’s 48% off the usual price of $249.99.

 

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Every time I post an article about removing ads from your Facebook News Feed, at least a few people will write in or message me on Facebook to say I should just use this or that browser plugin, which automatically detects and hides ads in any browser window. And here’s my standard response.

The reasons I avoid such plugins are:

1) Browser plugins have historically been a favorite target of hackers looking for security holes – this is reason enough for me to avoid browser plugins wherever possible.

2) Plugins can have unintended/unexpected results, such as hiding the stuff you really do want to see, while continuing to reveal some of the stuff you don’t want to see.

3) Plugins often have conflicts with other programs or even websites.

4) Installing a plugin adds one more piece of software you must regularly update to your setup, and adds one more thing you must track for news of security breaches.

Totally not worth it in my opinion. And if your concern is data gathering based on your web surfing habits, no ad-hiding plugin will stop Facebook or any other site from gathering and storing your browsing data, nor from sharing it with the site’s “partners”.

 

In my opinion, all those plugins do is create a false sense of security in their users while still leaving the door wide open to data-gathering and hackers.

 

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Kindle Fire on Kindle Nation Daily Tip of the Week: Amazon Echo: It’s Finally Available!

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Revisiting FBI/Moneypak on Fire Tablets

Posted June 30, 2015 By Mom
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I’ve recently received a spate of messages from Fire tablet owners whose tablets have become infected with the FBI/Moneypak virus, wanting to know if this or that protective measure that seemed to take their tablet back to normal really got rid of the virus.

Without being able to run my own virus and malware scans on those devices I can’t give a definitive answer, but I’ll say the same thing here I’ve said in reply to every one of those queries:

If it were my Fire tablet that became infected with FBI/Moneypak, I wouldn’t feel certain my tablet was clean until I’d done a complete factory reset.

– clearing browser history will not get rid of it

– deleting cookies will not get rid of it

– closing the browser tab where you first got the malware alert will not get rid of it

– deleting and reinstalling the browser, a specific app, or specific files will not get rid of it

FBI/Moneypak “lives” at the operating system level and can lie dormant for days, weeks or months before rearing its ugly head again. In fact, many variants of this malware are designed to do exactly that: prompt the user to fill out a form with personal/financial data or pay a “removal fee”, then pop up later to make the same demand all over again.

As of this writing (on 6/30/15), on a Fire tablet, the only thing that definitely gets rid of FBI/Moneypak is a complete reset to factory defaults, which essentially uninstalls everything that’s currently on the tablet and re-installs the operating system software only.

 

Related posts:
These posts are all current as of 12/31/14, and I have not read or received any updated information about FBI/Moneypak on a Fire tablet since then.

Do You Need To Worry About the FBI Ransomware / FBI MoneyPak Virus On Your Mobile Thingies?

Malware Update: FBI Moneypak / Ransomware Virus On Kindle Fire and How To Avoid It

Infected Fire Tablet? Here’s A Possible Solution. possible solution for when a screen lock prevents you from doing a factory reset

 

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The AmScope M30-ABS-KT2-W Beginner Microscope Kit is a terrific scope to keep the kids busy and interested in the microcosms all around their world, from leaves, twigs or a drop of pond water to man-made materials and things like their own hair, pet fur and more. Rated 4/5 stars across over 180 reviews and sale-priced under $40, this microscope kit may be the gift that sets a child or teen in your life on the road to a career in science.

 

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Kindle Fire on Kindle Nation Daily Tip of the Week: Amazon Echo: It’s Finally Available!

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FreeMusic Monday for 6/29/15

Posted June 29, 2015 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by Bach Guild Big Box Collections, “box sets” grouped by composer or theme, each containing 60 to hundreds of tracks, with most Boxes priced at just 99 cents. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Welcome To Free Music Monday!

Today’s free album is Reign!, by Vyking.

 

 

This is a collection of tracks I’d describe as instrumental New Age, with a good mix of upbeat electronic numbers and more contemplative pieces where a piano takes center stage. The album has an average review rating of 4.5/5 stars across 11 reviews, and it would make a nice backing track for any setting or activity where you’d like some music that’s pleasant, but not too distracting.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The Bach Guild Big Box Collections are a terrific, economical way to fill an entire classical musical library for just a few dollars. Each “Box” contains 4-14+ hours of music, all are currently rated 4/5 stars or better, and most are priced at just 99 cents!

 

 

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Kindle Fire on Kindle Nation Daily Tip of the Week: Amazon Echo: It’s Finally Available!

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FreeApp Friday for 6/26/15

Posted June 26, 2015 By Mom
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Free App Friday—Special Edition!
It’s a special Free App Friday today, because I’m featuring Amazon’s Over $50 In Paid Apps & Games Free collection. These are apps that you’d ordinarily have to pay for, but until 7/1/15 they’re being offered for free in this promotion. Here are the ten highest-rated picks from the collection:

Monument Valley – multi-award winner, it’s a puzzle-solving platformer, but it plays more like a piece of interactive art than a game.

Quell Memento – Forget the world. Fall in love with this enchanting zen puzzler.

The Bard’s Tale – They said it couldn’t be done…a full-scale massive 3D epic role-playing game on Kindle Fire! “The Bard’s Tale is easily the funniest game I’ve ever played, and I’ve played all the funny games out there.” – IGN

Simply Yoga – Your own personal yoga instructor wherever you are!

Monkey Racing – An arcade racing game featuring crazy monkey characters struggling for victory riding ludicrous vehicles.

Airport Mania 2: Wild Trips – Airport Mania 2 takes you on a journey like no other as you tackle airports from the North Pole to the Moon, and encounter a whole new set of aircraft including spaceships and military jets! You’ll also see some of your old favorites in totally new ways, like being retrofitted with pontoons for water landings!

Weather Live – Weather Live will provide you with current weather conditions and forecast in your city and multiple locations all around the world.

Table Top Racing – From the co-creator of Sony’s blockbuster PlayStation franchise ‘WipEout’ comes ‘Table Top Racing’, a brand new fast and furious combat racing game featuring console quality graphics and gameplay.

Deep Under The Sky – Try life as a strange jellyfish on a remarkable world. Learn to fly through the skies of a psychedelic Venus, to explore and flourish…

Trouserheart (full) – Unsheathe your sword and journey through realm filled with monsters, traps, and treasures. Defeat monster mobs, slay bosses, hoard treasure, and upgrade your sword, shield and armor.

 

Click here to browse the full selection of games and apps included in this promotion.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Generations of students and technical professionals have relied on the 4.5/5 star -rated Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator, and right now you can get it at 44% off on Amazon: $104.99 instead of the usual $189. Whether for yourself, or a student who’ll be taking some advanced math or engineering courses during the next school year, it’s a great buy.

 

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Fire Tablet Tip of the Week: Don’t Forget to Deregister Old Devices

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