Storage for photos...

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
jf_tea Senior Member • Posts: 1,466
several large HDDs is a safe and inexpensive choice

Jake2046 wrote:

Anyone knows a good external storage for photos? My laptop is getting pretty full and in need to move all the old photos off of it. I have some WD external drives...and it's all used up. I read it's good idea to just invest in one big external hard drive instead of a few small one. In a long run it saves money....Any suggestion?

These days, large HDDs offer a lot of space for an affordable $/TB cost.

My recommendation is to go for 2 or preferably 3+ HDDs. Their size should be at least twice or thrice the total size of the space used by your pictures.  (Or bigger, it depends on how much you add each year).

Directly attached USB 3+ HDDs are a great balance between good speed, robustness and cost.

Robustness: HDDs are a relatively simple. When we add more components, we add complexity. I cannot suggest a NAS or RAID-4/5/6 : when the NAS or RAID box fails, all your data becomes unreadable until you buy an exact same model of NAS or RAID box. (There are exceptions to that but, I'll let someone else write the technical essay about those exceptions... it will probably be about "soft RAID").

I have 200K+ pictures, mostly RAWs. That's a bit more more than 4TB (my pics are 16mpx only). I use one 10 TB HDD as main storage, and, two 6TB HDDs as first level backups. Then I have backups on smaller drives, which do not contain all the pictures on a single HDD.

A wise choice would be to buy HDDs with at least 2 years warranty, even better if 3 or 5 years.

If you are on MacOS, I suggest to learn to use an app more flexible than Time Machine for backup. You should consider: rsync (my choice for photo backup), Carbon Copy Cloner (I use it) or SuperDuper (recommended by others).

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