Taking back control of my data

With a number of recent high profile hacks combined with my growing sense of caution about storing my data with third parties online, I have decided to start an ambitious project of shifting over my entire cloud data to a NAS.

It’s not going to be easy but I’m increasingly not convinced that my data is secure online anymore.

Sure I take precautions, I run two factor on all my main online services and use LastPass. I also trust many of the companies I store my data with; such as Google, Apple (especially), Dropbox and Evernote. But the issue for me is more about ownership and control of my data. Post-Snowden, I no longer have the confidence that these companies will, in the long term, be able to guarantee that my data will be securely held and not be vulnerable to Government agencies, third party companies and others.

In short, I want to know exactly where my data is, how it is secured and who is accountable for its security.

Evolution

These are not new concerns for me. When I bought my first NAS in 2015 (ReadyNas 214) my plan back then was to pull all my private media such as videos and music into a single location. The objective then though was slightly different. It was about bandwidth management and designed to reduce my dependency on online media streaming. It worked well – it still does. My entire music library plus other media sit comfortably on a secure server on my network.

But that’s only part of the picture. What the setup lacks is a viable alternative for file storage, secure notes and other more private data I wish to retain ownership of.

What I’ve realised is that my Netgear ReadyNas 214 is not the right product for my needs, given my desire to move away from third party cloud services. I have outgrown it.

The solution

I’ve been reading and hearing great things about Synology NAS hardware. They offer quality hardware but most importantly run an incredibly powerful OS with hundreds of well supported apps.

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I have just ordered the Synology DS 216+II two bay NAS. From what I have researched and heard, this looks like the ultimate solution for what I’m trying achieve.

Synology OS and hardware supports multiple apps which offer Evernote, Dropbox and photo storage equivalents – but with the fundamental difference of data storage being on my own server. If the project works really well, I also plan to run my own mail server and map over my domain name to it.

So the project has begun. It won’t be easy. But I’m excited. Because above all else I’m determined to pull back all my cloud data to where it belongs – with me.