Backup NOW. Cloud Backup for Photographers
Its not ‘IF’ its ‘WHEN’
Every hard drive WILL fail. It’s just a matter of time. Are you prepared?
My philosophy is simple
- Keep at least 3 copies (with at least 1 offsite cloud backup)
- Make it automated so you don’t have to think about it
COPY 1: Originals and Working Copies
First, let’s examine where we keep our originals and working copies (photos, documents, etc.). The two most common are:
- Internal hard drive (i.e. your computer)
- External hard drive (additional drive often used for those who run out of space on their internal hard drive)
Anywhere you keep originals and working copies is COPY 1
COPY 2: On-site Backup
Next, you’ll need an on-site backup. These are best for quickly recovering an accidentally deleted file or restoring your files to a new computer.
For Mac users, the easiest way is with Time Machine because it is built into the macOS operating system. Time Machine requires an external hard drive that will become your dedicated Time Machine drive. I highly recommend purchasing a drive that is at least twice the size of the COPY 1 drive(s) you want to back up. This Seagate 8TB drive is a GREAT value!
NOTE: For Time Machine to backup external drives, they must be formatted to “Mac OSX Extended (Journaled)”.
COPY 3: Off-site Cloud Backup
Perhaps you think you are covered with your on-site backup? What if your house burns down? What if your computer & external backup drive are both corrupted? A third copy, off-site, protects against these worst-case scenarios.
There are many ways to get a backup copy off-site, but backing up to the cloud is by far the easiest.
Services like Dropbox or iCloud are great for documents, and perhaps photos from your mobile phone, but unpractical for most photographers because of the sheer volume of hard drive space we require to backup our many photographs.
Cloud backup has become increasingly affordable, with some services offering unlimited backup at very reasonable rates. I examined several cloud backup providers before choosing the best solution for my situation. My main criteria included:
- keeping my photos safe, including RAW files
- Mac friendly
- backup all files, not just photos
I researched several services and eventually settled on Backblaze.
Backblaze Cloud Backup
I started by signing up for their free 15 day trial and let the automation take over. It backed up my files in the background while I continued on with work as usual. It took a little more than the 15 day trial to back up all my information and it consinuously updates as I make changes on my computer and connected external hard drives.
I’ve been a Backblaze customer for 6+ years now and while I haven’t had to restore my own files due to an on-site hardware failure, several of my clients have had to, and it saved them time, money, and most importantly, their precious photos and files. It has been worth every penny.
Backblaze checked the box for everything on my must-have list:
- It backs up all of my photos and files, including those on extrenal drives,
- is completely automated (no thought required once it is set up),
- works beautifully on my Mac (it is Windows friendly, too),
- and is an incredible value ($130 for two years of unlimited backup)
Take some time today to ensure that your priceless photos and files are protected. Never forget that every hard drive WILL fail. It’s just a matter of time. If you need a cloud backup solution, I highly recommend Backblaze.
Disclosure: One of the ways I support this website is by partnering with awesome companies, whose products I use and love. These partnerships allow me to earn a small commission when you make a purchase through one of my affiliate links, but there is no additional cost for you. Thank you for your support!
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Still dragging my feet on this. Ive got good protocol onsite but still no offsite. Do i need an account for each computer, ie. desktop and laptop? … ive also got a mac i only use for video production but thats another story LOL
Unfortunately, yes – Backblaze requires an account for each computer. If you’re running multiple machines, the cost can definitely add up. Maybe a better option would be to have Backblaze for your primary machine and then use Dropbox/iCloud/or some other cloud storage to have an offsite copy for working files?