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Setup and access your own cloud service using Mountain Duck 2

16 November 2017, Chris Wiles

mountainduck_200x175Backing up your data to the cloud makes sense. But using an existing service such as Dropbox is more complicated as these cloud services insist on mirroring your content across your devices.

The most obvious solution is to create your own cloud. This is easy to achieve through a service such as Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service). The Amazon S3 is a cost-effective virtual hard drive in the cloud. You are charged depending the amount of storage you use, the number of times you access your content and the location. It’s competitively priced, too. We backup our server content to Amazon S3 and our monthly bill rarely tops a Dollar.


Access the cloud from Finder or Explorer

Unlike Dropbox or other cloud services, you need to manually admin your Amazon S3 container. One solution is Mountain Duck, which enables you to open your S3 container as a virtual drive within Explorer. Simply copy contents to and from this container as if it’s a hard drive connected to your system. The advantage of using Mountain Duck is that it can open any cloud storage as a virtual container, so you can use it to write to/from Dropbox or Google Drive, without the content mirroring back to your computer.

If you want to secure the data you backup to the cloud, you need to deploy Cryptomator. This tool will offer a silent method of encrypting your data, so if anyone manages to gain access to your cloud storage, without your unique passphrase. When you download content in the future, Cryptomater will automatically decrypt your files so they are immediately accessible.

Mountain Duck isn’t limited to accessing files in the cloud. You can also use it to admin the contents of your website and write files to your server. Simply login with your regular FTP credentials and you can admin any server direct from Windows Explorer or Finder.

There are a few downsides, however. There’s no ‘merge file’ facility. We use this function frequently within other FTP software to make sure files are synchronised between desktop and remote server. Also, unlike Cyberduck, which is donationware, Mountain Duck is a commercial tool and a licence starts at $39 per user.

Download Mountain Duck and Cyberduck.

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