Online data storage

It’s been a while since I looked into this, and while my family Apple ecosystem utilises iCloud storage (2TB shared) for ease of iDevice backups I have long wanted a higher capacity secure online storage solution to supplement dozens of external drives several of which are copies of copies.

Having lost some digital photos many years ago on a PC due to drive failure before I managed to make a backup copy I have been rather fussy about keeping multiple copies but still haven’t opted to keep copies off-site in case of fire/theft etc.

It would be lovely to have a much higher capacity expandable secure automatically backed up (by the provider) online repository, though being on ADSL it will take an age to upload stuff currently.

Several years since I checked solutions available but they were expensive and probably never had the capacity required, at least not affordably for a consumer rather than a business.

Has anyone used Amazon’s unlimited photo storage which I believe will preserve original RAW files? For some reason my Amazon account seems a bit confused as if I try to use it I’m re-directed to the US site.

Perhaps no one really uses these services much?

A friend uses Backblaze and rates it highly. AIUI unlimited storage for USD70pa. I have never used it (I too have 2TB with iCloud), as my upload speeds are not great. ~8mbps via FTTC and a similar amount via Starlink.

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Looked at Backblaze and a few other solutions a few years ago, that price looks very good, thanks.

Like you my upload speed which is around 20 Mbps will be rate limiting but I’m hoping for better than 80/20 in coming months.

I use Carbonite cloud backup, which works well, with a few caveats.

  1. The home edition doesn’t support video files (only an issue for me with a small number of wildlife camera files)
  2. NAS drives are supported either, which means a manual backup of my music directory to a local machine, so it will archive (not exactly convenient but it works)
  3. There is a default file size limit of 4G that related to 3 above prevents zipping my music into a single file for backup.

I have FFTH connection, with a 300Mbit upload, so no issues there

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I think I looked at Carbonite in the past as well.

Looking at Backblaze’s personal solution it looks as though it’s unlimited uploads of all data on a computer as well as attached drives for $70 per annum but looks potentially too automatic for me - I’d probably want to manually choose what to upload from several computers - Backblaze’s B2 system might work better at $5/TB/month though downloading if ever needed would be charged.

I would not consider any cloud system as a main backup and would naturally keep local copies of data, it’s just that with so many smaller drives of content needing to be sorted, decluttered and amalgamated even high capacity physical drives might be an issue, it would takes ages to copy these if ever I had to, plus they would ultimately be prone to failure!

I use Livedrive. It’s cheap and you can pay a little extra to backup a NAS.

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Thanks Chris-T, another good option to look at.

As much as I dislike cloud based things more generally, I think ultimately it will be more robust than relying on physical devices which may fail - better to leave the redundancy to professional/experts who can do it better and cheaper than a user could themselves.

Aside from capacity and ease of use it is worth looking at the service provider’s retention period when thinking of backups. Backblaze has a default of 30 days after which the item backed up will be deleted if no longer present of the source harddrive. They offer longer retention periods at an extra cost.

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I used Backblaze briefly after another company suddenly ceased doing anything but business backups and they recommended them. I wasn’t too happy and I would urge anyone considering them to read an article I found. I understand I cannot give a link so I suggest you search for “Backblaze one year review: 70% data loss” which will find the article via Google. I hope this is allowed here.

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Interesting read, they do appear to have had issues. I have restored one of my Macs following a hd fail via backblaze with success so the service has worked for me when needed.

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