Forum Thread

Best in Home Backup Hard Drive/Cloud

fbskiracer 2,395 73 June 9, 2016 at 09:48 AM
I am looking for a new in home backup solution now that we started to have several of GB of pictures of our daughter. I have an older 1TB drive, but I need more space and an easier backup solution.

Since I have moved onto a MS Surface, I only have 256GB actively and 1 USB port (unless I use a hub) to condense and clean/empty my old backup drive.

I would prefer a wireless solution that we can use from multiple PCs/mobile devices.

I am looking for the recommendations on what to use for 2-4TB storage option.

FWIW I use actively google drive and have used 15 of 17GB.

11 Comments

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#2
How much do you want to spend? There are external hard drives, networked hard drives and full blown NAS solutions. However, keep in mind that these days, ANYTHING, that can be accessed over the LAN without a password can be encrypted by many of the variants of CrytoLocker that are aggressively trying to get into systems via drive-by downloads and emails. This means that if one of your systems gets hit, and has access to the backup folder, then the backups will get encrypted also. Frown So you want to keep some backups offline and/or offsite.

If you don't think you want offsite backups, I'll ask you what I ask my clients. What would you do if the building burned down? Would you lose any data that could never be replaced? EEK!
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#3
I'm looking o spend ~300ish unless there is a reason to spend more.

My most likely mode of failure is not backing up due to difficulty doing so (now I do it every couple of months at best) or hardware failure (last laptop HDD failed).

This is a personal solution. I get the risk of hackers and fire, but the odds that my 2 PCs, phones, and backup would be lost at once is small (or so I hope). Most things are on multiple devices/locations now.
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#4
Quote from HarryH3 View Post :
How much do you want to spend? There are external hard drives, networked hard drives and full blown NAS solutions. However, keep in mind that these days, ANYTHING, that can be accessed over the LAN without a password can be encrypted by many of the variants of CrytoLocker that are aggressively trying to get into systems via drive-by downloads and emails. This means that if one of your systems gets hit, and has access to the backup folder, then the backups will get encrypted also. Frown So you want to keep some backups offline and/or offsite.

If you don't think you want offsite backups, I'll ask you what I ask my clients. What would you do if the building burned down? Would you lose any data that could never be replaced? EEK!
wouldn't that only apply if the backup networked folder were locally mapped?

Anyway I suggest a NAS for the OP. Canned package, easy to use, expandable easily, etc. I have an old NG ReadyNas and just got a Synology last December. Frankly I was ticked with the poor interface and support of the RN (even though it still works) so I got a Synology as an SD. The tough part will be keeping under OP's price limit as the NAS will be $200+ and then you have to buy the drives, which will be $100-$150/ea depending on the size and quality. But, it should be a much longer-term solution.
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#5
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
wouldn't that only apply if the backup networked folder were locally mapped?
Not any more. The latest Crypto variants scan the network for any available shares. If they're writable, they get encrypted.
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#6
on the cloud front stay away from pogoplug
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#7
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
wouldn't that only apply if the backup networked folder were locally mapped?

Anyway I suggest a NAS for the OP. Canned package, easy to use, expandable easily, etc. I have an old NG ReadyNas and just got a Synology last December. Frankly I was ticked with the poor interface and support of the RN (even though it still works) so I got a Synology as an SD. The tough part will be keeping under OP's price limit as the NAS will be $200+ and then you have to buy the drives, which will be $100-$150/ea depending on the size and quality. But, it should be a much longer-term solution.
Iagree

A NAS may be a bit overkill, but something like the WD MyCloud external drives may be more appropriate. There's no redundancy like you would have with a Synology, but the price point is right.

On the other hand, a Synology DS2xx plus a single 3-4 TB WD Red can be had for about $300, keeping it within the OP's budget. It also gives the ability to add a second drive to the RAID for redundancy, as well as upgrade the drive sizes over time. I find the Synology interface to be quite nice, though there are still a lot of features that I'm probably missing. I was able to get a cloud sync setup for my desktop and smartphone going in 5 or 10 minutes.
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#8
Quote from fbskiracer View Post :
I'm looking o spend ~300ish unless there is a reason to spend more.

My most likely mode of failure is not backing up due to difficulty doing so (now I do it every couple of months at best) or hardware failure (last laptop HDD failed).

This is a personal solution. I get the risk of hackers and fire, but the odds that my 2 PCs, phones, and backup would be lost at once is small (or so I hope). Most things are on multiple devices/locations now.
Don't overestimate the importance of backups, especially for pictures that you won't be able to get back. A fire in your house could very well take down your 2 PCs and backup together, and I doubt you keep a copy of every single picture on your phone (I know my phone doesn't have enough space!). Pictures are some of the easiest to backup offsite since they don't change; you only add more and more them. Keep copies on your phone, computer, and NAS and once per quarter copy them to a hard drive or DVD and move that offsite.
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#9
Whatever else you do, sign up for Google Photos and install the app on all your devices. You'll get automatic, free, and unlimited photo backup from all your devices, all your pictures will be accessible on any device through an app, there are very simple search, share, and album functions - I can recommend it very highly - it's a game changer.

https://www.google.com/photos/about/
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#10
Quote from fbskiracer View Post :
I'm looking o spend ~300ish unless there is a reason to spend more.

My most likely mode of failure is not backing up due to difficulty doing so (now I do it every couple of months at best) or hardware failure (last laptop HDD failed).

This is a personal solution. I get the risk of hackers and fire, but the odds that my 2 PCs, phones, and backup would be lost at once is small (or so I hope). Most things are on multiple devices/locations now.
Quote from mmathis View Post :
Don't overestimate the importance of backups, especially for pictures that you won't be able to get back. A fire in your house could very well take down your 2 PCs and backup together, and I doubt you keep a copy of every single picture on your phone (I know my phone doesn't have enough space!). Pictures are some of the easiest to backup offsite since they don't change; you only add more and more them. Keep copies on your phone, computer, and NAS and once per quarter copy them to a hard drive or DVD and move that offsite.
I completely agree, it's naive of the OP to think that a event will never happen to them to cause problems with both computers. It only takes one lightning strike to damage all the electronics in the entire house, one thief to break in, one fire, flood, tornado, etc. Chances are good that both computers are not truly in sync so it only takes one event once, on one computer, to loose data. An plugged in external hard drive of sorts at home that always turned on is not a perfect answer either as it's susceptible to the now very prevalent crypto viruses and malware. It is good for hard drive failure, or a single computer failure, but only if your using a program to automate the backup. Having an offline (not running) backup or one with versioning is key. OP also mentions they are bad at doing "manual" backups on a regular basis. This is what cloud based backups excel at because as long as your PC is on and has an internet connection it's backing up.

Many cloud backup programs have a family like plan and unlimited storage so 2 PC's are not an issue.

Quote from carmen617 View Post :
Whatever else you do, sign up for Google Photos and install the app on all your devices. You'll get automatic, free, and unlimited photo backup from all your devices, all your pictures will be accessible on any device through an app, there are very simple search, share, and album functions - I can recommend it very highly - it's a game changer.

https://www.google.com/photos/about/
This is a great suggestion for photos for the mobile devices. I recently had it save my VP of Sales when the SD card in their phone died. It had 100% of his photos backed up. OP may have to buy some space if they have a ton of photos on their phone but it's quite cheap.

I am a photographer and it's not uncommon that I go to an even over the weekend and shoot 40gb of RAW photos in an afternoon, so google isn't the answer for all of my photos but I use it for my phone.
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Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
#11
If you have amazon prime you already pay for unlimited photo backup.
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#12
Quote from jeneaston View Post :
If you have amazon prime you already pay for unlimited photo backup.
Best? Go with a Synology. Last year I picked up a 2x3tb model (drives are mirrored for redundancy) for $330. We use it for kids photo backup (also auto backing up from there to Amazon cloud), system backups and streaming our movie library. The interface is super easy and versatile.
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