What to Do When the Cloud Crashes
Do we rely too much on public cloud services, like Google, in our daily lives? Imagine a major Google Cloud platform outage: no access to Gmail, G Suite, Google Drive, Google Docs, or YouTube. You wouldn’t be able to access any of your Photos, check your Google Calendar or even use Google Maps!
Well, that’s exactly what happened to a major portion of U.S. Internet users (and some in Europe as well) when Google experienced a massive outage for four hours on June 2, 2019.
The consequences were far-reaching, not just for Google’s own services, but also for other websites and apps that use Google Cloud on the backend. Major disruptions and outages were suffered by Snapchat, Vimeo, Discord, Nest, and Apple iCloud, just to name a few. Even Shopify went down, preventing a number of brick-and-mortar and online stores from processing credit card payments during the outage.
Google seems to have a finger in just about every pie, and the tech behemoth has become an integral part of the modern Internet – and therefore our everyday lives. So how do we disentangle ourselves from its influence? What can we do on an individual level to avoid having our lives (and livelihoods!) interrupted when there’s another Google outage?
The following are some small steps that can help.
1. Don’t rely solely on Google tools and services to keep your life organized.
The services that Google offers are incredibly valuable, for both work and leisure. But centralizing all these tools under one platform means that when it goes down, your life can be massively disrupted.
So take stock of which Google apps you use most, and come up with alternate methods as a failsafe. Let’s say you use Google Calendar all the time. Make sure to quickly jot down important appointments and event dates in your smartphone Notes app, on a Post-It, or on a desk or wall calendar – just so you have the information available in more than one place.
You can even download an entire geographical area from Google Maps to your phone or tablet for offline access anytime. (This solution is great not just for when Google is down but also when you don’t have an Internet connection or your signal is too weak to use GPS effectively.)
2. Backup your most important files from Google Drive.
Think of all the digital files you’ve saved to Google Drive over the years, like documents, slideshows, spreadsheets, and more. Now imagine Google goes down right before you are scheduled to give a major presentation at work or at school… What a nightmare.
But backing up your documents is good practice even if you never personally experience a Google outage. Simply losing Internet access means you won’t be able to access any of your digital content on Google Drive.
So for peace of mind, always download your most important files to a secondary location like your computer desktop, flash drive, or external hard drive. A little bit of effort now can save you a lot of heartache in the future.
3. Protect your Photos and Videos on an external device for long-term storage.
It’s smart to store your most precious photos and videos on an external device – not just because of third-party commercial cloud vulnerabilities, but also so you can maintain complete control over your own digital memories.
Of course, you may appreciate the convenience of the cloud even as you value data control and privacy. Aside from service outages, there is a whole other slew of concerns with data privacy, as you may recall from earlier this year when a Google data leak exposed over 50M user accounts. Nonetheless, Google Photos has its place for many users, but what if you could simultaneously store your digital files on a secure cloud with effortless file-sharing capability, use local storage for long-term safekeeping, and enjoy the latest smart technology for privacy and convenience?
With our award-winning All-in-one AI-Powered Smart Storage Platform, now you can Bring Your Data Home! Our device, Amber, offers all of these benefits and more, including auto camera roll backup, TV casting with adaptive video streaming and 4K TV casting for whole-home entertainment, plus a built-in router to boost your WiFi signal through every inch of your home, multi-user support, and seamless file sharing – even with people who don’t have Amber!
To learn more, check out our previous post on Personal Hybrid Cloud technology and how it works.
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