Author Topic: Digital media backup systems?  (Read 9241 times)

jjcamembert

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Digital media backup systems?
« on: April 24, 2016, 03:34:19 PM »
I'm looking for a cost-effective solution for digital media backup: mostly pictures and music, about 50GB right now.

I was using an old computer but the issue was we never turned it on, and didn't want to leave it running due to energy consumption. This also meant that we never accessed our archives since it was a pain to do so. That computer is having trouble booting now so I just rescued the data and am looking for something more reliable and accessible.

I'm a technical guy, so a DIY solution is an option (e.g. Raspberry Pi NAS). Ideally I would like a cloud/offsite backup capability as well. Anyone using any cheap/free cloud services for backup? Seeing that an average Network Access Storage (NAS) would cost a lot upfront, is paying for cloud worthwhile? We already use Google Drive for most of our documents.

Thanks for your ideas!

bobechs

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 03:46:47 PM »
Thumb drive.

Two for redundancy.

Three for tridundancy.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 07:56:51 AM »
I repurposed my old computer, installed Linux and BTSync, set up an automatic incremental backup script, and let it sit and chug away.

Occasionally (a couple times per year) we copy a snapshot to a USB hard drive that we keep in a fireproof safe.

Offsite backups are a Good Thing.  At some point, I'd love to set up a tiny (low power) machine at my parents' house with a similar setup.

If you're concerned about power consumption, you can use an old laptop as a backup machine/file server.

VaCPA

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 08:08:29 AM »
I'm a technical guy, so a DIY solution is an option (e.g. Raspberry Pi NAS). Ideally I would like a cloud/offsite backup capability as well. Anyone using any cheap/free cloud services for backup? Seeing that an average Network Access Storage (NAS) would cost a lot upfront, is paying for cloud worthwhile? We already use Google Drive for most of our documents.

Thanks for your ideas!

I back up my documents and kids pictures on Google Drive. Their interface is fantastic and it's helpful I already use Google services like gmail. I actually recently backed my kids pictures up on Mediafire too, to have it stored in 2 separate cloud locations. They were the cheapest cloud service I found, although the upload/download speed seems much slower compared to Drive but I don't care because I just wanted a really cheap secondary backup option. I think I paid something like $40-50 for a whole year.

GuitarStv

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 08:30:22 AM »
50 GB of media is just not that important.  You are storing junk in there.

Take all your pictures, start throwing out the unimportant ones until you get down to the size of a DVD.  Burn a DVD of those pictures.  Do the same with your music.

Every five years or so, update your backup disks.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 10:44:06 AM »
50 GB of media is just not that important.  You are storing junk in there.

Take all your pictures, start throwing out the unimportant ones until you get down to the size of a DVD.  Burn a DVD of those pictures.  Do the same with your music.

Every five years or so, update your backup disks.

DVD isn't particularly great for archiving. Whatever you do, don't write on the disk with a Sharpie.

I'd say keep duplicates in case of hardware failure, and cloud for off-site. 50GB isn't all that much though. If you have Amazon Prime I think you get unlimited photo backup with your membership. Google Drive and Dropbox have pretty high free limits too.

It should go without saying, but don't upload your naughty photos to the cloud. And if you do, for the love of god, use two-factor authentication AND a strong, unique password.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 11:56:49 AM by NoStacheOhio »

Spork

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 11:16:04 AM »
If you don't want to keep it running all the time... could you just use wake-on-LAN to wake it up prior to backup and/or use?

Or use a green disk that spins down when not in use.  A raspberry pi doesn't pull much power even always-on.  If the disk spins down, it's not going to be much.

meerkat

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 11:24:23 AM »
Whatever you do, don't write on the disk with a Sharpie.

Why?

infogoon

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 11:26:24 AM »
I'm not personally affiliated with Code42. That said, I've rolled out their Crashplan desktop backup software in an enterprise environment, and it is absolutely awesome. If you're looking for cloud backup for personal data, I cannot recommend them highly enough.

BDWW

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2016, 11:36:35 AM »
I've been pretty happy with NetGear ReadyNas. I've got a 102 at home (looks like a 2 x 1TB on Amazon is  $264 right now) with 2x3TB set up in RAID 10.

Was happy enough with it that when we looked at replacing our smb/nfs server at work, I bought a rackmount version.


RWD

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2016, 11:48:17 AM »
Thumb drive.

Two for redundancy.

Three for tridundancy.

This is a good plan for only 50 GB. A 64 GB USB drive is about $15. Buy two, back up data, store one offsite.

Alternatively go with cloud storage which is pretty cheap for that amount of data.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2016, 11:55:33 AM »
Whatever you do, don't write on the disk with a Sharpie.

Why?

Solvents in the ink can damage the data on the disk. You can either use a marker specifically for optical disks, or write on the inside spindle part (the clear bit) with a regular permanent marker.

FLBiker

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2016, 12:01:23 PM »
I use Google photos for my pics (free), and a combination of mozy (free) and dropbox (free) for docs.  I don't bother with anything else (movies / music / etc.).

HipGnosis

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2016, 01:16:28 PM »
50 GB of media is just not that important.  You are storing junk in there.
The amount of the data has absolutely no relevance to how important it is.  I have no idea where you're coming from with this. 

I bought a HD*-to-USB adapter and use the HD from my previous PC for backups.
* - it use to be IDE, now it's SATA.
I do not, will not, store any personal data on the cloud since I have no control over who might access it and I don't trust that I can always access it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2016, 01:42:20 PM »
50 GB of media is just not that important.  You are storing junk in there.
The amount of the data has absolutely no relevance to how important it is.  I have no idea where you're coming from with this. 

I'm coming from observations of most of the people in my life.

You can afford a digital camera now.  Probably a really nice one.  That means millions of millions of pictures, because getting a great shot of something is much more important than enjoying the view.  Of course, you never know when that great shot is going to come . . . so you take a couple hundred photos before and after you think it's coming.  And what the fuck right?  It's not like film costs anything any more.  And then a couple hundred more pics just to be sure.  Then they all get dumped on to the computer.  Usually the pile of photos gets so big that it's too daunting to go back and sort through to pick out the good ones.  So into posterity forever they go, quadruple backed up.

Gah.

Somehow people got by just fine in the 80s with one or two photo albums that they never looked at.  Now we need to spend money hosting terabytes of precious moments that nobody gives a shit about.

VaCPA

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2016, 02:04:31 PM »
Gah.

Somehow people got by just fine in the 80s with one or two photo albums that they never looked at.  Now we need to spend money hosting terabytes of precious moments that nobody gives a shit about.

I don't know, I'd love to have more pics from the 80s when I was very little and my grandpa was still alive. I only have a couple of us together. I probably save way too many picture of my kids. It's mostly due to not having the time to go through and delete some. Maybe at some point I'll do it but until then I'm definitely erring on the side of saving too many pictures than too little. In the digital age it is incredibly cheap and easy to do it

acroy

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2016, 02:05:46 PM »
For 50gb the thumbdrive is hard to beat.
Set a reminder on your calendar to update them every now and then.

I have about 300gb of stuff I want to save (3 generations of family pictures, yes we do enjoy looking at them, on the 90" projector screen, as a family, on occasional dark cold winter evenings!)

My solution is:
2 drives in the desktop: one 'main' and one 2tb set up just to backup the 'main'
1 external hard drive stored at work; updated every 3 months.

This way it is protected from drive failure, theft, fire, etc. Cheapest and easiest way i could come up with. Pretty happy about it.

The desktop is 7yrs old, was about $350 (Dell refurb) the 2tb drive was another $120 or so.
The external drive was around $75

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2016, 02:34:25 PM »
Our family (nationally distributed) set up a four device Synology NAS cloud.  It is not the cheapest solution up-front but it will pay off over time and easily upgradable.  The Synology products and application ecosystem including mobile applications are just awesome IMO.  it does iTunes, photos, security, etc.....FWIW we have almost 4T on the network.

jjcamembert

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2016, 03:16:56 PM »
Hah, I totally forgot about USB drives, thanks for the reminder! That will work great for offsite backup. For anything really important I put on the cloud already.

RE storing useless media, I agree that a lot could be purged, but even the "good" stuff is completely useless if it's just bytes on a drive somewhere that are never accessed. That's why I am curious about what sort of easily accessible media servers people have set up. It would be nice to automatically grab pictures for your desktop, and be able to grab music files for your iPod/phone for road trips (because I'm not paying for Spotify service). The old desktop was configured to be a media server, but it was a loud, power consuming beast that we never wanted to turn on.

chesebert

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2016, 04:03:56 PM »
Google drive, mirrored to local HD, and that is backed up on external disks.

I have unlimited Google drive space, so that helps...

Ursus Major

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2016, 10:54:29 PM »
Another option would be to use CrashPlan. While they charge you to back up to their datacenter, the software also allows backing up to a friend, and that comes for free. While I pay for backing up to their datacenter, my sister hses the free version and just backs up to my computer. Of course it helps that my computer is on most of the time. Since the backup is encrypted, I wouldn't be able to access my sister's data.

Spork

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2016, 07:55:26 AM »
For 50gb the thumbdrive is hard to beat.
Set a reminder on your calendar to update them every now and then.

I have about 300gb of stuff I want to save (3 generations of family pictures, yes we do enjoy looking at them, on the 90" projector screen, as a family, on occasional dark cold winter evenings!)

My solution is:
2 drives in the desktop: one 'main' and one 2tb set up just to backup the 'main'
1 external hard drive stored at work; updated every 3 months.

This way it is protected from drive failure, theft, fire, etc. Cheapest and easiest way i could come up with. Pretty happy about it.

The desktop is 7yrs old, was about $350 (Dell refurb) the 2tb drive was another $120 or so.
The external drive was around $75

This is pretty much my setup.  External drive goes to safe deposit box.  Everything gets backed up 3x a week automagically during the night.  The downside is: My server runs 24x7x365.  It does doe a little more than backups... but not sure how mustacian it is to pay for all that power.

Backup software: Amanda.  It's been around forever.  I've used it to back up large sites with several thousand users.  Set it and forget it.

seattleite

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2016, 10:42:27 AM »
50 GB of media is just not that important.  You are storing junk in there.
The amount of the data has absolutely no relevance to how important it is.  I have no idea where you're coming from with this. 

I'm coming from observations of most of the people in my life.

You can afford a digital camera now.  Probably a really nice one.  That means millions of millions of pictures, because getting a great shot of something is much more important than enjoying the view.  Of course, you never know when that great shot is going to come . . . so you take a couple hundred photos before and after you think it's coming.  And what the fuck right?  It's not like film costs anything any more.  And then a couple hundred more pics just to be sure.  Then they all get dumped on to the computer.  Usually the pile of photos gets so big that it's too daunting to go back and sort through to pick out the good ones.  So into posterity forever they go, quadruple backed up.

Gah.

Somehow people got by just fine in the 80s with one or two photo albums that they never looked at.  Now we need to spend money hosting terabytes of precious moments that nobody gives a shit about.

I take a lot of photos and videos not for me to look at now, but to look at later. I could care less about photos of my kids from a year ago, but when they were super small... those are the best! And I love looking at old pictures of my wife and I when we were children and comparing them to our kids now. The bad pictures are sometimes the best. So what that it's not in focus perfectly. If it's a great expression then keep it. I want to be able to look at what my kids looked like when they were small. And I want to hear what they sounded like. I feel like I don't do enough video, but I've been doing more and more audio recordings these days of my kids attempting to talk. It's fun to hear even just a year later. I know that I will care about these 50 years from now, I'm pretty sure that my kids will care about them in 50 years, and I don't really care if anyone later in history will care. Also, don't worry about taking too many photos. You are being held back by the problem of indexing the photos which is being solved with new software.

VaCPA

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2016, 11:10:32 AM »
And I want to hear what they sounded like. I feel like I don't do enough video, but I've been doing more and more audio recordings these days of my kids attempting to talk. It's fun to hear even just a year later. I know that I will care about these 50 years from now, I'm pretty sure that my kids will care about them in 50 years, and I don't really care if anyone later in history will care. Also, don't worry about taking too many photos. You are being held back by the problem of indexing the photos which is being solved with new software.

Very true. The videos are the most fun to go back and look at but they also take up the most space. The majority of my large data storage is probably related to videos of the kids.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Digital media backup systems?
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2016, 12:44:33 PM »
SD cards are tough little bastards, I've had a few that spent a while in the ocean and still work great.  I use 2 64g SD cards for all my backup and keep them with some paperwork, passports etc in a cheap fireproof/waterproof lockbox.  I like the simplicity and how little space they take up.