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Best method for photo storage?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I'm an avid hobbyist photographer and I have a lot of photos on my computer (approximately 230GB). I would like a method of backing them up, as I am worried that I will lose them if the HDD fails. My school gives me unlimited Google Drive storage, however there are so many photos that it would take way too long to try and upload them (my internet upload speed is very slow). I've tried uploading them but it said it was going to take a month or something lol.

I'm wondering what the best way to back them up would be. Should I buy an external HDD? Are there other methods that work well? If I use an external HDD, is that safer than just a standard HDD?

Thanks for your help.

EDIT: With regards to budget, I suppose I can adjust it depending on what we are talking about. So it's not fixed.
Edited by NPAS - 8/28/16 at 1:03am
post #2 of 11
If you only want on site storage, then look for an external box, could be NAS, that has multiple drives and can do a raid array. The idea is to mirror multiple drives in the event one of them fails.

If cash is limiting, then buying a single large external drive would also work, but not be as fail-safe as multiple drives. Regardless of what you do, I would also begin backing them up online to your Google Drive or whatever service you choose.,, even if it takes a month. Or, try to spend a few days at a local library or some other public space with better upload speeds.

I'm not sure where you are located, but in terms of US Dollars, a single external drive with a TB or two of storage should be well under $100 and a multi-drive box can probably be done for as little as $150 or $200, but can get really expensive with some of the fancy units on the market. The prices I'm talking are more DIY solutions.
Edited by Depauville Kid - 8/28/16 at 10:16am
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Depauville Kid View Post

If you only want on site storage, then look for an external box, could be NAS, that has multiple drives and can do a raid array. The idea is to mirror multiple drives in the event one of them fails.

If cash is limiting, then buying a single large external drive would also work, but not be as fail-safe as multiple drives. Regardless of what you do, I would also begin backing them up online to your Google Drive or whatever service you choose.,, even if it takes a month. Or, try to spend a few days at a local library or some other public space with better upload speeds.

I'm not sure where you are located, but in terms of US Dollars, a single external drive with a TB or two of storage should be well under $100 and a multi-drive box can probably be done for as little as $150 or $200, but can get really expensive with some of the fancy units on the market. The prices I'm talking are more DIY solutions.

How many drives would you recommend for a RAID array, if I were to go with a NAS system.

Also, I live in Australia. I like this website, but there are others I could use as well: https://www.pccasegear.com/
Edited by NPAS - 8/28/16 at 10:39pm
post #4 of 11
I used to do photography and have friends who are photographers, and I would strongly support @Depauville Kid suggestions. I know RAID1 (not RAID0, sorry) is in reality made for redundancy and not backup tho...
You might want to put your pictures online from your school connection if it's decent (good luck, as you're Australian 😁), have a NAS or get something similar with two mirrored harddrives, AND a third external device that you might store in another location.
And go 2 or 3 TB directly, don't be cheap about capacity, and get all the financial help you can from family, friends or your school for that.

I say that because if you get serious and professional about photography, you just can't afford to loose those pictures, and it can happen really quickly (home theft, just sudden death of any of your device, or a misplaced orange juice)... And you'll run very quickly of storage space if you're a picture hoarder, which I believe any photograph is 😜

Edit: corrected suggested RAID
Edited by HZCH - 8/29/16 at 3:41am
     
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HZCH View Post

I used to do photography and have friends who are photographers, and I would strongly support @Depauville Kid suggestions. I know RAID0 is in reality made for redundancy and not backup tho...
You might want to put your pictures online from your school connection if it's decent (good luck, as you're Australian 😁), have a NAS or get something similar with two mirrored harddrives, AND a third external device that you might store in another location.
And go 2 or 3 TB directly, don't be cheap about capacity, and get all the financial help you can from family, friends or your school for that.

I say that because if you get serious and professional about photography, you just can't afford to loose those pictures, and it can happen really quickly (home theft, just sudden death of any of your device, or a misplaced orange juice)... And you'll run very quickly of storage space if you're a picture hoarder, which I believe any photograph is 😜

Do I really need to have all of that? Surely two HDDs set up in a RAID config where both keep all the photos would be pretty secure?
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HZCH View Post

I used to do photography and have friends who are photographers, and I would strongly support @Depauville Kid suggestions. I know RAID0 is in reality made for redundancy and not backup tho...
You might want to put your pictures online from your school connection if it's decent (good luck, as you're Australian 😁), have a NAS or get something similar with two mirrored harddrives, AND a third external device that you might store in another location.
And go 2 or 3 TB directly, don't be cheap about capacity, and get all the financial help you can from family, friends or your school for that.

I say that because if you get serious and professional about photography, you just can't afford to loose those pictures, and it can happen really quickly (home theft, just sudden death of any of your device, or a misplaced orange juice)... And you'll run very quickly of storage space if you're a picture hoarder, which I believe any photograph is 😜

I hope you are talking about RAID1 and not RAID0, as the latter has utterly no redundancy.


As for OP, a NAS is not a true backup. It is meant for constant uninterrupted access when needed. Your workflow should be a NAS for constant access and data retention and one to a few external drives that store a full backup offline (unplug them from anything once you are done backing up). Only then can you have close to 100% data redundancy.
post #7 of 11
Honestly, I would avoid RAID altogether. In theory its good (especially if you need constant access at high read/write rates), but I've had MAJOR headaches with RAID 5 when an enclosure goes bad, and even a RAID 1 array failure will require you to recover the data.


I stick to the old method of backing up to an external HDD by hand, but you can even do it semi-automatically via software. Unplug it when not in use, and it barely gets any wear and tear.
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
So, by the sounds of it an external HDD would be sufficient? Will one be ok? Will it be safe, especially compared to a standard HDD?
post #9 of 11
Well, cobtributors are right about raid issues and hassles: even if I would personally get one RAID1 array as a "save rig" (in a personal computer for example), its implications (making the array, or making a server for that, or buying a NAS) may not be worth the hassle, and it was not meant for backup in the first place.

But PLEASE get at least two external drives, and try to at least hide one. And make those backups regularly. You don't wanna loose your pictures if it's your wowor mean of living.
     
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post #10 of 11
I'm in the same situation (I have 268GB, so I feel ya).

This is what I do.

Main HDD with pictures on my picture PC
Second HDD (internal) on my picture PC with pictures backed up monthly, by copying and pasting the whole picture folder and renaming it with the date
Third HDD (external) with pictures backed up quarterly, same method as above, but once done, brought to work and kept in my desk.
Fourth HDD (internal) with pictures of above copied, but on my work PC
Fifth, all pictures I edit (colors, pans, etc) I put on imageshack.us (maybe like 8-10% of all my pictures are there)
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