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Where can I go to upload a lot of data quickly?
July 4, 2011 2:51 AM   Subscribe

Where can I go to upload a lot of data quickly?

I use a backup service, backblaze, but have about 400 gigs of data I need backed up.

At my current upload speed I'm looking at about 8 months to back everything up.

Does anyone know where I could "rent" an internet connection just get it all up there? After that it's just incremental backups which will be easier to handle.
posted by MeatFilter to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
 
Wish I had an answer that was a more direct fit to your question, but I do know that CrashPlan offer the option of shipping you an external 1TB hard drive to which you copy your seed backup and mail back to them.
posted by krilli at 3:25 AM on July 4, 2011


Just thought of something - Maybe you could use a local university library for uploading.
posted by krilli at 3:26 AM on July 4, 2011


Do you have a friend with a better internet connection? 400G is a lot, but it's not THAT much. Maybe a week or two on a fast cable connection.
posted by ryanrs at 3:56 AM on July 4, 2011


Absolutely local university library. Might be tough to get on their network, so you might need to make friends with a student, staff member, or instructor. Then again, if it's on an external drive, they'll probably have public terminals available as long as you pick up a visitor's membership or something.

Still talking many hours, possibly multiple days. Can you do it in multiple trips?
posted by supercres at 5:55 AM on July 4, 2011


Depends where you live, of course. In New York, Columbia University's fast wireless network is open and public from anywhere in the vicinity of campus.

It's still going to take you many, many days to upload 400gb over *any* wireless connection. What is your home connection? Even pokey DSL over an ethernet cable would be preferable to most wifi network speeds, and you could leave it running all night every night for a while to get it done.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:03 AM on July 4, 2011


(Make sure you have a plan to restore too.)
posted by devnull at 6:05 AM on July 4, 2011


According to this article, BackBlaze also allows you to ship them a hard drive with the initial dump.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:08 AM on July 4, 2011


Sorry, I'm wrong. Backblaze will ship you a hard drive with *your* data on it if you have a system failure, for $189.

Man, if I had 400GB to back up, I'd do it with local hard drives in 2 locations. Online backup for new files, but I wouldn't bother with the deep archives or any system or application files (if I didn't have gigabit ethernet in my office, that is).
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:10 AM on July 4, 2011


Even pokey DSL over an ethernet cable would be preferable to most wifi network speeds

Maybe on really crowded public networks, but not generally. 802.11n over short ranges is a 100x faster than DSL. (Nevertheless, if you can get access to a university network, try to use a cable.)
posted by ryanrs at 7:27 AM on July 4, 2011


Hmm. Backblaze is offering unlimited storage for $5/month. Uh huh.

I doubt their service is designed to do what you're asking. They may allow it, it might even work, but it's not what it is designed for. Everything about the service tells me it's not intended for hundred gig backups:
  • backing up over residential internet
  • online disk costs around $100/TB
  • running in prime datacenter space
  • shipping the data back to you on DVD or USB disk
There's no way this service would work if the average customer is pushing 100+ gig backups. Your 400GB must be an extreme outlier. Amazon would charge you about $50/month to store that on S3.

I would urge you to use caution. This service is clearly intended for under-10GB backups. It's probable you're being too optimistic.
posted by ryanrs at 8:00 AM on July 4, 2011


Seconding fourcheesemac... When it comes to that level of data, I back up on external hard drives. Honestly, storage space is pretty cheap these days (and always getting cheaper), and I'm a little wary of trusting my only backup to another entity that might or might not last in the long term. (This may or may not be rational; I'm just not entirely trusting of the cloud. In any case, the wisdom in digital preservation is multiple copies in multiple locations.) Smaller stuff that I'm working on currently—in particular, things I'm likely to need from multiple locations, like my schoolwork—I back up on Dropbox in addition to the externals.
posted by divisjm at 8:41 AM on July 4, 2011


It's still going to take you many, many days to upload 400gb over *any* wireless connection. What is your home connection? Even pokey DSL over an ethernet cable would be preferable to most wifi network speeds, and you could leave it running all night every night for a while to get it done.

This isn't correct. Upload speeds from the router to the ISP are going to be the limiting factor. Wireless networks easily run above 1mbps, often much higher, whereas most residential uploads are capped around 768k (i.e., under 1mbps).
posted by odinsdream at 10:01 AM on July 4, 2011


Actually, 768k is pretty optimistic, I hear.
posted by odinsdream at 10:03 AM on July 4, 2011


Hmm. Backblaze is offering unlimited storage for $5/month. Uh huh.

I was used mozy for $5/month, but they raised my rates up to $25/month when I had about 200 GB so that sounds about right.

But, if they're offering it for $5/month unlimited, I'm not one to pass it up.



Man, if I had 400GB to back up, I'd do it with local hard drives in 2 locations.

I do local backups at my home. This is just one of those, "in case everything burns down" situations.
posted by MeatFilter at 11:57 AM on July 4, 2011


Looks like I need to head over to my local university and see what I can get uploaded before they shut down the connection.

I've thought about hooking up to work's wifi over the weekends and just leaving my laptop in the office and letting it go.

But then I need my laptop on the weekend, catch-22.

Anyway, thanks for the help everyone.


Also, I tried crashplan, but their usability was pretty bad compared to mozy and backblaze. Mozy and Backblaze just worked...crashplan wouldn't startup properly and I didn't want to bother with it.
posted by MeatFilter at 11:59 AM on July 4, 2011


Use a friend's small business office provided he/she does not have a data cap. Or make a bootable clone of your current hard drive, attach that to a computer and let that keep backing up while you work on the current one.

This leaves you without a current backup for which you should do offline backups.

Then, after the old backup is over, use your current laptop and all the changes will start getting backed up.
posted by blueshok at 1:40 PM on July 4, 2011


Please do not do this to your local university library without making arrangements with someone in their IT department. You can cause hours of panic and trouble as everyone tries to figure out what is sucking up all of the bandwidth. A network administrator is auto-paged. Then the network admin calls a sys admin for that subnet, on their day off. Has a server been cracked and someone is using it to store movies? Simultaneously, users complain about slowness, even failure, of various applications. Has a workstation been compromised and set up as a phishing site? And then comes the additional hassle of having to institute extra measures (and therefore inconveniencing other users again) to make sure this does not happen in the future.

If you seriously annoy people with mis-use of facilities, you may find yourself having a chat with campus police and your name ends up on a list.

I'm not trying to be a downer about this, it's just that sneakernet is really a better option than, uh, panic and police.
posted by adipocere at 1:52 PM on July 4, 2011


I don't think you'll find any public location where you can get even 1 Mbps for free. The university I go to limits wireless users to 256K. Maybe you could find some particularly clueless business with unsecured wireless and camp out in their parking lot.

You could maybe get a super-fast home connection for one month only, on a trial rate. In my area Quest will give you a DSL connection that claims 8 megs up for $40 for six months. It will take roughly a week to upload your data on that connection, but you can cancel as soon as you're done. (Incremental backups will be much smaller.)

The "right" way to do this is through Amazon AWS Import/Export. You mail them the hard drive, and they copy it to S3 and mail the hard drive back to you. You can then rent a machine at Amazon through EC2 and do whatever you want with the data. If the backup provider is actually using S3 itself for storage (most of them do), then you could copy the data for free in just a couple of minutes.

If you do this regularly, expect to be "fired" as a customer from Backblaze....they'll be losing lots of money on you!
posted by miyabo at 3:03 PM on July 4, 2011


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