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Cheapest way to backup data

On Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 01:34:49PM -0500, 100ji wrote:
> Hi,
> What is the cheapest and safest way to backup data (pictures, documents
> etc..) ?
> 1) having your own raid.

RAID is not backup. RAID is performance and/or convenience
and/or reliability.

> 2) Store it on the cloud.
> 3) Pool free storage (gmail, free online storage etc..)
> I have about 100gig of data and I want to store it for the long term. Most
> often I noticed that I wouldn't need to access backups, so I feel ok saving
> files on gmail.

Do you have any secrecy requirements? Availability? How much do
you change, and how often? Do you want multiple versions?

> Is backing up data on the cloud a good idea?

Depends on other factors. How fast do you need to do a restore
in an emergency? It could take a while to download 100GB.

> Is there a software that I can use to backup data to these places
> automatically?

Yes. S3sync, for example.

For 100GB, Amazon S3 would cost you (rough estimate) $120/year.
If you got two external disks, and kept one in a bank safety
deposit vault or with a trusted friend, and swapped monthly, you
could pay $120 the first year and $60* every year that you
decided to buy a new disk to replace one of the old ones. It
would be much faster than a network transfer and you wouldn't
have to worry as much about privacy. If you lost your main
computer completely, you could uncase the backup disk and make
it your new main disk, if you wanted. Or you could buy larger
disks and store multiple revisions.

*estimated based on a quick search of external disks on NewEgg.


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