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03-03-2014, 12:25 PM   #1
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Looking for an easy to use backup/storage solution

We've maxed out our free Dropbox account.

My wife is the one doing all the file management and processing, so apologies if i get confused anywhere.

Basically, we're looking for a solution that will let us backup the raw and processed files, and allow them to be accessed via phone. (She shares them via Instagram and other social media outlets)

Neither of us are what you'd call "high level" tech savvy these days, we've both fallen behind the curve over the years, so "easy to use" is a big requirement.

Looking at this, but there's a lot of verbage in there that i don't understand: Western Digital My Cloud Review: The $150 personal cloud | Ars Technica

Would this allow access to the "cloud" anywhere we go, even if the drive stays at home? If say... our home is destroyed in a fire and burns the drive, do the files still exist on the cloud?


Basically, looking for 1TB or so of storage, has to be easy to use, and can be accessed by any device that might be on the same network. True cloud storage that can be accessed from anywhere even outside of home would be a bonus, but not a necessity.


Any recommendations?

03-03-2014, 12:29 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
We've maxed out our free Dropbox account.

My wife is the one doing all the file management and processing, so apologies if i get confused anywhere.

Basically, we're looking for a solution that will let us backup the raw and processed files, and allow them to be accessed via phone. (She shares them via Instagram and other social media outlets)

Neither of us are what you'd call "high level" tech savvy these days, we've both fallen behind the curve over the years, so "easy to use" is a big requirement.

Looking at this, but there's a lot of verbage in there that i don't understand: Western Digital My Cloud Review: The $150 personal cloud | Ars Technica

Would this allow access to the "cloud" anywhere we go, even if the drive stays at home? If say... our home is destroyed in a fire and burns the drive, do the files still exist on the cloud?


Basically, looking for 1TB or so of storage, has to be easy to use, and can be accessed by any device that might be on the same network. True cloud storage that can be accessed from anywhere even outside of home would be a bonus, but not a necessity.


Any recommendations?
I use CrashPlan unlimited. I pay $6 a month for it.

I'm not sure of the access by phone or for instagram. Their website would be helpful there.
03-03-2014, 12:43 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
We've maxed out our free Dropbox account.
What does a paid dropbox account cost? Might be competitive with other solutions.

To me "backup" and "cloud access" are two different things, although I admit to being old fashioned. If all you need is access by phone to post on instagram then do you need the RAWs to be accessed as well? I'm thinking just put your jpegs in the dropbox and use an automated backup solution to handle the RAWs. Crashplan, Carbonite and a number of other programs can handle the actual "backup".
03-03-2014, 12:53 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
What does a paid dropbox account cost? Might be competitive with other solutions.

To me "backup" and "cloud access" are two different things, although I admit to being old fashioned. If all you need is access by phone to post on instagram then do you need the RAWs to be accessed as well? I'm thinking just put your jpegs in the dropbox and use an automated backup solution to handle the RAWs. Crashplan, Carbonite and a number of other programs can handle the actual "backup".
Paid Dropbox is $10/month.

Would like to kill two birds with one stone here if possible, but it sounds like maybe it might be a better idea to just use a NAS for backup, then throw all the processed photos up on Flickr?

Dropbox seems to be somewhat intuitive, but the PC side of things sometimes gets a little weird.


I think if i personally were doing this, i'd just get a big wireless network drive for "backup" and storage, then dump all my "finished" photos in Flickr.

But, i think she likes the "automated" aspect of the Dropbox-esque solution.

03-03-2014, 01:17 PM   #5
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Crashplan has mobile app that you can download any file that have been backedup from your computer. So it probably works similar enough compared to dropbox.
03-03-2014, 06:49 PM   #6
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Using Dropbox or other cloud system for backup, just make sure your ISP does not have limits on bandwidth, and if you go over, what is the penalty? That first backup will be large, after that it shouldn't be too much.
03-03-2014, 06:54 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
If say... our home is destroyed in a fire and burns the drive, do the files still exist on the cloud?
No they don't. They're would get lost when the disk gets burnt in the fire.
It's not cloud storage, despite the name. It's actually a hard disk with remote access.

Cloud storage isn't backup either, because it's too slow and there are no guarantees. How long would it take to upload 100 Raw files? … Worse, how many weeks would it take to download all your files should something go wrong? Backup that takes too long, is backup that doesn't happen. Dropbox is good for syncing files between computers and devices, don't think of this as backup, it's not.

The best, fastest and cheapest backup for home users and small business is to buy two hard disks and rotate them off site (or into a proper fire proof safe). So one on site, one off site.
On mac, carbon copy cloner is the best backup software, on PC, I like sync back pro, although both are targeted at advanced users.

Don't try and save money when it comes to backup! If you need to buy new software or pay someone to set it up, do so. The benefit of saving a few hundred dollars soon loses it's charm when you realise you've gone and lost all your work from the last ten years.
03-03-2014, 07:12 PM   #8
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It seems like you need more clarity around your requirements prior to shopping for a tool.

A backup is different from storage that is intended to be accessed regularly. Online display and cataloging of images is also a somewhat different scenario. And remote access and management of image files are a different solution too. Throwing raw files into the mix will change your solutions. And having cloud access originating from your own facility is very different than using someone else's server.

That's enough.

M

03-03-2014, 08:26 PM   #9
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Whatever tool you use for processing RAW files must export or develop JPEG files for sharing on the Internet. As others have suggested, only upload JPEG files over the Internet. No one wants to download 20MB RAW files, even if they have a program available to view them, and a typical residential high speed Internet connection uploads at one tenth to one twentieth of the download speed. 4G or LTE connections speeds are adversely affected by buildings, network load and the rate of speed the mobile device is moving at, so a typical mobile device will upload and download even slower than your residential connection.

So it's pretty straightforward, regularly back up the computer you process your digital images on and upload only the JPEG files you think you might want to share to an online storage service like Dropbox. 3Gb of JPEG files resized for the Internet is a huge number of pictures (over 10,000 if you keep your JPEG files under 300Kb). You should be backing up your entire computer anyway, so you don't have to take another step to move or copy just your RAW files and if you export directly to your Dropbox folders, you eliminate extra steps with the pictures you want to share. Keeping your computer backup in another location gives you some protection from natural disasters like fire and flooding, but the most common disaster with computers is having to reinstall your operating system because some obscure system file got corrupted. For those kind of disasters, a portable hard drive is ideal. If it's unencrypted, you just plug it into your new computer (or your old computer with the new OS installed) and voila, all of your original RAW files are there.
03-04-2014, 07:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
Paid Dropbox is $10/month.

Would like to kill two birds with one stone here if possible, but it sounds like maybe it might be a better idea to just use a NAS for backup, then throw all the processed photos up on Flickr?

Dropbox seems to be somewhat intuitive, but the PC side of things sometimes gets a little weird.


I think if i personally were doing this, i'd just get a big wireless network drive for "backup" and storage, then dump all my "finished" photos in Flickr.

But, i think she likes the "automated" aspect of the Dropbox-esque solution.
I have a NAS from LG. It has 1T of storage (actually 2 1T drives, but I have them mirrored). And aslong it is turned on and connected on the net, I can acces it from anywhere in the world through a browser. You just need to know the IP adress of the NAs, and then you can acces it. It is password protected, and behind a firewall. so, the files are "safe".
03-04-2014, 09:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Macario Quote
You just need to know the IP adress of the NAs
This might be a deal breaker for the OP
QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
Neither of us are what you'd call "high level" tech savvy
And if you have problems connecting (because your ISP or your router has problems) you can't access it anyway. If you have USB 3.0 on your computer and your backup storage device, you have Ethernet speed without setting up a network, and non-networked storage devices are more portable, less expensive.and much simpler to manage.
03-04-2014, 09:59 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone, this gives us something to start with in terms of what we're looking for.

Like i said earlier, if it were just me, i'd go straight to a NAS and use Flickr only for the processed JPEG files, access them via phone via their app. I may lobby for that solution a bit more, since it also looks like the cheapest option.



As for setting up a NAS, i'm capable of that much. That sort of thing hasn't changed much from a decade ago when i was chasing overclocking/benchmarking records using AMD's Socket A processors. But when it comes to having to access that storage via browser with IP address on a smartphone... that just sounds annoying to me, and if it sounds annoying to me, my better half will hate it.
03-09-2014, 09:38 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
As for setting up a NAS, i'm capable of that much. That sort of thing hasn't changed much from a decade ago when i was chasing overclocking/benchmarking records using AMD's Socket A processors. But when it comes to having to access that storage via browser with IP address on a smartphone... that just sounds annoying to me, and if it sounds annoying to me, my better half will hate it.
Some NASs (for example, those made by Synology of which I have one) let you assign a stable address through their dynamic DNS system, so you can keep the same address even if the IP of your home connection changes. And Synology also has a decent photo hosting system (Photostation) that lets you create web galleries (with a mobile interface, too). And it has options for backing up from the NAS to various cloud repositories. So you might look into an NAS like that. You could take a look at the Synology site/ and see if it meets your needs.
03-11-2014, 03:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bar_foo Quote
Some NASs (for example, those made by Synology of which I have one) let you assign a stable address through their dynamic DNS system, so you can keep the same address even if the IP of your home connection changes. And Synology also has a decent photo hosting system (Photostation) that lets you create web galleries (with a mobile interface, too). And it has options for backing up from the NAS to various cloud repositories. So you might look into an NAS like that. You could take a look at the Synology site/ and see if it meets your needs.

My LG also has a stable IP adres, so just program it once in your smartphone, and you're done.
03-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by concealer404 Quote
I think if i personally were doing this, i'd just get a big wireless network drive for "backup" and storage, then dump all my "finished" photos in Flickr.

But, i think she likes the "automated" aspect of the Dropbox-esque solution.
This is what I did last year, when I finally got an NAS setup. I've always posted my better shots on Flickr, when I have time to do the processing and uploading.

Dropbox is nice, though, and extremely convenient. I have it set up from my phone, so I can quickly grab the images on the computer. The paid cost doesn't seem too high, given the amount of data you'll eventually store.
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