In this digital age, the abundance of data is certainly a blessing and curse, how do we go about protecting our data? It is often something we regret not doing after a catastropic data loss. For me a big fear is harddrive failure, partially because I don’t have a RAID setup for my computer. I have duplicate harddrives and off-site copy, but I wanted to store it in the cloud.
Over the past Christmas break before Little Amber was born I locked myself in the house for several days and reorganized all my raw file stretching back to 2005 – lot of moving folders around, deleting, but sometimes coming across a shot that I don’t recall at all! It was tough work but I realize I probably won’t have the same free time going forward.
Below were my backup selection criteria:
1) Backup of both JPG and RAW files (1.5-2TB of data)
2) Ability to access info anywhere in the world
3) As cheap as possible for the annual fee
4) Reputable company
My particular usage is not looking for a great interface or constant access, but a backup copy, if you are have specific security needs you can take a look at this handy chart for more info.
I was exploring different options but the costs were all going to be around $12-15/month, so roughly $200CAD/year. To me that was a bit much as I could get a 4TB external drive for that price and it would run for many years. But in March this year Amazon annouced unlimited photo storage for $11.99. *Note* This only applies to Amazon.com accounts.
The best part about this Amazon Cloud storage is that it also counts RAW files as images, as far as I know they support DNG, the major brands RAW format, even PEF, and working on Fuji RAW files. The XMP files that stores your custom settings for each image would count as document storage but they are usually only about 10kb each. Storing all my videos quickly went over the 5GB limit provided with the $11.99 plan, I could go up to the $59.99/yr plan but I don’t have that many video files and also a cost increase of over 5x.
Holding onto point #3 of my original objectives, I signed up for a free Flikr account to separate out my video files.
The free Flikr account has the following specs. For more detailed info, check their Storage FAQ:
To filter out only video files, you can put in the desired file extension(s) in the top search bar within the folder.
An example search query looks like this: “*.mpg OR *.mov OR *.mpeg OR *.wmv OR *.MP4 OR *.avi”
Now I just drag all those files onto the Flikr web uploader and it is backed up. There are pravicy settings which you can select to keep it private only to yourself and from searches.
Overall it is a bit of extra work but I think it is not a bad idea to have all your RAW + JPG files stored remotely for $11.99/year!
Disclaimer: I have no association with any of the service described above, I just want to share my experience and decision process.
End of the day, photos are better in physical form instead of viewed on the screen, so pick some of your favorites and print off a bunch of 4×6″!
I’m really glad to see another option becoming available for those of us just needing the cloud to store our stuff “permanently”. However, the real trick seems to be finding a service that makes it convenient to get the photos to them. Dragging and dropping files requires all sorts of attention being paid to the process and babysitting the upload to be sure it works.
In my case, I’ve settled on the Amazon Glacier service, not because the price is stunning – although it is pretty good – but because I can point my SAN at it and then just forget about it. Even doing that, however, is requiring several MONTHS of constant uploading to catch up with the 4 Tb of archived photos!
Glad you’re reporting some success with this solution. I think this is a relatively untapped market of photographers seeking safe haven for our work.