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Should you backup your digital photos online (or in the cloud)?

Categories: Backup Pictures, Export Pictures    Tags: , , ,   4 Comments

Online backup, cloud backup or off-site backup are all similar terms that refer to backing up your computer file to a location different than your home. Most of us understand how important backing up our digital photos is, but why do we need more than a simple external hard drive? What is all the fuss about backing up our computers in the “cloud”? And how do you choose a great online backup service. Read on about 3 essential features of a great online backup service.

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We love taking pictures and videos of our families because we love to remember the memories. Therefore, backing up your digital photos is crucial to safeguarding your precious memories. This is also one of the first things I teach in my online course and it is one of the first things my students implement on their computers. Just having l an external drive and a consistent approach to backing up your files is one of the greatest investments for safeguarding your precious memories.

Backing up your digital media is essential to safeguarding your precious memories.
But what about online backup?

While a great and crucial step, backing up your digital media to an external drive still has some major shortcomings. The basic problem is that your backup is where your computer is. Therefore, your backup and computer can be stolen or damaged in a fire or other disaster. In addition both your computer and backup can crash.

This is where having an online backup service really brings peace of mind. The online backup is simply stored somewhere else and it is redundant which means that if some hardware crashes your data is still safe.

I am cheap when it comes to buying technology and services, but for the past year I kept thinking and reading about online or cloud backup. I read about at lot of cloud backup companies and studied their technology. After quite a bit of research and asking around I found a great vendor with an awesome solution.

Here are 3 important features to look for when shopping for an online backup solution. These are the features that helped guide me towards finding a good and reliable cloud backup company.

Unlimited online backup space

This was a simple requirement since I have around 500Gb of data, mostly pictures and videos. I didn’t want to have to worry about exceeding any storage quotas. Because of this I quickly realized I cannot use any free service. Once that decision was made I moved to the next criteria for finding an online backup service.

Affordable online backup solution

I am very cheap when it comes to buying technology and services. The cost is very important for me because I had a limit of. Around $50 per year. Where did this number come from? Well, because we all take lots of pictures and videos, we need to upgrade our storage devices every few years. I can pay 150$ for 3 years of unlimited backup which is equivalent to one upgrade on my own computer.

Simple setup procedures for backing up my data online

Even though I love technology I like simple technology. When it comes to a selecting an online backup service I wanted it to be as close to pressing a button as possible.

In a nutshell I wanted an unlimited, affordable and simple solution for backing up my media in the cloud. Pretty picky right?

Why would you backup your computer online?

For me the most important benefit of baking up my media online is peace of mind. I know I probably will not use the backup very often, but it feels so great to know that I have another copy of all my family’s precious memories safely backed up in a different location.

Should you backup in the cloud? The only reason not to consider it seriously is if you have another copy of your computer files stored at a friend’s house.

My recommendation for a reliable online backup solution

Well these requirements brought the choices down to two: Backblaze (affiliate link) and Carbonite. However, looking at the price and options for restoring your data, Backblaze was the clear winner. They can even send you a 120Gb USB stick with your data if you need to restore it and do not want to do it online (in the case you have to restore a lot of data).

I have been using Backblaze for close to five months and simply put I love their service, even though now I don’t even think about the fact that it keeps running on my computer mostly at night and saves everything that changes on my computer. This is what I wanted, a service that I don’t have to care about…it just needs to run.

I rarely recommend services to others, but with Backblaze I have no reservations in recommending them to my readers. This is a great service built by people passionate about storage and technology. They are also committed to providing unlimited backup for 5$/month. If you sign up for two years though, the cost drops to about $4/month. Awesome deal I say.

If you are looking for an unlimited, simple and affordable online backup service I recommend you look seriously at Backblaze. Click here to visit the Backblaze website (affiliate link).

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Updated: March 21, 2014  Categories: Backup Pictures, Export Pictures
Tags: , , ,    Comments: 4 Comments
Read related articles:
Interview with online backup company BackBlaze
How to setup Google Photos and use it efficiently
5 misleading myths about organizing your digital media

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyle Kopnicky January 27, 2014 at 11:52 pm

For me, the biggest down side to online backup is how long it takes. Yes, you can use a seed drive to get started, and pay again when you need to restore. But it can be expensive. I would like to hear your experience with backup time and bandwidth requirements. Also, I think 500GB is not that much. Some people have multiple TB.

Have you considered CrashPlan? Also $4/mo for unlimited. I’ve heard it works better cross-platform than Backblaze, which is designed primarily for Mac.


Vlad January 28, 2014 at 12:08 am

Lyle….good questions.
The initial backup took about one week with BackBlaze…about 500Gb. It only backs up when you are not using your computer…so when I am using the internet, the BackBlaze agent stops.
Once that initial setup is finished you get a notification and it will only do an incremental backup….which should be pretty fast especially because I leave my computer on over night.
I have a 5Mb upload internet connection and I am running Windows 7. Not sure where you heard about it being built for Mac…works completely fine on my PC.
At least that has been my experience so far…so far so good.
No I have not considered CrashPlan. From the little I have read about it…crash plan looks like another good service. With BackBlaze however I have been reading their blog for a while and I love how passionate and meticulous they are about efficiency and safety. Maybe that is what sold me.


Lyle Kopnicky January 27, 2014 at 11:55 pm

One other thing. Home backups can be rotated and stored off site. It’s not as convenient, but is quite fast. You could use online backup for incremental backup only.


Vlad January 28, 2014 at 12:15 am

Great point! Absolutely agree with you…it really depends on your needs. If off-site storage is an option and it can be done consistently it can work great…especially with very large amounts of data.
For most people however, myself included, online backup is a convenient service…and it is fast enough.


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