How do you backup your data? Is Cloud backup reliable enough today for your image library?

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adfrank New Member • Posts: 6
How do you backup your data? Is Cloud backup reliable enough today for your image library?

I'll be honest -- I did do some online research on this before posting and did in fact find several discussions on this topic on the web. However, much fewer than I expected and most were not very recent, or helpful, or exactly relevant to my specific needs -- so I'll post this here today

It's about backups.

Up until now I have been storing all my digital images on an external hard drive and backing up on another external hard drive. The entire library is currently around 1TB. I have had no issues throughout the years, but I am also fully aware that bad surprises can happen and there are probably two things that I should fix, sooner rather than later, to better protect my data.

Firstly, both drives are physically located in the same place -- in my home. So if my home (knock on wood) were to burn down, or if (still knocking) someone were to break in and take a liking to my hard drives, I'd want to shoot myself. Secondly, I should probably add another backup. In other words, have the images stored in three places rather than two -- the original and two copies.

So-- I have finally come to a point where I'm saying to myself, 'hey bud, look, you've pushed your luck far enough," and I'm determined to get that 2nd off-location backup before the end of the month.

I'm trying to figure out what the best method for me would be --

Option A: storing the 2nd backup on a third physical hard drive and keeping that drive in my office where I work.

Disadvantages: Well, there's the obvious fact that it's not immediately accessible -- meaning I'd have to keep carrying it back and forth every time I want to update the backup, and I'm not expecting to be at the office on weekends and holidays. But another thing that concerns me is that it tends to get super warm in those offices during summer weekends, with the computers running and the building a/c shut-off; much warmer than it ever gets in my apartment. Why is the a/c off at the office with computers running? That's a good question. Well, it's a 38-floor building and apparently it would cost my company a small fortune to have the central a/c on, and they're too cheap to do that, but I digress.

In short: I'm a bit concerned about the conditions at my office, which are not ideal. Mostly the heat. But also, it feels a bit weird to have them there. It's not a small company where everyone knows everyone. It's not family-like atmosphere, like a 2nd home. Rather -- think corporate city. About 150 people with security cards that have access keys to my floor, including a cleaning crew that comes in after-hours and a high employee turnaround. I'm constantly running into people I don't know near the coffee machine. And I don't have an office that can be locked and have no lockable drawers. Chances are highly unlikely someone would pocket my drive, but still...

Option B: storing in the cloud.

Theoretically, this is the ideal option for me. Previewing my images on the cloud is not a huge necessity. I don't think I'll have to navigate through file/folder structure often. I mostly just need a simple cloud backup plan that is trustworthy, not too slow, can reliably detect changes to the source drive and update accordingly, a plan that provides enough storage without breaking the bank, and one that is provided by a company that will most likely still be around in say, 10 years. Disadvantages: Reliability! It's the only thing that's holding me back. I just have a hard time trusting these tech companies, that when the s**t hits the fan, I'll be able to download all my data without hiccups, without any file corruption, or some other royal mess.

One could rightfully argue that physical drives fail too. So maybe it's just my irrational fear of new (new-ish) technology? I'm just not sure how to measure the risk of image files stored in the cloud possibly getting lost or corrupt. Back some years ago I was highly advised to keep away. I know things have improved dramatically since then, but not sure if enough to make my store-drive-in-office idea seem silly.

Would be happy to get some opinions and/or ideas.

If you think cloud storage is the way to go -- I would love to know which cloud service you recommend and why.

Some technical specifics: I am currently an Amazon Prime member. Also, I am not in Apple Land. I use macs often at work and think macs are great, but at home I'm a PC guy : ) I use Google Drive and Dropbox daily, but do not currently pay for larger capacity to neither. I also use the free allowance provided by Microsoft OneDrive, but not as often. Have never tried Amazon's cloud service.

Looking forward to hearing back.


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