Author Topic: How do you back up your data?  (Read 12502 times)

Credaholic

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How do you back up your data?
« on: August 17, 2015, 03:54:41 PM »
What's the cheapest and easiest way to back up your data? I have a 3 year old Toshiba laptop showing signs of age that I don't want to spend the money to replace, but I also don't want to spend money on data recovery when it does inevitably tank. I back up to a USB stick occasionally, but this is laborious so not something I do often enough and I know with my current method "the crash" is going to sink me.

Also, any tips on nursing a laptop along? Is there anything I can do or cheaply replace to keep catastrophes at bay?

MidWestLove

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2015, 05:02:17 PM »
How much value is the data to you? That would determine what is 'cheap' in that sense. How technically inclined or interested you are in doing your own?

1. cheapest - get an external hard drive, create backups of both data and/or entire system. if you use any modern version of Windows , it is built in.
2. better - two is one, one is none.. get a basic NAS unit, or two of something basic like  Synology DS115j (~$100) , through a hard drive, set it up once and forget it.
3. if you want to fiddle with it, the opportunities are endless (FreeNAS, etc).

Great additional details here if you are technically inclined  http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/


Credaholic

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2015, 06:26:30 PM »
The work data is worth a lot to me, and the rest is sentimental or organizes my personal life and would be difficult to lose. I don't trust a USB drive not to break though, they can be so flimsy, and I'd like something that can easily move from computer to computer when I do have to upgrade. Sounds like an NAS is the ticket! Thank you!

Edited to fix gibberish from voice recognition typing ;)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 10:18:25 PM by Credaholic »

Uturn

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2015, 06:45:25 PM »
Don't keep your backup always on or connected.  If you are ever unfortunate enough to get malware that deletes or encrypts your data, it will get your backup as well. 

For cheap backup, I use the last computer before I got a new one.  It doesn't need to be fast, just a larger drive than the data you want to back up.  Turn it on, copy over your data, turn it off.  One of your unmustachian friends might have one for free.

karmatroll

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2015, 07:14:22 PM »
My computer is in similar shape (purchased for school in summer 2008, currently on it's third operating system).

What has "solved" the issue that I care about is to pair down what data you are absolutely sure you need to keep.

For me it's Tax documents, budgeting spreadsheets and a password protected excel file that has just about every login/userid I've ever used (job hunting, one off websites etc).

Dropbox solved the issue.  You get something like a free gig or so, and it integrates extremely well with windows.  This allows me to keep local copies on my machine, but as long as you leave the "always sync" button on, it'll update continuously.

Spork

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2015, 07:15:04 PM »
I am assuming windows here... but you didn't say.  I'm a unix weenie.  All I can add is generalizations:

* make it automated
* make at least some of the backups go off site.  (In other words, keep it in a safe deposit box, at a friends house, etc)   This doesn't have to be all of them, but SOME of them... so you can go back to a known if you lose everything.
* I'm not sure I'd recommend a thumb drive.  They're slow and can be buggy at the worst possible times.
* I am not a big fan of cloud storage, but ... it does solve a lot of automated and off site issues.  It comes with it's own risks/rewards.

Adventine

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2015, 08:03:51 PM »
Dropbox works perfectly fine for my needs. I've had too many USBs and external hard drives fail on me.

Dan_at_Home

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2015, 09:55:31 PM »
I back up to a USB stick occasionally, but this is laborious so not something I do often enough

I also back up onto a USB stick and had the same problem.  For me the issue was laborious due to the size of the data being backed up, i.e. about 4GB.  I was just too slow to copy 4GB of data every time.  To solve this problem, I paid about $20 or so (I can't remember) to buy a software product called SecondCopy. 

The added value it provided was it could keep track of only which files in the 4GB data set are have been updated or changed or deleted since the last time I backed up, so that the actual backup transfer was only transferring data to the USB stick that was new or changed.  This greatly spend up the backup process and made it much faster. 


Syonyk

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2015, 10:00:11 PM »
Off site? :/

Glacier or Nearline Storage are good for long term archival backup.  A remote instance you rsync to is good for more regular stuff.

Seppia

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How do you back up your data?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2015, 11:25:16 PM »
If you live in the U.S. and want to back up also lots of pictures I strongly recommend the following:
Dropbox for the basic most important stuff (taxes etc). You can fit a Ton of data in 2-3Gb except for....
- pictures and video: Amazon cloud drive has a free unlimited cloud storage available for prime members that is in my opinion a very underestimated perk you get with prime.
Other than that I don't care, if my laptop dies I'll get another PC no re-install new programs, I don't need to do a backup of my system (my PC is 5 years old and it cost me $349 at the time so not many parts I could re utilize)

JLee

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2015, 08:20:04 AM »
Right now, other important stuff is on at least two drives (one internal and one external).  I just scored a pair of QNAP TS-409 Pro NAS units with 4x2TB disks ($150/pair!!) so I will set one of those up as well, and consider Crashplan's cloud storage as off-site backup.

Villanelle

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 08:25:46 AM »
If you live in the U.S. and want to back up also lots of pictures I strongly recommend the following:
Dropbox for the basic most important stuff (taxes etc). You can fit a Ton of data in 2-3Gb except for....
- pictures and video: Amazon cloud drive has a free unlimited cloud storage available for prime members that is in my opinion a very underestimated perk you get with prime.
Other than that I don't care, if my laptop dies I'll get another PC no re-install new programs, I don't need to do a backup of my system (my PC is 5 years old and it cost me $349 at the time so not many parts I could re utilize)

WHAT??!!!?!  How did I not know this?  Thank you so very much.  Wow. 

Seppia

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How do you back up your data?
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 08:28:32 AM »
Happy to help :)
It's unlimited only for pics and video, but I imagine for 99.99% of the population those are the files taking up the bulk of GBs

Spork

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 08:37:12 AM »
Happy to help :)
It's unlimited only for pics and video, but I imagine for 99.99% of the population those are the files taking up the bulk of GBs

Is there a per-file limit?   I'm pretty sure I could create an encrypted, gzipped tar file that would have the magic number of a video.

FLBiker

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2015, 08:44:25 AM »
I use drop box and mozy (free versions) for stuff that changes regularly, and an external hard drive (and an old computer) for pictures.

If you have multiple computers, you can create multiple drop box accounts and get more space.

Seppia

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2015, 08:51:02 AM »

Happy to help :)
It's unlimited only for pics and video, but I imagine for 99.99% of the population those are the files taking up the bulk of GBs

Is there a per-file limit?   I'm pretty sure I could create an encrypted, gzipped tar file that would have the magic number of a video.

I have no idea about this, sorry :(

hodedofome

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2015, 09:57:40 AM »
Carbonite is pretty cheap for unlimited storage and you don't have to put everything in a specific folder like dropbox or google drive. You tell Carbonite which folders to be backed up and it stays in sync.

http://www.carbonite.com/backup/pricing-plans/personal-plans

RWD

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2015, 10:14:27 AM »
I use a two-bay Synology NAS that I got for about $200 (plus cost of two hard drives). I use rsync from my computers to push files to the NAS (only transfers changes).

The only component of your computer that you need to be worried about crashing is the hard drive. If your hard drive is in good shape (try running S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics) and the rest of the computer dies you can always pull out the hard drive and recover the data. If you are worried that your hard drive is on its last legs you could consider replacing just the hard drive. A new small laptop hard drive can be found for under $30 (example), depending on what size/type you need.

Credaholic

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2015, 03:46:09 PM »
If you live in the U.S. and want to back up also lots of pictures I strongly recommend the following:
Dropbox for the basic most important stuff (taxes etc). You can fit a Ton of data in 2-3Gb except for....
- pictures and video: Amazon cloud drive has a free unlimited cloud storage available for prime members that is in my opinion a very underestimated perk you get with prime.
Other than that I don't care, if my laptop dies I'll get another PC no re-install new programs, I don't need to do a backup of my system (my PC is 5 years old and it cost me $349 at the time so not many parts I could re utilize)

Does the Amazon Cloud Drive automatically back up your data if you save new images to a folder for example? Or do you have to manually backup each new file?

Seppia

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How do you back up your data?
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2015, 03:51:59 PM »
Honestly I did not check because the interface is super easy to operate.
You open Amazon cloud drive on the PC and you drag the images (also works with full folders so no need to do one by one) there.
Don't know if it has an automatic folder continuously syncing as say Dropbox.
You can also set up the phone app so that it automatically uploads all your phone pics each time you open it.

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2015, 04:53:19 PM »
Dropbox gives 2GB
Google Drive gives 15GB (but is combined with Gmail storage, I believe)
Microsoft OneDrive gives 15GB

I use both Dropbox and OneDrive, and I also use FreeFileSync to sync to portable external hard drives.

JLee

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2015, 09:55:00 PM »
Dropbox gives 2GB
Google Drive gives 15GB (but is combined with Gmail storage, I believe)
Microsoft OneDrive gives 15GB

I use both Dropbox and OneDrive, and I also use FreeFileSync to sync to portable external hard drives.

Dropbox has (or at least had) a lot of ways to get bonus space. I have 9.5GB available in my free account. If anybody would like to sign up and use my referral link, I would greatly appreciate it (and we each get a bonus 500MB!) https://db.tt/HvUBIr6D

I love Dropbox. It automatically syncs anything you store in the Dropbox folder, and you can share folders as well. I'm in a long distance relationship (well, usually- I'm in Canada for the summer now :D), and you can share folders! So if you update something in the shared folder, it'll get updated for whoever you're sharing with. It's a great/easy way to share files/documents/photos/etc that are able to be updated in near real-time instead of going back and forth with email.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 09:59:52 PM by JLee »

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2015, 10:19:05 AM »
Dropbox has (or at least had) a lot of ways to get bonus space. I have 9.5GB available in my free account. If anybody would like to sign up and use my referral link, I would greatly appreciate it (and we each get a bonus 500MB!) https://db.tt/HvUBIr6D

I love Dropbox. It automatically syncs anything you store in the Dropbox folder, and you can share folders as well. I'm in a long distance relationship (well, usually- I'm in Canada for the summer now :D), and you can share folders! So if you update something in the shared folder, it'll get updated for whoever you're sharing with. It's a great/easy way to share files/documents/photos/etc that are able to be updated in near real-time instead of going back and forth with email.
Yes, they used to. I was on board with them since they were introduced, and took advantage of every opportunity to get free space except for bug-reporting. I have 27GB that is permanent on Dropbox and 33GB for OneDrive. Dropbox made collaboration much easier during college; nowadays, I mainly use it as a backup, but I do sync folders with one friend, and it's easy to generate download links for other people. Most of this can be done on OneDrive now as well, so it's good for competition.

Guses

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2015, 11:05:05 AM »
I would not trust cloud storage for personal financial or important files.

Even for videos or pictures of my family, I don't want some creepy dude/hacker breaking in and having access to all this information.

I keep my backups off of the internet. I use unraid software which is a combination of some of the advice above (older computer with many HDDs). The advantage is that you have redundancy in case your HDDs die and you only need to have 1 HDD dedicated as a parity device whereas you would need as much capacity as your files in a windows based solution.

 

JLee

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2015, 01:52:23 PM »
I would not trust cloud storage for personal financial or important files.

Even for videos or pictures of my family, I don't want some creepy dude/hacker breaking in and having access to all this information.

I keep my backups off of the internet. I use unraid software which is a combination of some of the advice above (older computer with many HDDs). The advantage is that you have redundancy in case your HDDs die and you only need to have 1 HDD dedicated as a parity device whereas you would need as much capacity as your files in a windows based solution.
An ideal backup solution includes off-site backup for disaster recovery purposes- if your house burns down, then what?

I've decided I am not nearly interesting enough for some creepy dude to want my pictures. There are plenty of celebrities out there who are far more worth hacking than I.

Guses

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2015, 02:03:05 PM »

I've decided I am not nearly interesting enough for some creepy dude to want my pictures. There are plenty of celebrities out there who are far more worth hacking than I.

You would be surprised what one can do with information found in pictures and videos taken in and around your house. Either way, that's your call.

I agree that off site backup is ideal. I keep an external hard drive at my parent's place.



jeromedawg

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2015, 02:21:57 PM »
Right now, other important stuff is on at least two drives (one internal and one external).  I just scored a pair of QNAP TS-409 Pro NAS units with 4x2TB disks ($150/pair!!) so I will set one of those up as well, and consider Crashplan's cloud storage as off-site backup.

I have a similar setup using both a NAS and Crashplan. I bought a Netgear 4-bay NAS w/ 4x 2TB or 1TB (can't remember which) drives. I moved a ton of data onto it and then setup the headless Linux Crashplan client on the Netgear (this took a bit of research) and backed it up. It took *forever* to back everything up to Crashplan but it's all up there now and is synced on a regular basis. I also have our Macbook Air doing Time Machine backups to the NAS on whatever schedule it operates on. And since the NAS is synced with Crashplan, all the time machine backups should be on Crashplan as well (though I should probably double-check this sometime). Our HTPC isn't backing anything up but I don't care much since we only use that for light web surfing and watching TV, so not a big deal if it goes kaputz.

My biggest challenge right now is trying to figure out how the heck I'm gonna organize hundreds of GBs of photos and videos that I dumped on the NAS (it's so slow to access...). I copied them all off to an external drive but it's overwhelming try to organize everything - currently I'm just using Windows Explorer or Mac Finder to create new folders and come up with a system and hierarchy to organize everything. But I've seen a lot of suggestions to use Aperture, Apple Photo, or Picasa... it's just a ton of pictures to mull through. Most of them are crap photos that need to just be deleted too.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 02:48:06 PM by jplee3 »

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2015, 03:04:16 PM »
My biggest challenge right now is trying to figure out how the heck I'm gonna organize hundreds of GBs of photos and videos that I dumped on the NAS (it's so slow to access...). I copied them all off to an external drive but it's overwhelming try to organize everything - currently I'm just using Windows Explorer or Mac Finder to create new folders and come up with a system and hierarchy to organize everything. But I've seen a lot of suggestions to use Aperture, Apple Photo, or Picasa... it's just a ton of pictures to mull through. Most of them are crap photos that need to just be deleted too.
I organize photos purely by date "Pictures\Year\Month" with the photos named as yyyy-mm-dd_xxx or something of the sort. Sometimes, I group large events inside the Month folder as well. As for videos (well, movies and shows), I make folders for genres such as comedy, horror, mystery, action, etc... Since movies have multiple genres, I allocate them by the genre I feel best applies to them. For homemade videos, I'd probably just have another folder named as such. Anyway, those are my $0.02.

jeromedawg

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2015, 03:16:05 PM »
My biggest challenge right now is trying to figure out how the heck I'm gonna organize hundreds of GBs of photos and videos that I dumped on the NAS (it's so slow to access...). I copied them all off to an external drive but it's overwhelming try to organize everything - currently I'm just using Windows Explorer or Mac Finder to create new folders and come up with a system and hierarchy to organize everything. But I've seen a lot of suggestions to use Aperture, Apple Photo, or Picasa... it's just a ton of pictures to mull through. Most of them are crap photos that need to just be deleted too.
I organize photos purely by date "Pictures\Year\Month" with the photos named as yyyy-mm-dd_xxx or something of the sort. Sometimes, I group large events inside the Month folder as well. As for videos (well, movies and shows), I make folders for genres such as comedy, horror, mystery, action, etc... Since movies have multiple genres, I allocate them by the genre I feel best applies to them. For homemade videos, I'd probably just have another folder named as such. Anyway, those are my $0.02.

Yeah, that's the best way to organize I agree. I think the problem is renaming thousands of photos and videos, and putting them in the right folder(s) is going to be a tedious mountain of task. Not something I look forward to. What my wife was previously doing was creating folders by year and then month, and dropping images in each one according to the picture or date taken. I've heard of some people organizing by 'life event description' even. I don't know, there are just so many pictures to go through, and using Finder or Explorer to browse through all of them is tedious in of itself. Not sure what other software there is that can do a better job in a more efficient way, or if you just have to commit the time and patience to doing it this way.

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2015, 03:23:27 PM »
Yeah, that's the best way to organize I agree. I think the problem is renaming thousands of photos and videos, and putting them in the right folder(s) is going to be a tedious mountain of task. Not something I look forward to. What my wife was previously doing was creating folders by year and then month, and dropping images in each one according to the picture or date taken. I've heard of some people organizing by 'life event description' even. I don't know, there are just so many pictures to go through, and using Finder or Explorer to browse through all of them is tedious in of itself. Not sure what other software there is that can do a better job in a more efficient way, or if you just have to commit the time and patience to doing it this way.
I've had this program called BulkRenameUtility on my computer for over a year now, but haven't installed or used it yet. It sounds like it'd really help you out. I started out with "life event description" but that was too messy for me. I enjoy chronology, and as stated, will add that kind of folder within the Month folder if I feel compelled to.

Spork

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2015, 03:48:24 PM »
My biggest challenge right now is trying to figure out how the heck I'm gonna organize hundreds of GBs of photos and videos that I dumped on the NAS (it's so slow to access...). I copied them all off to an external drive but it's overwhelming try to organize everything - currently I'm just using Windows Explorer or Mac Finder to create new folders and come up with a system and hierarchy to organize everything. But I've seen a lot of suggestions to use Aperture, Apple Photo, or Picasa... it's just a ton of pictures to mull through. Most of them are crap photos that need to just be deleted too.
I organize photos purely by date "Pictures\Year\Month" with the photos named as yyyy-mm-dd_xxx or something of the sort. Sometimes, I group large events inside the Month folder as well. As for videos (well, movies and shows), I make folders for genres such as comedy, horror, mystery, action, etc... Since movies have multiple genres, I allocate them by the genre I feel best applies to them. For homemade videos, I'd probably just have another folder named as such. Anyway, those are my $0.02.

We use gallery2.  There are a whole host of web based solutions if you put a front end on it.  It is still a PITA to organize, but you will not care about file names.

Syonyk

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2015, 10:54:57 AM »
Personally, I trust Google with my data more than my own servers, having known people who worked there doing security of the systems.  Someone won't "sneak" into Google and get data.

But be sure you're using two factor auth (either with a hardware dongle, or at least SMS codes).  That's the common path - someone guesses a password, has a keylogger on a machine you log in with, etc.  Turn on two factor! :)

jeromedawg

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2015, 11:21:09 AM »
My biggest challenge right now is trying to figure out how the heck I'm gonna organize hundreds of GBs of photos and videos that I dumped on the NAS (it's so slow to access...). I copied them all off to an external drive but it's overwhelming try to organize everything - currently I'm just using Windows Explorer or Mac Finder to create new folders and come up with a system and hierarchy to organize everything. But I've seen a lot of suggestions to use Aperture, Apple Photo, or Picasa... it's just a ton of pictures to mull through. Most of them are crap photos that need to just be deleted too.

I hate organising photos. Google Photos does an amazing job - search by person, what's on the photo, creates GIFs and little stories around events etc. I don't have to lift a finger :)

Free storage for photos that are up to 16MB each and 1080P video. Higher resolutions count towards storage limits. Paid Google storage is cheap, people who have chromebooks usually get some free storage for a couple of years.

Comes with the usual caveats about cloud storage and whether one trusts Google. I generally do, it has top notch security people and data is its bread and butter so it's quite protective of it (fingers crossed). One can set up automatic back ups from the phone so I haven't had to worry about losing photos in years.


I actually do have a ton of photos backed up to Google Photos but it's a disorganized mess still in a sense. I like to keep my original copies (including resolution) all on my NAS (and preferably Crashplan as well). Google Photos doesn't hurt with the extra backup, but it's hard to map and know exactly what I've backed up. I brought this upon myself though by not being disciplined with starting out organized in the first place. And now it has just snowballed sort of out of control as far as trying to round everything up a clear and concise manner.

Guses

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2015, 11:28:45 AM »
Passwords will become irrelevant with quantum computing. I am afraid that what might be safe today might not be as safe tomorrow.

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2015, 11:47:50 AM »
But be sure you're using two factor auth (either with a hardware dongle, or at least SMS codes).  That's the common path - someone guesses a password, has a keylogger on a machine you log in with, etc.  Turn on two factor! :)
I second this! I use 2-factor wherever it's available to me: Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Lastpass, Microsoft

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2015, 11:49:20 AM »
I actually do have a ton of photos backed up to Google Photos but it's a disorganized mess still in a sense. I like to keep my original copies (including resolution) all on my NAS (and preferably Crashplan as well). Google Photos doesn't hurt with the extra backup, but it's hard to map and know exactly what I've backed up. I brought this upon myself though by not being disciplined with starting out organized in the first place. And now it has just snowballed sort of out of control as far as trying to round everything up a clear and concise manner.
It's never too late to start, and the sooner the better! A friend of mine currently has the same problem- several hundreds of gigabytes of disorganized photos.

Cadman

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2015, 12:49:44 PM »
Lots of good suggestions so far. What's worked well for me was to pick up an external harddrive (1TB I believe) and simply plug it into my laptop via USB. I primarily keep my files in folders on the desktop, so it's trivial to drag/drop the works, plus my iphoto library and occasionally itunes. 10 minutes every few months and it's done. This process might be more difficult on Windows, not sure.

The advantage here is that if you or your spouse have more than one computer, you only need one portable backup. But most importantly, you can take the unit off-site to avoid loss due to fire or theft. Stash it in a plastic container in the garage, or even make a backup to keep at a friend's place.

Avoid the box stores if you go shopping for such a thing. I think I found mine on dealmac where you can actively seek out rebate plus discount offers and see the lowest 6 month price.

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2015, 01:28:53 PM »
Actually, the prices are quite reasonable if you shop for deals. Staples is selling the 2TB Seagate Backup Slim (portable external) for $80 right now, and other stores will often sell the Western Digital Passport Elements and Ultras for $70 and $80 respectively (Adorama, Buydig, BeachCamera).

If going this route (and I recommend that you do have a physical backup), again, I recommend something like FreeFileSync since just doing copy/paste you'd have to copy everything. If you skip files, you skip files that have been updated. If you moved files, you will potentially have multiple copies of the same file. Software such as FreeFileSync solve that issue.

Cadman

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2015, 01:38:48 PM »
I've found these guys to be pretty good when it comes to tech deals. 1TB for $50, 2TB for $70. 3TB for $80. Some also offer "free backup software" but YMMV.

http://dealmac.com/c472/Computers/Storage/Hard-Drives/External-Hard-Drives/?o=price

ozbeach

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2015, 01:58:56 PM »
I have been using a computer since the early 80s and have data stretching back that far so I care about this! I use Apple so Macs, iPhones and iPad but the principles are the same whatever you use. First line is the cloud - it's surprising how complete this feels when you get a new device and all your calendar entries, contacts, photos etc magically appear. Also on  (in?) the cloud are documents in DropBox. Second is an external hard drive plugged into the Mac and using Time Machine to do continuous incremental backups. It's great to be able to wind back a day, a week, six months - whatever. I imagine you can get something similar for most OSs. Lastly, I keep another external hard drive at work. Once a week I bring it home, run a backup and return. I learnt that lesson after the house was broken into and the computer and everything connected got stolen (although back then I did have a backup on hundreds of floppy disks!)

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2015, 02:14:54 PM »
Lastly, I keep another external hard drive at work. Once a week I bring it home, run a backup and return. I learnt that lesson after the house was broken into and the computer and everything connected got stolen (although back then I did have a backup on hundreds of floppy disks!)
Sheesh, that sucks; I guess hundreds of floppy disks is better than nothing! I actually need to get a new external (and internal, too) myself. Only 170GB left.

jeromedawg

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2015, 02:56:29 PM »
The other thing that annoys me is how many frickin hard drives I have... and they're all under 1TB so practically useless for bigger data (esp photo/video) backups. On one hand, I should get rid of them but on the other hand I would probably get peanuts back not to mention going through the trouble taking time to securely wipe everything :T

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2015, 03:03:52 PM »
The other thing that annoys me is how many frickin hard drives I have... and they're all under 1TB so practically useless for bigger data (esp photo/video) backups. On one hand, I should get rid of them but on the other hand I would probably get peanuts back not to mention going through the trouble taking time to securely wipe everything :T
Time to upgrade to 2TB! I have two 1TB drives and one 2TB drive, and I think the smallest I'll buy from now on will be 2TB (there are 4TB portables out there). Secure wipe will indeed take a long time, and that time will not get any shorter as you move up in terms of GB :)

jeromedawg

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2015, 03:25:29 PM »
The other thing that annoys me is how many frickin hard drives I have... and they're all under 1TB so practically useless for bigger data (esp photo/video) backups. On one hand, I should get rid of them but on the other hand I would probably get peanuts back not to mention going through the trouble taking time to securely wipe everything :T
Time to upgrade to 2TB! I have two 1TB drives and one 2TB drive, and I think the smallest I'll buy from now on will be 2TB (there are 4TB portables out there). Secure wipe will indeed take a long time, and that time will not get any shorter as you move up in terms of GB :)


Just confirmed - I got 4x 2TB Hitachi Coolspin HGST drives for my NAS. Just by coincidence, I got a warning from Crashplan saying the NAS hasn't backed up in 3 days...! I just recall I did a firmware upgrade on it and likely forgot to start the Crashplan service back up - thought I had that as part of the init script start... will have to look into it when I get home.

As far as those drives though, guess I should have just picked up a couple more at the time... I'll need to get a decent enclosure though. Maybe I should just wait and look for a hot deal on the Synology 2-bay NASes, since that would actually be most ideal for all this.

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2015, 03:44:23 PM »
I should look more into setting up NAS system... maybe when I get my own place; I'm not sure that I'd get much utility out of it over manually backing up with a physical USB connection at this point.

jeromedawg

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #45 on: August 20, 2015, 04:25:36 PM »
I should look more into setting up NAS system... maybe when I get my own place; I'm not sure that I'd get much utility out of it over manually backing up with a physical USB connection at this point.

It's more for additional redundancy and availability. The NAS itself won't solve the problem completely but adds another layer of availability w/ redundancy (e.g. you can have four disks [or more or less] simultaneously synced up so if one goes down there are still drives that have the data). The purpose is generally to increase 'fault tolerance' and lower complete failure rates. For most people and situations, it's probably a bit overkill but it's mostly about the risk you're willing to tolerate. Buying extra space for backup (and of course using it) is similar to buying insurance in a sense... of course, you could just get a second or third USB drive and figure out a rotation for backing them up (and as someone mentioned, leaving a copy at work and one at home, etc) but it won't be as seamless as with a NAS. The concept and methodology behind backing up to a NAS is a bit different than backing up to 3-4 individual hard drives one-by-one, but they all seek to accomplish the same goal at the end of the day.

If you spend money on the right NAS though (e.g. Synology) you can get some pretty decent quality from it as a streaming media server for movies, recorded tv, etc... the NAS I have by Netgear isn't really intended for that as much as it is just for file storage and backup. But even accessing files on it on a daily basis (from Mac OS) stinks. I think it's a little better in Windows though. As far as data backup is concerned though, it does a good job.

KittyCat

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2015, 04:31:34 PM »
It's more for additional redundancy and availability. The NAS itself won't solve the problem completely but adds another layer of availability w/ redundancy (e.g. you can have four disks [or more or less] simultaneously synced up so if one goes down there are still drives that have the data). The purpose is generally to increase 'fault tolerance' and lower complete failure rates. For most people and situations, it's probably a bit overkill but it's mostly about the risk you're willing to tolerate. Buying extra space for backup (and of course using it) is similar to buying insurance in a sense... of course, you could just get a second or third USB drive and figure out a rotation for backing them up (and as someone mentioned, leaving a copy at work and one at home, etc) but it won't be as seamless as with a NAS. The concept and methodology behind backing up to a NAS is a bit different than backing up to 3-4 individual hard drives one-by-one, but they all seek to accomplish the same goal at the end of the day.

If you spend money on the right NAS though (e.g. Synology) you can get some pretty decent quality from it as a streaming media server for movies, recorded tv, etc... the NAS I have by Netgear isn't really intended for that as much as it is just for file storage and backup. But even accessing files on it on a daily basis (from Mac OS) stinks. I think it's a little better in Windows though. As far as data backup is concerned though, it does a good job.
Thanks for that information; I'll keep that in mind! Having some redundancy in the future sounds like a good idea. Due to the convenience of portable drives, I use them almost like USB thumb drives when I leave the house for extended periods of time, and one of these days, something might happen to one or more of them. Synology is pretty much the only name I know in terms of NAS enclosures.

stlbrah

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #47 on: August 20, 2015, 04:43:39 PM »
As a tech person, I use this open source software called BackupPC that backs everything in my house up superfast and will back up any type of OS using your choice of transfer protocol if you spend some time tweaking it. I use a raid 5 array for the data. I also have a cron job that takes backups of all my databases, gzips them, and emails them to me.

For non-tech people, a program called handybackup and an external drive is a good option. I use this for some clients who need to back up patient records. One of them I set up something similar Carbonite, I forgot what company, because they were more hardcore about it and considered theft.

jeromedawg

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #48 on: August 20, 2015, 04:48:44 PM »
It's more for additional redundancy and availability. The NAS itself won't solve the problem completely but adds another layer of availability w/ redundancy (e.g. you can have four disks [or more or less] simultaneously synced up so if one goes down there are still drives that have the data). The purpose is generally to increase 'fault tolerance' and lower complete failure rates. For most people and situations, it's probably a bit overkill but it's mostly about the risk you're willing to tolerate. Buying extra space for backup (and of course using it) is similar to buying insurance in a sense... of course, you could just get a second or third USB drive and figure out a rotation for backing them up (and as someone mentioned, leaving a copy at work and one at home, etc) but it won't be as seamless as with a NAS. The concept and methodology behind backing up to a NAS is a bit different than backing up to 3-4 individual hard drives one-by-one, but they all seek to accomplish the same goal at the end of the day.

If you spend money on the right NAS though (e.g. Synology) you can get some pretty decent quality from it as a streaming media server for movies, recorded tv, etc... the NAS I have by Netgear isn't really intended for that as much as it is just for file storage and backup. But even accessing files on it on a daily basis (from Mac OS) stinks. I think it's a little better in Windows though. As far as data backup is concerned though, it does a good job.
Thanks for that information; I'll keep that in mind! Having some redundancy in the future sounds like a good idea. Due to the convenience of portable drives, I use them almost like USB thumb drives when I leave the house for extended periods of time, and one of these days, something might happen to one or more of them. Synology is pretty much the only name I know in terms of NAS enclosures.

Synology has a pretty good reputation. As does QNAP. There's also Thecus, Drobo, and a few others out there. You just need to be wary that these devices have had a history of exploits (Synolocker, Ransomware, etc), and there are could be more moving forward... for the most part, as long as you don't open them up to the internet (for remote access, etc) and keep them patched, you should be OK though.

jeromedawg

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Re: How do you back up your data?
« Reply #49 on: August 20, 2015, 04:55:57 PM »
As a tech person, I use this open source software called BackupPC that backs everything in my house up superfast and will back up any type of OS using your choice of transfer protocol if you spend some time tweaking it. I use a raid 5 array for the data. I also have a cron job that takes backups of all my databases, gzips them, and emails them to me.

For non-tech people, a program called handybackup and an external drive is a good option. I use this for some clients who need to back up patient records. One of them I set up something similar Carbonite, I forgot what company, because they were more hardcore about it and considered theft.

Setting up a home-built NAS is pretty technical stuff. I used to have something like this setup and used a 3ware SATA raid card for my setup. I barely ever used it and would leave the system running 24x7 - it was the biggest power hog running at over 100watts lol. Finally came to my senses and realized it probably wasn't worth it to be running, especially in the long-run, so I dismantled it. But if you're serious into modding and building your own NAS, there is a niche for it - plus you have more control over the stuff you want installed and running. It just takes a lot of time and effort, and isn't trivial for most. It *can* also end up costing a lot more than an equally viable solution. For me, I could do it but have gone down this road before and don't think it's worth it. Haha, this is probably leading into the never-ending commercial vs home-built NAS argument.