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Currently I've many photos and videos made over the time and I don't want to miss them anymore. (BTW: It's about terabytes). To be sure in case of a burglary, fire or whatever I want to store it NOT at home. This leads me to the problem how do I keep in sync? Internet is not a solution since my bandwidth at home is very limited compared to TB's of data. On a single weekend it's not an uncommon case that I've to sync more than 8GB of new data. Since it's not at home I would feel much saver with encryption.

My best idea for the place is at work. I have an office, sharing with roommates I really trust. I thought it should be a place I visit regularly.

My best idea on how is putting a diff onto a portable hard-disk which is patched onto the backup system. (I think I cannot avoid to buy and setup a new system with encryption and RAID, etc.)

Unless you tell me the totally new app I would write a little script to do that diff. By the way, I would have Internet access on that box for diff-generation, but not for data transfer.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted


Have at least 3 devices including your computer. 4 is even better.

They should all be working and reasonably up-to-date.

They should never be all together at the same place.

If one of these policies are violated, hurry up and to get it fixed. If they are all at the same place, take one of them elsewhere as soon as you can. If one of them is corrupted, replace it.

A simple solution is to leave one HD at work.

Once in a while you take another HD to your work and on the same day you bring back the one that you had previously left there.

At home you keep them synchronized with Unison.

No headaches. No data loss. Happiness.


If you care about encryption, take into account that is is really effective only if you encrypt your device before you store anything at all in it. If something has already been written there in the past, overwrite the whole device with zeros before you restart.

If you use Linux and like GUI, I recommend you format it with the Gnome Disk Utility and simply check the encryption box. Easy and safe.

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For the incremental backups:

  • do the bulk-storage on a hard drive, make a copy of it, then rent a small safety box and store one disk there. Use the other for partial syncs, bring it to the safety box every few weeks and take the old disk home

For the long-term storage:

  • copy all data on several HDs, store them in different safety box in different places

encrypt everything and be ready to hand in your encryption keys when the authority will ask for them :)

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For that volume of data it does sound like coping to portable hard drive is the best way. If you are using Windows, I like Robocopy. You can tell it to copy to the portable drive anything newer than 7 or 8 days old (when you last backed up). The portable drive and remote drive I would use something like TrueCrypt in whole disk encryption. If you are only going to update your back while you are at the remote site, some companies make hardware encryption that use something like a USB dongle to unlock the drive. I guess this depends on how you manage the data remotely, i.e. drive by drive or something like a Drobo Pro (8 drive bays), and have all the disks at once or add as you go.

BTW: If you do go with TrueCrypt, don't forgot to backup the volume header so if that potion of the disk is damaged you can still decrypt the disk.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

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