I have been working in the IT industry, since 1999, a good 16 years. All my work has revolved around the Internet. Since a long time ago, I started putting my things online. In those days, we call it client/server. I was technically inclined and had the resources, so I did everything myself, things like running my own mail servers, website, movie streaming etc.
Over the years, I found myself moving all these to public cloud services as they got cheaper. And most importantly, cloud services are more accessible for the mass consumers rather than just businesses and enterprises. These are the services that I’m using and think they charge rather fairly.
Digital Ocean is a SSD VM provider. The lowest configuration is only USD $5. I have 2 of these VMs. 1 of them is running this blog that you are reading right now. I have 2 more low traffic sites on the same VM. Another VM is running my CCTV (ZoneMinder) setup for surveillance. It’s really amazing how VMs can be sold at such a low price. It’s almost like shared hosting, except in this case, I have the whole VM to myself. You can get USD $10 credit for a trial of their service by click on my referral link here.
Bill : USD $10 / mth
I moved my email (yibi.org) to Google Apps (formerly known as Google For Your Domain) a long time ago. In those days, we get it for free. Yes, my Google Apps is free. I’m using Google Drive very actively, so I paid USD $1.99 for 100GB. It used to be USD $5 I think, but prices has since dropped.
Bill: USD $1.99 / mth
My house is an Apple shop, so iCloud is a must. Just kidding. It actually took me a long time to decide that iCloud was good for my backups. My primary concern is my photos. I only switched to iCloud for backups and storage last year in 2015. While Apple makes very good physical products, I needed more time to be sure they did the cloud services well. The main gripe then was that they didn’t suppose 2 factor authentication for iCloud. And the cases of iCloud photo leaks, though no direct fault of Apple’s, proved that 2-FA is an important part of any online services as the first line of security. I took up 200GB for backing up my photos and iPhone/iPad at SGD $3.98
Bill: SGD $3.98/mth
I never thought Evernote would get this useful for me. I was storing web pages, notes etc in Evernote. It’s my repository for my reading and filing etc. The good thing about Evernote is that I can create notebooks of a certain subject and have notes, PDF, images etc stored inside. It’s like a scrapebook, or at least I use it this way. And the most recent use is the storing of name cards. The OCR capability of Evernote is fantastic. I used to pay SGD $5.98 for the services, but since the exchange of USD/SGD has shifted, they started charging me SGD $6.98
Bill: SGD $6.98/mth
Backblaze saved me twice at least from data loss. I have been using them since 2008. They provide unlimited back up for USD $5. Yes, unlimited. This is strongly suggested for anyone. Before iCloud, my backup copy of my photos was on Backblaze and I still keep my backup there as a secondary backup to iCloud. Again, this is a referral link to Backblaze.
Bill: USD $5.00/mth
So all in all, I’m spending SGD $35/mth on the various cloud services. Are they other ways to do this? Yes of course! Cheaper? Maybe, maybe not. Peace of mind and convenience, definitely yes.