The Digital Photo Guy

Your Own Personal Cloud

by on Jan.25, 2018, under Articles, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photos, Workshops

Tonido Server – A Free, Private Personal Cloud

By now, anyone who can fog a mirror has heard about the “cloud.” Every company wants you to use their “cloud” so they can mine your data and lock you into their services. Before getting ahead of ourselves, let’s first define “cloud” for the Rip Van Winkles and Sleeping Beauties who slept through the past few years. “Cloud” is nothing more than remote access to your files. Many websites allow visitors to download/upload files, images, PDFs and other digital assets. A personal cloud allows you to do the same for files on your personal PC/Mac/Linux box.

You may ask, “What’s the purpose?” Let’s say you’re away from home and need a file on your home PC. Who’s going to find that file and e-mail it to you? Also, today’s dSLR RAW files range from 20MB to 60MB, a bit hefty to email. Enter the “cloud.” Files stored in a “cloud” can be accessed by anyone with the appropriate URL, user name and password. If you need a file while on the road, you can access it. If needed, you can download a file to your laptop, make edits and upload to a shared folder for others to retrieve. This can be invaluable for clubs and volunteer organizations where files need to be shared.

The New Tonido Logo

Tonido Server, the FREE solution. There are many ready made solutions but they all charge to use their software. I don’t begrudge anyone making money but I like doing it myself. However, free is awfully hard to pass up. I assumed it was some neutered demo product that would be more hassle than it was worth but I was wrong. After installing Tonido on my big, clunky home PC, I could immediately access folders I had designated as SHARED from my sleek, lightweight HP Spectre X360 travel laptop.

Using Tonido, I can access and retrieve image files for my blog posts. On the road, I log into Tonido, find the files I want to include in a post and download it to my travel laptop. I make necessary edits, save photos as JPEG and then import into the post. I don’t have to carry around a 2TB external hard drive (EHD,) taking the chance it may be damaged by all jostling and flaky power sources.

Why Not Use a Free Cloud Provider?

As we all know, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Regardless of claims, I suspect all cloud service providers mine your data to gleen information for resale. I’m not saying these companies view your photos or read your manuscripts but they know enough about you to qualify as stalkers. Add to that most “cloud” services charge for storage space big enough to be useful. My active image files take up about 1TB (1,000,000,000,000 bytes.) Dropbox charges $16.58 per month ($198.96/year) for 1TB, the same as Google Drive and Apple iCloud. Microsoft OneDrive is the least expensive at $69.99 per year which includes Office 365 Personal but it’s limited to 1 PC and 1 tablet. Between us, my wife and I use 8 devices, oops! Adobe is more opaque charging $19.99/month for Adobe CC plus 1TB of storage. Since Adobe charges $9.99 for for their Photography Plan, that 1TB costs $10/month. In reality, Adobe CC is more about selling their photo editing products than providing storage.

If you need help setting up your Tonido Server, leave a comment here and I’ll try to help.

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