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I currently am using a 500GB external hard drive for backup. A friend's external hard drive recently crashed so I wanted to verify if i can come up with a more secure backup solution. I have about 400GB of stuff (pics, videos, music, etc)

What is the best backup solutions for this?

I was looking at carbonite and mozy as possible options

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closed as not constructive by slhck, Nifle, Daniel Andersson, Tog, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 13 '12 at 18:11

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Two 500GiB (or 1500GiB) hard drives? E.g. alternating each day and you never lose more that two day's data (assuming no more than two drives die at at same time). – Marco May 12 '12 at 19:34
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The best backup solution involves multiple and different options. You could combine using another hard drive with an online solution, and even backup to DVDs and paper. Relying on just one backup solution isn't bad, necessarily, until you have to recover from that backup, and find you have no access to it.

So, both of those that you suggest are fine. Just use them both and more.

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backing up to DVDs would take forever (burning 100 DVDs . .) – leora May 12 '12 at 18:34
I agree. Unfortunately, the fastest solutions (like getting enough SSD storage to handle it) are expensive. Backing up to DVD might take forever, but it would be one of your possible solutions. You could purchase two 500gb drives and back up to each one, but then you are relying on just one type of storage solution. – Bon Gart May 12 '12 at 18:38

Another external drive, kept at a different place.

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if its at another place, then how is it going to get updates ? – leora May 12 '12 at 19:29
@leora Either you backup remotely (e.g. via ssh, rsnapshot can do that, for instance) or you retrieve it regularly. Of course not every day; e.g. you can clone your external backup drive every two weeks onto the remore one and bring it back to the ”safe place”. – Marco May 12 '12 at 22:05
@leora Bring it home once a month. – fstx May 13 '12 at 6:05

Consider RAID to mitigate the impact of a possible crash. You can acquire two 2 TB drives for < $200 and with either a SATA RAID board or a full enclosure for $149 you would have a robust solution for < $300.

It does protect you against the most common scenario of your primary PC tossing a hard drive head for a 1-time expense. It does not, however, give you offsite backup in case of fire/flood/EMP/lightning strike.

If you want disaster recovery, that's when you're talking mozy/carbonite (carbonite - unlimited? really? for some reason, reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer got kicked out of the all-you-can-eat-buffet). They're great, but I don't see how that give-away-disk-space model will not lead to future price increases and you are trusting them to not break/lose your data. Depends on your level of trust I guess.

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RAID is not a replacement for backup. – fstx May 16 '12 at 17:33
OP states "friend's external hard drive recently crashed so I wanted to verify if i can come up with a more secure backup solution" - two ways to make system less vulnerable to crashes are RAID and backup. Backup had been addressed, so it seemed appropriate to mention how to avoid being vulnerable to a crash in the first place. – calenti Jun 1 '12 at 22:24

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