How can I easily store and share data with my family at home and beyond?

In our home, we want an easy way to share data between different PCs. Most family members have their own laptop or PC. To share data between these PCs, we have thus far used USB sticks to transfer said data. However, since new laptops from different manufacturers seem to favor different ports, it has become more and more of a hassle of the several different adapters needed. Furthermore, the data is often not really required on the PCs themselves, and so they usually end up on external drives and sticks that tend to get hidden away in drawers or lost. The pandemic also made it somewhat harder to exchange data with different family members in such a way.
1 answer

The first and probably easiest solution would be to use a cloud service from one of the many providers available e.g., Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, Amazon Drive and so forth. There are different pricing schemes, sharing options etc. and I would suggest you compare the available options and choose one that fits best for you and your family. By using such a cloud service, you benefit from a relatively easy setup process and already incorporated remote sharing. The downside is that you lose control over your files once they are uploaded to the cloud, from a data protection and privacy sense. You never truly know how your data is being handled and might also get caught up within a breach of your cloud service provider.
Alternatively, you may also consider setting up a small home server or a NAS (Network-attached Storage). There are many options for customers to choose from, depending on their technological know-how and how much control they want, although at least some technological know-how is required to properly set one up. These enable you to have a home shared drive as well as public ones. This can again be achieved with the right know-how or services provided by the manufacturer. Overall, they are more costly initially and more difficult to set up, but enable you to take control of your data, how it is accessed, who can actually view and edit it, track data access and much more.


good summary of the available technologies to use

Ondrej Brichta - Mon, 12/20/2021 - 11:08 :::

We at home have a NAS system by Synology, where we can store our backups and access the files from the home network and from abroad. This allows us to store our information at home and don't have to pay monthly for a storage scheme with Dropbox or ce.

Thomas Stoiber - Mon, 12/20/2021 - 16:02 :::

Nice overview! If setting up your own NAS is an option, file sharing software like Syncthing might also be a worthwhile consideration. Using it on a local network is very straightforward.

Stefan Puntigam - Mon, 12/20/2021 - 21:32 :::

Thanks for sharing this! I've been mostly using cloud services but NAS server is cheaper than a cloud service in the long run specially if a lot of space is needed.

Parinaz Momeni ... - Wed, 12/22/2021 - 00:46 :::