Which could you stand to "unplug" from? Microsoft? Google? (.. Apple?)

  • (I hate Apple, but I added them in to be fair... kinda)

    This may not be the proper place for this conversation. However, I'm giving myself a pass because it has to do with security, allowed data connections, firewall exceptions, etc.

    This came up for me because I'm cutting off my cloud services like Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive... Okay, not completely. I'm going to leave the free accounts open, only because they may be needed to receive files from others. However, I'm dropping paid services for Dropbox, likely Google Drive, and even 365 (at only $6.95). None of these services are truly secure. I coulsn't say any one of them is worse or better than the other. So I guess that's the question. What do you think? Taking Dropbox out of the mix because it's a single service that most people can live without (though they DO have a great service, aside from the privacy issues), which of OneDrive and Google Drive do you think is more 'scary' to use?

    Both are SO integrated with our daily computer work. Take Office. It saves all its files to OneDrive automatically. Even IF you do your best to save all your company files on your 'corporate' drives, any file opened in Office will save a copy of itself to your personal Microsoft account. Same with Google, but not as much. I realize you could poke holes in this argument, left and right. I think you get my point right?

    As I'm writing this, I'm starting to realize Microsoft has its tentacles deeper into our lives than Google, but, wait... if you have an Android phone, that's not the case.

    So, maybe the question should be, do you think it's even POSSIBLE to disconnect from either Microsoft or Google.

    The main reason I posted this conversation here is because of pfBlockerNG. I'm using Shallalist, trying to block all of Microsoft's and Google's attempts to collect all out data, but it seems impossible to stop. I'm actually starting to give up and say, to hell with it, let them have it.

    Is it possible to cut ties with either of them? At what level do you think it's worth trying?

  • Netgate Administrator

    Moved to general as it's not really pfSense related.

    Personally Google would be by far the most difficult to extricate myself from. But sure it would be possible if you felt it was necessary.


  • @stephenw10

    I was going to cut all but Google Drive and use BoxCryptor, (but BoxCryptor kinda sucks once you start using it. In order to encrypt your files, they become useless except from within their proprietary app.)

    For now, I'm going to leave the $6.95 OneDrive open, but only use the free levels for Google and Dropbox. I'll still have to pay for YouTube red.

    Then I'm going to use Tresorit as my primary data source, then use Mega for thier "mega" 8TB option. That'll give me 10TB with full encryption, plus 1TB for OneDrive for files I might want to share.

    Best I can come with so far.

  • I have the same concerns regarding intrusion into my personal files etc by Google and other entities. Therefore I do not use Google Drive, O365 or Drop Box. I have a Synology NAS that does all this for me (warehousing my files, sharing them etc). I also have a shared calendar setup using my NAS as a caldav server for me and my wife which works wonderfully. So all my files, pictures, documents, and calendar activities are accessible from anywhere but stored locally on my network and not in a commercial cloud.

  • @slimypizza said in Which could you stand to "unplug" from? Microsoft? Google? (.. Apple?):

    I have a Synology NAS

    What happens if your house burns down? That's what I'm always worried about. (or is it one of those cloud type NAS services?... though that would be the same privacy problem, huh?)

    I considered something like iDrive for online backups, which apparently comes with online storage as well. I decided against that for two reasons. 1. I read some really bad reviews. I can understand some, but like 95% were bad. (You really can't trust the review companies because they are paid). Also, i don't really care about a full backup in the remote case that my house burns down. I rebuild my workstations and servers frequently anyway. If my house burned down, I wouldn't restore the exact same versions. I'd download the most recent for a fresh install, only restoring my personal data. hence, no need for an online backup system.

    Tresorit is VERY expensive at $27/mo, but supposedly very secure and has some great features. One review said the transfer speeds were bad, but I don't believe everything I read on these (paid for) reviews.

    Another review said Sync was an all-around winner next to Mega. They said mega had very bad transfer speeds. I tested it. Mega was at least 3X as fast as Sync. So much for the review!

    If the Tresorit/Mega combo doesn't work, I'm going to check out pCloud.

    I really considered those self-administered online storage solutions, like maybe something from Amazon (AWS) or Azure, but you're back to the same problem. Unless I was rich with multiple houses across the country I could sync up, I think I'm stuck with an online storage solution (with zero-knowledge encryption, of course)

  • Galactic Empire

    @talaverde said in Which could you stand to "unplug" from? Microsoft? Google? (.. Apple?):

    What happens if your house burns down? That's what I'm always worried about. (or is it one of those cloud type NAS services?... though that would be the same privacy problem, huh?)

    Thats why you have 3 backups of critical stuff.

    The only thing I don't backup is my DVD / Bluray rips, due to the size.

    I have my Mac backed up to an Apple Timecapsule, NAS and USB drive that once a month gets cycled with an identical drive thats stored in a locked case in the car.

    Why use Shallalist rather than ASN number ?

  • So you're using the old school 3,2,1. (3 backup copies of your data, 2 backup copes onsite, 1 copy off-site > I think, I forgot this one). Nothing wrong with that. You have to make sure your off-site backups are kept up to date.

    Sometimes, we tend to forget that online isn't the only option.

  • Cryptomator is a nice free, cross-platform, and open source alternative to BoxCryptor. It's similar insofar as you can then only access your files through Cryptomator, but it's dead simple to use. That said, I have no affiliation with them and have not personally audited their crypto implementation, though it is AES-based and not some ill-advised homebrew.

  • I made the mistake of paying for BoxCryptor for a year. Then I realized you can only access your files through their app, which makes it all but worthless. The whole point of using the 'big three' is all their integration points. If you're going to consider BoxCryptor, you might as well consider all the Tier 2 options (i.e. Mega, iDrive, Sync, etc) (I'd say Tresorit, but I consider that Tier 1 (hence the price).

    My only reason to use OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox is because I have to.. because everyone else is. Once you lose that sharing feature, what's the point. That goes back to my plan - use the free levels of the big three, if only to share files with others... but consider it "quasi-public". (IMHO)

    So, to your point, I wouldn't even pay for BoxCryptor. (Yes, I'm kicking myself. Maybe I can write it off as research into client security)

  • FYI - Sync.com has what I would call a 'SPAM' type uninstall process. There is no 'Uninstall" option in the start menu. You cannot uninstall from 'Programs and Files" - It says "You do not have administrative rights to uninstall this program..."

    First, you have to open the app, then choose 'uninstall' on one of the tabs. it took me 5 times to get this to work.

    That's not all!!! The only way to truely ununstall it is to go to their website and download a special 'exe' file to uninstall it. (Got knows what that does)

    I would officially call Sync.com MALWARE. DO NOT INSTALL IT.

    The reiews I've read do not correlate to my experience with the product whatsoever.

    If you had a different experience, I'd live to hear it. (Before you opine, did you try uninstalling it?)

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