Q: Do any of you folks use a cloud backup service?
A customer recently got me to thinking about a cloud backup service when he turned me onto Crashplan's unlimited service for one PC for only $60/yr. The idea here is that you run an app on your 'server' PC and upload regular snapshots of your system to this service. Should you ever need your data back, you would just download the app again and restore your data. While I ultimately did not choose Crashplan, it got me to researching the various options (Crashplan, MSFT One Drive, Google Drive, Carbonite, Amazon Drive, and Amazon Glacier).
Key Features I was looking for
- Tons of cloud Storage: I have 250GB of data to protect and generate maybe 1-2GB/mo.
- Client side encryption (i dont' mind trusting a real service but I don't want anyone who "hacks" my account to randomly access my data).
- Don't mind not having immediate access to my data (if I want to show a friend a ton of pics of my kid, I have a curated section already on a photoblog. I also have data on Google Drive and my own webserver for more immediate access).
- Don't mind a client app as long as it's been proven for several years now. I did want the ability to setup scheduled syncs.
- Low recurring cost. Don't mind an additional fee to get my data because this is a secondary/tertiary backup setu for me.
My Choice: Using the FastGlacier Client to backup my data to Amazon Glacier
- My current primary backup is a set of mirrored drives in my server. That's served me well for the last 10+ years.
- I also maintain offline backups with family but these can get 2-3 months out of date.
- While not the easiest to setup (you have to go through a whole process to setup an Amazon Web Services acct, access keys, and whatnot), I'm pretty sure there are enough tech savvy folks here to set things up.
- For my 250GB of data, I'm spending approx 3c/day to maintain the data on Amazon Glacier. Including the cost to initially send my data to Amazon, I'm looking to spend $13/yr compared to ~$60 for most 100GB-unlimited Cloud storage plans. If I ever need to download that data, it will cost more but honestly, if something that bad happened that I needed to do a full restore from amazon, I wouldn't hesitate to spend $50-100 or more to retrieve my data.
- At the cheapest rate, it takes a few hours to retrieve a data listing off the cloud and request your files to download.
- You do have to spend a few cents to upload your data but I think my entire 250GB transfer cost <$3 to upload.
- You could spend hundreds of USD downloading your data but if you are willing to wait a little while and/or download the data steadily instead of one big long dump, you can get the cost down to a much more reasonable fee.