150 GB of priceless family memories, hangin' out on my rickety Dell
January 18, 2011 10:13 AM Subscribe
I have a lot of digital photos and videos. What's a reliable, safe, redundant and not-too-costly system for storing personal media files?
posted by Bardolph to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I've got a decent quantity of family photo and video data to store-- say, ~100 GB thus far, and growing at the rate of an additional 25-50 GB per year. Thus far I've stored all this using a slipshod combination of my laptop hard drive + home-burned DVDs + Flickr Pro. But the laptop is fast running out of space, and I'd like to develop, once and for all, a storage system that'll be reliable, easy-to-use and, above all, robust and safe.
An external hard drive seems like the most obvious answer, but all the models I've looked at seem to have scary bimodal reviews where 90% of users love them, but the other 10% explain how the drive died for no reason after 2 months of use and it cost them $1000 to get their data off, etc., etc. Eesh. DVD/flash drive/SD-card storage sounds appealing, but I don't really know enough about the reliability of the various media to feel safe depending on any of those.
Online storage seemed like a good idea, but the sites I've seen seem mostly designed either for backup only (vs. storage, since I'd want to delete the files from my computer after uploading), or for short-term handling of small quantities of data, rather than long-term archiving. Flickr is great, but doesn't accept videos longer than a minute or so.
So I'm wondering: tech-savvy and photographically-inclined MeFites, what do you use to archive all of your data? Should I be looking at combining options for redundancy, and if so, which ones? And lastly, what's a reasonable yearly bottom line for all this?
(Caveat: I'm haunted by the feeling that this is a really stupid question, and you'd think there would already be a million Lifehacker posts and AskMe threads out there addressing such a simple and common problem. But googling drowns me in details without providing any real answers, so I thought I'd poll the hive mind to ask for personal solutions. Please feel free to post links to DUH! articles I may have missed.)