The Catch to Using “Cloud” Services

This story from the Verge on the demise of Google Reader prompted this post.  Google has abandoned many of is services over the years as its business matures.

The Verge, Ellis Hamburger on March 19, 2013 01:30 pm wrote;

Google Reader is a lot more than an RSS client. It syncs news feeds between different apps, and makes sure you can always pick up right where you left off. It’s also simple and free, which means it drove most competitors out of the market long ago. Once Reader dies July 1st, we’ll be left with apps that don’t rely on its backend to sync your feeds — which isn’t very many apps. Various denizens of the internet and companies like Digg have volunteered to create new backends of their own, but for now, picking an RSS client you can trust means you’ll need one that doesn’t rely on Google Reader.

Why use the cloud to store your data? All the tech pundits are agog over cloud storage, getting your data on any device, stream your music, videos, etc., etc., etc.!

First catch; is the “cloud” available and ready for use with your connected device?  How many times have you heard that Google, Amazon and the other “cloud” services are down for some reason or another.

Second catch;  some businesses will only give customers the password to their free wi-fi.  Other businesses have free and open wi-fi with no restrictions. Free connections can be crowded, slow, unreliable and have security issues.  Doing business, use a VPN if you are going to sign into your corporate, banking or accounts that are not https enabled.

Third catch; choose your cloud company the same way you choose your bank.  Find a profitable, stable, trustworthy company that will be around for a long time.  There is no insurance when it comes to cloud storage and cloud based applications.  Many companies will abandon cloud services that are no longer profitable or no longer fit their business plan.

Fourth catch; If the service you use is free, it will eventually go away or become less functional to force free users to the paid version.  The companies providing the service have to make money to stay in business.

Choose wisely.  My personal preference is applications on my computing device with my files stored locally.  The backup is on the cloud.

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This is my very occasional commentary on any topic.