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  1. #1
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    Are Cloud Backup Services Really Practical Now?

    This question concerns Mac hardware, but, I think the issue transcends the specific platform.

    I have almost 2 TB of photos and documents that I can't loose and need to be backed up. Right now, this is backed up to two external Western Digital Raid Thunderbolt devices - so I essentially have four copies of each file. These are all local, however, and would not protect me in a disaster. Also, the Raid hardware is not 100% reliable - I had one device fail (replaced by WD) when the Raid hardware - not the two drives - failed. WD normally lets you extend the warranty on these drives, but now WD is indicating I can't extend the warranty on these devices.

    So, I am faced with a choice. I could replace these drives (very expensive), buy new separate USB 3 drives and then synchronize their contents by running a program I have, or back up to the cloud.

    Apple iCloud is not really an option because of the cost (about 2x the other commercial backup products), and I don't completely trust Apple to have this Cloud thing mastered yet (though they are improving). I am an Amazon Prime member, so I have access to "unlimited" space on that platform, and I trust Amazon to have this technology down pat.

    My major concern is uploading the files to the Cloud. It could take weeks or months, and I have a 300GB/month data quota from Cox. I have a fast internet connection, but it is asymmetrical, with upload speeds much slower than download speeds. I know some commercial Cloud backup products will send you a drive to load and "seed" the backup, but that is not an option for either Amazon or DropBox (which is the other service I would consider).

    Has anyone had any experience with uploading this amount of data for backup? Any tips of how to proceed? I have too many external drives floating around here and I would like to simplify my computing life.

    David

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    I don't use cloud backup for the simple reason that I like to control my data. I use an internal disk for backup and copy that to external, then put that in a fireproof box, along with the recovery media.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    Cloud services - what happens if it rains?
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  4. #4
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    I use the cloud as a backup, but I have much less data to backup than you do. I think the very best combination is redundant local back (several disks rotated) plus cloud back. I backup my documents and development work on the cloud.

    With 2TB, I would be looking at shipping a disk to whatever provider you choose. Otherwise you can also pick a strategy to backup your files in chunks, one chunk a month. If you get a backup app able to use the cloud, you will just need to let it work. It can take a few days (I guess it took me about 2 days to get my initial 50 GB online).

    I think the cloud offers both reliability, with many providers offering geo redundant backup, and security. There is nothing prevent you from using encryption with your cloud backups, thus ensure privacy for your data, even if they ended up falling into the wrong hands. I would think Amazon to be a reliable and solid choice for backups, considering they were pioneers on this cloud stuff and their dimension, even if I don't exactly know their offers.

    I am using OneDrive for my cloud backups. You can't beat their price, atm.
    Rui
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    Thanks for the comments. I am going to try Amazon and see how long it takes to upload a relatively small set of photos. Amazon is nice because it is free and unlimited for Prime members (I am) and they have iOS applications that let you view the photos on the iPhone or iPad. (For those of you Windows users who also keep an eye on the Apple world, a replacement for the iPhotos application (called Photos) was just released with the 10.10.3 OS X update. Besides removing some features of iPhoto that people liked - and relied upon - it is having some reliability problems. It supports transparent backup of all your photos in the Photos application and makes them visible to all your linked Apple devices. However, iCloud is expensive and there are some problems with the synchronization process. It is clearly a Version 1.0 product. I think it is only going to be useful for my iPhone photos.)

    David

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