Other Computing

List of free cloud data backup services

If you are trying to get around the attachment size limits in email or simply want store your files off your computer to make sure that if disaster struck there is a backup copy stored somewhere else, there are a handful of free and paid services that make it easy to host your private files.

These online space can typically be accessed via web browser or a dedicated program. Besides your backup copy, if you move between computers or travel, you will also be able to get access to your precious files from anywhere with an internet connection.

Dropbox: Dropbox will give a limited free online storage space to store your files with premium accounts increasing space.

Adrive: Adrive offers a huge 1 Terabyte of data storage to paying customers. Free accounts get a generous 50GB of storage space online.

Wuala: With Wuala you need to offer part of your hard disk to store other people’s files and in exchange you can store your files on their computer. Everything is then encrypted and the files distributed across multiple computers.

Online data backup cloud storage
Online data backup cloud storage

MediaMax iDrive: Free 6GB online storage space, encryption is used for data transfers between your computer and MediaMax servers.

SpiderOak: This free online backup gives you 2GB of space, and it works with Windows Mac OS X and Linux.

Mozy: At Mozy you get 2GB of free online backup space. Like all the other services paid for larger storage space is available.

MyOherDrive: Receive 2GB of free online backup storage. It also allows file sharing of your files through links.

SugarSync: The free 2GB of data storage online has some limitations but still good value for money 🙂

All  of these services encrypt the data transfer from your computer to their servers, but some of them will not use encryption for storage, if you need a really secure encrypted storage data backup, to which not even the company can have access, then consider SpiderOak.

Other Computing

Alternative to Hushmail: Encrypted webmail service Countermail

If you care about privacy you will be using encryption for your emails, you would not write on a postcard everything you says on an email right? If you are not using encryption to send emails then it is as if you wrote your message on the outside of an envelope and it can easily be read by anyone who knows how to use a packer sniffer, such as Wireshark.

Hushmail has now a competitor, and it is called Countermail. I have been using it for the last few days and their capabilities to keep email private should satisfy most users. If you send email to a person who has a public PGP/OpenPGP-key you can first import his/her key and then the email will be encrypted automatically.

Countermail is easy to use by newbies, and it is compatible with Hushmail users, which it means communications between Hushmail and Countermail will be encrypted, after setting up Hushmail following the instructions given by Countermail FAQ.

If you are sending email to a Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail address encryption will not work but your message will still be digitally signed with you public key making it impossible for someone to supplant your identity.

Countermail, anonymous encrypted webmail
Countermail, anonymous encrypted webmail

Anonymous email provider

Countermail will keep your privacy hiding your computer IP on the email headers and it uses the standard OpenPGP for encryption.

What I liked most of Countermail is that the sign up process is really simple, you do not get asked for personal information, Countermail will not store you name and address after a credit card payment is verified and finished.

There is no backdoor access to CounterMail email accounts, your encrypted email can only be decrypted with your own secret passphrase and private key, if you lose them that is it. Even the calendar at Countermail is encrypted.

I checked the headers while sending myself an email and they appear to be based in Sweden, the IP revealed that location.

Countermail diskless web server is a unique security feature, this will prevent IP-addresses leaking to a hard drive, if someone steals the web server they will find nothing, their mail server uses hard drives to store the encrypted messages, but all messages are stored encrypted.

Anonymous encrypted email service Countermail features

  • True end-to-end security
  • Anonymous email header
  • Easy installation with a certified Java applet
  • Portable and secure email from any browser
  • Windows, Linux and MacOS support
  • Time Delayed sending*
  • Encrypted file storage/sharing*
  • Use your own domain name*
  • Encrypted chat*

Conclusion Countermail review

Countermail diskless unique web servers starting from a CD-ROM are a far superior privacy guarantee than that of Hushmail and other similar services.

Countermail sign up process is very simple and they will not keep user  identifiable details. Being compatible with OpenPGP encryption is a plus, as well as hiding the sender computer IP on the headers.

The only downside of Countermail is that there is no free account option with a small inbox, such as the one Hushmail has, but if you are willing to pay for a premium anonymous encrypted email service, Countermail is well worth the money and stands out of the competition.

Visit Countermail homepage