How make your Cloud Data public but still keep it private

Being able to share data publicly via a website is very attractive for lots of different reasons, especially when you want to give the widest possible reach to your data, from an internet search perspective.

However, there are times that you wish the data to be visible, but also be able to control who has access to it. We had a good example of this recently from an educational establishment who uses SMEStorage with their own FTP Server to make available course content publicly to remote learning students. They wanted the course data and titles of files to be available and entered into search engines to attract future  students, but they also wanted to be able to control access to the data so that only students who were enrolled on the course could download the content.

One of the features of the SMEStorage cloud Gateway is that it enables you to work with your cloud data but overlays certain features and functions that you may not get from your provider. One of these is encryption. If you upload your data to your storage cloud via SMEStorage then you can choose to add an encryption key which then encrypts the data with an AES encryption cipher (key) that you choose and which only you know. This is the key private key you then need to share with anyone who wants access to the files.

Lets look at the steps of this in practice:

1. Upload your data to your cloud via SMEStorage and choose to encrypt it. The key is not stored on the platform and is known only by you.

2. When the file is stored you will notice that in the Web File Manager it has a key next to it that notifies you it is encrypted.

3. If you now set this file to be public in the File Manager then it is stored in your public files page which is of the format http://www.storagemadeeasy.com/username/files.

4. If a user then clicks on the file that you made public but which you also encrypted then they will be asked to enter the encryption key before they can download the file.

This works above all file storage clouds that SMEStorage supports, such as Google Docs, SkyDrive, DropBox, Amazon S3 etc. It is a great way to be able to limit access to files but still make them available.

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Using SME with your Mac. Upload your Cloud Files direct from the Finder

For many of use in the office using Mac’s we’ve yearned for some tighter integration with SMEStorage and the Mac. You can choose to use the Windows explorer via Crossover or WINE with the Mac and it works nicely, and you can also use the Firefox plug-in which also works really well, but having OS level integration is always nice.

Snow Leopard has enhanced the integration of the automator services into the OS which makes it much easier to provide contextual functionality.

Using this method there is now available an add-in for users of SMEStorage to be able to upload their files directly from the Mac to their chosen cloud of choice (and we now support over 10 storage clouds), and after the file has been uploaded a unique link for the file will be copied to the clipboard.

You can view a video below that show this working with Google Docs:

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New Multi-Cloud file sharing clipboard

Today we launched a multi-cloud file sharing clipboard on our web platform. This allows you to store multiple file links in a clipboard that is stored between sessions. Once you have stored all the links you wish to you can choose to share them over email or with your collaboration groups.

The clipboard can store file links that are stored in multiple clouds which are viewed through our virtual cloud file system.




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New Firefox plug-in update for SME(Supports S3, Mosso and Box.net)

THe Firefox plug-in for SMEStorage that is part of the FireUPloader product has been updated.

It now has support for Groups and shared content:

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To create a new group click into groups and choose the create new folder icon which will not be used to create a group.

It also now supports encryption:

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and also supports file filtering:

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To access the Filter icon within the Firefox plug-in you need to be at the root folder. When content is filtered you will see “isfiltered” in the path bar.

And of course you can also choose to fileshare any of your files stored on SMEStorage directly within the plug-in by right clicking on the file and choosing “Send to”.

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You can download the new plug-in here.

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SME New API Manual

We’ve released another update to our API manual. This incorporates the new uploader API changes, email backup, and our an API for our forthcoming Fax integration.

This API is what we use to design the tools and add on’s you use, from the iPhone Web Application to the Windows File Explorer and Microsoft and Open Office Add-In’s.

You don’t need to worry about any provider we support, this API sits on top of that. Right now the two storage cloud providers we support are Amazon S3 and Google GMail, although we will be announcing several more soon. This API provides a real file system on top of these providers as well as offering all sorts of functionality such as sharing files, making files public etc.

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Amazon Import / Export on all accounts

In the recent batch of changes we also snuck in an Amazon / Import export for all accounts. This means that if you have a SMEStorage Account and you want to import your files to your own Amazon then you can. Alternatively if you want export your own Amazon S3 Account files to SMEStorage you can.

And of course you can do combinations that involve AOL XDrive and GMail now also.

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SME now supports Google Mail for Cloud Storage

The SMEStorage platform now supports Google Mail for Cloud Storage. What does this mean ? It means that when you establish a Google email account and pair it with SMEStorage you can use the Google email account for file storage and data access via the SMEStorage platform.

All files stored will be able to be used with the SMEStorage Windows File Manager, iPhone, iGoogle, Facebook etc, and can be integrated with Microsoft Office, Open Office, Zoho Office, iPaper, and Picnik for imaging editing etc.

As we provide a consolidation layer and API on top of cloud storage platform, this means you can do some really cool stuff like import your Amazon S3 files to Google, or export your Google emails and files to Amazon S3. As we also support AOL XDrive, you can also import your AOL XDrive files to Google.

Here is how to start:

1. First Establish a Google Account

2. Next Register for a new SMEStorage Account. Make sure that your register for the GMail package. Once you have validated your account, login and enter your Google details. If you have existing emails and file attachments in your account these will be imported. It can be a good idea to start a separate Google Email account for your stored files if you want to use Google email as your cloud storage

3. Next Enter your Google Details.

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These details will be checked and then you will have the option to save the details. If you choose to save them they will be encrypted and saved. If you choose not to save them you will have to enter them every time you access your SMEStorage account.

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Once you click continue you may have to wait a while if you have a lot of files / email as SMEStorage syncs with GMail. If this is a new GMail account you have just created then this step will be quick.

That’s it ! You can now upload files to Gmail via SMEStorage. All your files will be stored in GMail and accessible also via the GMail platform.

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