Where Do You Keep Your Gigabytes?

By  |  Monday, August 10, 2009 at 11:02 am

Drive In the CloudI’ve contributed another guest post over at WePC.com–this one’s on the question of backup and storage, and whether you want to keep your data in your home or on a remote server. (Actually, I think the answer is clearly “both, for at least your most important stuff,” but I’d be skirting the truth if I told you I’m doing a very good job of backing up files to the cloud, where they’ll be safe and sound even earthquake, mudslide, wildfire, or attacks by rabid OS/2 holdouts put my local backups at risk.)

Anyhow, I called my post “PC Storage: Your Desk vs. the Cloud.” Check it out, and lemme know what your personal desk/cloud storage strategy is…especially if you’ve found a remote backup service you love.


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14 Comments For This Post

  1. Bouke Timbermont Says:

    I only back up to an external HDD at home. But since ISP’s here (Belgium) are just a bunch of thieves, you’ll have a hard time to find anybody here that backs up to the cloud: it’s almost impossible to find an unlimited data-plan, unless you pay 125€/month or more: the two main ISP’s (they have about a 95% market share) their mainstream plans (30-50€/month) only offer a 20-30 GB down/upload. Luckily transfer-speeds are ok…

    So yeah: only at home 🙂

  2. dave Says:

    I backup to my local NAS – a 2-drive unit using 3 disk drives. One drive is the backup and the second drive is a secondary backup (copy of the first drive) – manually done at regular intervals. The third drive is periodically swapped for the second drive – so I have an offline backup on the shelf (kept in a waterproof/fireproof container).
    I don’t trust the “cloud”. I don’t want to pay (forever) for storing on the cloud. I think decent internet service is relatively expensive in the US (compared to the rest of the world) and I don’t want to pay high rates for a high-bandwidth connection to the cloud to do the backup in a reasonable period of time.

  3. tom b Says:

    External Firewire HD. G-Tech. I’d LIKE to back up to “the cloud”, but internet services don’t last long; I want my data to outlast ME. And my Time Warner cable, though it has fairly tolerable download speed, has awful upload speed. I can’t imagine uploading, say, 80 gig.

  4. drew Says:

    I used to use CDs and flash drives (I have a collection from 64MB all the way to 4GB) but it was a pain keeping track of which drive held what. This summer I reimaged my machine (Vista) and sat down to sort all the various drives I had, along with terrible labels (all stuff 4-05, or important-2005). I simply copied everything to an external drive, and started to sort through it.

    I had about 200GB total, and there was tons of duplication. I was very bad at making a folder call “3-5-06” and then dumping everything into it to sort later. Now that later came, I had 10-15 copies of the same thing spread across a number of flash drives and CDs.

    Once I cleaned up, I got it down to a managable 24GB. I teach high school, and I use a lot of ppts for my lessons. When I started a lesson (say intro to WWII) I would have a file WWII.1.ppt, then WWII.2.ppt as I made changes. I would end up with a WWII.final.ppt, but I often would not delete the various versions before it. I was just wasting tons of space.

    I have rethought my entire directory structure, and have gone through and dump a lot of stuff I simply did not need. As an example, I teach a AP Human Geography class, so I have a folder that says APHG, and then within each a chapter subject (population, religion, culture) and then I organize the files by type (doc, ppt, xls, etc)

    Now I backup to two different external USB drives, and take one of them to work with me to back up stuff there. I will keep things on the flash drives, but I still one want one place that is the standard.

    Since I use Office 2007 at work, I have started using officelive.com to share files between home and work. I guess I am using that as a sort of on-line backup, but I don’t think I have more than a 50MB of files up there yet.

    My directory organization is still a work in progress, but I was shocked at how poorly I had thought out (or had not thought out, to be accurate) my directory structure. I was also shocked at how much useless or outdated info I had copied from drive to drive over the years. (now why did I keep that, and why did I think it was important in 2006?)


  5. Dave Barnes Says:

    1. SuperDuper! to an external FireWire drive.
    2. Time Machine to the same drive.
    3. QuickBooks, 1Password, NowX data to my local ISP. About 100MB.
    4. No cloud backup of other data, including 100+GB of FLAC files. Tried Backblaze (twice) and thought it sucked. I just don’t see how cloud backup is going to work for 100s of GB.

  6. Peter Yared Says:

    At home, I use JungleDisk to Amazon S3.
    At word, we use Egnyte as our file server so it is always hosted.

  7. Mick Hamblen Says:

    I use hard drives like zip drives for my Japanese Animation collection. Keep them in Wiebetech Driveboxes. Pop them into a Thermaltake Blacx to watch a move files to keep them in alphabetical order.

  8. Seumas Says:

    I keep some vital stuff securely encrypted and stored on my server sitting at the co-lo in addition to my local copies and copies on a 16gb thumb drive that I can grab in a second if the place is ever on fire.

    However, the rest of my stuff takes up too much space to reasonably back up remotely. I have a walk-in closet in which I have about fifteen terabytes of data sitting on hard drives stacked on a shelf. Some of them on large new drives and some several years old sitting on as small as an 80gb drive. I’m looking forward to 2.5 terabyte drives coming out and dropping below a hundred bucks each so I can buy a dozen of them and consolidate all of my data.

  9. Jason Anderson Says:

    500GB in my laptop. Then two daily exact clones automatic across the network to a server. And a Time Machine.

  10. Seumas Says:

    With a time machine, who needs to back up? You can just travel back in time to when you had it.

    Oh, wait . . .

  11. George Brickner Says:

    I use four backup options:
    I do weekly backups of certain critical files (documents, photos, music) to DVD.
    I backup a number of folders to Amazon’s S3 storage via JungleDisk almost daily (up to six times per week).
    I have an old computer running FreeNAS where I back up important folders several times a week.
    Since I run a Mac, Time Machine backs up modified and new files to an external disk drive.

  12. Andy Says:

    Want to learn a new way to backup the data to S3? Try CloudBerry Backup. It is powered by Amazon S3 reliable and cost efficient storage. If you want to take part in beta sign up on the website http://cloudberrydrive.com What safer place to keep your files than Amazon’s servers?

  13. Stilgar Says:

    I have RAID 1 for my desktop machine. Also, inside my computer an an “extra” drive that I do backups to. My employer is very free about what they let us do with our machines at work, so I have another “extra” drive stuck in my computer at work that is a giant TrueCrypt partition. I can VPN into work and then I sync my extra backup drive at home with my extra drive at work. Having looked into solutions a bit, if I wasn’t able to do my off-site backups to my work machine, I’d fork out for Carbonite.com.

  14. colton Says:

    I use egnyte and think its solution tops the list of cloud computing options.