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Best cloud storage for working papers etc?

Can anyone recommend a cloud storage system that they use for backing up their files?

Didn't find your answer?

I am looking to back up my client data on the cloud, but unsure which is the best available option. 

Does anyone have any recommendations?

I'm hoping to save all client data on there as a back up, including working papers, correspondence, ID etc.

 

Replies (16)

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By carnmores
16th Jul 2021 12:26

onedrive

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By AdamMurphy
16th Jul 2021 12:32

I have used onedrive last 5 years or so without any issues

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By nrw
16th Jul 2021 13:50

Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive will both do a great, inexpensive job - and are both dependable providers (the most important thing where data is concerned, needless to say).

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By Hugo Fair
16th Jul 2021 19:48

Watch out for the various options - particularly 'syncing' with your hard drive.

It sounds a no-brainer to say Yes (indeed you could argue the concept is flawed if you don't) ... but you are giving their algorithms permission to change things on your hard drive without your say-so, which has been known to go disastrously wrong (so you end up with no correct sets of files instead of the intended one set + backup)!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By carnmores
17th Jul 2021 18:05

would you care to elucidate ?

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Replying to carnmores:
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By Hugo Fair
17th Jul 2021 19:46

Short(ish) version ... I was only told afterwards (by the Google team) that Drive wasn't really meant to handle tens of thousands of small files.

This led to a total catastrophe (after nearly 6 wasted months of investigations and attempted recoveries by their technical bods), whereby their automated 'syncing' kept trying to correlate the cloud files with those on my physical drive (which was in itself an external backup of my PC's files) ... but timed itself out every few days without ever completing the task.

So far, so annoying (wasted time ' grinding teeth / etc) ... BUT:
* I didn't notice until too late that, during these attempts, their algorithm (I can't bring myself to call it an AI) was actually changing data on my source (physical) hard drive!

These changes ranged from merely infuriating (altering the 'created date/time' values to when their software had copied them - which was a disaster for my 10+ years of detailed archives) ... to wholesale f00k-ups (deleting some files on my hard drive that it thought were duplicates, and worst of all replacing some files with another file of the same name but with different contents)!

[To quote one of their technicians - "I think our syncing algorithm has got out of sync somewhere"!]

You might think either I'm incompetent or lying, but I did eventually extract from Google a very grudging formal apology - in which they admitted severe failings in their software (both in terms of functional behaviour and, arguably even worse, in performing actions on my data without informing me let alone requesting my permission).
Their only excuse was that they "hadn't thought of anyone using the service for such large volumes of small files" (even though the total volume was well within their stated cap).

I could go on in much greater detail (about specific software design flaws in their software), but don't wish to bore you (or anyone else) even more.

Suffice to say, the experience left me extremely dubious of the promised benefits of the Cloud (I was I thought already aware of the more obvious downsides but hadn't envisaged anything on this scale).

If you only need a giant scratch-pad (aka relatively short-term data that if necessary you can re-create or discard after a short while) then the cloud can provide this at low cost ... but if you want access to any sort of long-term storage, then beware (as owners of tens of thousands of music recordings have already discovered on more than one occasion)!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By [email protected]
22nd Jul 2021 15:14

And that's why I won't go anywhere near google drive!

That and it tries to change MS Docs to google docs, which can really mess up spreadsheets!

AND google make their money from mining and exploiting peoples data! so I have no faith that they will keep my data confidential.

Having tried Dropbox and Box I now use Onedrive and my own backups via a NASdrive and offline backups.
While Onedrive used to be a bit flaky with sync, it does seem very good nowadays. one caveat is if you're trying to use it with multiple users sharing the same Onedrive. ok unless users are trying to use the same file which is when you can get conflicts.
If you Sync (I do for the above mentioned backups to work) do so from ONE machine only. I've had sync issues when syncing to 2 machines.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By jeremybarker
22nd Jul 2021 20:35

With a few thousand small files OneDrive is probably the answer to your problems. It recommends you store no more than 300,000 files to avoid performance problems but I know from personal experience that it can handle a million small files. The official limit is 30 million files but I encountered significant problems when I tried to store more than around 1.5 million files - that was in 2019 and the sync client software has been updated many times since then.

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By davidbrewster
22nd Jul 2021 11:33

https://www.acronis.com/en-gb/products/backup/

Used this in the past but now on MS 365

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By paulwakefield1
22nd Jul 2021 11:37

Unfortunately Hugo's is not the only unfortunate story that I have heard where relying on cloud for backup. For instance, not long ago, Canon lost many users photos off their system when an update went wrong - they were able to recover some but many were at lower quality and some were lost forever.

In my view, you should not rely on one backup solution. The cloud is a good backup place but have an additional non cloud backup as well.

The other important differences to understand are between backup and sync and mirror (and to a lesser extent incremental and differential backups). In particular, sync is really useful but can be very dangerous.

The other point is to know where the servers are as the inevitable personal data will need to comply with GDPR requirements.

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Replying to paulwakefield1:
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By C Graham
22nd Jul 2021 11:50

Just read this as I posted similar - agree have both!

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By C Graham
22nd Jul 2021 11:49

do not rely solely on the Cloud - keep a hard drive back up and a cloud back up. someone I know who owned a big dental practice was the third party victim of a cyber attack in the usa. Their patient records all encrypted but effectively 'lost'. Held to ransom for a bitcoin demand of millions.

What saved them was having an additional hard drive back up that they could then retrieve. On the other hand I heard of another practice who lost data due to a failed hard drive but no cloud back-up. You really need both therefore whatever platform you choose. There's a duty of care in holding client files and it is so often a neglected area.

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By chasmeehan
22nd Jul 2021 11:55

OneDrive and Dropbox will do a job although they are really geared to home users and low volume SMEs. Sharepoint and Azure are the top end products but require MNE level support and constant content management. I did some research on this a while ago to select a repository for an association and I ended choosing Box (https://www.box.com) an enterprise level vendor which provides a range of pricing and control principally because of it reputation among enterprise users and the level of encryption and control it offers for providing access to muliple active users "editors" and ability to limit upload only and read only to others such as your clients.

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By MJTT
22nd Jul 2021 13:34

Another vote for OneDrive. I use it for all of y documents - working papers, copy letters, AML info, approved docs etc

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Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
22nd Jul 2021 13:51

Have a look at iDrive

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By CardiffAccountant
02nd Aug 2021 23:53

I have used Onedrive for a few years and not had any issues*. I also back up to a standalone hard drive that I isolate from main PC. Finally, all files are downloaded from Onedrive to my laptop.

*I occasionally get a conflict with Payroll Manager files between the PC and laptop, but this is easily identified and can be sorted with little stress.

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