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Old    Jagermaster (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       05-25-2011, 7:35 PM Reply   
I am wondering what the best way is to store data long term, I am specifically talking about digital photos and digital video. Now that I am a Dad the last thing I want is to loose all the pics and vids of my baby girl.
'
I have an external hard drive with plenty of room, but how long will a hard drive last locked in a safe? Are DVD's a good option? It may sound odd but I would like to back up my pictures so my daughter can view them when she is 80 and pass them on down to her family. I only have a couple of pictures of my great grandparents and I would like for my daughter to have more good quality pictures when she gets older.


Thanks in advance for any help.
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-25-2011, 8:36 PM Reply   
www.carbonite.com

Can't beat the price. Have it set up for many clients and family - works great. Couple that with one or two hard drive backups and you should be good.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-26-2011, 10:43 AM Reply   
I have very little trust in cloud backup solutions. If you use one, be sure you have a few copies locally. Also I highly recommend encrypting anything you store with a cloud provider. between security breaches to malicious hackers and warrantless searches by our government, you don't want it to be quick and easy for your data to be taken.

Personally, I have a RAID 1 in my desktop computer with two large drives. This is my first line of protection, and protects me from a hard drive failure. If one drive dies, I buy another one, plug it in, and after it rebuilds I'm back to redundancy with no lost data.

I also have an external hard drive which I back up all my important data (documents, financial info, receipts, taxes, pictures, etc.). This volume is encrypted and stored in a detached garage, updated every couple weeks. This gives me marginal protection again local disaster, minor fire, freak electrical issue frying my computer, etc.

I have another external drive, also encrypted, that I back up all my important data to less often, a few times a year. This one stays at a friend's house that's at least a dozen miles away. This protects from more major disasters and total losses.

I also keep an encrypted thumb drive either on me, in my truck, or in my desk at work that has copies of important documents, financial records, birth certificates, passports, drivers licenses, etc. Yeah they're not official documents, but in the event of a total loss of the others, I'll have critical documents quickly and easily available. Which are good for reference and may help with getting replacement official documents.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I lost data before by being lazy about backup and it's not gonna happen again. For encryption I use TrueCrypt and to synchronize between backup media I use MS SyncToy.
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-26-2011, 11:06 AM Reply   
Carbonite is fully encrypted. You can choose to let them handle the encryption key, or you can elect to create it yourself. If you do the latter they cannot access your data - so if you lose/forget your key the data is useless.

Thinking your Internet-connected computer is safer than a legit encrypted "cloud" solution is an illusion. You're part of the "cloud."
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-26-2011, 11:08 AM Reply   
p.s. Relying solely on carbonite (or any one solution) is a bad idea and the tools Cory mentions are all good options for simplifying the local backups you should still be making
Old    Matt (pierce_bronkite)      Join Date: Jul 2003       05-26-2011, 2:26 PM Reply   
At least you're on the path of trying to backup your data. So many people own computers but very few actually back up their data.

RAID 1 and Carbonite are both great options. Another feature I use along with my backups is uploading my pictures/videos of my kids to image hosting sites like Flickr. They have tools where uploading a huge amount of photos is painless. Whenever I download pictures I also immediately host them on Flickr. That way I can share the galleries out to my family and also have them hosted offsite. Not saying Flickr is 100% fool proof but some redundancy helps.
Old    Someone Else (deltahoosier)      Join Date: Jun 2002       05-27-2011, 1:48 AM Reply   
I have the a Net Gear Stora. I got it at Bestbuy. It is a network Raid backup device. It comes with one drive and you have to buy the second drive to add to it, but it has all the hardware raid and network adapters as part of it. You plug in the second drive and the data is automatically mirrored to the other drive. After that, all data is mirrored. If one drive dies, you replace it and the data mirrors to the new drive automatically. I have all my computers in my house pointed to it for data storage. It is also 1 Gb network capable.
Old    Cory D (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-27-2011, 7:41 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by pesos View Post
Carbonite is fully encrypted. You can choose to let them handle the encryption key, or you can elect to create it yourself. If you do the latter they cannot access your data - so if you lose/forget your key the data is useless.

Thinking your Internet-connected computer is safer than a legit encrypted "cloud" solution is an illusion. You're part of the "cloud."
if Carbonite handles the encryption you are trusting someone else to do it properly and prevent it from being compromised. They will, without question (PATRIOT Act) decrypt and hand your data over to the government if asked, without a warrant. Beyond that, all it takes is one admin to slip or overlook something and your data can be either compromised to a malicious hacker or unavailable for some length of time. These hosted solutions are alright if you encrypt the data yourself, and don't mind a long recovery time. For my amount of data we'd be talking almost 3 days with the speed of my connection, assuming I can get that much throughput from the hosted company 24/7 for 3 days (doubtful).

As for thinking my internet connected computer is safer than letting some unknown third party host my data for me? I'm a network admin, I trust my work over that of some hosted third party. I've had my share of bad experiences with these hosting companies over the years and would never trust my personal data to them so far as privacy or exclusively to them as backup. They have their place, but you need to stay on top of your data and have a good DR plan.

Last edited by cadunkle; 05-27-2011 at 7:45 AM.
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       05-27-2011, 10:14 AM Reply   
Sure, but Cory how many people actually have a clue what they are doing like you and I do? Not many. If the info is not sensitive, go with the set it and forget it route. If you will be storing sensitive data, set up the key yourself and be sure not to lose it. Again, this type of service is best for pure DR - not for time-sensitive restores which are better handled from local storage, which I think we both agree should still be part of the picture regardless...
Old    KG - WakeboardNJ.com (wakescene)      Join Date: Feb 2001       06-03-2011, 11:20 AM Reply   
Jae G Master,
My suggestion would be a large backup External/NAS drive. Then do some Quarterly/Bi-Yearly/Yearly backup to DVD and store the DVD's in a small safe. This is what I do now seeing as there is no great perfected backup solution designed for home use. (at least not that I have ever seen). -OR- You could do the an online backup solution like Wes and others are suggesting.

Frankly I am not a fan of the online services. It's easier for me to justify a purchase for a product then a monthly/yearly fee to a service.

I would also suggest checking out CNET.com, InfoWorld.com and Lifehacker.com to research what others have done for their solutions. There is a ton of info and you should be able to come across someone solution that matches yours.

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