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What mail and cloud storage alternatives?

Source: Pixabay

Wanting to leave GAFAMs raises the question of choosing the alternative solution. In a certain number of cases, this change can direct us towards paying solutions. The Internet has however accustomed us to consume a whole bunch of free products and services, however do not forget that often in this case, free comes as compensation for the abandonment of all or part of your data to suppliers …

With these parameters in mind, what choices should be made, for what costs, and above all for what benefits?

Let’s explore two solutions that I use.

Protonmail

It is a secure messaging system, protonmail was created by CERN alumni and is a Swiss company, these are the Swiss Data Protection laws that apply. We are therefore protected from American law.

4 offers are available:

For practical reasons, I chose the ‘Plus’ package which offers all the features I needed. I indeed considered the free version too limited for my use …

Besides, the next version is in beta-test and it brings new features that were missing (calendar, etc…).

Why did you choose a paid solution? When you’re used to everything free, even a relatively small amount (4 € / month) poses a dilemma. However, if we put things in perspective:

  • When it’s free: you’re the product!
  • If we look at the GAFAM side: we can see that our data is used, to what extent it is not always obvious.
  • My protonmail © mailbox, I use it for my exchanges with my key contacts, and institutional contacts. In fact I recently changed the operating mode following the recommendations of ANSSI FIC2014 - Forum International de la Cybersécurité. I continue to use a few gmail addresses, because very easy to manage and segregate my Social Networking and Online Commerce activities …
  • On the offer there is also the possibility of using a VPN, for the moment I have not tested it yet, so I would not talk about it any more.

After a few months of using this mailbox, I am completely satisfied, and it does the job I expect from it. It offers me guarantees on the protection of my personal data and this is what I expect and honestly at 4 € / month (for an annual subscription) it remains correct.

Cozy Cloud

Cozy Cloud is an application for storing your documents and photos in the Cloud. Again a late realization, made me look for another solution than Google Drive to store my documents but also to share them. My concern is always to relocate my data and take back control of my Digital Sovereignty!

Great deal, you say! But why quit Google which offers up to 15 GB of free storage (excluding photos)… The solution is elegant, intuitive and with the Google suite, sharing and creating documents such as ‘word’, ‘excel’ are easy, and we have even the possibility of carrying out ‘Google forms’ which allow surveys to be carried out easily …

Then why?

  •  Free unlimited photo storage, allows Google (remember the terms and conditions) to access a huge database of photos to develop facial recognition algorithms or to sell this data to other players: Clearview ?
  • What is true for photos is also true for your documents, how can you be sure that your documents or their content are not being used (how does the writing aid tools work, for example)
  • Cozy Cloud has several offers depending on the volume stored (Photos and documents):
    • Free solution up to 5GB of storage (equivalent to DropBox and company)
    • A cost of 2.99 € / month up to 50GB
    • Un coût de 9.99€/mois jusque 1TB
  • But Cozy Cloud has some cool features that are worth it:
    • Classic: synchronization tool with your pc
    • Original: a set of connectors with organizations and / or companies for automatically retrieving copies of invoices or administrative documents. In one place, without having to reconnect to the sites one by one, you have access to your invoices or administrative documents!
    • A connector in particular is of crucial interest, for French users: the améli connector which allows you to retrieve your CNAM statements and keep them, as on the améli site itself, the retention period is only 6 months…
    • Your data are hosted in France (OVH)
    • The processing carried out on your data (connector) is explained
    • You can share your documents with people outside Cozy.

It is therefore without great regrets that I left Google drive (total deletion of my data) to go to Cozy Cloud. Even if like any application it is not perfect, it is really a solution that I recommend …

In conclusion, here are two solutions that allow at reasonable cost to get rid of GAFAMs. At the risk of repeating myself, it is important that we become aware of the challenges represented by our data and mobilize ourselves as consumer players. If we are not militant in our choices, we can fear that the alternatives to GAFAMs or their Chinese equivalents (no illusion to have on the confidentiality of data in this case…) French or European will neither succeed nor break through , nor to survive.

Let’s mobilize!

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