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My Backup Strategies - Part 3: Cloud Storage

My first attempt at a cloud backup solution was BackBlaze. It was recommended on a number of different sites, costs only $50/year, and runs in the background on your PC. It seemed like a good fit at the time, but I only ran with it for a year before dropping it.

The nice thing about BackBlaze is that you can throttle how much data is being pumped into the cloud, so as to avoid overages on your home internet plans and to minimize resources being consumed when you need them the most.

The downside, though, is that you need to install BackBlaze on each machine you'd like to have backed up to the cloud. Additionally, for the entire year that I ran this software, I never once had all of my files backed up. In other words, my initial backup never completed in 12 months of having it constantly run in the background! I'm sure it was due to how much I throttled the backup and how much data I was trying to back up at the time (500 GB), but the solution just didn't fit me well, especially when there were other, cheaper options on the market.

After I got my NAS, I decided to look into other solutions. Now, BackBlaze can run on a Synology DiskStation, so rather than installing the software on individual computers, you can just have something like Acronis back up your files to your NAS, and then allow BackBlaze to pump your NAS files into the cloud.

But, being that I was less than impressed with BackBlaze, I decided to go a different route.

I've been a user of Amazon Web Services for a little while now, and I noticed a cloud storage/data archiving solution that Amazon offers called Glacier. Glacier is not meant for quick access (hence the name), so if you want a solution that offers quick cloud storage and file retrieval, you may want to look into Amazon's S3 option or some other solution, instead.

For me, though, Glacier seemed like a perfect fit, because I really only planned on retrieving files from the Glacier vaults/archives in the event that my NAS goes down.

On top of that, it's a pretty inexpensive option. Currently, you pay a monthly storage fee of $0.004 per GB and then $0.05 for every 1,000 requests.

I have about 120 GB being stored in Glacier right now, and I'm paying less than $0.50/month to maintain that, so that seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

In addition to it being an inexpensive solution, there's a Glacier app you can install on your Synology DiskStation, so you can just select the files/folders you want pushed to the cloud to automate the whole process. I'm a bit anal, especially given that my basement recently flooded and the future of my NAS was in jeopardy, so I have my Glacier app set to backup every day at 2:00 AM:

You can certainly have your backup schedule be a little less frequent if you don't have many files that you're adding to your NAS throughout the week, or you can set it to be even more frequent (e.g. multiple times per day) if you hit your NAS pretty hard on the daily. It's totally your call.

Now, I don't backup every file stored on my NAS, because I really don't want to pay to have hundreds of gigabytes of movies and music stored in the cloud, so I only choose to backup important documents and photos, as well as my Acronis and Time Machine backups, but you do you.

In my next (and final) post of the "My Backup Strategies" series, I will talk a little bit about how I handle backing up data on my phone, so check back in about a week or so for that one.

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About Tony Thorsen

Father of two, husband of one, Maker of many things. Tinkerer, dreamer, pixel nudger.