iCloud or Google Drive?

Leo Laporte and Megan Morrone compare different cloud service apps for your iPhone or your iPad. They discuss iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Tresorit, OneDrive, and your own personal cloud. Compare prices, security, and other benefits of different services.
Full episode at https://twit.tv/ios/352


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TWiT.tv is a technology podcasting network located in the San Francisco Bay Area with the #1 ranked technology podcast This Week in Tech hosted by Leo Laporte. Every week we produce over 30 hours of content on a variety of programs including Tech News Today, The New Screen Savers, MacBreak Weekly, This Week in Google, Windows Weekly, Security Now, All About Android, and more.

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InabilityToBeBrief says:

Yesterday my Google photos unlimited paid account started showing hundreds of photos that weren’t mine in my Google photos apps on both apple and Android devices. So, this is more than annoying if you have photos of documents that may have security info like account numbers or SS number or whatever. Suddenly, a tax document of mine, or worse, could appear in someone else’s photos? ARE YOU F’NG KIDDING ME?!?!?!? This truly happened.

Jim Thompson says:

A bit late but iCloud wasn’t “hacked”. The thieves had all the usernames and passwords except in a couple of cases. The usernames were all either obvious or taken from social media. The passwords were things like “password123” or pets names and were again taken from social media. The exceptions were a few accounts with strong passwords which the thieves were able to reset by answering the security questions. That is partially Apples fault for not having tougher questions but the info still came from social media. Apple also pointed out that not a single account had two-factor authentication enabled. If they had, the data would have remained secure. The take away is (1) Always use strong passwords. (2) Watch what you publish on social media. (3) Always use 2FA. Users have to learn to be responsible for their own security.

Martius Caius says:

I’ve settled on Boxcryptor and pay the $48 a year for a license.

I use it on specific folders in my Dropbox, you can also obfuscate the name of encrypted folders and files with it so that if prying eyes want to get a look, they cannot even make out the name of the folder or files to determine if they might be interesting if they dont have the utility and your encryption key.

Not The One says:

I like One Drive better than iCloud or Google Drive but I like Drop Box better than all of them

Carol Hama says:

I recently tried removing images that showed up on my android phone…directly from Google Drive! Including documents, not just pictures, without my authorization…at least I do not remember signing up to sync the google drive, but I did sync my emails. But NOT picasa! Yet there they are! Documents and all!

Chicks2180 says:

iCloud works flaunt for me

ȘȚɄƑƑɎǾɄ1oo says:

Both are terrible but Icloud (last time I tried it) was a joke. Also, EVERYTHING gets hacked, if it’s on your system, it’s unlikely to get hacked unless you’re targeted, if it’s on a service like Icloud or Google Drive, it’s very attractive to hackers.

Carol Hama says:

In 2017 Google was reported to have sold copies of gmails from about 100,000 accounts…mainly to divorce lawyers. I wonder how much money google made off of those? So I would not put it by Google to sell our private information. Google is amassing the world’s information without paying for it…who knows why…perhaps for (pay for use) “ransom” at a later date…they tried copying all the books they could lay their hands on at the Bodleian and Widner Libraries until they were “called” on copyright issues. Now it seems they want all our photos…next step is to have a campaign to tag all the people…wouldn’t it be “wonderful” if people can ID us all on vacation on the otherside of the globe…while our houses remain vacant? Or have all our neighbours point their cameras at us to get all the information they want on us at their fingertips?

Hawaiian Brian says:

Great video, thanks. But it begs the question, how do we clear these clouds and manage what’s in the clouds. Would be a good time for you experts to do a video on how to manage each and every cloud, such as Google Cloud Apple Cloud Samsung Cloud Verizon cloud Dropbox and all the rest that you can think of. Take each cloud service water the time how you get into it how you managed it or clear it. So many of these clouds come with a product and things are going into it that we don’t even know and not sure how to get into it and manage it.

XSportSeeker says:

Complementing information with stuff that’s perhaps less Apple centric:

For Synology’s DS cloud service, you can also route everything through your Synology NAS… meaning you don’t need to install multiple cloud storage apps on all your devices, you can route everything through the DS cloud app, and then configure only your NAS to synchronize with different cloud storage accounts. It’s an app that comes with the NAS called Cloud Sync.
Great to automate multiple accounts to distribute what content goes where, including redundant copies. There are some apps that also do stuff like that without the need for a Synology NAS… CloudFuze, CloudHQ, Cloudfogger… there are several names, I never used them so can’t really recommend, they have different plans for different situations, some are enterprise only.

If you want to set up your own service in your own local machines, there’s OwnCloud and NextCloud as free open source alternatives. It usually goes along well with an open source NAS OS like FreeNAS, or Linux distros, but they work similarly. You’ll need to install server software on the main machine that will store things, and client software for the devices you want to access the service with. Not dumb easy to setup, but worth it.

If you are willing to pay for cloud storage but also want it to be encrypted and more secure with you holding the key but not the service, aside from Tresorit which is also reputable, look for Spideroak. They’ve been in the market for a long time (they showed up more or less around the time when Dropbox also did), and their priority has always been privacy and security. They use end to end encryption which means they just don’t have access to your content.

iCloud works very badly on Windows machines and it’s understood to be very lacking in features when compared to other solutions, unless you are completely into the Apple ecossystem. If you are on a Mac/iPhone, sure, go with iCloud. But if you aren’t, it’s probably better to go with other solutions. It’s not all that different from iTunes.

The security breach Megan talked about on Dropbox and the Celebrity leaks that happened on iCloud both had nothing to do with the robustness of service or security of them. If you get your computer infected with virus or malware, it always runs at the risk of infection propagating to cloud storage services depending on what you store there, no matter what the service is. That’s why cloud storage should never be considered as backup – it’s function is synchronization. Different things.
People need to always be aware of this. Backup is something taken periodically which you can fallback to if something goes wrong with current files, even if you accidentaly delete them, they get infected, corrupted and whatnot. Cloud storage synchronizes a copy of your content. Some of them have snapshot capabilities which enables you to go back to previous backuped states of your files, but not all of them do, and some will require a paid subscription for that function. So if you accidentaly delete a photo, it’ll also get deleted from your cloud storage account, and you might not be able to restore it.

On the iCloud hack it was simply a problem of those celebrities that were hacked using very weak passwords that ended up broken. It’s an avoidable situation when best security practices are employed from both sides, but you should always assume that even big companies can always end up hacked or having server content leaked. So Leo’s recommendation is where it’s at: never put anything in those services that you don’t want out there.

Another very important piece of information that I dunno why wasn’t mentioned: for the very basic stuff like storing photos, there is no better solution currently than Google Photos. If you let Google convert your photos to their own format (it’s an optimized high quality jpg format), which is good enough for regular photo storage but compressed (so no RAW photo storage), you have unlimited storage that does not count against your Google Drive limits. So, if all you want is to store photos you take with your smartphone, Google Photos is currently unbeatable. There are no other free unlimited cloud photo storage services out there. Flickr used to be the king of this when they offered 1Tb of free photo storage, but you know… Yahoo is dead, Flickr is now owned by Verizon, we don’t know what the future will be for it, Yahoo had some extremely bad security practices, and the whole thing just isn’t reliable anymore.

So… there you go.

Pam says:

Very informative!! Thank you for this video.

Favio Becker says:

One Drive is the better value for money.

Sendtohell says:

If you do not need to access your data from other locations. A 4TB external hard drive at around $100 is a much better deal. I have gone that route and bought several large externals and backup all my files 2 or more times, depending on how important they are to me.

ft55555 says:

Uh, neither.

TheGr8stManEvr says:

iAnything = No, No… NO NO NO!

Andrew Hallenbeck says:

Great show1

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