freedomMany web sites let you store everything from e-mail to files to pictures for free, but only Google tells you how to move your data once you stop using their services.

Admittedly, Google’s new service, the “Data Liberation Front,” can also help you move your files into Google services like Gmail, YouTube, and Google Reader, but at least Google is a trying to make it a two-way street.

Google claims they want people to choose their services, not be forced into using them. They are also leading the charge on data liberation in the hope that other companies follow suit.

Google’s Data Liberation Front Details How to Free Your Data from Google | Lifehacker

(photo: izarbeltza)


  1. William says:

    Of course, Google Apps email was down this morning. Fogeys who had IMAP set up on their Outlook were able to keep on trucking. Those that were dependent on the web interface had no way to access their mail.

    Another reason not to trust the cloud.

  2. Sam Glover Sam Glover says:

    Aren’t you saying that you use the cloud, though? You just access it differently. Cloud does not only mean browser-based software.

    Also, with Google, the downtime is usually less than an hour. I have worked at three law firms, and at each, when the local e-mail server went down, everyone often took the day off, because it usually took hours and hours to fix. I would rather take my chances with Google.

  3. A web mail server is not generally considered to be a cloud. People have generally used an email server run by their internet service provider because you don’t host your own servers. The novelty of the cloud concept is the fact that the email is run through a web-accessible portal. Otherwise, you’d be conceding that the cloud started twenty years ago.

    The big distinction is that when you use an old-school email server, you always had a local program that downloaded all the mail. The Web 2.0 cloud concept to mail obviated the need for a local program because you would access your mail through the Internet. If you used Gmail as a pure email host, you were fine. If you used it as a web-accessible email portal, you were in trouble.

    Downtime is inevitable but the risk of data corruption and loss always looms. I use Outlook to nab a copy of all my mail from Gmail’s servers. If there is a Gmail bug that takes out data, I’d still be fine.

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