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  1. #1
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    Offsite (cloud) vs. NAS storage

    I've never seen any huge benefit in the notion of Offsite (I hate the term cloud) storage services, particularly since you can get a good 2TB mirror drive NAS for about the same as a years worth of service. It seems as if a small amount of free storage on something like DropBox can be convenient for stuff you might want shared on a tablet or phone. But other than that, the main advantage would seem to be that it is offsite and is safe in case of a disaster.

    With a number of services now offering a TB of storage it would be interesting to know how people are using this. I don't mean speculation as to how you might use it one day, but how you are using it right now. What are you putting there and why? And why not spend the money on local storage instead?
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Google photos backup because it's free and probably 95-98% of the size content of a backup, the rest fits on a DVD or small thumb drive.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I use an external hard drive for my storage. I prefer that to an "offsite" service, because I prefer to be in total control of my data.

    But there are advantages with an "offsite" service:
    * The offsite service probably has more reliable storage than I have -- They do backups of the backups; and, external hard drives have been known to fail.
    * If I'm on the go, I don't have to carry around an external hard drive.
    * Backups are more likely to be done with an "offsite" service than with my own external hard drive, because it's easier and more convenient.

    If I were to choose to do the "offsite" backups, I would not go with a free service; I would do research and find a company who does a reliable job, who respects my privacy, and who will be around for a long time; and I would then pay them for their service. My belief is that if I am paying them, they will be more motivated to do a good job.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2015-11-10 at 14:06.

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    Obviously every situation is different particularly if one travels and needs access to their data but one NAS offering in several sizes from Western Digital is called MyCloud. I haven't needed to set it up yet but there is a process for accessing the drive from the Internet through the Router it's plugged into. I prefer the WDC Passport drive for portability, instead of remotely accessing a drive. I'm somewhat leery of the security and safety features of cloud storage.

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    Right now, I have a small external drive that holds my most recent Image backups. It sits in a fire resistant box. This system works, but like any backup system is only as good as the worst thing that can happen to it. I'm not sure it would withstand a fire.

    These images are about the only thing that I would consider offsite storage for, but image backups consume a large amount of space. And I'm not sure if a file like that can be compressed or not.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  6. #6
    jwoods
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    Offsite storage is a critical component of disaster recovery.

    If a fire, flood, or other disaster takes out your location, it probably won't matter how many external drives you backed up to if they are onsite. They are likely trashed.

    Another situation is theft (the old school "breaking and entering" kind).
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-11-10 at 15:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods View Post
    Offsite storage is a critical component of disaster recovery.
    Certainly that is true for a business, and when I had my own company, we (physically) rotated backups offsite on a regular basis.

    But I wonder how many home users do likewise. That's part of this question. Just looking at a few options for online backup, iDrive offers 1TB for $60 per year and that covers multiple devices including externals. That would be more than enough for me.
    Graham Smith
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    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Hmmm... this is a timely post.

    I've been looking at Western Digital MyCloud drives recently with a view to buying one and installing it at my sister's house in order to back up my own and my brother's personal data 'off site but under personal control'.

    As a result, I'm very interested in any practical/personal experience of these devices.

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    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    Obviously every situation is different particularly if one travels and needs access to their data but one NAS offering in several sizes from Western Digital is called MyCloud. I haven't needed to set it up yet but there is a process for accessing the drive from the Internet through the Router it's plugged into. I prefer the WDC Passport drive for portability, instead of remotely accessing a drive. I'm somewhat leery of the security and safety features of cloud storage.
    But you would not be with your NAS available on the internet?
    David

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    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    FYI to the OP this is a similar thread:
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...-Cloud-Storage
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    FYI to the OP this is a similar thread:
    I had been thinking about this before that other thread started. I was going to post this there but didn't want to sidetrack the original question.

    There are actually several things relating to this like the difference between synchronized storage vs offline backup vs offline used like a NAS. That's why I got to wondering how people use these larger accounts.

    Addendum: In looking at various offsite (cloud) storage options, it pays to read the fine print. For example, iDrive offers 1TB for $60/yr and allows multiple computers. BUT, there is a file size limit of 20GB which eliminates Image backups of most PC's.
    Last edited by gsmith-plm; 2015-11-11 at 09:43.
    Graham Smith
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    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    @gsmith-plm
    Various disk imaging programs (the commercial ones) allow creating an image which is spread across multiple files. The maximum size of the files can be specified at the time of imaging the hard drive. That yields files which will fit onto different media (i.e., specify a different maximum file size based on what media you'll use -- whether DVD, or online, etc.).

    RockE
    Last edited by RockE; 2015-11-11 at 17:00.

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  14. #13
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    After losing a decade's worth of archived programs when my WD MyBook failed, I swore I would never again waste money on external drives. So, the short answer is that I store everything except backup images.

    I created free accounts on about half a dozen services, evaluated their usefulness and allocated my offline file storage according to how easy it was to retrieve them.

    Eventually, I stopped using services with buggy or resource-heavy desktop "apps" (MediaFire and SpiderOak, respectively.) Currently, I pay for just one service - Google Drive - but I'm probably going to switch to Dropbox Pro to save money and increase storage.

    I let CryptSync handle the syncing and encrypting between my local drive and the services' folders. While that adds a layer of complexity for recovering files, I just use RoboForm to keep track of the CryptSync passwords!

    The only fly in the ointment is that I will have to buy an external drive in order to do full image backups (I miss the old Norton Ghost! and Windows 98SE...sigh)

    Cheers,

    Mitch

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anklebuster View Post
    After losing a decade's worth of archived programs when my WD MyBook failed, I swore I would never again waste money on external drives. So, the short answer is that I store everything except backup images.
    That is part of why I started this thread. I currently keep music on one external drive and backups on another. Everything on these two is also on a mirror drive NAS along with about 25yrs years worth of business and financial records. I've even got some DVD's with stuff on them.

    Truth is, most of what's on the NAS and DVD's could be lost and I probably wouldn't miss it. But I'm a born packrat and there have been occasions in the past couple years where I went rummaging in the archives. I did get rid of some stuff in 2014 when I closed my business office and moved. And I have gone looking for a couple things only to determine that they were among the things that I would "never need again."

    We won't discuss the box of old software books and CD's that got pitched by mistake when I moved because that could make me start crying. But that's another story.

    Anyhoo, I only started looking at all of this when one of the two mirror drives on my NAS failed and the device failed to notify me. It's been replaced but it hasn't worked quite right since then - for one thing, it refuses to go to sleep anymore so the disks are constantly spinning. I'm thinking I might need to replace it or find an alternative.
    Graham Smith
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    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    I just don't trust cloud storage. As a retired Federal IT employee...even OPM lost a bunch of my PII (Personally Identifiable Information) including all of my clearance data. Whatever any cloud storage site "says" they do or don't...you really just don't know what they might do with the data.

    I keep a server (HP EX495 WHS) at the house.

    The 3 PCs here backup to that server most days automatically (I never could find why the PC backups to the server don't run EVERY day.

    I also backup to a server ESATA drive twice a month. That drive stays in the home.

    I also back up on a father/son basis to two other hard drives inserted temporarily in the server twice a month. Those hard drives rotate between the home and my son's workplace for offsite storage.

    Again, I just don't trust cloud storage.
    Last edited by kevmeist; 2015-11-12 at 10:58.

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