I am frequently asked which products I love to use when I am at home and on the road. As I started to make a list to create a resource page on this blog (which is coming soon, by the way), I realized that there are so many various tools, resources, products, and services that I use on a regular basis that many of the categories deserved their own posts. This post is dedicated to the tech products and services I use consistently and highly recommend to others. Photography and videography tools will come in a later post- don’t worry. This post is all about computers, apps, Chrome extensions, VPNs, etc! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to send me an email and I’d be more than happy to answer them.
Backup and Storage
I am the queen of not having things backed up. I have also learned the hard way one too many times. In 2017, I made the conscious effort to become an adult and start backing my stuff up. I invested in a good backup service, photo storage, and other cloud storage services. It has become the best money I spent monthly as it offers such a sense of relief after many panic attacks from losing photos from my travels.
Backblaze Back-up Cloud Storage: Backblaze is a cloud backup storage that I was recommended after Crashplan, my old storage provider, canceled all services. I have had a wonderful experience with Backblaze and at $5 for unlimited storage, you really can’t beat it.
Smugmug Photo Storage: We have all learned the hard way how horrifying of an experience it can be when your computer crashes and all of your photos disappear. I used to solely backup to an external hard-drive, but I have dropped and ruined one too many of them… so now I backup with Smugmug in addition to my external HD. Smugmug also has a marketplace for selling your photographs.
WD Personal Home Cloud Storage: When you are not on the road, it is really useful to have an at-home cloud storage ready and available for quick and seamless backup. I recommend this 12TB one from WD.
WD ‘My Passport’ Portable Hard Drive: I always carry around a portable hard drive while on the road. While I have had plenty of mishaps with them and definitely recommend a cloud storage backup in addition to this, a portable hard drive is great for those places where wifi is just not that great until you can get somewhere to upload online. If shooting images in RAW, you’ll want something with adequate storage, like this 4TB one from WD.
I travel to several places that don’t enjoy the same internet freedoms as I am used to enjoying back in my homeland or other places I have lived. As unfortunate as this is, in order to keep this blog running, I need a VPN. I have used so many VPNs over the years, but nothing has particularly stuck with me for one reason or another. Cocoon was designed with travelers in mind and can be a lifesaver for those on the road as the Cocoon browser keeps travelers safe, secure, and private on unsecured wifi networks (like in cafes, hostels, and airports).
I used to be with Bluehost and after a while, I just couldn’t deal with their nonsense anymore of being solely about profit and not caring about what happened to my site. They constantly upsold me products and it drove me nuts. I eventually, and on a whim, switched to Siteground in January 2016 and have been very happy since. Their online support is outstanding and they never try upselling me stuff so they don’t have to do their job.
Wifi on the Road
Nothing is more frustrating than being without wifi when on the road. I was recently in northern Norway and I don’t know what was going on while I was there, but wifi everywhere was absolutely horrendous. Thankfully, portable wifi units do exist and can help save the day when you’re in a situation like I previously mentioned. I highly recommend TEP wireless for your travels.