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TOPIC: Low cost offsite backup

Low cost offsite backup 9 months 1 week ago #6538

  • Luke
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I have been using this system for a while now and it seems to be working well for me, hopefully it might be of use to one of you or if you see any major flaws in the system please let me know so I can try and fix them and obviously this doesn’t work so well if you have large volumes of photos each week.

The whole idea of backing up you photos is to eliminate a single point of failure, ie one thing that can go wrong that means you lose all your photos. This is why many of us will keep second or even third copys of our photos on secondary or external hard drives. Where many of us fail is that we keep all of these hard drives in the same place, so while I may have a copy on my computer and a copy on external hard drives I still have a single point of failure, ie the house. A fire, flood or theft means that I could lose all of them in one incident and while insurance may pay for the replacement equipment it won’t replace the photos.

Now there are a wide range of online services that allow you to backup your photos to the cloud but they can be expensive long term, particularly if you have lots of photos, even lower cost solutions like Amazon Glacier or Google drive can work out at €10 per TB per month.

Now this part requires a friend you can trust. On Amazon you can get 3 TB external hard drives for under $100 USD / €100 euro (that is about the cost of 1TB cloud storage for a year). Once you have your hard drive, load all of your current photos onto your hard drive and then exchange it with your friend so that you have their backup and they have yours.

Now you need to keep the offsite hard drive up to date, to do this we use free cloud storage, you can get 2GB free with dropbox, if you have the adobe photographers bundle you get 2GB (20Gb if you have the full package). When you have taken some new photographs, edit and back them up locally as you would have done normally and then upload a copy to whatever file share / cloud service you have chosen, personally I use dropbox because it is very easy to share a link to an entire folder. Send this link to your friend and ask them to download the new files to the hard drive, for the time between when you upload and when they download drop box acts as the offsite backup. Once they have downloaded the photos you can delete them from the cloud service ready for the next time.

I know it is far from the perfect system but it does add a bit more peace of mind knowing there is an extra copy and it is relatively low cost particularly in the long term.
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Low cost offsite backup 9 months 1 week ago #6539

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