Off site backups in addition to onsite backups are essential. They are the only way to protect from data loss due to theft, fire, natural disasters, etc. Again, starting with just the onsite backups is much better than nothing but you should be working toward getting the offsite backups going eventually.
Also, keep in mind that even backup drives can fail unexpectedly with no hope of data recovery. Having a second drive minimizes or eliminates data loss from that.
Hot swap bays like the one you linked are an excellent idea. Before I switched to all SSDs, I had a 3.5" hot swap bay in my computer (it's been replaced with a 2.5" dual hot swap bay) I plugged my backup drives into for updating the backups.
Originally Posted by mrtbahgs
Redundancy and backing up are not the same. Like mentioned a true backup will include something not in the same house/apartment to cover a worst case scenario such as a fire.
To start, a copy of drives in a fire safe at home or in a safety deposit box would be best.
If the data isn't THAT important to you then you could consider raid for a minor safety net or maybe backup only a portion.
Curious how you contradicted yourself. A RAID will usually protect from drive failure but will not protect from viruses and other malware along with user error.
Also, most home fireproof safes will not protect electronics in most home fires. Paper, yes, electronics, no.
Originally Posted by Subzero11
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald
To reasonably ensure your data is safe, it needs to exist in three places, usually on the computer, on an onsite backup, and on an offsite backup.
In your case, I suggest you get six 4TB HDDs for backups. I use and recommend a folder/file syncing program called FreeFileSync
to initially populate, then later update my backup drives. Each drive in your computer needs to be backed up to a set of two backup drives. Once all your data has been backed up, then store one drive of each set of backup drives onsite somewhere at home and store the other drive of each set offsite somewhere away from the house, such as a locked desk drawer or locker at work or school, a trusted friend's, neighbor's, or relative's home, or in a safe deposit box at your financial institution (I use the latter). The onsite and offsite backups should be swapped out as often as possible.
If funds are limited, just three 4TB onsite backup drives would be a good start until you can afford the three offsite backup drives.
The initial backup will take quite a while because all the data in you computer has to be copied over to the backup drives. Once that initial backup has been done, updates will be considerably faster because only data on your computer that has been added or changed since the last update will be copied to the backup drive and only files that are no longer on the computer's drive will deleted from the backup drive. FreeFileSync has an optional feature called Versioning that will send deleted files to a Versioning folder or drive of your choice. I highly recommend using versioning for protection against accidentally deleted files.
I also recommend that you use a program like Macrium Reflect Free
to image the drive with your OS on it and store the images on one of the data drives in your computer which will be backed up when you backup that data drive. Imaging is the best way to backup the OS and programs since they can't be merely copied to another drive and still work. However, imaging is too slow and requires too much room to backup data; folder/file syncing is faster and more efficient.
Well well FreeFileSync does seem very interesting, but using macrium for my OS HDD isn't necessary the backups is all I'm concerned about. So basically I should just get three new 4TB's HDD's and use FreeFileSync.
Only problem though so lets say one of my HDD's is going bad and has corrupted some files (this is assuming the HDD is still working but it's going bad) then I decide to to update my back up HDD's isn't the corrupted data going to go on the back HDD's, and I would I ever know that the the data I'm backing up isn't corrupted ?
It would be nice when HDD go bad that they break completely right away, which then I would know right away. But HDD's don't really work that way right ? Isn't it possible that the HDD will function for a certain period of time but in that time it could be corrupting some of my files and in that time I could copy that over to my back HDD and not even know for a while and I would have lost my good safe backup data too ? Are assumptions correct or am I wrong I hope ?
Thanks I hope you can address my concerns.
Why do you not want to backup your OS and Programs? An image can restore the OS and programs in minutes but a complete reinstall can take hours to days to do. It takes only minutes to create and verify an image.
Running your security scans (AV and antimalware programs) before updating a backup will minimize the danger of backing up corrupted data. FreeFileSync usually will not copy corrupted data and reports the files that do not copy over. If you have Versioning enabled, you can recover the clean version of data that was replaced with corrupted data that did make it onto your backup drives. Having an offsite drive will also minimize data loss from corruption. The chance of data becoming corrupted without you noticing is pretty unlikely, however.
Originally Posted by fil1p
You could get a couple drives and simply copy the files there and unplug them as someone suggested. You could also get something like a Synology NAS or build your own with an OS like FreeNAS or something Linux based (good solution if you have an old system lying around). It's best to have a copy of the data offside should anything happen.
Amazon AWS for example offers a service where you can receive a device to transfer all your data onto and then send it back for them to upload it to the AWS cloud. I'm not sure if they do this or if it is cost effective on a smaller scale though, but its worth checking out.
I wouldn't trust Amazon any further than I can spit upwind in a stiff breeze.
Once the initial upload is completed, cloud backups, using a good, paid cloud backup service, such as Carbonite.com, CrashPlan, or Backblaze (stay away from cloud storage sites and freebies), are a good idea but they aren't for everyone. One needs a good broadband connection for starters with a high data cap or no cap. I'm on Cox and they recently put a 1TB per month cap on total traffic. After deducting my normal monthly traffic, I would be able to upload only 900GB or so per month without incurring an outrageous overage charge. It would take at least ten months for me to upload 9TB of data. I use Carbonite.com but my data was sent over several years. If I ever had to download all the data I have on Carbonite, I would have to spread it out over a couple months to avoid overages charges. I use Carbonite only to cover data that gets added or changed after I put my offsite backups in my safe deposit box should I ever lose my computer and onsite backups.