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How do you backup your photos?


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#1 moeburn

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 21:21

I've got a ton of digital photos, going all the way back to before digital cameras where many of them are film scans.  I also seem to go through a lot of external hard drives; it just takes sliding off a desk or tripping over the usb cable, and a 5 foot drop to a hardwood floor seems to be enough to kill them.  It's happened to every brand and type that I've owned, from cheap little 2.5" HDs in plastic cases to hefty 3.5" drives in metal cases to proper enclosures and HD's bought separately.  

 

So I want to keep all these photos safe, but just keeping them on a single giant hard drive is not a bright idea. So it seems that my options are:

  • 1 - Pay for a yearly backup service, where they will have all the proper infrastructure to practically guarantee my files integrity, but without knowing if the service will still be there 5-10 years down the road, and knowing that it will take over a month to complete the backup on my 100kB/s upload speed.
  • 2 - Get a nice RAID NAS backup drive, although I've owned one before, a Seagate Blackarmor 220, and it was notoriously difficult to set up, use, it would be randomly fast or slow depending on the weather/its mood, and then it eventually just stopped working altogether.  The problem with RAID NAS's is that they tend to be geared for business/productivity use, with user management and authentication software built in, stuff that I don't need or want getting in my way.
  • 3 - Get a *pair* of external drives and do the "manual RAID" thing, where I use one drive as my regular backup drive, and once a month I clone that drive to its identical twin.  That way if when I break one, I still have the other sitting safely in a drawer, missing at most a month's worth of photos.

Does anyone have any better solutions?  How do you keep your precious personal files safe and backed up?  

 

 




#2 zhangm

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 21:36

I'd recommend a service that includes automated sync, given that your hardware failure rate makes it a more cost-effective solution. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Dropbox cloud solutions are more reliable than physical storage solutions that you might purchase, and are not going to disappear in the foreseeable future, barring large-scale catastrophes like a solar flare that roasts us all.

#3 InsaneNutter

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 21:39

This is how i keep my parents photos backed up at the moment:

 

Backup 1 - Automatically to Windows Home Server

Backup 2 - Automatically to another internal drive in their computer

Backup 3 - Manual to an external usb drive every couple of months

 

Future Backup - Possibly to Dropbox or Windows Azure to have an offsite backup.

 

I wouldn't personally use these two bay raid 1 nas devices for backups, if the file got corrupted on one drive, it would be corrupted on the other drive too. Your better having a separate copy of the data on two separate drives in my opinion.



#4 OP moeburn

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 21:53

I'd recommend a service that includes automated sync, given that your hardware failure rate makes it a more cost-effective solution. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Dropbox cloud solutions are more reliable than physical storage solutions that you might purchase, and are not going to disappear in the foreseeable future, barring large-scale catastrophes like a solar flare that roasts us all.

 

Alright, but if I was going to use one of those, it would take over a month on my connection.  They would have to have some sort of program that can automatically resume syncing from where it left off, even after a reboot or power failure, or if I need to manually pause it because using up my upload cripples my download bandwidth, and I do like to watch Netflix from time to time.  

 

I've used SkyDrive before, but I don't like it, because it doesn't give me enough information (no speed, no time remaining, and when I used it, it didn't even have the green checkmarks to tell you which files had finished copying), and because to my knowledge, there was no manual pause button.  I've also used Google Drive before, and all I could find was their in-browser web app to manually upload files, but again no speed or time remaining info, just a % progress bar, and no pause/resume, I couldn't even close the browser until it finished.  If there's a better way to use either of these, I'd be glad to hear it!

 

Thanks for your replies!



#5 Thrackerzod

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 21:54

I keep all my family photos and old home movies backed up on various formats, moving to newer ones as they become available. At the moment I have copies on my 2TB external hard drive which I use for regular access, backup copies on Type 1 DVD-RAM cartridges and a backup of everything stored away on an  LTO-2 tape cartridge. I also still have copies I made years ago on a 3.5" Magneto Optical disc stored in a fireproof safe at another location (which is very important).

 

I'll probably upload the photos to an online server also at some point. It all sounds a bit overkill and probably is but this stuff is irreplaceable and priceless. I think BD-R (but not the cheap LTH type that uses dye) are probably a good option too; they should be more reliable over the long term than dye based DVD-Rs.



#6 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 22:04

I do not have a Dedicated Camera so all of the photos that I take are automatically uploaded to OneDrive from my Phone. 



#7 zhangm

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 22:04

Alright, but if I was going to use one of those, it would take over a month on my connection.  They would have to have some sort of program that can automatically resume syncing from where it left off, even after a reboot or power failure, or if I need to manually pause it because using up my upload cripples my download bandwidth, and I do like to watch Netflix from time to time.  

 

I've only used Skydrive, and only recently in 8; the baked-in app has a pause switch and progress in the taskbar tooltip (latest version), and has handled discontinuous syncing well since the 8.1 update. I'd expect others like Dropbox to have similar capabilities.



#8 T3X4S

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 01:17

$25/yr 60GB OneDrive for my parents' stuff

$20/yr 50GB OneDrive for my pics - simple and clean.



#9 lunamonkey

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 01:24

I got a 50GB Box account when they were giving them away free. Flickr Free is now also unlimited, but you have to sync manually. Phone pictures go straight to Sky/OneDrive.

 

PS: If anyone can genuinely make use of a free 50GB box account, let me know as it says I can invite 2 people by adding their emails.



#10 Skiver

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:15

I thought Flickr was 1TB of storage to be honest but still it's quite a bit to fill up but as mentioned it's a manual sync process and getting them downloaded again I believe is very manual so a bit tedious for large amounts of photos.

 

Mega.nz offers 50GB free and has a desktop (auto sync) and mobile app.



#11 DocM

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 05:52

Media server + 25TB RAID6 and multi-redundant 1TB cloud photo/document backups.

#12 JHBrown

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 07:44

I use the old school method, DVDs. Every DVD with photos has exactly two copies as a safety net. Why do I use DVDs? I've never once had one fail on me. I have pictures dating back 18 years on CDRWs. On the other hand, multiple hard drives and externals have failed me. I also have a few Gigs stored in the cloud.

#13 Hum

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:04

Multiple copy DVDs. Offsite bank storage -- $20 a year.

#14 barryherne

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 13:10

I would use the first method and choose a year backup program. In fact, I have alredy done in such a way and I am using Acronis at the moment. I don't have much data to keep in the cloud, but i do keep them mostly photos and some personal data.



#15 tbarnett

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 13:32

I'm so paranoid about losing my photos and videos that I use multiple methods:

 

Backup to DVD/Blu-Ray discs

Box.com - There used to be a good sync tool but it no longer works, so anything new for the past year has not been backed up to Box.com

Backup to external HD - When I travel to see the family in another state, I take my External HD and copy pics/vids to my relative's external HD

BitTorrent Sync - Backup to another computer (a different relative) in another state