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Computer Backup Options...Carbonite/Google One/OneDrive
Old 04-23-2019, 06:54 PM   #1
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Computer Backup Options...Carbonite/Google One/OneDrive

I've been using Carbonite for several years to back up all of my computer files. Actually, I think it's a full hard drive back up that is continually updating. My last payment for an annual renewal was $76.74. Fortunately I've never had to use it for a hard drive crash, but I did use it to recover all of my files when I purchased my last laptop around 4 years ago.

I have a number of files that I've accumulated over the years, mainly taxes/financial documents and excel spreadsheets that I use to track investments. On top of that I have literally hundreds of photos that I've accumulated over the years. These days all photos that my wife and I take are using our smart phones.

My question is, are there better/cheaper/easier options to backup these files? In particular, I've looked into Google One and OneDrive. Both are considerably cheaper than Carbonite but probably not as robust. But my main concern is not losing any the files and particularly the photos that I've accumulated. It looks like Google One is the cheapest (100GB for $1.99/month or $19.99/yr). OneDrive is 50GB for $1.99/month. All of my files/pictures total about 30GB, and my entire hard drive contains a total of 70GB.

On a side note, my wife and I each currently use Google Photos for photos we've taken on our cell phones, each tied to our individual Gmail accounts, and well within the 15GB that is free . But if we go with the Google One option, can we combine all of our cell phone photos together, including the hundreds of older photos on my hard drive, into one account?

I'm open to other options than those I've listed, but I'm mostly interested in backing up to the cloud as opposed to an external hard drive. I'm not very technically savvy (as I'm sure is obvious in my email) and want to keep it simple.

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:43 PM   #2
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Backing up to the cloud is fine, but with regards to your pictures (and any file you absolutely do not want to lose), you should do a backup to a disk. It's not too expensive and it's really very easy. I have three backups of my wife's pictures. It's just a bit less than a TB so a $60 external drive will work. Plug it into a computer and save your files to it as you would any disk drive. Then, take one disk to either your save deposit box or a family member's house. For me, I just do this with the pictures. I'm not worried about security (someone else seeing them), I'm only worried about losing them. DW would be heartbroken if she lost all her pictures. Even if you did this just once a year, at least you wouldn't lose all your pictures in the event of a disk crash, an on line system going down, a theft or fire . . .

Get the best on line backup you feel comfortable with, but still, make a couple more backups. It's cheap insurance.


https://www.bestbuy.com/site/wd-my-p...?skuId=5605523
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:59 PM   #3
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You could consider changing your Google Photos settings:

  • "Original" stores in Full resolution that counts against your quota.
  • "High quality" allows for free unlimited storage. In what google describes as "Great visual quality at reduced file size". IIRC photos less than 16GB will not be resized.
A second option is to periodically backup on a local USB drive. Or even simpler you could backup your collection onto a flash memory card (SDXC or thumb drive). Maybe keep a couple of backups, one kept at home and another at a trusted family/friend's house for catastrophic recovery.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:47 PM   #4
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These days you can get an external drive that connects via USB 3.0 and you can backup everything locally.
I use 2 external drives in case one dies at the same time my main computer dies.

A 2 TB external usb 3.0 drive (way more than you need) costs about $65.

Even if you use online services, best to have a local copy as you will still have it if the service pulls a mySpace "accident".
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:30 AM   #5
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These days you can get an external drive that connects via USB 3.0 and you can backup everything locally.
I use 2 external drives in case one dies at the same time my main computer dies.

A 2 TB external usb 3.0 drive (way more than you need) costs about $65.

Even if you use online services, best to have a local copy as you will still have it if the service pulls a mySpace "accident".
This is what I do. I am on my third external backup drive. It was a 6T Seagate for about $120. It is also cheaper than paying every year for storage in the cloud.
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:52 AM   #6
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I use I Drive. I think it’s cheaper than some others but I put it on autopay and forgot. I also auto copy my documents to a free One Drive account and my photos to a free Google Photos. The Google compression is fine for me.

The one time I restored from iDrive to a new PC went fine.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:45 AM   #7
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On site 1 tb portable HD backed up daily. Just used it as my desktop crashed and everything was right there when I restored files to the new desktop.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:42 AM   #8
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My solution, as far as the computer itself. (I have all of my important info backed up on all three networked computers, and on a 2T hard drive.)

So... in an effort to delete tens of thousands of "Plex" files, I inadvertently deleted a "shadow" file that, in effect, destroyed my ability to connect to the internet. (no backup to windows 10) as it was an upgrade to an old XP computer.

In short... the solution, after spending too much time playing around to restore... Amazon refurb.. same computer... with Win 10... $93... free delivery. Due next Monday.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:42 AM   #9
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I have 3 copies of every important file at a minimum. Two are local, one is remote and either offline or non-changeable. So, I have a desktop and a laptop that are regularly, automatically synced between each other (I use GoodSync) so there are 2 local copies of my files that are easily accessible if there’s a problem. I have a Backblaze subscription for the desktop, so in case of total home devastation, my data will be recoverable. I use OneDrive for spreadsheets and word docs, but figure that it might replicate an accident or problem, so don’t use it as my backup solution. I also have one of those 2TB Western Digital USB3 passport drives, so my laptop will back up changed files (using built-in Win10 backup functionality) when I’m traveling, but that’s only rarely.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:32 AM   #10
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Nightly, my system and data are automatically backed up via Macrium Reflect to a second internal drive.

I also back up manually at time to a removable drive as a just in case measure should, say a hacker wipe out the data of both my local drives. Since I don't do this regularly, the manual back up probably the weakest link to my strategy. But in all the years of computer use, not once have I had the both drives not accessible at once situation ever happen, so I'm willing to take that chance and not over think things and have versions of backups all over the place.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:43 AM   #11
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What are all you folks saving that is so important that needs so much storage space (probably enough to run General Motor's Corporation entire accounting systems)?

We have our "important docs" (house deeds, med POA's, finanacial info, etc) on a USB thumb drive and all the photos of family on one DVD (which no one looks at, ever).

Maybe we are missing something?
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:53 AM   #12
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I use thumb drives to back up my data. I keep my personal files within one large directory, so it is pretty easy to copy the whole thing to a thumb drive every 3 months (March, June, September, December).


At the end of the other 8 months, I do a simpler backup of only the files I have created or changed in the last month. That's a far quicker process.


I alternate between 2 thumb drives, and I store the larger, quarterly backups separately from the smaller, monthly ones.


I have had two major hard drive issues in the last 8 years. The first one, in early 2012, required I buy a new desktop to replace my 10-year-old one. Fortunately, that crash happened near the start of the month (and quarter), so I lost very little data in those first few days. The second crash happened in late 2016 but using the repair facility in the Windows 10 thumb drive I had bought earlier, and looking up some stuff on line (using a different PC), I was able to figure out how to gain just enough access to my failing PC so I could copy files I had changed in the first ~10 days of the month onto a thumb drive.


It was a minor nuisance making sure I restored the latest versions of all of my personal files which were stored in as many as 3 different places. But I got through it and didn't lose any work.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post

We have out "important docs" (house deeds, med POA's, finanacial info, etc) on a USB thumb drive and all the photos of family on one DVD (which no one looks at, ever).

Maybe we are missing something?
.................................................. ................

No!
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:05 AM   #14
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These days you can get an external drive that connects via USB 3.0 and you can backup everything locally.
I use 2 external drives in case one dies at the same time my main computer dies.

A 2 TB external usb 3.0 drive (way more than you need) costs about $65.

Even if you use online services, best to have a local copy as you will still have it if the service pulls a mySpace "accident".
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On site 1 tb portable HD backed up daily. Just used it as my desktop crashed and everything was right there when I restored files to the new desktop.
+1, same here except I back up on Saturdays only and also I make dual backups.

I have done my own backups for the past 34 years, since a bad hard drive crash in 1985 that was so gruesome; I lost everything and was very traumatized by it. Never again. I used various media to store backups through the decades since. Now that portable external hard drives are so cheap, I use them like you do.

Until recently one of my dual backups was on a 1TB portable external hard drive, and one was on one of those tiny thumbnail sized drives (with smaller capacity) that just stays in the USB port or on a keychain. But the latter overheated a lot, was slower than its specs would imply, and finally just cratered; I was not impressed. So, this week I bought a second 1 TB portable external hard drive just like my other one. It's $49.99 and has been very reliable for me. Click on the image below for a link to the Amazon page.



These backups are what I use when I buy a new laptop, which (as most members here know) I happen to enjoy doing just for fun every year or two. "Blow That Dough!" My backups are only about 60 GB each, and include all of my files, photos, links, mp3's, documents, and more (everything under my username in c:\\users). Thus I do not rely on any backup software, so no worries there. I do not back up programs themselves, since I just re-install them when setting up a new computer.
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
What are all you folks saving that is so important that needs so much storage space (probably enough to run General Motor's Corporation entire accounting systems)?

We have our "important docs" (house deeds, med POA's, finanacial info, etc) on a USB thumb drive and all the photos of family on one DVD (which no one looks at, ever).

Maybe we are missing something?
DWís pictures capture pretty much het whole life. She got a camera in her teens an has been taking pictures ever since. Her entire album is about 750GB so it all fits on a 1TB disk. Itís fair to say that they donít get looked at often, but no that theyíre scanned (the old pictures) and all in on place, itís easy to scroll through them. Every now and then, Iíll want a specific picture, my DD at the same age a DGD to see how they compare. Iíll find the picture and then spend too much time basically surfing our pictures. Itís a nice diversion and trip down memory lane. I would have never done the with a physical photo album.

Is that important? As I said in an earlier post, DW would be distraught if she lost all her pictures. Even Iíd be pretty upset. The old ones we could rescan, but since the 1980ís, everything is digital.
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:21 AM   #16
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What are all you folks saving that is so important that needs so much storage space (probably enough to run General Motor's Corporation entire accounting systems)?

We have our "important docs" (house deeds, med POA's, finanacial info, etc) on a USB thumb drive and all the photos of family on one DVD (which no one looks at, ever).

Maybe we are missing something?
I think often the big space hog are video files. For example, if you have an old VHS movies that got digitized into MP4 video, that can chew up a lot of space.
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:26 AM   #17
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DW’s pictures capture pretty much het whole life. She got a camera in her teens an has been taking pictures ever since. Her entire album is about 750GB so it all fits on a 1TB disk. It’s fair to say that they don’t get looked at often, but no that they’re scanned (the old pictures) and all in on place, it’s easy to scroll through them. Every now and then, I’ll want a specific picture, my DD at the same age a DGD to see how they compare. I’ll find the picture and then spend too much time basically surfing our pictures. It’s a nice diversion and trip down memory lane. I would have never done the with a physical photo album.

Is that important? As I said in an earlier post, DW would be distraught if she lost all her pictures. Even I’d be pretty upset. The old ones we could rescan, but since the 1980’s, everything is digital.
Yes, those photos are important and should be saved. We had 10 albums full of family photos from when the kids were small (1970s) up until they left home. We gave the albums to them over the years for their safekeeping. What we have digitally is about 1/2 of a DVD of family events over the last 20 years (Christmas, TDay, Easter, BDays, etc) that we took and will give them copies someday. I'd be surprised if there are 250 photos total on that DVD.

I understand that one can take thousands of photos of anything these days with digital cameras and I have a friend who has done that (he says he has several thousand photos cataloged) and saves them. He says his kids will get them someday.

I still don't get the terabytes of storage thing as that is a LOT of digital space. I can't even imagine what people would store on a drive that has that much space, besides thousands of photos.
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
What are all you folks saving that is so important that needs so much storage space (probably enough to run General Motor's Corporation entire accounting systems)?

We have our "important docs" (house deeds, med POA's, finanacial info, etc) on a USB thumb drive and all the photos of family on one DVD (which no one looks at, ever).

Maybe we are missing something?
PDF's of all docs & manuals: 8.02 GB
Fund Manager Data: 63.2 MB
Saved Voicemails (from deceased relatives): 37.8 MB
Quicken Data & Copies: 1.04 GB
Spreadsheets: 38.3 MB
TurboTax Files (past few years): 28.9 MB
Visio Files: 14.0 MB
MS Word Files: 90.2 MB
Archived Old Documents (Work history): 6.61 GB
eBooks: 2.03 GB
Music Files (FLAC, MP3, etc.): 47.7 GB
Video & Digitized Home Movies: 55.2 GB
Pictures: 15.5 GB
Mail Backup: 3.32 GB

That accounts for > 140 GB. My backup software indicates I'm backing up slightly more than 150 GB, so I'm skipping something. It's amazing how quickly you can eat up storage space...
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:50 AM   #19
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What are all you folks saving that is so important that needs so much storage space (probably enough to run General Motor's Corporation entire accounting systems)?
Yeah... I've been asking myself this same question recently. Personal photos and videos can be backed up using the free Google Photos service (or Amazon Photos, if you have Prime). Other important, personal files are typically much smaller so shouldn't need more than a few hundred GB.

I generally don't like cloud-based backups due to security/privacy concerns, and they are MUCH more expensive over the long term. So I've been vacillating between external hard drives and Blu-rays for my archiving and backups. I think I've pretty much settled on using Blu-rays to archive things that are older, static, and have marginal expected value (for example, old email data files). For stuff that changes frequently or has more current value, I'm using external hard drives. Either way (Blu-ray or hard drive), the cost is about the same, approximately 1.8 cents per GB. By comparison, the cheapest cloud storage will cost far more than this on both a per-GB basis and an absolute cost basis over time.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:03 PM   #20
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PDF's of all docs & manuals: 8.02 GB
Fund Manager Data: 63.2 MB
Saved Voicemails (from deceased relatives): 37.8 MB
Quicken Data & Copies: 1.04 GB
Spreadsheets: 38.3 MB
TurboTax Files (past few years): 28.9 MB
Visio Files: 14.0 MB
MS Word Files: 90.2 MB
Archived Old Documents (Work history): 6.61 GB
eBooks: 2.03 GB
Music Files (FLAC, MP3, etc.): 47.7 GB
Video & Digitized Home Movies: 55.2 GB
Pictures: 15.5 GB
Mail Backup: 3.32 GB

That accounts for > 140 GB. My backup software indicates I'm backing up slightly more than 150 GB, so I'm skipping something. It's amazing how quickly you can eat up storage space...
That's quite list!

We don't save old emails and our old work docs (I had a lot) were purged right after we retired. They live elsewhere anyway (prior employers) and we see no need to look at work project files that are up to 20 years old. Our corporate attorney (V & E partner), tells all retirees are get rid of old work files immediately that are client related, which were most of them anyway.

Movies and stuff like that are available from third parties so we see no need to digitize any of them, although home movies are very saveable.

Don't get me wrong here, I know that many people save a lot of stuff for their own personal and correct reasons and that's all good.

We just don't see the need to spend a lot of time or effort on something like this, especially since we have managed the estates of deceased family members (siblings, children, parents) and had to deal with digital files, which, in the end, no one really cared about most of them.
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