University has blocked iCloud and Dropbox. What now?

I’ve been using iCloud Sync since it was introduced. Was using Dropbox before that. I’d like to remedy the situation without having to spend a ton of money on something that I don’t understand, like sinology. Though if that’s the best solution I’ll take a stab. Has anyone else found an easy way to address this kind of thing?

Do you actually need to use a remote sync option?
Just having a cloud account doesn’t not make it the default choice.

Do they block VPN services? What they never see in a tunnel they can’t block.

'Course, I’m not sure about Devonthink sync via VPN tunnel.

I’d like to keep things synced up across devices. Id like to be able to work on whatever device I happen to be using. And I don’t want to have everything on a work laptop that could be taken from me in case of a layoff or something like that. So … do I NEED it? No. But my entire workflow and having access to a career’s worth of annotated knowledge is helpful for me in teaching my classes.

You can sync with Bonjour and still have all your data on every device (space permitting). Remote sync is only necessary if someone else modified data while you’re away or if you modify data that someone at another location has to work with.

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Oh ok. I’ll need to look into Bonjour…I’ve never used it for anything. Thanks!

They’ve turned off iCloud syncing on the machine itself…but interesting idea here.

From my experience Bonjour syncing fastest and most reliable. Hopefully not blocked by the university network gurus.

What does your university offer as a sanctioned cloud service?

Well, if you are laid off (or something like that), your immediate access to the work computer and the university sanctioned cloud storage is gone.

Seems that you should want a reliable archiving and backup strategy, since any sync option no matter what it is is dead at this case any way.

Also hopefully not used by the OP in such a manner that it opens him to legal issues for exposing private information thru unsanctioned public channels.


That up to the OP of course.

I am not a lawyer but as Bonjour runs on the local network and if the OP is using the university network and the network gurus have not blocked ports the using Bonjour ports probably no different than using other unblocked ports like emails, web sites, file servers. Probably no different than transferring files via USB protocols. But that for the OP to worry about, not us.

In my past I tried hard to not mix personal stuff with worked owned stuff.

Google Drive.

… sigh.


It is possible (and I would say recommended; on second thoughts it may even be mandatory) to provide a password which serves to encrypt Bonjour traffic. So, correct horse battery staple then.

Bonjour sync is always encrypted actually as the password is mandatory.

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Are the USB ports available? I have never used cloud syncing because I’m grumpy about privacy. My “cloud” is a USB thumb drive.

I use DTTG some. Most of my mobile work is on my Macbook air.

Please say more. What is the risk you see with DEVONthink putting encrypted sync files (not the databases) into the cloud sync services?

I get that you are “grumpy” about it, but for the benefit of others not so informed, specifically what are the risks you see, e.g. “because of [cause], [something] may happen, leading to [impact].”

Your Control Measures for the risks you perceive is “Risk Avoidance”. But for the benefit of others, they may have a different “Risk Tolerance”. A better understanding of the risks by everyone would be of value. So, please say more. Thanks.

I see the same risks I do with any encrypted information:

a) I cannot verify the implementation of the encryption. Encryption is complex and others have made mistakes in the past. My knowledge is insufficient to do anything other than trust. (I implicitly trust DEVONtech; I would not use their products otherwise. That does not make me blind to the possibility of human error, though.)

b) an unbreakable encryption today may be an easily broken encryption tomorrow. What I think is unbreakable may not be, even today. See, for example, PenTestPartners’ calculation on how long it could take to effectively brute force correct horse battery staple.

In addition, I cannot control what is in the cloud once I have put it there. Deleting initially only removes the visible representation of a file.

Whilst DT’s sync data is only chunks of a data stream, that data is still useful - I use it to sync, after all. There is no security in the obscurity of the data for someone who is looking for that data.

I believe that any data you put out in the cloud should be subject to the question “how bad would it be if others got hold of this”? If the answer is “bad” (think client data, for example, which could still be critical 10 or 20 years down the line, if only for the damage it could do to you image, but also with regard to legal repercussions), don’t do it.


Excellent summary.

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The result is that I do put some data in the cloud. Other data is subject to legal constraints, so cannot be synced across the cloud. And the third category is data which fails my “how bad would it be?” check, because it would effectively allow total identity theft. My databases are set up with that basic concept in mind.

From my experience this a prudent approach. With all risks, must evaluate the probability/chance of the [cause] and the size of the [impact].

On the other side of the issue, one must, IMHO, look at “opportunities” in the same way … drive up the probability and impact of “good” things.

That’s why the issue of cloud data is a “wicked problem”.