Access All of Your Files Without Sacrificing Privacy and Security
September 30, 20164 min read
We’ve reached an interesting point in our unfettered technological progression. Everyone and everything are becoming increasingly connected. The Internet of Things grows exponentially as more and more products become Wi-Fi enabled. Even refrigerators are becoming smart! We’ve become so entrenched in this electronic web that people have to plan escapes from the network of networks. One would expect that this rise in connectivity would solve all of the problems of remote file access, but on the contrary, the number of devices has increased, while access solutions have remained somewhat stagnant.
The biggest problem that multi-device users face revolves around restricted file access. Let’s say you have a desktop computer where you store your photos. You have another laptop that houses your videos, and then an iPad with all of your music. There are a surprisingly limited number of ways to connect your content across all of those devices. The solutions become even thinner when you add devices with varying operating systems; and many of these solutions come with a myriad of other problems. These include uploading speeds, storage limitations, and concerns with privacy and security.
The relatively recent development of cloud storage services have come to offer one type of solution to the remote access conundrum. Services like Dropbox and iCloud grant users a limited amount of storage space to upload content onto their servers. Users can then access that content via their respective apps and websites. It’s a fairly straightforward solution and works well for the most part.
A Solution For Documents, Not Media
There are several downsides to cloud storage. Cloud storage was originally intended to solve the problem of document-based file access. Consequently, most of these services don’t perform well with streaming media. Sure, you can view and download your content to play in external apps, but attempting to browse and stream music or videos in the cloud is often a nightmarish, ugly experience.
That brings us to the second issue that cloud storage creates. Cloud services typically offer a very limited amount of space on their servers before they start to charge. That free space gets eaten up extremely fast when you’re dealing with large media files. Yes, there are some cloud storage options that will grant more space than you’ll ever need (after you’ve forked over a pretty penny). Still, regardless of how you look at it, your storage space will be monitored and restricted in some shape or form.
Time Consuming Uploads
Another issue with cloud storage services involves the need to manually upload or sync your content. The concept of true connectivity sort of goes out the window when you consider how non-seamless the process of uploading or syncing can be. It removes almost all forms of spontaneity when accessing and streaming your media, not to mention the amount of time consumed by deciding what files to upload and the how long it will take for them to be stored on someone else’s server. Certain cloud services provide automatic syncing options, however these still rely on variable upload speeds and drag and drop procedures.
Concerns with Security and Privacy
The final problem with cloud storage services is the lack of privacy and security. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that storing your content on a third-party server will entail a slight amount of cyber-insecurity. In a 2011 data breach, around 68 million Dropbox user's credentials were compromised. That doesn’t necessarily mean that hackers were able to access all of their content, but it definitely didn’t help to appease consumers who were already wary of cloud computing issues.
Another thing to consider is that cloud storage services have unfiltered access to your files. Due to legal obligations, these services can be forced to release your content at a moment's notice. The bottom line is, when you use cloud storage, you are providing hackers and questionable authorities with one more potential entrance point; and with the amount of devices and online accounts that most consumers have, another insecure entry point is the last thing that anyone needs.
The Media Server Solution
Fortunately, there is another solution to the remote access problem. Rather than gamble with your content by paying for a cloud storage service, you could use the Younity home media server app. The Younity app essentially creates a private or personal cloud connection between your mobile device and your computer. Instead of using a third party server, Younity turns your own computer into a server. That way, you don’t have to worry about upload speeds, storage limitations, or security breaches.
The Younity app works by scanning your computer’s hard drive and then “serving” all of your files to the mobile app on your smartphone or tablet. There is no syncing or uploading required, and no file type restrictions or storage limitations. As long as the files are on your computer, you will be able to access, stream, download, or share them from your mobile devices. Best of all, you are the only one with access to your files! The Younity team has absolutely no way of viewing your content. You hold the only key to your files.
As a media player, Younity provides an incomparably better interface for streaming and viewing your content. The app organizes all of your media by file type, lets you merge content from multiple iTunes accounts, and keeps all of your playlists intact on both iOS and Android devices. Rather than simply providing access, Younity takes you a step further toward actually enjoying your files no matter where you are. Cloud storage services are helpful in a variety of remote access contexts and have become ubiquitous in the realm of enterprise. On the other hand, Younity offers a completely private, secure, and all-encompassing remote media management experience with the individual consumer in mind.