Keeping your personal content personal

A story recently (and mistakenly) claimed that Bruce Willis was looking to sue Apple for the right to pass on his “extensive” music collection to his children when he passes away. The background to this story is that purchasing music, video and books on services like iTunes and Amazon means you are licensed to use that content and don’t actually “own” a copy in the traditional sense or the right to copy it and share it with others (like the mix tapes some of the older ones amongst us will remember!). While the Bruce Willis story was later found to be largely made up, this does raise an interesting point regarding do you actually own your content in the cloud?

Furthermore if your content is important to you, you want to always be able to access your content when you need it and know where it is. Content stored in the cloud can be stored anywhere in the world and services can be severely impacted by the likes of power outages or even natural disasters. For example, users of Dropbox were affected in July this year after a storm took down out its servers in one of Amazon’s datacentres in Virginia. The fact is that keeping content in the public cloud is no guarantee that it will always be available or 100% safe.

But there is an alternative. Home users can now make use of their own personal cloud that lets them access their own files stored at home from any location over the internet. Furthermore, you can be sure that the content you own is yours to share with whoever you choose and that you know exactly where it is at any time. You can still benefit from all the perks of the cloud, just with a more personal touch.

Beginner’s guide to the personal cloud

In a recent post we introduced the personal cloud, and outlined how it is the next step forward in home networking.  Consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with the concept of the cloud thanks to services such as Apple’s iCloud, which is allowing them to remotely access their paid-for music and video content via the internet.

However, such services are by their very nature ‘public’ which can be a turn off for many consumers. So what advantages could people gain by moving to the personal cloud?

Storage

Cloud storage isn’t new and over the last couple of years a proliferation of public cloud storage services have emerged such as Dropbox and more recently, Microsoft Skydrive and Google Drive.  However, doubts have been raised regarding just how secure these services are, with Dropbox recently being hacked.  With the personal cloud, users can remain in control of their data as it is hosted on a storage device on their home network, but at the same time realise the benefits of anytime, anywhere access via any internet-enabled device.

Management

Flexibility and convenience are the hallmarks of today’s cloud services and now this functionality is being brought to the next-generation of home routers.  Thanks to the cloud consumers can now remotely monitor the performance of their home network, so the days of worrying at work about your home network going down while downloading the latest movie, should be a thing of the past.

Security

The latest personal cloud products can also give users greater peace of mind when it comes to security.  For instance, with the latest cloud routers, parents can keep track of their children’s online activity. Imagine being able to know that the kids are on Facebook when they’re supposed to be doing their homework, and then having the ability to block access even when you are not at home! Furthermore, home users can also see a history of sites visited and any monitor any intrusion attempts.

Here at D-Link we are expanding our Cloud product portfolio all the time – so watch this space!

The cloud has just got personal

Today we have more ways than ever to get connected, from our PCs at home, to the mobile phones we use on the go. We are also accessing more content than ever before in the forms of files, images and videos which have traditionally been stored on each of these devices separately.

It has become clear as time goes on that getting to content on different devices has quickly become a pain. Cloud services like iCloud and Dropbox have simplified this by letting us move content over to “the cloud” and we are bound to see more services like these in coming years. In fact, Gartner recently predicted that consumers will store more than a third of their content in the cloud by 2016. But what about all the content that we still have on our devices at home?

The “personal cloud” is the next step for the network and means that we can play movies, share photos, play music and share just about any content from devices on our home network, via any internet connected device, wherever we may be. Consumers no longer want to go through complicated network settings to get to their devices, and apps for smartphones and tablets can now take away all that hassle and get users quickly accessing their devices, hassle free.

The personal cloud is not just about playing movies and sharing pictures. Today’s consumers expect to be able to do everything they can do with their PC via their mobile, and this includes controlling the devices on the home network and changing their personal settings. Imagine no longer having to be sat at the computer at home to change the level of your teenage child’s internet access, or to view the live stream from the security camera keeping an eye on the car in the garage.

The personal cloud extends to all devices in the network and the golden aim that consumers are looking for is seamless integration between their all their devices, whether they are at home or in another location entirely. Now it seems that goal is soon to be realised. The cloud, it seems, has just got personal.