Trying out online storage

A few years ago I tried a free subscription to an online storage company. It was ok, but I ended up deciding it was too slow to be usable. These days, however, my bandwidth is a little more robust and since I’m getting into photography more, I’ve decided to give online storage another try.

So let me describe my normal backup process: I have two 4TB drives in a Synology Diskstation NAS (DS212j), running RAID 1. This gives me a mirror copy in case one of the drives dies. Every couple weeks I also copy everything to an external drive which I keep at work. I’m pretty covered here, but I wouldn’t mind not having to be so diligent about my off-site backup. If this works out, it may allow me to stop using RAID 1 and actually utilize the full 8TB of drive space I have. That would be nice!

Initially, I considered trying to use my 1TB of Microsoft OneDrive storage, but it just was too much of a hassle. I would basically have to copy everything into the OneDrive folder which is on my relatively small C: drive and I didn’t feel like trying to figure out a way around that. Last time I tried Carbonite, this time I decided to go with iDrive. It has gotten some good reviews and was offering 50% off the first year if I sign up for two years…about $90. You can also get 25% off your first year, but I figured in for a penny, in for pound. The normal price is $60/year and I figure five bucks a month is a small price to pay for peace of mind and mindless backups.

iDrive offers many features like the ability to go back to prior versions or restore deleted files. There is also remote access to files and the ability to share. These are just some of the things I couldn’t do before that might come in handy.

With iDrive you install a little utility and check the boxes for the drives/folders/files you want backed up. As far as backing up my media, I’m only going to back up my photos, not movies and music. For the latter two, I’ll just stick with my current method. I don’t want t clog up my online backup with such large files and I honestly don’t need an up-to-date back up of those files.

Ultimately, I ended up needing to back up about 300GB of data, well under my allotted 1TB of space. However, backing up this much data over the Internet is pretty slow. Fortunately, iDrive has a nice solution. They will ship you an external drive that you back up to and then ship it back to them. This is a great way to get things up and going. The service is even free and you can do it once a year.

It’s too early to tell if I made a mistake signing up for two years, but with all of the positive reviews, it’s gotta do the basic task of online back ups and anything else is icing on the cake.


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