1. What is Longaccess?
Longaccess is your safe on the Internet. It's a place where you can store valuable files, fully encrypted and secured, available for decades. The files you store in Longaccess can be of any size, from a couple Kilobytes to many Gigabytes.
2. How does it work?
3. What Longaccess is not?
Longaccess is not a file syncing service. If you need a way to sync your files between devices, there are better ways to do it.
Longaccess is not a file sharing service. Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, even Dropbox and numerous other services let you upload your content and "share it with the world", or your team. Longaccess is not ideal for this kind of sharing. That said, there are some cases of file sharing where Longaccess is ideal. (Read: 11. I want to share an Archive I uploaded.)
4. Why do I have to pay in advance?
Paying on a monthly or yearly basis is very convenient when you are dealing with a service that you want to keep your data for a month or a year. But, in Longaccess we want to make sure that your data will remain available to your kids and the next generation.
5. What is the "Archive Certificate"?
The Archive Certificate is a fundamental part of our service. Every time you create and upload an Archive using our desktop application, you also get an Archive Certificate.
It's a simple text file, that contains all information required to access your data in the future:
- Anyone with access to the Archive Certificate can access the corresponding Archive data: Nothing else is required, not even a username or password.
- Access to the Archive data is impossible without the corresponding Archive Certificate. No one, not you, not even Longaccess, can decrypt your Archive without the Archive Certificate.
You should think of the Archive Certificate as a full entitlement to access the data of a specific Archive. If you give a copy to someone else, she can also access the data, just like you.
6. It's 2013 and everything is digital. Why would I want to print the Archive Certificate?
Paper is so old fashioned, we know.
You can always keep your Archive Certificates in digital form: They are simple HTML files you can open in any browser.
However, we humans have spent thousands of years using paper (and paper-like materials). We know how to store it, how to preserve it, how to make copies, how to share it. It just takes a look at a piece of paper to decide if the data on it is readable: much easier than verifying a CD or DVD, external hard disk, or USB drive.
We can safely assume that almost everyone will still be able to interpret some numbers printed on a parer a couple of decades from now. But judging from the past, our storage media will probably be so outdated by then, that it will be practiaclly impossible to read today's DVDs and other storage media.
Your printed Archive Certificate will be there, in your drawer, even if you accidentally delete some files from your laptop's drive, or forget to back them up before the next OS update.
So. If you use Longaccess to store valuable information, we recommend you take a minute to print the Archive Certificate. Or, even better, print two copies of it and give the second one to someone you trust.
7. How do I know Longaccess will be around in 30 years from now?
This is one of the most frequent questions we get.
An other frequent question is "This is a great idea, how come no one offers something like this already"? And the answers to both of them are closely related.
Making long term commitments is not popular with new innovative companies. Tech startups are designed to be "flexible and agile". They are expected to redefine their product after a couple of iterations, "pivot", and look forward to an exit that may involve selling to a bigger company with few strings attached.
We made a clear decision to build a different business, on the basis of a very long term commitment. That's what we do. It's part of our corporate DNA.
Soon enough we will be announcing a structure that will address these kinds of concerns even better. Stay tuned for the details.)
8. I'm very concerned about privacy. Who gets access to my data?
The only people that can read what's in your Archives are the people that have the corresponding Archive Certificate.
Unlike most other cloud storage services, our software encrypts your data before it leaves your computer, and we never get the key.
Your data is encrypted on your computer using AES256 and a randomly generated key. This key is the only way to decrypt your data. It's stored in your computer and displayed on the Archive Certificate.
You don't have to take our word for this. One of the reasons our application is open source is we wanted to let any developer see exactly how it works. When it comes to privacy, we believe that proof is better than promise.
9. I want to delete an Archive I uploaded.
That's right, you cannot delete Archives. The reasoning behind this is that if you hold an Archive Certificate, you should always be able to download and decrypt the corresponding Archive for as long as the Certificate is valid. If we allowed the uploader to delete or update Archives, you would never be sure that the Certificate someone gave you (for example, a business partner, a family member or a photographer) is still valid.
On the other hand, if you are the single holder of an Archive Certificate, you can destroy it, and no one will ever be able to read your Archive. (Read: 8. I'm very concerned about privacy. Who gets access to my data?)
10. I want to update an Archive I uploaded.
You can't. See "I want to delete an Archive I uploaded".
11. I want to share an Archive I uploaded.
Even though Longaccess is not a "file sharing" service, there are some cases, where it's ideal.
For example, if you have an archive of your wedding photos and videos, you will probably want to give access to it to some friends and family. Or, you may have an archive with important legal documents, you would like to share with your lawyer. Or maybe you uploaded an archive with the full source code of a service you developed for a client, and you'd like to give it to them. In these cases, sharing couldn't be easier: just make a copy of the Archive Certificate and hand it to them.
As a rule of thumb, every time you say "I'll give you a DVD/USB drive with all the files, for your archive", Longaccess is probably a superior solution.
12. How do you compare to other cloud storage services?
"Cloud storage" is a very broad term: For example, there are services that let you upload your photos or your videos and manage them online, or share them with others. Other services are great at syncing data between devices. There are even services that allow you to keep an online, incremental backup of your computer. We like them all and we use them too.
But it's not easy to do everything extremely well. For example, a service that gives you the option to browse your files online must have a way to "look" at your data. A service that lets you update and delete files, will let you, or someone else using your credentials, delete your files. And fast "hot storage" is much more expensive than the much slower "cold storage", so when you pay in advance for 30 years, the price difference is huge.
Longaccess is focused on privacy, security and long-term preservation: We believe we offer the most secure solution, at the best price you can find and we are willing to stick to a commitment for 30 years.
13. Where is my data physically stored?
We are using a combination of Amazon Simple Storage Service and Amazon Glacier to store your files. Both services redundantly store data in multiple facilities and on multiple devices within each facility. They offer 99.999999999% data durability.