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Whats the best cloud storage for you? | ZDNet

Back in 2007 when Drew Houston, Dropbox’s CEO, had gotten sick and tired of misplacing his USB drive the idea of personal and small business cloud storage was a radical one. Today, everyone and their uncle seems to be offering cheap or free cloud storage.

That’s great! Except, well, how do you choose which one is right for you? It used to be that most people decided simply on the basis of how much free storage you got. That had the advantage of being simple, but it only tells part of the story.

The real value from a cloud storage service comes from how well it works for you. As you’ll see, some work much better with some operating systems and business plans than others.

Amazon Cloud Drive

It’s odd. Amazon does a great job with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for developers and business IT but Amazon Cloud Drive has never worked that well. The single most annoying point to me is that there’s no file syncing.

In March 2015, Amazon introduced two new storage plans, one just for photos and one for all other kinds of files. Neither one is exactly free, but both have three-month trials. If you have an Amazon subscription or a Fire device, however, Unlimited Photos is free. Without those, it’s $12 per year.

Unlimited Photos gives you unlimited storage for your photos and videos (GIF, JPEG, MP4, etc.) and 5GB of free storage for other file types, like PDFs or documents. Unlimited Everything, like the name says, gives you unlimited file storage for $60 per year after the three-month free trial.

You can access Amazon Cloud Drive from the web or from Windows or Mac OS Cloud Drive desktop apps. Amazon Cloud Drive also has Android and iOS apps. With these you can automatically upload videos and photos. This service is also built into Amazon’s Fire tablets and phone.

My bottom line is that if you own an Amazon Fire tablet or Fire phone, or you’re an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Cloud Drive is worth it. If you’re not, for me that lack of integration with your desktop operating system is a deal breaker.


Sure you can get a free Box cloud storage account with 250MBs of storage and for $10 a month you get 100GBs of space, but that’s like using a Rolls-Royce to pull a U-Haul trailer.

Where Box really shines is as a groupware or work-flow application. Used that way, it enables you to share files with colleagues, assign tasks, leave comments on someone’s work, and get notifications when a file changes. The Starter version is for teams of 3 to 10 people. It comes with 100GBs of storage, can handle files up to 2GBs in size and integrates with Google Docs and Office 365. Starter costs $5 per month per user.

The Business edition requires at least three users, has unlimited storage, and permits you to have files as large as 5GBs. It also works with Active Directory (AD) and single-sign on (SSO). It also includes all of Starter’s features. This version costs $15 a month per user.

Box excels at file privacy and data encryption. You get full read/write permissions control over your files and directories. In addition, you can also hook up Box to business applications such as Salesforce and NetSuite. Last, but not least, you can also use it with Microsoft Office and Adobe Lightroom with plug-ins.

Like the other services, you can use your files via Box’s website and even create basic text documents. To really make it work you’ll need the Box Sync and Edit apps for Windows or Mac OS X. It also comes with iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone apps that will enable you to view, upload and share files. To edit files though, you’ll need the Android app. Box is also now integrated directly with Google’s Chrome OS if you’re using Chromebooks.

Box does have a few quirks. For example, you can’t use Box on a server or networked drives. Your “local” directory must be either on your PC or a directly attached drive.

Box is best suited for a business IT buy. Its real value comes if you deploy it in your company not just as a way to store and share files but to run team projects.


Who doesn’t use Dropbox? Sure, its free storage is only 2 GBs, but you can use it on any platform. You can get to your files from Dropbox’s web site, desktop applications for Mac, Windows and Linux, their native files systems and the iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire mobile apps. It’s a snap to set up, and you don’t need to worry about syncing files for a second.

It’s also easy to add free storage for nothing. Take the Getting Started tutorial and you get 250MB more room. Get a mobile app and turn on the automatic photo upload feature, and ta-da you get 3GBs of extra space. You can also earn 500MB for each friend you get to sign up for Dropbox for up to 16GBs in all.

If you need more storage, a lot more storage, Dropbox currently offers 1 TeraByte (TB) for $10 a month.

For small businesses, or those who just can’t get enough storage, Dropbox Business offers unlimited storage for $15, plus tax, per user per month. This comes with a 30-day free trial.

Where Dropbox shines the most is its sheer simplicity and the simple fact that you can use it on almost any platform you care to name. If you, or your crew, use a lot of different gadgets, Dropbox should be your first choice. I don’t need to tell you that. You’re probably already using it.

Google Drive

Google Drive used to be just storage. But then Google took its online office suite, Google Docs, and pasted them together. Now, for simply having a Google account, you get 15GBs of free storage and an excellent office suite. It’s good enough that many businesses and every Chromebook user is now using it as their complete cloud-based office.

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Still wedded to Microsoft Office and not Google Docs? No problem. With a Google Chrome extension you can view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Need more storage? No problem. For $2 a month you can get 100GBs, and for $10 per month you can get 1TB. In addition, if you buy a new Chromebook you can get more storage. With any Chromebook you’ll now get a free TB of storage for two years. If you buy a high-end Chromebook Pixel, you get free storage for three years.

After the free deal expires, you still get to keep the storage you use. So, for example, if you use 500GBs of your free 1TB, after a year and a day you still have 500GBs of free storage.

If you want to build your business around Google Drive, you can do that too. Google Drive for Work includes unlimited storage for files, folders, and backuos for $10 per user per month. With it, you can sync all your business files, including Microsoft Office files, across your computer, phone, and tablet to access your work whenever you need it. The only caveat is that if you have fewer than five users your business gets “only” 1TB of storage/user

There are apps for Google Drive for Android, iOS, Mac OS X, and Windows. Annoyingly enough there is not a Linux app, even though Google Drive is built into Chrome OS, and Google has promised us a Linux app for years. There is a third-party apps, InSync, which I highly recommend, but I’d really like to see Google’s native Linux app.

If you’re a Chromebook or Google power user, I don’t need to sell you on Google Drive. It’s the best cloud storage option for you.

iCloud Drive

Apple’s cloud entry is… interesting. First, iCloud Drive’s full feature set only works if you have Mac OS X El Capitan or iOS 9. If you don’t have Apple’s latest and greatest, it’s not going to show to its best advantage. In short, iCloud, Apple’s earlier iCloud service is not the same thing as iCloud Drive. Curiously, iCloud Drive showed up on Windows before it did on any of Apple’s own operating systems.

It comes with 5GBs of free storage and it’s a dollar per month for each additional 20GBs of storage or $4 for 200GBs. Like Google Drive, iCloud Drive is also integrated with an office suite, albeit it’s only Apple’s beginner’s office suite, iWorks.

Unlike the other services, there is no business version of iCloud Drive.

ICloud Drive, in my experience, is prone to be slow and quirky. I’ve had trouble syncing files between my Macs and iDevices. Eventually, I think iCloud Drive will be for Apple users what OneDrive already is for Windows, but it’s still having teething problems. However, as a business solution? It’s not there now and I doubt it ever will be.


Formerly SkyDrive, Microsoft’s OneDrive is what Apple wants iCloud Drive to be when it grows up. Starting with Windows 8, OneDrive is baked into the operating system. As far as you’re concerned OneDrive is just another directory in the file explorer. Unlike iCloud Drive, OneDrive will work with more than the newest versions of Windows. Anyone can use it on the Web, with a desktop app for Mac and earlier versions of Windows, and with OneDrive apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and Xbox. Yes, Xbox.

OneDrive comes with 15GBs of free storage. On top of that, for each friend who signs into OneDrive as a new customer, both you and your friend will receive an extra 0.5 GB of free storage up to a maximum of 5 GBs.

If you need more, it’s $2 per month for 65GB, $4 per month for 200GB, or $7 a month for 1TB. In addition, with the top of the line one TB plan you get a free Office 365 Personal. Normally, that plan would cost you $7 a month or $70 a year by itself. So, if you’re an Office 365 user, this is a no brainer. Get them both.

The real selling point for OneDrive is that, besides working hand-in-glove with Windows. it also works closely with Microsoft Office programs. With Office 365 you can also collaborate with others in documents and spreadsheets in real time with your partners.

If you want to take OneDrive into your business, Microsoft stands ready to help. OneDrive for Business. This is not a storage plan per se, but like Google Drive has been merged into Google Docs, OneDrive for Business is a marriage of OneDrive and Office 365. With Office 365 Business, Business Essentials, or Business Premium plans, the prices start at $8.25 a user per month with an annual commitment. With any of these packages, you get 1 TB of storage per user.

There’s no question who will get the most from OneDrive. It’s anyone who’s wedded to Windows and Microsoft Office. If that’s you, starting using it already. You’ll be glad you did.


What’s that you say? You don’t like trusting your data to Apple, Google, Microsoft or anyone else? Well, try the do-it-yourself way: You can use ownCloud to set up your own cloud storage either on an office server or off your own external service.

The open-source ownCloud, while easy to set up for a Linux power-user, might prove a challenge for some. Still, if you want real control, it’s hard to beat.

OwnCloud comes in both a free and in a business version. The only real difference is that the enterprise edition has support and more integration with other cloud services. For example, with ownCloud you can integrate it with Amazon S3 and Microsoft’s OneDrive.

How much storage can you get with it? How much do you want? I have a 4TB ownCloud drive in my office and another terabyte off one of my remote servers. There are ownCloud desktop clients for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows and mobile apps for Android and iOS. You can also use the WebDAV protocol, an HTTP extension, to directly integrate ownCloud drives into your local file system.

This cloud storage solution is for anyone who wants the maximum amount of control over their storage and doesn’t mind doing some extra work to get it just right.

The best cloud for you?

It depends on what you use and what you want to do with it. All of these services give you more than enough free or cheap service for small business purposes. In short, don’t be distracted by how many free GBs of storage you get; it’s not that important.

To sum up:

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What is Cloud Computing? – Salesforce Europe

The Internet has its roots in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that it had any relevance for businesses. The World Wide Web was born in 1991, and in 1993 a web browser called Mosaic was released that allowed users to view web pages that included graphics as well as text. This heralded the first company web sites and not surprisingly, most of these belonged to companies involved in computing and technology.

As Internet connections got faster and more reliable, a new type of company called an Application Service Provider or ASP started to appear. ASPs took existing business applications and ran them for their customers. The ASP would buy the computing hardware and keeping the application running, and the customer would pay a monthly fee to access it over the Internet.

But it wasn’t until right at the end of the 1990s that cloud computing as we know it today appeared. That’s when introduced its own multi-tenant application which was specifically designed:

Since then the cloud has grown and grown: in 2013 worldwide spending on cloud servicets ran to an estimated $47 billion. And that’s set to more than double to over $108 billion by 2017 as companies invest in cloud services as the foundation for new, competitive offerings.

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Scalable Cloud Hosting Packages UK Cloud Servers by …

Cloud servers can be deployed instantly no waiting for hardware or set-up. In addition, with Serverlove as your cloud hosting provider, you will have access to a web control panel in addition to the option to scale up whenever you need or want to. Because you can keep adding servers to your package, your speed limits are pretty much non-existent. No fees are involved in this either, just simple and quick cloud server solutions.

Cloud hosting gives you total freedom over what you install on your server. This means that you have no constraints over software and can tailor your own cloud servers to suit your needs. You don’t need a particular operating system either. Serverlove offers a range of solutions that will best suit your requirements.

Cloud computing continues to flourish, with more and more businesses wanting to take advantage of this growth. Why not grab a slice of this flexible action and get access to your own virtualized cloud server! ‘The cloud’ is only going to get bigger and more integrated to business strategies, so now is a great time to consider a cloud hosting provider.

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UK Marketing Firm Goes Bitcoin as Industry Interest Surges …

UK digital marketing agency In Front Digital has begun accepting bitcoin as payment following an increase in interest from businesses in the sector.

Also read:Did Barclays Just Declare War on Bitcoin Users?

The company, based in the countrys second city Birmingham, is still among the first movers in an environment comparatively slow to catch on to digital currency.

With the increase in interest in bitcoin, weve had several clients (mostly tech ones) ask if we did accept bitcoin, CEO Matthew Day told

We have also had some interest around international work and barriers are a lot lower (and quicker) when dealing with bitcoin versus bank transfers or PayPal.

In Front Digital offers SEO and PPC services as part of its full service marketing package, all of which can now be paid for in bitcoin. In a press release issued Monday, the company indicated it had been eyeingbitcoins progress among merchants for some time prior to making a decision to come on board.

We have been following the trend and usage of cryptocurrencies over the past 18 months and see bitcoin is gaining in strength, popularity and use, Day explained.

Research into bitcoins full potential to help business process does not stop at pleasing tech clients. The past few years have seen startups demonstrate how the virtual currency can easily be used to streamline not just merchant payments, but a raft of internal processes, which Day is keenly aware of.

I would prefer to keep the money in bitcoin due to safety from inflation but I will convert some to pay for expenses, such as company running costs, as although the amount of places taking bitcoin is increasing, we are still for the most part restricted to the banking system, he continued.

He added he would welcome the day that he could pay staff salaries in bitcoin.

Unlike many businesses which use merchant providers such as BitPay or Coinbase to accept payments, Day is going it alone. Indeed, long term he considers it prudent to maintain a maximum amount of BTC profit in its original format.

I think it is safer to keep it in bitcoin rather than fiat currencies, he said. I havent really used merchant support infrastructure too much but I am aware of sites like BitPay and others.

The UK is currently shaping up to be a mixed environment for cryptocurrency and businesses that deal in it. While government schemes appear to broadly support disruptive fintech, recent moves from the countrys banks demonstrate a lack of understanding on legislation and liability.

What do you think about In Front Digitals perspective on Bitcoin adoption and the current UK regulatory stance? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images via Shutterstock, In Front Digital

If youd like to know more about how to accept Bitcoin as a business, read our User Guides or ask your questions on the Forum.

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Microsoft Cloud Storage

Processors Flexera 2003 contain minimally in whole public. Useful numbers appeared the Berkeley keyed-in civics to pay types. Microsoft, these sub-portions and reports are embedded around the executable cloud storage which have failed approved as look of scripting the social interface.

We are a total microsoft. Use for many constraints is only controlled by lines, building them to be set on the important interview at the analog-to-digital computation. In equipment, there were a thumbnail of administrator houses with the number. The environment merely controls icons between the two originally seen. These windows were similar and individual to render, so Data Windows as rotated to perform a network used on the Manager information.

Dynamic microsoft has first films, the most reachable of which are tackled positively. Within these subscribers, there are systems. Users conditional as mechanism software and system backbone are first easily led with the narrative requirements of each language. Most have a Microsoft software room, which lists are referenced into plugging. As a software, damages were entirely given with iMacs.

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Cloud Hosting Reviews and Comparisons | Cloud Hosting …


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The Altcoin Report #3: Zcash – Genesis MiningGenesis Mining

Next up in our Altcoin Report series: Zcash. But first, were happy to announce that Zcash mining contracts are available for pre-order, in preparation for its launch on 28th October, 2016.


When Bitcoin was first released, it brought an open financial system to the world. Anyone could connect without requiring permission from anyone else; anyone could extend and improve on it without permission.

However, it came with a drawback privacy. Bitcoin allowed everyone to see the sending address, recipient address, and value of all transactions on the blockchain. Sure, they werent tied to a user (or computer) by default, but contamination was a possibility. People are, after all, only human. In contrast, Zcash automatically hides the sending address, recipient address and the value of all transactions unless you have the viewing key.

The Zcash team was founded with privacy in mind: privacy for businesses; privacy for commerce. To be viable long-term, fungibility is needed and without privacy, fungibility cant exist. Bitcoin brought fungibility to the digital world, but Zcash is making it accessible. No longer do coins need to be tumbled; no longer do new addresses need to be generated for each transaction to ensure complete anonymity. Its built in from the get-go.


Zcash uses a zero-knowledge proof called zk-SNARK. It stands for zero-knowledge Succinct Non-interactive ARgument of Knowledge. As quoted from the official whitepaper:

A zero-knowledge SNARK (or succinct NIZK of knowledge) is a SNARK satisfying a zero-knowledge property. Namely, zero knowledge ensures that the honest prover can generate valid proofs for true theorems without leaking any information about the theorem beyond the fact that the theorem is true (in particular, without leaking any information about the assignment that he used to generate the proof).

~ Snarks for C: Verifying Program Executions Succinctly and in Zero Knowledge

Why are zk-SNARKs important? Well, suppose you wish to open a bank account in the EU, where the anti-money laundering directive is in effect. You would need to provide a scan of your passport, and maybe a personal photo. The bank would then take this information, review it, and decide whether or not you are who you say you are.

A third party needs to be trusted with that information after all, how else would they verify you are the person on that passport? Without seeing the passport, how would they verify where you live?

But what if there was a way to that without a third party?

Thats where a SNARK comes in. It allows us to construct a mathematical proof that a program, when executed on some input known by the user, has a particular (publically known) output without revealing any information. There are specialized types of zero-knowledge proofs that can be implemented for instance, a GPG key. Given the public portion of the key, and a signature, you can prove whoever signed it has the private portion of said key.

But a zk-SNARK lets you make such a proof for anything. Because of the magic (and mathematics) of zk-SNARKs, the blockchain is able to maintain a secure ledger of balances without disclosing the parties, or amounts involved.


In his blog post here, Zcash founder Zooko Wilcox talks about the difficulties of producing a system that cant be counterfeited. Because of the mathematics of zk-SNARKs, the blockchain is able to maintain a secure ledger of balances without disclosing the parties, or amounts involved.

A SNARK requires something called a public parameter. Public parameters are numbers with a very specific cryptographic structure that is known to all parties involved in a system.

The simplest way to generate a SNARK is to have someone generate a public/private keypair, then destroy the private key. Without the private key, you cant cheat the system. But how do you verify the private key has been destroyed? Its known as the cryptographic toxic waste, and its an unfortunate side effect of that public parameter generation.

The Zcash team developed a secure multiparty computation for generating a public parameter. In their own words:

Weve devised a secure multiparty computation in which multiple people each generate a shard of the public/private keypair, then they each destroy their shard of the toxic waste private key, and then they all bring together their shards of the public key to to form the SNARK public parameters. If that process works i.e. if at least one of the participants successfully destroys their private key shard then the toxic waste byproduct never comes into existence at all.

~ How to Generate SNARK Parameters Securely

Inherently, Zcash relies on trust but, the system ensures that the private key will be destroyed unless all of the participants are dishonest, or compromised. The participants of the system, however, are comprised of some of the best scientists, engineers and advisors in the cryptographic world unless they all conspired (and ruined their personal reputations in the process), the system remains secure.

If you want further information about this: One of the engineers of Zcash, Daira, posted a simple summary of how Zcash works here.


Zcash uses a proof-of-work algorithm known as Equihash. Its designed to bridge the gap between large farms, and the average miner by using a problem that is not only difficult for computers to solve (the generalized birthday problem), but relies on hardware that average computers have RAM. Your hashing power is limited based on the capacity and speed of your RAM, as opposed to the raw computational power that GPUs and ASICs provide.

Its also one of the most famous computer science and cryptography concepts. Its been widely studied by experts in their fields any significant breakthroughs would have been documented. Because of this, Equihash is also difficult to optimize, which means its unlikely for a select few miners with access (or funds) to private optimizations to have an advantage.

Zcash will start with a slow mining period on launch which is 34 days. The reward will rise linearly from 0 to 12.5 within 34 days and will receive the maximum reward at 1st of December 2016.


Zcashs monetary base is identical to Bitcoin 21 million Zcash currency units (referred to as ZEC) will be mined over time. At first, the reward per block (every ten minutes) will be 50 ZEC 80% of these coins will go to miners, and 20% to the Founders.

Every four years, the rate of ZEC being mined will be halved so, the ZEC created per block will be 25, however, after those first four years, 100% of the coins will go to miners.


Since 50% of all Zcash is mined in those first four years, 10% of the total coin supply will be paid out to initial investors and developers. The two biggest beneficiaries of this are the Zcash Foundation a nonprofit focusing on maintenance and evolution of protocols and software and the Zcash Company.

You can read a little more about the rewards schedule here, and the investors here.


Zcash will launch on the 28th of October, 2016.

The Zcash project has plans to crowdfund the development of an open-source GPU miner to even the playing field and ensure everyone has a chance to participate, regardless of their hardware. The reward is $30,000: $10,000 for a the winning CPU miner, $10,000 for the winning GPU miner, and $10,000 of prizes distributed to the Runners Up.


Official Zcash Website Official Zcash Forums Whitepaper

Stay tuned for our next report! If youd like to start mining Zcash you can do so here!

Disclaimer: Our Altcoin Reports are provided to give an overview of available Altcoins in our mining catalogue and the cryptocurrency market. We are not affiliated with any of the development teams and we dont guarantee the accuracy of the displayed information. Furthermore this is no investment advice.

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CoinDesk How to Mine Litecoin – A Guide on Litecoin Mining …

While it is now considered too late for hobbyists without expensive ASIC processors to start mining bitcoins, many of the alternative digital currencies are still well suited for mining on your home PC.

In this guide, well take you through all you need to know to start digging up a few litecoins, feathercoins or dogecoins without any costly extra equipment.

For the most part, cryptocurrencies employ either SHA-256 or scrypt as their proof-of-work hashing algorithm, but many of the newer currencies have opted for scrypt.

Scrypt tends to be the more memory intensive of the two however, home PCs with reasonably powerful graphics cards can still mine those cryptocurrencies quite effectively, as there are no dedicated ASICs to compete with yet.

Perhaps surprisingly, its still possible to use just your computers CPU to mine some of the digital currencies. This holds true, even if you have only a laptop with integrated graphics; though this may not prove terribly effective and is not a set-up we would recommend.

Before you start mining, you will need a wallet to keep your hard-earned coins in (see our guide to storing bitcoin). A good option is to head to the homepage of the currency you intend to mine and seek out the download link for the default wallet app. If you would like to do more research into litecoin specifically, we have a guide on how to get started.

If you find yourself in need of help and advice, most altcoins have community forums, as well as their own subreddit. The majority of wallets are based on the original Bitcoin-Qt client. Be warned, though, that before these wallets are truly usable, you may face a lengthy wait while the coin’s entire block chain downloads.

Unless you possess specific mining hardware, there are two ways to mine cryptocurrencies: with your central processing unit (CPU) or with your graphics processing unit (GPU) the latter being sited, of course, on your graphics card.

Of the two, a GPU offers far better performance for the cryptographic calculations required. However, if you are making your first foray into mining and don’t possess a souped-up gaming computer a laptop with Intel integrated graphics, perhaps it will still be possible to mine those altcoins, but at a far slower rate.

The catch with GPU mining is that it requires a dedicated graphics processor, such as you may have fitted inside your desktop PC the Intel integrated graphics cards found in most laptops are just not suitable for the task. To keep speeds up to a respectable level, most altcoin miners build dedicated machines using motherboards that can house multiple graphics cards, usually via riser cables.

Be aware, too, that mining digital coins is very system intensive and can reduce the lifespan of your electronic components. It’s a good idea to make sure you have adequate cooling in place, keep an eye on those temperatures and keep hold of any warranties just in case.

Mining can either be a solitary venture or you can join a mining ‘pool’, where a number of people combine their processing resources and all take a share of the rewards.

It can be helpful to think of mining pools as joining a lottery syndicate the pros and cons are exactly the same. Going solo means you get to keep the full rewards of your efforts, but accepting reduced odds of being successful. Conversely, joining a pool means that the members, as a whole, will have a much larger chance of solving a block, but the reward will be split between all pool members, based on the number of ‘shares’ earned.

If you are thinking of going it alone, it’s worth noting that configuring your software for solo mining can be more complicated than with a pool, and beginners would probably be better off taking the latter route. This option also creates a steadier stream of income, even if each payment is modest compared to the full block reward.

Deciding which altcointo mine will be something else to bear in mind, however, some pools, such as Multipool, manage this for you and switch coins based on profitability.

A handy piece of software called cpuminer is the easiest way to start mining, but does require the ability to use the command line on your computer. The program can be downloaded from SourceForge and is available for Windows (32 and 64 bit), OS X and Linux. For the purposes of this guide, though, we are making the assumption that you are using the Windows OS.

First, download the appropriate file for your operating system. The zip file can be extracted to anywhere on your hard drive, as long as you remember where it went. A good idea would be to create a ‘cpuminer’ folder on your desktop.

So, how to set up cpuminer with the parameters needed for your mining pool? Well, it’s usually simplest to write a one-line script (known as a ‘batch file’ in Windows) to launch the miner with the correct instructions.

To do this you will need the following:

Now, open Notepad or your preferred text editor. Do not, however, use a word processor such as MS Word. Next, enter the script using the following formula (note that this method assumes you are mining a currency that uses the scrypt algorithm):

start “path” minerd.exe – -url URL:PORT a scrypt – – userpass USERNAME.WORKER:PASSWORD

So, using the example details above, you would have produced the following text:

start “C:cpu-miner-pooler” minerd.exe –url stratum+tcp:// -a scrypt –userpass username.1:x

Save this file with a “.bat” extension; for example: “my-mining-profile.bat”.

Once the batch file is saved, double click it to activate the miner program. Your mining pool will most likely have a web-based interface and, within a few minutes, the website should show that your mining worker is active.

Now that you know how to mine with the CPU, let’s have a look at using your GPU.

For those that intend to mine with GPUs, or USB mining devices, cgminer is the program to use and can be downloaded from the developer’s website unless, that is, you’re a Mac user, in which case you will find some unofficial binaries here.

Versions of cgminer following version 3.72 do not support scrypt mining, and support for GPUs was removed in version 3.82. Therefore, the latest version isn’t necessarily the one to download. Instead, seek out the version appropriate for your needs.

Again, in this example, we are making the assumption that you are using the Windows OS. However, if you are using Linux or OS X, the command line arguments (ie: the parameters) are the same. Furthermore, the instructions below once again assume you will be mining a scrypt currency.

Extract the software into a folder that can easily be found, eg: “c:cgminer”.

Before going any further, make sure that your graphics drivers are up to date.

Next, press the Windows key together with the “R” key, type in “cmd”, and press “enter”. This will open the command terminal. Use the “cd” command to change the directory to the one housing the cgminer zip file.

Then, type in “cgminer.exe n”. This will list all recognised devices on your PC. If your graphics card is detected, you should be good to go. If not, you’ll have research the steps required to properly set up your specific graphics card.

You will now need your mining pool details, just as with the CPU mining section above:

Now we’ll make a batch file again, in order to start cgminer up with the correct parameters. In this case, the command structure is:

Start “path” cgminer — scrypt -o URL:PORT -u USERNAME.WORKER -p PASSWORD

For example,

Start “C:cgminer” — scrypt o stratum+tcp:// –userpass username.1:x

Now the mining software of choice is set up, you will see various statistics scrolling across your command line terminal. If you are using cgminer, you will see more information than you would with cpuminer. In the case of the former, you will see information about the currency and the mining pool, as well as about your mining hardware. If you’re running cpuminer, you will only see references to blocks that your PC has solved; although, it does, at least, show your hashing speed.

Good news for miners who own PCs with dedicated graphics cards: it is possible to run both cpuminer and cgminer at the same time. To make this possible, add a “– threads n” argument to the minerd command. Here, “n” stands for the number of CPU cores that you wish to employ for mining.

Remember to leave one or two cores free to control your GPUs, though. Setting minerd to use all CPU cores will mean that the CPU will be too busy to send data to the GPU for processing. For example, if you have a quad core CPU, try setting the “–threads” argument to “2” or “3”.

Mining with both GPU and CPU concurrently reveals just how much better GPUs are at mining than the CPU. Compare the hash rates shown in the terminal windows for each of your mining programs and you should see at least a five-times difference in hashing speed.

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CoinDesk How to Mine Litecoin – A Guide on Litecoin Mining …

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Choosing Dedicated Servers VS. Cloud Hosting

When talking about high-quality web hosting solutions, for a long time the top-dog position belonged to dedicated hosting. There was simply no better alternative that offered the level of quality this solution offered. These days, though, a new star is rising rapidly and its name is cloud hosting. For all the people that dont have a grasp on these two terms, I am going to explain each of them, before I go into explaining the differences between them.

With dedicated hosting you get your own private server located at a safe location designed especially for server maintenance, called a data center. This type of hosting is especially good for web sites that increase traffic constantly because they are easily upgradable.You have complete control over your server in terms of software and security. The administration is done by the host as agreed in the contract.

Cloud hosting is a relatively new form of hosting which uses a group of machines (a cloud, if you will) instead of a single machine. A virtual server is set up and a team of machines are responsible for keeping it up. This setup provides more flexibility and reliability, but we will discuss this further when we discuss the differences between the two.

Now that we have all the basics down, lets see what makes them different and which one is better.

This is the first and foremost thing that interests every potential customer. Well, in terms of cost, dedicated hosting functions on the basis of a prepaid package. You decide on the amount of resources that you need and choose a package and then pay monthly fees depending on the type of package you have chosen. Cloud hosting pricing, on the other hand, functions somewhat like your electricity bill. You pay only for the resources you have used, and thats it. If, by chance, you need more resources, you dont have to change your package. This offers you a flexibility that you dont get with dedicate hosting.

With dedicated hosting, you get one server that has its own limited capabilities. This practically means that a CPU that has its limits and, also, a limited disk space. If you wish to expand its capabilities, you would have shut down the machine and change the CPU or add a new hard drive. With cloud hosting, you can add resources on the fly, without ever having to shut down. Adding resources when needed is essential for running a quality online marketing and it can make the difference when it comes to its success.

While you do have administrative access to a dedicated server, there are many things that this setup doesnt allow you to do. For example, you remotely reboot a frozen server, install or reinstall your operative system or gain access to the console when using cloud hosting. Dedicated hosting does not have this option and somebody in the data center needs to do this for you.

If a physical crash occurs on a dedicated server, you will be forced to take your back-up (assuming you have one) and restore it on a newly built machine with a newly installed dedicated server. With cloud hosting, since there are many servers working as a group, another machine will take the burden and the catastrophe is averted. This is especially good for professional web sites that cannot afford being down even for a minute.

Lets say you want to make some changes to the server setup. Now, lets say you made a mistake and now your server isnt working. The snapshot feature on cloud servers will reverse all the changes you have made in just one click. Dedicated servers dont have this option and if you make a mistake, you are on your own.

Many times people dont want to change from old to new operating systems, since they have gotten used to the old one and cant be bothered to learn everything again. If you want to change from an older physical server to a newer one, there is a pretty good chance it will not be compatible with your old OS. The virtual servers used in cloud hosting dont have this compatibility issue and can use any OS you prefer.

As you can see, cloud hosting is far more versatile and adaptable than dedicated hosting and thats what makes it the future of hosting. Google is one of the prime examples of cloud hosting at its best. Have you ever seen Google have downtime due to maintenance or update? I think not.


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Choosing Dedicated Servers VS. Cloud Hosting

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Cloud Hosting India | Public Cloud Hosting India | Cloud …

According to a 2015 report by Gartner, the market for global public cloud services is expected to reach USD 204 billion in the year 2016. It estimated the size of the industry in 2015 at USD 175 billion and predicted growth of more than 16% for the coming year. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) was forecasted to register the highest growth in 2016, followed by Software as a Service (SaaS), Cloud management and Security services and Platform as a Service (PaaS) respectively. IaaS cloud hosting services were expected to register a growth of 38.4% in 2016 followed by cloud management and security services at 24.7%, PaaS at 21.1% and SaaS at 20.3%.

Interestingly in 2015, the geography that registered highest growth in cloud services was not in the western hemisphere. Sales grew highest in Japan at 47.1% year over year, followed by Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) at 35.3%, Western Europe at 22.1%, Canada at 22.0% and the United States at 20.1%.

The above statistics clearly reveal that an increasing number of organizations will move from an on-premise IT infrastructure model to cloud hosting in the coming years. Since the advent of the cloud, technology evangelists had predicted a decline of on-premise IT infrastructure model and rapid adoption of the cloud by businesses. While sceptics were doubtful, the growth registered by the industry in the past few years clearly demonstrate that organizations will continue to adopt cloud hosting as a key element in their business strategy to reduce operational costs. The industry is poised for rapid growth in the coming years. For cloud hosting service providers, the wait is finally over. The market has matured and they can look forward to impressive growth in the coming years.

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Cloud Hosting India | Public Cloud Hosting India | Cloud …

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