Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
jonathanj Contributing Member • Posts: 966
Re: Traveling to China, need to backup my files, any suggestions?

nbirkett wrote:

I'm interested in a similar solution for trips when I don't want to lug along my 13" MacBook Pro. The general ideas suggested here make sense, but the specifics are trickier.

The most interesting option seems to be USB drives that can save directly from sd cards to an SSD or hard drive (e.g. the WD My Passport Wireless series). These aren't cheap (around $200 for a 4TB HDD version) but they have a built-in SD card slot that will copy files automatically to the drive for back-up. No need for a laptop or tablet. This is the approach that I am looking at most closely.

Phone transfers: I use an iPhone. I don't think that an iPhone can transfer from an SD card to a USB drive. The next version of iOS may help make that possible but you would still needed adpaters to connect the SD card and USB drive to the phone. Are Android phones able to do this already and do they make it easy?

What 'tablet' are people talking about? Again, AFIK, ipads can not do that transfer with the current iOS. Are their windows-based tablets that are light and able to do this?

Copying from an SD card directly to another SD card likely would need a computing device to interconnect them. I know that, for some cameras, you could use the second card slot to store a back-up. But, it would still be nice to have a back-up on a separate type of device.

Backing up to the cloud requires an Internet connection. On many trips (e.g. cruises) connectivity can be hard, slow and expensive. You also still need to be able to read the SD cards into a device that will be able to access the Internet.

Another option that I just discovered - on my Nikon D7200, I can have the camera copy all of the images on my main SD card to a back-up SD put into the second card slot. That provides a full back-up and can be done using sd cards, that are light, small and relatively inexpensive. Of course, you need a camera with two card slots and the appropriate software.

If people have specific details on how to do the other methods, could they post the specific hardware/software that would be needed (or that they use)? It would help to more fully understand the options. Thanks.

Bit late but I'll chime in, for short trips I don't bother with backups (if I think I'll take no more than 1 or 2 cards' worth and I'm not going anywhere I haven't been before), but for longer or more special trips I take a WD my passport device. Mine is a few years old and has a 2tb HDD, but newer models have an SSD which is more robust.

the main advantage of the WD device is simplicity , at the end of the day I just put the cards in, one by one, they automatically backup without any need to fiddle with pairing devices or mobile connections. Then I can have a single set of cards (rather than needing to remember which are primaries and which are backups) an keep the device in a different bag for peace of mind. I can do the backups whilst packing my bags or cleaning my teeth, there's no need to sit down and focus on it. The WD my passport also contains a battery that is good for 2 weeks of running backups or multiple cards every night (assuming you're not using it for anything else), so no need even to find another power socket and get the cables out.

I previously tried using my android phone in USB OTG mode and it was a huge pain, I had to spend time every evening getting everything connected, and could never reliably use my phone for anything else at the same time. I also tried a Kingston device that connected any external HDD rather than containing its own memory, but the power was unreliable, I had to dig out the power adapter a few times.

This sounds a bit like an advert so I'll add that the WD My Passport isn't perfect , the android app isn't great and the workflow for editing on the go takes some real planning or you end up duplicating effort. But if, like me, you just want a hassle free backup so you can be confident that you'll get home with every shot you took, the WD device is well worth the money.

Oh, and specifically for China, don't even try to use cloud backups. They'll either be blocked or super slow.

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