Cloud-Based Sync Service


Today’s Question: Why do you not use a cloud-based synchronization software such as Dropbox? Every file is backed up to the Cloud and synchronized on all your devices. It even stores old versions of files. It’s so easy and I have been doing this for years with absolutely no problems whatsoever.

Tim’s Quick Answer: I don’t store my photos using Dropbox or other cloud-based services in part because my photo library is rather large, and in part because I travel extensively and often do not have access to a high-speed Internet connection.

More Detail: I actually do make use of various cloud-based storage options for a variety of purposes. I synchronize photos from Lightroom Classic to the Adobe Creative Cloud so I can easily share those photos on my smartphone or other device. I share files with various service providers using Dropbox. I store documents using Google Drive, and keep writing projects synchronized using Microsoft OneDrive. So I am certainly not averse to using cloud-based storage.

However, when it comes to photos I prefer to use local storage, backed up to at least two additional hard drives for each of my primary hard drives.

In some ways I am the perfect candidate to keep all of my photos stored in the cloud, since I am often traveling nine months or more out of the year. Cloud-based storage would help ensure all of my photos and other files are available to me no matter where I happen to be, as long as I have an Internet connection. But that’s the biggest challenge for me personally.

I very often find myself in situations where I don’t have a reliable connection to the Internet, which sometimes means no connection at all. In other cases I may be able to get online, but the connection is far too slow for reliable synchronization of photos, videos, and other large files.

If I never traveled or otherwise always had access to a high-speed reliable Internet connection, I would be more inclined to keep more of my data stored in the cloud. Of course, I would also then need to overcome my tendency to want to directly control as many aspects of my workflow as possible, including managing my storage. But there are most certainly many cases where cloud-based storage provides an excellent solution, and I am happy to make use of such a synchronization solution when it is appropriate to my needs.