For years we’ve been told to keep things in The Cloud – that amorphous space on the Internet – Apple’s iCloud, Dropbox, Google’s Drive, Microsoft’s SkyDrive (although I have the feeling they recently changed its name to OneDrive) etc.
They tell us that we don’t actually need much storage space on our phones because data, music etc. can be stored on the Cloud. Apple and Google enforce this by providing no possibility of expandable storage on their devices.
So we are talking about using either Wi-Fi or 3G/LTE on a phone or tablet, and uploading and downloading data – in my case usually podcasts, varying in size from about 10MB to about 90MB each.
But it is just too slow here in Malaysia. Maybe there are places where there is a better speed – maybe TM Unifi is good where you can get it. And every six months I ask Telekom Malaysia when I can get it, and they say in six months. I have been asking for two years now. The fibre optic cable has been in my street all this time.
In theory the fastest should be using one’s Wi-Fi at home. If you are talking about the 3G/LTE data volume you would use when you are out, I would use my entire month’s allowance in just a few hours. So it is only practical to use at home, anyway. Maxis doesn’t provide the unlimited data plan they used to years ago.
But, the Internet speed is still as slow as years ago, and you are still paying the same amount – it is not getting cheaper as in most countries – for the same slow Internet. I pay RM 140 per month for 4mbps speed. I note in the UK with TalkTalk you pay £2.50 (RM12.50) per month for 16mbps, with unlimited allowance. Four times the speed, 1/11th the price of Malaysia.
I thought I’d try just now uploading three podcasts to Dropbox. About 175MB in total. At present Dropbox tells me it will take about two and a half hours – in the middle of the night, when the network should be at its fastest. Of course, download speed could be up to 10 times as fast – but that is still 15 minutes at best.
I won’t bother checking exact figures with other cloud services, but Google Drive, SkyDrive etc. that I tried were all incredibly slow.
The idea of The Cloud is data availability everywhere and on every device. But it is so slow at home, worse anywhere else, and I don’t know of any data plan where you could actually access it when away from home cheaply and easily anyway.
Alternatives? – use your home network directly – on Android ES File Explorer is good. Try to get a phone / tablet with SD card, carry a portable hard disk which connects wirelessly with your phone / tablet, or get an attachment so you can connect an SD card etc. externally.
So, not a cloud in the sky in these parts.