Regina here. Helping to make your home office life super hot. Where “super hot” means secure, organized, reliable, and that which gives you peace of mind. All of those are very sexy qualities, right?
Even if you disagree (which would be ludicrous, by the way), I want to tell you about why you should set up your own private cloud for your home office or creative business, how you can use your cloud, the types of things you should be backing up, and a daily routine you can do when you finish work for the day (checklist style) to keep you organized and sane.
P.S. Virtual hugs to WD for sponsoring an upgrade to my creative life by letting me try the private cloud with My Cloud EX2. I feel so “next level” now. You’ll see what I mean shortly. But first, I’m super happy EX2 (as I call him for short) fit well with all the black and gold on my desk.
It’s pretty amazing that even though I’m talking about tech that can save our digital lives, I’m still concerned about my color game. But hey . . .
I know you can’t stand the suspense. You want to know three things: (1) What is a “private cloud” anyway and are you just making stuff up, yet again, Regina? (2) If it indeed does exist, how is this different from Google Drive, Dropbox, or Carbonite? What’s the benefit? Why should I set one up? (3) Did you love it enough to have a completely weird photo shoot with it in front of a very hip, Austin, art wall? [I’ll just tell you right now, yes. Yes, I did.]
ONE: What is a private cloud? Are you just making this up?
I never fabricate stuff when it comes to technology y’all. Okay, you got me, yes, I do make stuff up all the time when it comes to tech, but this is real.
You know when people say they’re saving something “in the cloud” and it just seems like this mystical land in the sky where files live? Well, simply put, all those files are being stored on somebody’s sever, somewhere. Whenever you go to access your cloud files, they’re being pulled from a Google/Dropbox/Whoever server (basically a computer that’s set up as storage space) in Wherever, Montana or NeverHeardOfIt, Texas.
When you set up a private cloud, like the beautiful black object you see next to my gold stapler in the picture above, you’re simply taking NeverHeardOfIt, Texas, and bringing it home. So, you can be sitting in your office (which we all know is your bed sometimes—don’t try to make me believe I’m the only one), while your My Cloud EX2 is downstairs near the cable box, and you can store all your important files wirelessly. You can also access those files from your phone or tablet later. Now, the real question is . . .
TWO: How is this really different than Google Drive, Dropbox, or Carbonite? What’s the benefit? Why should I set up a private cloud?
I want to share five ways that getting set up with WD’s My Cloud EX2 is different from other storage options, and thus beneficial.
1. It’s a faster option for your business.
The absolute first thing I noticed was how much faster it was to load files to my private cloud with EX2. I work with a lot of large graphic files, video files, and even the long 300-page books I write, which I’m sure you’d never guess by these super short posts on my blog. All the sarcasm.
And if I may be honest for a moment, at the end of a long day, or long video edit, the last thing I want to do is wait several minutes for my files to be secure in the cloud. I literally feel like I can’t rest until I know each file is safely backed up.
2. It’s a faster option, again. But in a different way.
I used to be all for backups that go to remote locations and other people’s clouds. In fact, I had such a service for many years that backed up most of my files to their servers. However, I was disappointed to find out that if something happened to my computer (like the soy chai latte that happened to my best friend’s MacBook Pro), it could take a few days to get my files to me. A few days is not fast.
We need our files immediately. You have client projects and books you’re writing and other deadlines, just like I do. It’s probably simple enough to borrow a computer for a day or two to finish a project (or go to the library or use a school computer, etc.), but without your files, you’re in a bad situation. If my almond milk chocolate chai latte happens to my computer, I can get all my backed-up files moments later (from the My Cloud EX2) on a different device. Magic.
3. There is a whole lot of space for your small business and blog. I mean a whole lot.
You can get a My Cloud EX2 that goes up to 8 TB, and it’s still expandable after that. But call me up the day you go past even 1 TB >>> 1 terabyte is 1 trillion bytes by the way. So whereas you can still use a free account (with less space) with other cloud storage places for in-process files and collaborations, you can likely back up all of your stuff to your own cloud.
What should you be backing up?
- any client work (if you lose your computer, you do NOT want to start from scratch)
- your blog (create an export each day/week; if you use WordPress, you can go to Tools >> Export to create a basic backup of your content, or you can contact your web host about how to create a full backup of your site, which can easily be stored in your private cloud)
- important business documents (formation paperwork, receipts, invoices, contracts)
- your business branding (logos, blog images, backgrounds)
- current projects (your digital workbooks, eBooks, flyers, podcasts, video courses, voice recordings, etc.)
- pretty much any and every file you don’t want to lose
- music, videos, and animations
- all your phone, computer, tablet, and camera photos
4. It’s secure.
If Gandalf wasn’t tied up battling Sauron, I bet he’d admit that when he said, “Keep it secret, keep it safe,” he was talking about all your business documents and freelance projects, not some silly “one ring.” Pffft.
I like the fact that I have quick and secure access to all my files. I know where they are. In a cloud right between my gold stapler and my black + white washi tape.
5. There are no monthly fees to add to your expenses list.
So, there are some companies (who shall remain nameless . . . except for the fact that I already named them) who charge monthly fees for storage above a few GB. Sad face. Because here’s the thing, I try to limit the things I take on for a monthly fee as a creative business owner. Our income is irregular, so it can be hard to estimate how much we’ll make each month. Plus, all those monthly fees can truly add up.
I’ve known for a while that I was going to have to choose a different backup method, because I didn’t want any monthly fees that would continue on indefinitely, unless absolutely necessary. I hadn’t graduated my thinking to having my own cloud until I heard of WD’s My Cloud EX2, so it came at the perfect time. I’m not giving up all my other storage options, I’m just giving up unnecessary recurring fees.
WAIT. I know I said “5 reasons” but let’s be honest, I can’t count:
6. You get extra user accounts at no additional charge.
So my brother came in town and requested that I create him an account with the My Cloud EX2 I was setting up. And why not? It’s free and it allows him to keep his lawyer files and 379 action films away from my blog/business files and one digital film, The Internship.
7. You can stream.
Instead of storing tons of media files (videos and photos) on all your devices you can stream them from your My Cloud EX2 to connected TVs, media players, gaming consoles and other “DLNA/UPnP devices.” [I don’t speak that level of tech but I included it for those of you who are nerdier than I am.] Ditto with the streaming of your iTunes music. I haven’t tried this feature out yet, but I just bought my first TV in 12 years so I’ll give it a whirl soon.
Other benefits of My Cloud EX2:
>>> It’s a tax deductible investment in your business. You know. The money you pay to the government each year, this expense will be a deduction from that.
>>> You will have your docs/files wherever you need them.
The nifty desktop app keeps your PC or Mac connected to your personal cloud, regardless of your location. From the application, you can transfer + manage files. You can even share links to specific folders (or files within those folders) via email.
>>> It plays nicely with separate public cloud accounts.
WD’s mobile app lets you transfer files between your personal cloud, Dropbox, and other public cloud accounts very simply. Hello team player.
And now, the most important question of all . . .
THREE: Did you love it enough to have a completely weird photo shoot with it in front of a very hip, Austin, art wall?
I’m a nerd. So technology excites me. All of my favorite nerd things are named with both letters and numbers, so it’s simple for me to remember the EX2. You see, there’s R2D2 . . . and C3P0 . . . and now EX2. When it comes to tech, and epic movies, letters + numbers mix well and sound official. Here’s photographic proof that I love My Cloud EX2. We did a photo shoot together. He was cracking me up constantly. We have so many inside jokes at this point. Y’all might not even understand.
Yes. You saw that bottom right picture correctly. I have a tradition of hugging and kissing new technology that I love. I kiss my computer constantly. I often pet my new TV. Hugging the device that let me set up my own cloud and break the chains on monthly backup + file storage fees is not odd. Don’t judge me.
P.S. To find out much more about WD’s My Cloud EX2 and the different capacity/pricing options, head to the WD site.
And now, a daily routine that you can do to save your digital gluteus:
P.P.S. You certainly can and should back up and organize documents as you go, but this daily routine makes for a great double check. Try the list above for a week and if you don’t agree, tweet me angrily. I don’t mind. And below is something else for you to tweet, if you’ll be switching to the private cloud with me. Gandalf would be proud of you.
Had you heard of a “private cloud” before? Do you already use WD’s My Cloud EX2? What’s something you can add to your daily routine to keep your business safe + organized? Pretty please let me know in the comments.
You’re My Butter Half Photos: My iPhone via Bunny Wanderland
Other photos: via moi
Feel free to use the photos in this post with proper credit and a link back to this post. Thanks.