My Top Five Premium Cloud Services

in Cloud Computing, Productivity

open walletThere are probably several trillion apps and services out there in the cloud and on the web that are excellent and are free.

Indeed there are people I know who refuse to subscribe to paid for services as they seem to believe the Internet is there for their personal benefit and they should not be expected to open their wallet and flash the cash. Cheapskates!

There are, however, apps and services that I could not be without and I am more than happy to part with cash for and my top five are:

My Paid For List


This is one cloud service I could not imagine not using. It is there and used on a daily basis. There is one aspect of the premium service that has led me to pay for it for years and that is the ability to access my data offline.  I may be sitting in a bar, there’s a limited mobile signal and I don‘t like using open Wi Fi but everything is there at my fingertips, precisely when I want it.

The latest “scam” at a local store is to ask for your email so they can send you a copy of the receipt in case you lose the paper one issued at the shop. I declined because I didn’t want my inbox deluged with spam offers and told the assistant that I photographed all receipts using my smartphone and it synced with my Evernote account. “Awesome”  was the response and do you know what, Evernote really is.



My search for a decent task manager assumed Holy Grail proportions. I Toodledoed, Remembered The Milk and sought Nirvana with Asana but nothing hit the spot. Then I discovered Todoist and had that light bulb moment. The beauty of Todoist is that beneath the Zen Minimalist interface is an amazing amount of power that lets users bend it to their will either as a simple task list or as part of a Getting Things Done philosophy. Judging by the awards and editors choice mentions Todoist has really hit the nail on the head and deservedly so.



More and more people are finding out the hard way that the Internet can be a dangerous place unless they have a high level of security firmly in place. It really is essential to adopt a serious CYA (cover your arse) policy starting with passwords. There was the alleged break in at one web giant because the hackers cracked their way into the system using the name of a cat that a secretary had posted the name of on Facebook!

I have evaluated other password managers but stick with LastPass as it does the job superbly well. OK, it’s not as pretty as 1Password or Dashlane but it has never let me down over the years and by going premium I have that data on my smartphone and tablet, too.



I had an on-off love affair with Dropbox but when SugarSync changed dramatically and – in my opinion – for the worse with version two and Dropbox introduced two step authentication it was an easy decision to opt for Dropbox as my first choice for  online cloud storage. One of the great plus points about Dropbox is that there are so many really useful third party plugins that enhances its flexibility. And it just works. Perfectly.

When Google announced a terabyte of storage for the price of a pint of beer in a London pub there was an outcry from some Dropbox users saying they were jumping ship unless Dropbox followed suit, Well, it did eventually,  no doubt leaving a reasonable amount of time to give the rats a chance to jump ship and join SS Google before announcing their terabyte upgrade.



Back in the security sector,  the importance of encrypting sensitive data became headline news with the Snowden revelations about Government snooping. There’s a boatload of encryption services out there but I have come back to a premium Boxcryptor and I wonder why I ever left.  I dallied with two free services but after the crap customer support from Safemonk  and the fact that Cloudfogger just didn’t gel with my mind-set I am back with Boxcryptor.

It is simplicity itself to use. On installation it crates a virtual drive of its own and picks up what you are using for cloud storage – Dropbox, Drive, Box etc. In here you create your own folder for encrypted documents etc. and dropping these into the folder ensures they are encrypted before they are transmitted over the net to the destination service.  So it doesn’t matter if the data is intercepted by hackers or the government, it is perfectly safe.


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