Help me get my data in the clouds redundantly.
November 30, 2012 8:42 AM   Subscribe

I need back-up and cloud storage solutioning help.

Right now, I have a PC with all of my files (photos/videos/mp3s/docs), which are in turn backed up on a (old) external hard-drive and a Home subscription of Carbonite.

Within the next six months, I had planned to purchase a new WD MyBook (billed as a 'cloud storage drive'), as well as switch to a MacBook Air (hence the need for NAS, so that I wouldn't be limited by the Air's hard drive). I still wanted to have off-site back-up with Carbonite, but it turns out that to include a NAS in your Carbonite account, you have to upgrade to their business plan, which is $170ish more a year (with which I could buy a new MyBook every year with that money).

So, IT-nerd MeFites, maybe I'm going about this wrong. Tell me what I should really be doing here. My two goals in switching to the NAS was to be unencumbered by the small hard drive on the very portable Mac I crave, as well as the ability to access my data from anywhere. As a tertiary hope, I had hoped to figure out a way to stream the videos on my NAS to a Roku. And, I'd still like offsite back-up, since this tragedy happened 7 miles from my home.

Is there a better way to set this up? I'm pretty good at figuring out software, hardware is a bit more of a black box to me in this scenario, so maybe I need different hardware for this scenario? Or, maybe I have the hardware right and need to find a Carbonite alternative?

Thanks in advance for your help!
posted by po822000 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
BackBlaze and CrashPlan may be less expensive than Carbonite. I think both have a plan that is $5/month for unlimited data. A difference is that BackBlaze backs up everything whereas with CrashPlan you can choose what to back up.
posted by Dansaman at 8:55 AM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

How about Dropbox?
posted by dfriedman at 8:59 AM on November 30, 2012

Response by poster: As a user of Dropbox, it doesn't give me warm-fuzzies for using it as dedicated back-up. Keeping a handful of files that I need to work on from my work computer, sure.
posted by po822000 at 9:04 AM on November 30, 2012

My searching a while back convinced me that Crashplan was the best/cheapest if you want to do anything other than back up a single computer. For $120/year (cheaper if you buy more than one year up front), they will fully back up up to 10 home computers. I couldn't find any other service that approached that for multiple computers. I'm not 100% sure how Crashplan would view a NAS, but it's worth looking at.
posted by Betelgeuse at 9:10 AM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Crashplan has no problem backing up attached NASes on a Mac.

Some people have even installed the CrashPlan software directly on their NASes so they can back up with no computer involved. They're usually pretty involved and involve tinkering with the underlying Linux OS that the NASes run under the hood, though.
posted by zsazsa at 9:19 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Amazon S3 or Glacier. S3 just dropped rates 25% this week.
posted by COD at 9:25 AM on November 30, 2012

TimeMachine for your Air's drive to one partition on the external drive, then CarbonCopy Cloner at scheduled intervals to another partition. CrashPlan or another service for redundancy on the TimeMachine. If not a cloud redundancy then a second external drive the size of your Air's kept at the office or another offsite location. Remember your Air will come with easy OS replacement built-in, so you really just need to backup your data. TimeMachine is great for the odd file you need to retrieve and easier than most cloud solutions. Plus you'd have access via BacktomyMac.
posted by Mertonian at 9:46 AM on November 30, 2012

I'd use TimeMachine to back up to the NAS, which will save you the hassle of remembering to connect an external hard drive for backup.

Then I'd install Crashplan on my Mac and use it to back up both the data on my mac and the (non-time machine) data on the NAS to "the cloud." (it can back up folders on a server).

I'm one of those people who fiddled around to run Crashplan on my NAS. It's not something I'd recommend unless you already like tinkering with linux on oddball devices.

AmazonS3 and Glacier aren't a solution. They are a component of a solution.

Also, keep in mind that while there are ways to set your NAS up so you can access your files from anywhere: 1) There can be security implications 2) It can be slow when you are away from home 3) Some apps, like iTunes and iPhoto really aren't designed to have their data on intermittently accessible storage.
posted by Good Brain at 11:41 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Take a look at Jungle Disk. It is a software client that runs on your PC to back up to an Amazon S3 bucket.
posted by davidvanb at 11:50 AM on November 30, 2012

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