Hi everyone! lets look at my tools and services I’m using in 2021.

Storage

Here I have more services. My mastodon and my website using a storage server from Amazon. I used digital ocean but the quantity I need is amazon much cheaper. So I stayed with it.

Next, we have cloud storage for my documents and photos. I have tried NextCloud (self-hosted), but I’m thinking security is somewhere else with hosted solutions.

My data are stored with Onedrive (Microsoft 365), I have enabled 2FA authentication and passwordless authentication too. (With passwordless you will need a secure key, one good is from Yubikey). Microsoft did a great job with applications I have access to my documents on all my devices (Windows, Android, and iOS). Microsoft doesn’t have an application for Linux, you can use 3rd party apps you can find on GitHub or use a web browser.

Each device has installed the OneDrive application, and I enabled backup for my Windows computers (i have a notebook and desktop pc). If I want to copy something from my mobile devices I just copy it to the desired folder (Desktop) and I will have it on my computer in few seconds.

I still think Google Photos are the best storage for my photos (and I have several tens of gigabytes). I have paid plan for 2TB which I can share with my family. Again google can be accessed on all devices including Linux (Gnome has a built-in drive client) or via a web browser.

Password storage

The password manager of my choice is 1Password. The reason why I choose this one was support to store 2FA codes (now these options are supported with more managers). Another reason was authentication when you adding a new device you will need to know your email, your master password, account key (which is generated with registration), and 2FA code or security key. Support for hardware security keys was the biggest reason I have chosen 1Password over others. Since then I have tried more managers but I still think this one has the best security, even if it’s not the cheapest solution.

Applications are now available for Android, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Linux (which is out of beta now). It has also extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and more…

Email provider

This is the whole chapter on its own. More times I transferred between Google and Microsoft services, but now I’m settled with Microsoft 365. This is not just email but you will get 1TB storage per user on one drive, next you can have MDM, SharePoint, Planner, an Office suite (web version is free), Planner, Teams, and much more.

Teams is one awesome tool, I can talk with anyone who has a Microsoft account. For example, if I want to send a message to someone in our client’s organization of my school friends I just need to know their email addresses, there also many plugins for it. I’m using just connect to The Planner, calendar, or SharePoint documents. :)

Another reason why I have chosen ms services is MDM. When I have a new device, the only thing I need to do is log in with my MS365 account. The device will download all apps, and configurations for WiFI, VPNs, and more.

I have used ProtonMail for few months but switched back to MS. I like ProtonMail as a service and their ide. Privacy is a thing that is good to have, but here are compromises. You can encrypt an email if the person on the other side doesn’t have a PGP key (ok you can but then you have to send them a password), you can only use the ProtonMail application on phones, with MS / Google you can choose anyone you want.

Music, movies, TV

The times when you go to the internet to download music and movies are gone (IMO) and I don’t have time / don’t want to do it anymore. Most of you know Netflix, so then this and HBO GO are two services to which I have subscribed. HBO Go has more content in my native language and Netflix has some well-animated series that I want to watch.

My music service of choice is Spotify. I like the application, the option to download and listen to music offline and I have there my playlists. I can listen on any device I own. I have tried Apple music but this one is primarily for Apple devices and I’m lazy to move playlists to it.

Notes

I have chosen as my note service Notion. I like the organization of notes, you can have simple notes just with header and body or you can add more fields, like date, selects, multi-selects, files, etc. You can change how you display lists of your contents for example as cards or tables. You can find many templates, so you can have a blog, task managers, and more. I like the whole idea of this service.

Photo editing

For photo editing I using Photoshop, I have subscribed to a photography plan. I tried more software like Gimp or Zoner but photoshop is photoshop.

VPN

My VPN provider of choice is Surfshark. I’m using it to watch Netflix content from other countries. They also support download over p2p sites and they have a no-logs policy - they don’t store your IP address, browsing history, and more.

Windows, iOS, Mac, Android?

Who knows me, knows that I am in favor of using things for what they are intended for. My servers are running on Linux, my desktop and laptop using Windows and my mobile phone is android and iOS (yes I have two phones).

Linux on servers is lightweight, doesn’t need too much ram, and a fast processor to run. Every configuration is stored in text files so you exactly know what you are doing (yes if you know what you doing :D). I am not a fan of desktop Linux, I found myself trying to tweak the desktop, googling why something doesn’t work as having to… It’s just not for me.

Windows on my desktop and laptop are synchronized, I have there all applications I need (photoshop, office suite some games). Visual Studio is one of the best IDE I ever used. If I need to programming in PHP or need MySQL/ Postgres I have installed Docker for the desktop which runs on WSL v2.

My daily driver is Android (i used android since release) I have many applications on it. I like that you can customize the look and feel, you can change the keyboard or launcher if you don’t like the one you got with your phone. And if you don’t like things that your phone manufacturer doing you can go to another one.

On the other side, I think the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch you can buy now. Photos and videos are much better on iOS than on android IMO, and the whole ecosystem from apple is really nice. Look at the latest addition in iPadOS 15 and macOS which is called Universal Control where you can use your mac mouse to drag files from iPad pp through your MacBook to your iMac. You just need one mouse/keyboard to control all three devices and without switching which device you want to control, it’s all automatic.

Git storage

I still have self-hosted GitLab but I slowly going back to GitHub. If you want to know why, I wrote about it in Why I Am Thinking About Stop Selfhosting Gitlab

At the end

So… this is a long post, I think I told you all what I wanted. If you want to know more you can ask me and we can continue on Mastodon.

Which services do you using/paying for? Do you prefer to pay for services or do you prefer to host them yourself even if you lose some comfort?

Thanks for reading, see you next time.