One of my goals for the year was to organise my photo and video collection. As a busy mama of two, blogging all about our lives as Babes about Town, I have an insane amount of digital content. Alright, let’s call it what it really is — digital clutter.
Recently, I discovered an amazing personal cloud storage solution. Last week, I wrote about how My Cloud Home** is helping to Bring Back the Family Album. Today I want to share more about how it works. Trust me, you’re going to want one of these bad boys in your arsenal.
How to use My Cloud Home to Sort your Digital Life Out
My Cloud Home is a nifty storage device that’s quite different from anything I’ve used before. Unlike your standard hard drive, My Cloud Home plugs directly into your router. This means you don’t need to worry about carting it around, or potentially losing it. Also there’s far less risk of damage to the hardware, as it simply sits at home, sorting your digital life out.
Because you own it, and it never has to leave your house, My Cloud Home adds an extra layer of security to cloud data storage. It’s private, and once you’ve bought it, there are no recurring fees.
You can set your My Cloud Home to automatically backup all your photos and videos, which is a massive relief. Especially if you’re like me and constantly forgetting to upload images to your computer, or to update your cloud storage.
What’s more, My Cloud Home’s capabilities go beyond just backing up your digital content. You can access content from anywhere, via the mobile, desktop or web app. It’s also really easy to curate photos and videos, and share favourites with your loved ones.
Here’s a short list of key benefits and features:
-Quick and simple setup
-Mobile, on-the-go access to all your files through the app
-Save everything at home, access it anywhere
-Share images and videos easily via the Family Folder
-One central place to store and organise your content
-Auto backup for photos and videos on your phone
-USB port to import photos and videos from external storage devices
-File search by name, date or location to find content easily
How to set up your My Cloud Home
Right out the box, My Cloud Home is a fine piece of kit. The design is sleek and I think my router got a little jealous at how pretty it looks.
I’ll have to admit that after the My Cloud Home package arrived, I avoided opening it for a couple of days. Although I love geeky trends and gadgets, I’m very far from a tech head. My eyes glaze over as soon as I see the words ‘Instruction Manual’.
Fortunately, My Cloud Home is super simple to set up, even for ‘noobs’ (as my 12 year old likes to call me).
1. Plug the Ethernet cable into the back of the unit.
2. Plug the other end of the cable into your router.
3. Plug in the My Cloud Home power cable.
4. Wait until the blue light glows steady. You’re up and running!
5. Download the My Cloud Home app on your phone and/or your computer. Here you can create an account. The app will find your My Cloud Home automatically. Or if there’s an issue, you can enter the code manually as detailed in your Quick Start guide. (visit the support page for extra help)
From the home screen, you’ll see a variety of options. The first thing I did was set My Cloud Home to auto backup, using a wi-fi connection (you can also use cellular backup, but this might incur additional phone charges). This means every photo and video I capture from now on is automatically saved to My Cloud Home. I have more space available on my phone and I don’t have to worry about misplacing it. I still haven’t recovered from losing my first ever smartphone, filled with baby photos of Ezra. Utter heartbreak!
Other ways to upload content: drag and drop images from your photo folders to the My Cloud Home desktop app; upload to the My Cloud Home web app; or use the USB port to upload from other devices. You can attach a separate flash drive, USB hard drive, or card reader (see list of supported devices).
One Cloud to Rule them All
The clever thing about My Cloud Home is that you can sync your files from public cloud accounts directly to your device. This allows you to keep everything safe and secure in one central location. I don’t know about you, but I have the occasional panic about one of these services being discontinued suddenly. Luckily, it takes just a few minutes to connect My Cloud Home to your accounts at Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive or box.
And guess what? You can even import all your content from your Facebook account. This includes photos from Instagram, as well as Facebook photos you’ve been tagged in!
If you’ve been planning a digital declutter, My Cloud Home is a great place to start. Once everything is uploaded and backed up in one place, you can start organising and streamlining your collection. My Cloud Home storage capacity starts at 2TB (more than enough for the average family) going right up to a whopping 16TB! It blows my mind that something the size of a book can hold so much.
Using the Family Folder
When you set up your My Cloud Home, you’ll see options to invite family or friends to create their own folders. So you can keep your collection private, and separate from your kid’s 200 selfies!
Ezra is thrilled to have his own folder that not only backs up his digital files, but frees up space on his phone. This is a brilliant feature if your child has a low-capacity smartphone. They can set their device to back up automatically via My Cloud Home, and enjoy more seamless use of their camera and gaming apps.
Another feature I love on My Cloud Home is their new Family Folder. This is your ‘public’ space on My Cloud Home. Anyone who’s logged into My Cloud Home can automatically view content in the Family Folder. For stuff you’d like to stay private, just keep it in your own separate folders. You can also share individual photos and video files or folders, but these are only available to viewers by invitation.
Starting a #ScreeningSunday Tradition
My Cloud Home wants to inspire families to hold a #ScreeningSunday, where you get together with your loved ones, maybe for 20 minutes or so, and share a laugh over old photos and videos. Last Sunday, we had our first #ScreeningSunday. I loved pulling together photos and videos to enjoy with the fam: baby photos, fancy dress snaps, clips of fun times we’ve had about town. So much of our family’s story is captured in these moments. So many amazing memories with my favourite people in the world.
Why not hold a weekly, fortnightly or even monthly #ScreeningSunday with your own family and friends? It’s such a wonderful idea and we’re definitely going to turn it into one of our family traditions. After all, what’s the point of taking so many photos and videos if you never get to enjoy them?
My Cloud Home starts at £119.99 for a 2TB device. Find out more about My Cloud Home personal and private cloud storage you own and control. Visit www.mycloudhome.com
Read the BritMums review of this fabulous device.
**I’m working in a paid relationship with My Cloud Home and BritMums on their Bring Back the Family Album campaign, encouraging families to share and experience their photos and video and to hold a regular #ScreeningSunday.