[How To] Data Backup

Disclaimer: This is a summary taken from the link below:


Doing back-ups of your data can be a pain in the arse, especially when you are shooting in RAW or videos. So here I found a good advice on how to set up an intelligent back-up system as explained by farbspiel in his website.


How an effective backup system should work

Basically, a data backup consists of multiple copies of your data that are kept up to date regularly and are kept in different geographic locations. A standard backup system would consist of the following elements:

  1. The main storage device: This may be a hard drive built into your computer or laptop where all the data is stored that you use in your daily work. It may also be one or more external hard drives or a mix of different devices.
  2. The on-site backup: Typically, this is some external storage device, e.g. a USB hard drive, onto which you copy all your data in regular intervals.
  3. The off-site backup: People often advocate the usage of online services like CrashPlan or BackBlaze for backing up files online to avoid total data loss in case of some catastrophic event like fire or theft. If that is not an option, you can also use another external hard drive that you keep in location that is physically separated from your main storage device.


Managing Resources

Now that we have the rough idea on how the back-up system works, we have to manage the two most precious resources:


Creating a backup means that you need to transfer all your data from your main storage device to a backup storage device. Whichever technology you’re using to do this, the speed at which your data is transferred is limited. The lower the transfer speed, the longer you have to wait for a backup to complete.


You need to buy storage devices and/or you need to pay fees for online storage space. Especially the latter is a big factor as even the cheapest online backup services may charge you several hundred dollars per year for a multi-terabyte backup.


Available Technologies

To meet up the requirements of a speedy backup without breaking a hole in your pocket, lets take a look at what our options are.

  1. (Internal) PCIe SSD @ 500MB/s
    Overly expensive for large size PCIe SSD, and limited only to internal. Mainly these drives are used to power up operating system or for hardcore gamer.
  2. (External) USB 3.0 SSD @ 350MB/s
    Expensive for large size SSD.
  3. (External) USB3.0 HDD + RAID 0 @ 250MB/s
    Fair speed, easily accessible technology, not quite bank breaker price.
  4. (External) USB3.0 HDD @ 150MB/s
    Acceptable, but can still be painfully slow
  5. (External) USB2.0 HDD @20MB/s
    USB 2.0 drives are becoming obsolete ay?
  6. (Online) Cloud service @ 5Mbps (0.7MB/s)
    Online backups may be the safest of all the above, but the extremely slow upload speed (even with the fastest bandwith) makes this literally unpractical. I recommend to use this method only for archiving.

Which is the Best?

As explained above, pretty much it depends on your account capacity *LOL*.
Economically, take the external USB3.0 HDD + RAID 0, preferably one that you can easily swap the HDD as mentioned in the original post: Western Digital My Book Duo.
It is a well worth investment, as those precious data is your work and your life, so you have to protect them the best you can, right?

I won’t go into the backup tool area yet. You can go and read the rest in the original post below:


Personally speaking..

For the time being, I am using OneDrive cloud service. With Office 365 subscription, I get 5 accounts of 1TB each at only a fraction of the cost comparing to other services.

I currently put all my files in the internal drive of my computer that I made it synchronized with OneDrive. Any changes in the local drive then it will be automatically updated to the service. Easy. Hassle free. And all the works are done in the background.

The only drawback of this method would be any accidental file deletion in the computer will delete both files in the computer AND the cloud backup.

So far I have been careful though. *grin*

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