Backup storage options?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bailmdb, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. bailmdb macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2009
    Over there
    Curious what backup methods you all use for your files. Just got my first DSLR and I'm taking a ton of pics that are quickly taking up space on my HDD. I know eventually this HDD will fail and I don't want to lose my pics. I know I have external HDD as an option, which I have and use. I know I can also backup to DVDs.

    I've been thinking about Carbonite. Does anyone use them? Can anyone give a review of that service? Any competitors that you would entrust with your personal files? Appreciate any feedback.
  2. drummingcraig macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2007
    "Armpit of the South"
    You've pretty much mentioned the usual suspects: external HDD, DVD or 3rd party servers. I am content with an external HDD. If I had the $$$ I would have a nice RAID setup for myself and wife. The Carbonite thing looks OK, but somehow I don't like the idea of my personal data living on someone else's system; encrypted or otherwise.
  3. Tyler23 macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    I agree with drummingcraig about Carbonite, and also second the use of an external HDD. That's my go-to for backups. It's simple and it works, I don't really see the need for much else (if I'm being practical).
  4. tjb1 macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2010
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I found which gives you 50gb of free storage, kinda of confusing to use and not as simple as dropbox. Dropbox you can get a max of 16gb for free using a .edu email for free. Those are the only two I really know of/use for storage, yes they arent auto backup sites but they work. Also there is cloudapp but I cant get them to email me my confirmation link so I gave up.
  5. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    External HDD is the most affordable and reliable option. For more peace of mind, setup a system where you have say, two 1TB external HDDs (only $150 each) and you have the same files on both. So you have a VERY reliable system to store 1TB of data for only about $300.
  6. ryanrich macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2010
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Currently I also just backup everything to an external drive.

    A great option, as mentioned, for added redundancy, is to have a mirrored copy of your drive. These Seagate BlackArmor NAS devices that have integrated RAID 0, 1 are pretty cool.

    I'm looking at getting the NAS 220 in a 2TB config, and then using RAID-1 which will give you 1TB of storage but excellent redundancy for your photo's in the case that one of the drives fails.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My concerns with online backup solutions is when you need to restore the files.

    I've read various threads about it not going as well as one would hope (given the expense) or the speed of the download was such that it was not feasible to have the system up and running quickly.

    My recommendation is, that if you do go that route, run a small, medium and large set of backups and then try to do a restore to see if it works as you hope it should.
  8. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
  9. mac8867 macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2010
    Saint Augustine, FL
    You could just install an Apple Time Capsule device on your network and let Time Machine backups handle the rest.
  10. Stvwndr219 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2009
    There's always DVDs and Blu-Rays if you are REALLY concerned about the drives catching fire/dying :D
  11. Jottle macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2003
    these aren't powered by the firewire cable, correct? They need a separate power cable as well, unlike the bus powered drives. I wish they made bus powered firewire drives bigger than 500gb, but I imagine it's a limitation of the power that the firewire cable can deliver to larger drives.
  12. dime21, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    No No NO!! RAID is NOT a substitute for backup!! EVER!

    RAID does not protect against accidental deletion of files. It doesn't protect against fire, flood, theft, or vandalism. It doesn't protect against mal-ware. It doesn't protect against your dog/cat/children knocking it over onto the floor, or spilling a venti latte on it. The ONLY purpose of RAID is for continuity of operations - I.e. you can continue working when a drive fails, without interruption.

    For a laptop, the absolute best way to protect your data is to get a 2.5" firewire drive, the same size as your internal disk. Use Carbon Copy Cloner, or something similar, and clone your internal disk to the firewire one. Then store that Firewire one offsite somewhere. Girlfriends house, Parents house, at your office, in a safe deposit box, wherever.

    Now, even if burglars rob your home, your house burns down, or the people in the apartment above you flood their bathtub, your data is still safe.

    Choose a schedule - one a week, every two weeks, once per month, whatever. Choose a schedule and stick to it. Go get that external disk according to your schedule, run your backup, then immediately take the external drive back to its storage place.
  13. dime21, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    LOL, what?? Firewire provides more than TRIPLE the amount of bus power that USB does. You can run ANY 2.5" hard drive bus-powered off of firewire. Even the largest and fastest 7200 rpm drives. Even the 1TB drives. ANY 2.5" drive will work.

    On my MBP, I regularly use two of the 1 TB 2.5" drives both bus-powered at the same time, from the firewire port.

    That Amazon link is to a 3.5" external drive. You cannot bus-power any 3.5" drives, not from firewire or USB. Stick with 2.5" drives if you want to bus-power them.
  14. Mac Composer macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2010
    I've got an external drive partitioned with Time Machine and SuperDuper which creates a bootable backup.

    I also store my valuable work data fiies in the inline storage of my MobileMe account.

    And lastly, I have a USB stick which has my entire Documents folder on it. I update this each night with whatever I've worked on during the day.

    I feel pretty secure with my current system.
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's not true. Many external drives require AC power and will not run on bus power.

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