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
ifwhen 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?