Does anybody here live cloud-free? (Local storage only)

I think this best fits here in software. Today, I store everything on my Mac on iCloud Drive and Apple’s services. It’s great having full sync on my iOS devices and my up-to-date content everywhere with me. It’s also backed up off of my device and god-knows-where in Apple’s data centres.

I can’t imagine going back to the old days, where content lived exclusively on my MacBook HDD and was backed up to Time Machine, I would take and sync my photos to iPhoto then back via iTunes … Apple’s ecosystem to me, is the biggest plus of using Apple computers and devices. Switching is much harder, though even if one did, Google’s Drive or OneDrive would likely become the go to cloud of choice… Let alone DropBox or other third party more flexible solutions.

This discussion is to figure out if many power users still use offline, private and local storage of their photos, music, files etc. and opt to not use cloud storage at all in 2019. I can’t imagine this at all, really, but as I’ve considered Linux lately the idea crossed my mind that not everybody has an easy to use integrated cloud service. So why do you avoid the cloud, how practical is/isn’t this and what’s your main motivation for this?

I do not “avoid the cloud”. I use cloud storage for perhaps 10% of my document needs – and only in cases where I need or want access to a given document on more than one machine. I only use cloud storage that supports strong encryption at rest and in transit.

Local storage is cheap, for some people cheaper than cloud storage, for others not. There are marginal risks involved with local storage (failed devices, etc.) and with cloud storage (data compromise). Depending on your risk perceptions you might choose local over cloud storage or the other way around. I’m not sure that polling a user base to determine cloud/non-cloud preferences is a good basis for one’s personal decision making.

Interesting question, though!


Same here. Use cloud services for a bunch of stuff; keep very personal files locally stored though.

Password protect any file using super long passwords to open/view that you don’t want to get into the wrong hands.

I have 8 cloud accounts I use for different things:
Google Drive
Amazon cloud
Folder on server behind home firewall

Each one uses long passwords and 2 step access that supports it.

I have an iPad, iPhone and MacBook Pro.

Only local files are sandboxed in the app on the iPhone and iPad that I don’t want in the cloud.

1 Like

What cloud storage do u use that support that encryption?

I encrypt(password protect) the file before posting

I use 1Password to save the open passwords into

I do not encrypt the pictures

If the app does not support file passwords, I zip them and add a password to unzip and store that in 1Password

I keep work files in the cloud (dropbox) but I have way too much photography data to keep in any cloud – so I’ve got the data back up in two places at home and offsite at work. It is also backed up via backblaze, but any data recovery from that account would be difficult because of the amount is larger than spinning drives they could ship to me.

Same here. I’ve never had and pressing need for iCloud Photos (I never need to have immediate access to years of camera pics) so I never turned it on. Instead, I periodically connect my iPhone by cable to my iMac then export all iPhone images to Photos on the Mac (and delete the iPhone images). And all my ‘real’ camera photos are managed by Adobe Lightroom, Everything backed up locally as well as to Backblaze.

1 Like

I’m basically no cloud at all with 4 exceptions. I use Dropbox to sync some Scrivener documents I work on with multiple people and multiple places. I use iCloud to sync my Safari bookmarks. I use Google Drive to share larger files and some photos both for some work projects and for the family history projects I am working on. I am working to implement an Amazon Glacier storage system for some of our archive of photos.

Why no cloud. I do not need or want my data including email, calendar and other data to be stored on servers I do not control no matter how well encrypted and protected. I have far too much photography data for iCloud to even be an option. I use POP mail so I never have to leave any email on the server longer than is necessary. I only do email at one machine and even my gmail account is a POP account.

We do run our own Synology servers and I do a number of different backups of the servers, machines and portables onto external drives. No cloud backup either.

My husband uses Linux exclusively and that has affected our use of cloud services. We are again exploring running our own CalDAV and CardDAV servers on the Synology to share some calendar and contact info. I already use WebDAV to sync my DEVONThink and Omnifocus systems with all my devices and machines.

It’s very practical and easy to manage. I know who is the master machine for each type of data and have that documented in a secure 1Password note along with server and other passwords. If the event of the theft or loss of one machine I have compartmentalized our critical items so that a breach of one server/machine/service will not affect others. It’s been ingrained in me for decades to handle sensitive data in a secure fashion so it’s simply easier to do that with my own data than try to figure out how to share or not share parts of the information. Only someone like my spouse or an estate executor has the need to know and there is sufficient information for those individuals to gain required access to the secure data.

1 Like

Provincial legislation here (British Columbia, Canada) precludes the use of any service that would or could move personally identifying information out of Canada for public institutions. This effectively keeps us from using any of the popular cloud services.

That being said, I use iCloud Drive to keep my personal projects synced between devices.