If you are like me and have a ton of archived digital photos and videos – you are going to want to ensure you have a good backup. I currently have over 250gb of media files that date back to my first digital camera in 2002. Unfortunately, I have met dozens of people that have lost their entire photo libraries from computer crashes, theft and many who have relied solely on keeping photos on their phone only to have lost it or dropped it in the toilet.
I have always backed up my important files to external hard drives on a regular basis – but what it is difficult is to always ensure they are kept in different physical spaces to avoid a catastrophe, ie fire, flood, theft, etc. Many cloud solutions can get expensive quickly – ie DropBox, even if you use iCloud you will have to pay eventually if you use more than their free limits allow. You also have to be wary of privacy implications if you are using a free solution – remember if you don’t pay for a product – you are the product.
There has been an explosion of cloud backup providers in the past couple of years. Just visit www.top10cloudstorage.com to get a review of some of the biggest players in the market. Many of these services are quite good and offer unlimited free storage for personal accounts – read the reviews if you decide to go with one of these.
The solution I am using is through Amazon’s Glacier Cloud Storage and a program called FastGlacier. I have zipped (and encrypted) my photos by year, then use FastGlacier to upload to Amazon. It takes a day or two to upload each file (some are 20gb+) but once there I know they are safe. Glacier is not a typical cloud storage service – it is not made to regularly upload/download/sync but to store a large amount of data you don’t need regular access to. When you want to download a file you have to request it which takes up to 4 hours before it is available for download – not a big deal since hopefully I won’t need to restore these files. The pricing is best in industry at 1 cent per Gigabyte per month. The FastGlacier program gives you an easy to use interface to upload files, the paid version will work even better to maximize your upload speeds.
For backups of my regular business files and files that I access often, I continue use DropBox, external harddrives to backup (at different physical locations) and have recently setup BitTorrent Sync for my own private cloud. I’ll talk more about this in upcoming blog posts.
Remember: Back-up often!