I imagine most of you are aware of the endless choices and struggles of photo storage and sharing. You take photos from smartphones, cameras, and camcorders and then put them on Facebook, YouTube, Google Photos, Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox, Flickr, CrashPlan, Carbonite, hard drives, external drives, USB flash drives, DVDs, and on and on. Whew! But I have found that what’s really required in all the choices can be categorized into 3 things: (1) how you can easily share your photos and videos, (2) how to keep your original-quality files safe and secure for years to come, and (3) how to make the whole process as automatic and cost-effective as possible.
Here I want to share a new storage product I’ve had the opportunity to test. It’s the Apollo Cloud by PROMISE Technology. The Apollo Cloud is essentially a 4TB external hard drive you keep in your home connected to your router, and the powerful software on it creates a personal cloud where you can securely store and share photos, videos, and other files with family and friends. Plus it satisfies all 3 of the requirements I noted above. But like any other method you may have for storing and sharing files, there are areas where it shines and other areas where it’s not ideally suited, which I’ll get to in a minute.
Setting up the Apollo Cloud
When I first unboxed the Apollo Cloud, setup was easy and straightforward. I plugged in the power and the ethernet cable to my router — the device is small, very quiet, and tucks away nicely. After installing and opening the app (the iPhone version in my case), it immediately found the device, and I setup my Apollo Cloud account. It gave me the option to sync my phone’s camera roll to the Apollo Cloud, and I was up and running. In just a few minutes, all the photos and videos I had stored on my phone were uploaded to the device, and I had the option to share any of them with family and friends, securely. I also tested taking a new photo with my phone and found that the photo automatically uploaded to the device in seconds without me doing a thing. Pretty cool! It truly behaves as though the device is “out there on the internet,” except that you own it, it’s in your own home, and you control it.
The software has many features that you can use at your convenience. You can setup multiple members who each have access to their own part of the huge 4TB of space — each secured and encrypted by separate accounts. And unlike a traditional external hard drive, the members can even be people outside of your own home. For example, with her own account on my device, my mother-in-law can backup her phone’s photos automatically without paying storage fees with another service such as Google Photos. I also installed the Windows desktop application, and there I was able to manage the device, its users, sharing, and transfer files to and from my laptop. I could select a folder on my laptop that would automatically sync to the Apollo Cloud, and it can act as a storage device for Mac’s Time Machine. You also have the option to run backups of the device itself to an external USB drive and then keep that backup in a secure place.
You Own It
The one caveat in all this is that you do own and are responsible for the operation of your Apollo Cloud. For some, this means peace of mind that you are not completely dependent on another company or are forced to pay indefinitely for the safekeeping of your life’s photos and other files. However, it also means you’re responsible for protecting the device from fire or theft, keeping it powered on and connected, backing it up, and upgrading it. You’re also somewhat dependent on the company, PROMISE Technology, for providing support and upgrades for the device and the operation of the sharing links (which redirect through them). But if you like the thought of truly possessing all your photos in your own home while also having cloud-enabled features for uploading and sharing, then the Apollo Cloud is a good option.
How I’m Using It
The Apollo Cloud is a smart device that has made storing and sharing large volumes of your photos, videos, and other files easy and secure. I still use Facebook to share my life with all my friends, and I use Amazon Prime Photos to show photos on the TV, and I use CrashPlan to backup the entirety of all our computers. But the Apollo Cloud offers something unique that isn’t offered by the big cloud services, and that’s cloud ownership, giving you the power and flexibility to control the preservation and sharing of your own files.
This post was written by my techy husband, Paul. :)