I have free cloud storage accounts at Dropbox, Onedrive, pCloud, Sync and Google Drive. I also have the desktop software installed for each of them. But when I go to create a vault, only Dropbox and Onedrive show up as “one click” options to select. I thought I saw Google Drive in previous screenshots here (not sure about Sync or pCloud), so why are my other three services not listed if I have their software installed?
Because cryptomator needs the storage provider folders in the default place on your local machine. If you have decided not to use them when setting up your provider (for example Google drive), then cryptomator cannot find them. And cryptomator does not detect all possible providers. In this case you have to tell cryptomator where to find the „synced folder“ by using the „custom location“ option.
Then Michael can you confirm that if you go with a directory as your mount point, then you sacrifice using a cloud storage service, but you may be able to backup the unencrypted contents? I’m trying to decide which approach is “better” I now that’s subjective but go with it…
I guess you are mixing up different things.
The storage provider detection is just used lto give you the option to select where to store your vault (the encrypted files that you typically want to sync with your online storage) locally, based on a named service provider.
The function to mount your vault as a folder is an option how to access the files in your vault (the unencrypted view).
You do not sacrifice anything, no matter if you choose to mount your vault as a drive or as a folder.
Some software does not „see“ the virtual drive for several reasons (mostly user right issues), so in this case using a folder as mountpoint is often the solution. Other software does not have these problems, so people prefer to have a virtual drive as mount point. For example: I use personal backup as backup solution together with virtual drives to access my vault content.
So… if you do decide to mount a vault as a folder:
- You are NOT linking your vault to cloud storage
- It is essentially a “local” vault, and therefore
- You sacrifice any benefits you feel you get with putting the vault in the cloud.
Benefit of directory folder mount: decrypted contents appear in a standard folder and can therefore be “seen” by backup software
Benefit of cloud mount: Vault exists “offsite” and is therefore protected from computer failure; leverages storage off your hard drive; likely cannot be backed up
To avoid confusion: In context of Cryptomator, the term mount is used when a vault (stored somewhere accessible by your OS) is integrated into the OS. See also Volume Type — Cryptomator 1.7.0 documentation
@Blue_Sky Some of your conclusions are incorrect or you are using the wrong terminology.
- Wrong The storage location determines if a vault is “local” (better call it offline), not the mount point
- Wrong because it is a conclusion of 2.
A “cloud mount” does not exist. In Windows, a vault might be shown as a network drive, but this has technical reasons, the vault is not put on your network. If you have access problems, see Cryptomator on Windows: Accessing your vault with admin priviliges
Edit: @infeo was faster, but I leave my reply here. Maybe it helps.
Cryptomator does not link to any cloud storage. There’s just no connection. Cryptomator does create a local vault with encrypted files in it. That’s it.
IF you want to store this vault online, you have to tell your sync client (eg gdrive, onedrive, iCloud or whatever software does sync your local files with your online storage) that you want it to sync your encrypted, local vault files. You do this by just setting your vault path (where your vault is actually stored local) to a folder that is included into the sync, done by your sync client.
Again: choosing the kind of mountpoint (virtual drive vs folder) does only specify how/where you access your unencrypted files IN your vault in your files app (windows explorer for example).
Nothing you can configure in your cryptomator app does have anything to do with your online storage.
There is no connection between your cryptomator app and your cloud storage. Cryptomator desktop does work independently from any online storage provider.
I think what might help a lot of users is a reasonably non-technical explanation of WHY one would choose to use cloud storage vs a directory folder. If people understand the “why” behind making their decision it helps eliminate questions they may have. Maybe also a list that spells out the pros and cons of each option.
For me, I was choosing a directory/folder option because I want to back up the unencrypted contents and my software cannot see virtual drives.
BTW - let me be quick to add that infeo and Michael’s support and contributions are all very much appreciated!
I try a last time.
You do not choose between them. Your used cloud storage has nothing to do with Cryptomator (Desktop, not mobile). There is no active connection between Cryptomator Desktop and your cloud storage. See my post above.
So there is no “why” in your context.
The reason why users choose between a virtual drive and a folder as mountpoint to access the vault is explained in the link @infeo has posted. In short: If a software cannot “see” the virtual drive its mostly because of different user rights. To mount the vault as a folder often solves this.
OK, I got it.
- Create vault in the cloud
- Lock vault, change mount point to a custom location. Choose a local folder (ie, create a new folder inside Documents).
- Map backup software to back up THAT folder when it’s unlocked/unencrypted
Now the encrypted vault is stored in the cloud AND I can still back up the unencrypted contents (once vault is unlocked) from the local folder.