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Neil Enns

Many of those online services throttle their upload speeds, so regardless of how fast your uplink is you're still going slow (not that uplink speeds are fast).

My current backup solution is to use a Windows Home Server for automatic backup. It's pretty much idiot proof. But doesn't give me an off-site backup.

I'm told (though I haven't done done it) that one way to solve this is to find a friend with a WHS as well. Then you each download a little utility and do a network backup of your WHS to your friend's.

Richard Ripley

There is a better way and it's called CrashPlan. CrashPlan allows you to send a hard drive with your data on it to the company. That saves a lot of time uploading your photos over a broadband connection. Here's a link to Crashplan's website:


Godfrey DiGiorgi

I've not found the cloud backup solutions to be particularly useful as yet. I was involved with one a number of years back (a startup effort ... long since a victim of the economic disasters of the past decade) and the available bandwidth then was woefully inadequate. Nowadays, I'd call it just inadequate to unsatisfactory. ;-)

My current attitudes about this stuff are simple: there is no way to completely eliminate risk of data loss, just as there was never any way to completely eliminate the risk of losing negatives from time to time. So I do a prudent minimum, consistently, and toss the rest up to a contest between the pernicious behavior of the gods and Lady Luck.

I've lost far more negatives from X-ray contamination, bad processing, dirt, dust, chemical decomposition, and just plain old negligence and stupidity (on my part ...) than I've ever lost digital image files. Nowadays, a card wallet with 8 16G capacity memory storage cards and a pair of card readers, combined with a laptop or netbook, or even a borrowed computer, proves to be an incredibly safe, non-volatile and nearly impervious to damage backup system that doesn't even require I carry any extra batteries or charger around. ;-)


I'm a big fan of using Memory Cards and Flash Drives for backup when traveling in addition to the external drive. Flash and Memory Cards can be mailed back from just about anywhere, bypassing the chance of loss due to a transportation mishap whether it be auto or plane.

Once home I have a Drobo for local redundancy and a USB hard drive I keep offsite in a safe-deposit box which contains not only image backups but computer backups.

Dennis Allshouse

The cloud thing seems great, but the lame upload speeds kill the concept, clearly. Of course a good question is: "Why is uploading slower than downloading, anyway?" And according to legend speeds in the US are slow compared to Europe for example.

James Youngman

The problem is that the infrastructure is owned by companies that think the Internet is a mass medium like television. The delivery of "content" is key, and needs to use most of the bandwidth. They think the upward channel is something like a TV remote. Necessary, but not deserving of much in the way of resources.

This makes remote backup (not just cloud-facing backup) work badly.

I would suggest using physical media. Post CF cards or 2.5" hard drives home (or to some other safe place). Some storage providers (including I think Amazon S3) will accept a posted USB drive.

Richard Ripley

HI Brooks:

I'm not sure if my last post went through and if it did, I apologize about the duplication.

Anyway, I thought you might find the following interesting:

Living in the Cloud - Offsite Storage for Photographers

John Krumm

I use backblaze, which also took a long time for the complete upload (seemed like a couple months). Now that the main bulk is done it keeps up with my current pace, usually overnight, but there's no way it would work if I shot a lot every day.
What does work well is having a Smugmug account, and uploading all my keepers as high quality jpegs, so at least I know I have those. Other than that my two synced external hard drives will have to do.

Rob White

Brooks, try Mozy.com or even Apple's MobileMe as solutions. We recommend Mozy all the time and our customers love it.

Mike Sweeney

The better solution is to preload the online backup via a hard disk sent to them. The better solutiions will let you do this. I use Amazon S3 and have actually it to recover some files while I was in Vegas.

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