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Backing Up Photos

waffles77

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Hi,

Our external hard drive was purchased many years ago and doesn't have any space left.

What do you use for backing up files? Is an external hard drive still the preferred method? I know we could backup to the cloud, but I am not sure how secure that would be.

With all the hacking going on out there, I don't need more personal items hanging out there for some teenager or 'angry with the world group' to get it.

Thanks!
 

Phydeaux

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Buy another external hard drive, larger capacity. They're cheap.
 

tompalm

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You might get by with an flash drive or SD card. 32 GB cards are cheap. But if you need a lot of memory, agree that another external drive is better.
 

JimmieJames

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I purchased a 128 Gb jump drive on sale and keep it in a pouch in my pocked along with an extra key to the van and an extra tooth pick. I don't know which is the most handy LOL

Jim
 

PigsDad

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I use a NAS. Very convenient, accessible to all computers / users in the house, and can be used for much more than just a backup device. You can also make it a "personal cloud" device and have access to your files from your mobile devices, while traveling, etc.

Kurt
 

Bill4728

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The difference between a flash drive of 32 gigs and a external hard drive (likely 1 tera) are huge. The flash drive will fail maybe not for a long time but it will fail the hard drive may fail but could last for 10 or more years. That doesn't even take into account the huge difference in storage size
 

x3 skier

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I use Google Photos. It syncs my photos to all my devices, iPhone, iPads and Desktop while storing the in the cloud. I figure if Google goes kaput or their storage system blows up, it's the end of the world anyway. :D

Cheers
 

artringwald

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External drive prices have come down so much, I bought two. One stays in the safe deposit box. About once a year I swap them. If the house burns down, I'll lose less than a years worth of data. Music important too, since I spent so much time ripping CD's.
 

Elan

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The difference between a flash drive of 32 gigs and a external hard drive (likely 1 tera) are huge. The flash drive will fail maybe not for a long time but it will fail the hard drive may fail but could last for 10 or more years. That doesn't even take into account the huge difference in storage size

I'm curious as to why you think the flash drive will fail?
 

artringwald

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I'm curious as to why you think the flash drive will fail?

Here's an article on storage media lifespan:

https://www.storagecraft.com/blog/data-storage-lifespan/

Summary:
Magnetic data (tapes) 10-20 years
Nintendo cartridge Up to 10 years
Floppy disk 10-20 years
CDs and DVDs 5-10 unrecorded, 2-5 recorded
Blu-Ray Not certain, probably over 2-5 recorded
M-Disc 1,000 years (theoretically)
Hard disk 3-5 years
Flash storage 5-10 years or more (depends on write cycles)
 

SMHarman

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I use a NAS. Very convenient, accessible to all computers / users in the house, and can be used for much more than just a backup device. You can also make it a "personal cloud" device and have access to your files from your mobile devices, while traveling, etc.

Kurt
So do I. With two drives mirrored if one fails I still have a local backup.

Additionally I backup photos to Amazon glacier with free inbuilt software. Huge amount of dslr photos backed up there. 20000+ for $3 a month.
Here's an article on storage media lifespan:

https://www.storagecraft.com/blog/data-storage-lifespan/

Summary:
Magnetic data (tapes)10-20 years
Nintendo cartridgeUp to 10 years
Floppy disk 10-20 years
CDs and DVDs 5-10 unrecorded, 2-5 recorded
Blu-Ray Not certain, probably over 2-5 recorded
M-Disc 1,000 years (theoretically)
Hard disk 3-5 years
Flash storage 5-10 years or more (depends on write cycles)
Those seem low on the silver discs.

I just sliced up 10-15 year old CDs now all is NAS/Glacier stored.

Found some DVDs with disc rot though.
 

MichaelColey

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It's also a good practice to have a second hard drive that you back up to. A combination of hard drives and cloud storage is even better.

Do you really want to risk losing a "lifetime" of photos if a single hard drive crashes? Hard drives DO crash. So many of us only have digital copies of photos anymore.
 

Don

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I guess I'm over protective. Here's what I have:
1 1T external HD that back up on a continual basis.
1 1T ext HD for manual backups.
1 328G solid state HD for the Windows Libraries (My Documents, My Photos, My Music).
When I bought the second 1T drive, I went to get one just like the first. I took the empty sample to the counter, a floor clerk had to get it from the back, I paid for it. When I got home, I found out that I was given the wireless model (almost $100 more expensive).

I don't trust "the cloud".
 

pittle

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I like SmugMug for pictures.

I use Carbonite for our church computer because it backs up continuously.

We also have several portable hard drives that we back up to - each of us has a Terabyte one that we keep near our laptops to back up on Friday afternoon. Each month we do a Mirror Image on a 2 Terabyte one that we keep in a fire-proof safe. We always make a Mirror Image before leaving on vacation with our laptops.

We have always backed up our data, but when I became the volunteer church administrator for records and financials, it became imperative. This past year we did purchase a dedicated laptop for all the church information and chose to use Carbonite so that we knew for sure it was backed up. Whenever we do hire someone to do this job, it will already be set up to back up and we will not lose data if/when the computer crashes. Everyone is not great at backing up.
 

Elan

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Here's an article on storage media lifespan:

https://www.storagecraft.com/blog/data-storage-lifespan/

Summary:
Magnetic data (tapes) 10-20 years
Nintendo cartridge Up to 10 years
Floppy disk 10-20 years
CDs and DVDs 5-10 unrecorded, 2-5 recorded
Blu-Ray Not certain, probably over 2-5 recorded
M-Disc 1,000 years (theoretically)
Hard disk 3-5 years
Flash storage 5-10 years or more (depends on write cycles)

The reason flash memory "wears out" is due to the oxide degradation that takes place as electrons tunnel during write and erase cycles. Given that we're talking about backing up data here, write cycles (to the same address) should be minimal. Effectively, the flash is serving as a "write once, read many" memory in this application, which is very low stress.
 

Kburns3761

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The Wall Street Journal recommended a cloud backup company called Code42. Software is called CrashPlan. It actually reaches down to your computer every 15 minutes (when computer is connected to internet) and backs up any new files. There's an app too. You have access to all of your files from any app or browser. In addition to being a good backup solution, access from anywhere is very handy.
 
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