Your options when personal cloud storage services are being blocked…*cough*Turkey*cough*

Official story is here.

I initially wanted to do a comparison of the various cloud storage services and offer some scenario based comparison of when you should use the various providers and some alternatives. But now I wanted to post about a different kind of cloud storage in case you need access to a cloud storage during this period.

It is possible that the sub-domains for the consumer versions of cloud storage services are blocked but not the enterprise/business versions. You may still be able to access these. You can try to use Amazon’s S3 buckets, Azure’s Storage or even Google Cloud Storage. Of course, you could also pay for a VPN service and try to hop around the restrictions. But if you don’t want to pay for a VPN service, you still have this option.

You can create a free developer account with each of those providers:

All of them offer a free month or some sort of credit to use their services so you may not even pay anything until those options run out.

Why enterprise storage?

You get to pick the location of your storage data anywhere where these providers have a data center. This means, you can keep your data within countries in the EU if you wish. Just saying.

Storage pricing

With Azure Storage (https://portal.azure.com), create a Blob Storage type of account and you get to switch pricing tiers between Hot and Cool. Use Cool storage pricing tier for storing large amounts of data and for data that is access less frequently. Use the Hot pricing tier for more frequently accessed data to get better data access speeds. Here’s the pricing page for Azure Storage: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/storage/blobs/. The pricing is per GB and the tiers are split in terms of how terabytes of data you are storing. Chances are you will be within the 100TB tier. For an example, let’s say you have the said leaked emails, they are possibly less than 100GB. You will pay ~$2 USD a month for storage and data retrieval is free for the Hot pricing tier. My recommendation is to use the Hot tier to start with and then when you are not access the data as much, switch to the Cool tier then to save money on storage.

With AWS S3, you can opt for Reduced Redundancy storage for a much lower cost (almost free). https://aws.amazon.com/s3/reduced-redundancy/. Here’s a total cost of ownership calculator from AWS https://aws.amazon.com/tco-calculator/ to help you decide.

Useful apps for accessing enterprise storage

S3 explorer (Windows; unofficial): http://s3browser.com/

S3 explorer for Android (unofficial): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=lysesoft.s3anywhere&hl=en

Azure Storage Explorer (official): http://storageexplorer.com/

Azure Storage Explorer for Android (BETA; unofficial): https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.pl.azurestorageexplorer

Disclaimer: The Azure Storage Explorer for Android is my own app that I have been working on. It is completely free, open source and ad-free.

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It is time to give

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to guilt-trip you into signing-up for anything. Just an informational post about something nice happening during the weekend of 10/14.

A few years ago, I was asked if I would volunteer to help build a software for a cause. That was when I was living in Indiana. I participated in the Indy GiveCamp. I helped build a mini-CRM over a weekend for a dance studio operated by women for women. Of course, it wasn’t just me building the application. We were a team of 4. Coming out of the weekend, it was the best feeling ever, of being able to help someone’s cause with my programming skills. I didn’t even spend a dime. It soundsĀ  simple, doesn’t it? These organizations that need help with IT don’t want your money, they want YOU. Your time and help is all that they would like to get for that ONE weekend.

Fast-forward 2 years and I now live in the Seattle area. There is a Seattle GiveCamp happening during the weekend of 10/14. I am going. I even convinced someone I work with, a friend of mine, to sign-up as well. We couldn’t be more excited. I am looking forward to meeting new people, hearing about their causes and cranking out code.

Learn more about GiveCamp and the Seattle GiveCamp. Find out if there is one happening in your city and sign-up. Do it. And take your friends with you too.