Monthly Archives: September 2016

Lima – Changing The Model of Cloud Storage

A few months back, I came across a Facebook advert for Lima – a cloud storage solution that removes the subscription from the model. After reading up on it, it sounded great and I put my order in for one of their devices. There was a waiting list due to demand but after a week or so, I was able to order and immediately did so. I’ve used it for a month or so now and it has changed my thinking on cloud storage.

Lima Cloud Storage at Home

What is Lima?

Lima is a small device which connects your broadband router at home or work to an external hard drive. Once connected, you install some software on any and all computers, mobiles and tablets you wish to connect to it and the hard drive becomes accessible from all of them. Moving files to and from the drive is exactly like it is for anyother hard drive you connect to your computer. It shows up as another hard drive that you can simply drag and drop to. So long as you have an internet connection, you can access the files from anywhere. In effect, it’s a cloud storage account except you own the cloud.

lima cloud storage orange

The main advantage of Lima is that once you buy the device ($100 or so) there are no further charges. Your storage capacity is limited only by how big a hard drive you want to connect to it. To give you an idea, a 1TB Dropbox subscription is around £80 per year, every year. To get 1TB on Lima, you need to buy a 1TB hard drive (between £50-80) and a Lima (around £80 also) and you’ve got 1TB for life for £160. If you want more than 1TB, you simply use a larger hard drive.

What else does it do?

Lima Cloud Storage Mobile Movies

Lima also comes with iOS and Android native apps so you can use it on tablets and smartphones. Providing your internet connection is strong enough, you can stream you music and videos from the hard drive without taking up storage on your device. Lima also lets you keep particular files and folders offline for quick access.

In terms of security, Lima uses military grade encryption on all communications between devices. No data is stored on any servers anywhere – just on your hard drive and the devices you have connected to it.

Lima will also back up your camera roll from your mobile devices automatically (unless you ask it not to).

What does it not do?

There are some features missing from Lima in my opinion. Browser access is one of them. With Dropbox or Google Drive, you can sign in to any browser and get to your files. With Lima, you can only access them on machines you have installed the software on. However, Lima’s Product Roadmap has this coming a couple of versions down the line. Also the mobile app is a bit low on features at the moment (such as the ability to save from Lima to Camera Roll) but again this should bulk up in time.

Another missing feature that is also on the product roadmap is the ability to send links to data stored on Lima and selectively share folders with others. Anyone who is an avid Dropbox user may well demand this before considering the switch.

Is it worth it?

In pure financials, yes. If you have the need for large amounts of cloud storage, it’s definitely more cost effective than Dropbox. In fact, I’ve now cancelled my Dropbox renewal just this week. The basic free Dropbox account is more than enough to cover shared folders I need and files and folders I may need to send links to.

Lima Cloud Storage Box Package

In terms of features, Lima is still a bit light when compared with the current cloud storage favourites. But it should only be a matter of time before it catches up. Once browser access and sharing functions get an upgrade, the whole cost model of cloud storage needs to be given some serious consideration. It’s the classic buy or lease scenario. For me, Lima is a game changer. I now have a 4TB personal cloud that is secure and accessible but is also bought and paid for.

What will be interesting to observe, is whether more providers follow Lima into this market. Company after company has tried to emulate Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. Most people have at least one form or another of cloud storage (whether they use it or not). But is Lima’s pivot on this model a sign of people changing their thinking on having their data stored on servers in multiple different countries at any one time?

 

national minimum wage increase October 2016

National Minimum Wage increases from 1st October 2016

As they do every year, the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates will increase on 1st October 2016. If you run a business and employ staff, you need to be aware of the changes and introduce them in your first payroll period following the introduction.

The Government regularly name and shame employers paying less than the minimum wage. Worse still that the potential bad press for your business is the penalty for non-compliance – up to £20,000 per worker.

 

National Minimum Wage Rates from October 2016

From next month the new rates of NMW will be:

  • 21-24 year-olds – £6.95/hr (up from £6.70/hr)
  • 18-20 year-olds – £5.55/hr (up from £5.30/hr)
  • 16-17 year-olds – £4.00/hr (up from £3.87/hr)
  • Apprentices – £3.40/hr (up from £3.30/hr)

The recently introduced National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over, remains at £7.20 per hour. The Low Pay Commission will be making a recommendation to Government in the Autumn on the rate which should apply from April 2017.

As well an increase in employees net pay, you’ll see an increase in your monthly PAYE bill. The overall cost increase to employ a full time worker aged between 21-24, will go up by around £590 extra per employee per year (£520 in gross wages and another £70 on Employers National Insurance Contributions).