What are your computer backup solutions?

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cikame

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For a while i've used an internal HDD hot swap slot on my computer case to make backups, i have just over 1TB of data to backup which i usually get done in about 2 hours while i go off and do other stuff.
I'm about to get a new computer and will unfortunately lose the hot swap slot, so i've been experimenting with an external drive which at the moment is going to take more than 1 day to finish, which needless to say is unrealistic.
I've changed the policies to favour performance, and it starts very fast but gets very slow over time probably due to the large number of folders i'm trying to backup, i guess the answer would be to back it up in smaller chunks but that sounds rather tedious, i may be forced to open it up and insert the internal drive every time i want to backup unless there's another solution.
Why is this still a problem in 2019?

Do any of you use backup programs? Do they do a good job of keeping the process fast? Is there another solution that i am unaware of?
I don't have enough data to require a NAS.

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whitegreyblack

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#2  Edited By whitegreyblack

You might want to look into a USB HDD dock.

I used to backup to an older Dlink 323 NAS (2 HDDs) but I'm retiring that and am now using a USB 3.0 NexStar TX hard drive dock which allows me to connect any 2.5" or 3.5" HDD to my computer through USB. I like this dock because it seems to have fast transfer speeds and allows me to use any HDD I want. (I only use this solution for a once per month backup so I don't know if it will suit your needs is you want a continuous backup)

However, the easiest solution I'd mention for continuous backups is cloud storage (and I'd always suggest one off-site backup to supplement your local backup solutions). I use Backblaze as my cloud backup solution. It's set and forget, which is pretty nice. I have 3 HDDs in my system that are backed up and I store a total of about 2.5TB.

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csl316

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#3 csl316  Online

My backup solution was having my laptop of 7 years die, then going 6 months without a laptop and managing to recover the hard drives then.

Then realizing most of my files were useless and reformatting one of the drives as an external for my Xbox.

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Ry_Ry

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#4 Ry_Ry  Online

Saying fuck it and letting Google/Apple/Amazon backup my photos and a handful of documents.

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conmulligan

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I'm self-employed and paranoid about losing work, so I've become really anal about backing stuff up. I use Time Machine with a local Time Capsule for hourly and daily backups, Backblaze for remote backups, and push all my work to remote Git repositories (usually Github). Until recently I also synced all my documents with iCloud Drive but that shit's buggy as hell so I turned it off.

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cikame

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Unfortunately i live in the UK and have an upload speed of about 1mbps, so it would take 3+ months to upload everything i want to backup to an online service, during which i wouldn't be able to functionally use the internet.

@whitegreyblack: I was unaware of USB HDD docks, but i wonder if i would run into the same issues that i am with an external drive since it isn't a direct SATA connection, might be worth a try.

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whitegreyblack

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Luckily many USB HDD docks I have found are quite inexpensive, so it's not a very pricey experiment to try out should you want to check it out. Best of luck!

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nutter

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@skullpanda1: “Fuck it, most of my shit ain’t so precious” is the right answer for 99% of my files.

I use services like Amazon for most of it. Some of it will just die with the media it’s on. A very small number of important documents are properly backed-up and maintained privately.

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NexivSelecaf

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I'll eventually buy a Synology NAS and another 8TB drive.

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Gundato

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QNAP NAS and I encrypt certain directories to cloud storage for pennies a year. Just got a two bay since I am not too worried about drive failure due to the cloud portion.

I like that I get the full dropbox/spideroak experience in that I can sync random folders between computers and laptops while still being in 100% control of my files and having everything written to a hard drive in my closet. And if the entire town burns down I can easily just grab that NAS and have all my meaningful files thrown in the trunk of my car. And if I don't notice the flames until it is too late because I was watching A Knight's Tale I can flee and know that the important bits still exist anyway.

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rorie

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#11 rorie  Staff

@cikame: What connection does that external drive have? Most new computers should have USB-C slots on them which I can't imagine would take a day to do 1 TB of backup. Granted it can be molasses slow if you have a trillion files but even in the worst circumstances I can't see it being a day+ on USBC or 3.1?

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clagnaught

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I have random external hard drives around that I backup some more important stuff and also use cloud solutions. Some stuff is backed up to multiple cloud providers. The main thing I do not want to lose are family photos and videos. It turns out there's a bunch of services that make it really easy to back up that stuff.

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theuprightman

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I have an extra 10 TB internal drive that I connect to my PC every 6 months or so, I use a powered USB 3.0 to Sata cable that I got on Amazon cheap so I don't have to open the PC when I do it. I keep this hard drive in a waterproof lunch box in my desk at work so I have redundancy in case of a fire.

It takes about two hours to update the files as I just copy the folders again and choose to skip the currently existing files on the external drive. I currently have about 8 TB of space used.

For more day to day stuff I have my work and legal docs backed up on dropbox, I used a few fake email address to expand its size to 4GB

This is the kind of cable I use, cheaper than a dock https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adapter-Cable-Drives-USB3-0-Drive/dp/B07G86M7KC/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=usb+to+sata&qid=1576038695&sr=8-8

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Joe_McCallister

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I had someone fill me in that G Suite doesn't enforce a cap on their online storage for the $10/mo plan. Have not confirmed or moved myself but definitely looking into it after some homelab and network security tasks.

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cikame

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@theuprightman: I used to use an IDE - USB cable at my first job, but back then backups were never larger than 10GB, i've got a HDD dock now but haven't used it yet so we'll see if that does the trick.
Something else i discovered, i've always read that backup speeds are limited by the slowest factor i.e. speeds between an SSD and an HDD can only go as fast as the HDD... obviously, but while transfering files to my new PC i found that speeds between two internal HDD's are twice as fast and consistent than moving files from an SSD to an HDD...
The only thing i've discovered during this whole experiment is that nothing makes sense.

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Gundato

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@joe_mccallister:

Obviously it is going to depend on how much data you are storing and how much effort you want to put in to storing it.

But 10 bucks a month for "infinite" data versus generally less than a dollar per month with Amazon S3 (or probably even google's generic cloud storage) is a pretty big difference.

Interpreting this https://aws.amazon.com/s3/pricing/ can get kind of annoying but it is worth putting in the time.

@cikame:

No, you are always going to be limited by the slowest link in the chain. That chain generally consists of (oversimplifying):

Speed of Drive A. Speed of connection AB. Speed of Drive B

So for an SSD to a spinning disc over SATA, most likely the spinning disc is the slowest part. But if you were to instead use a USB adapter you are now probably limited by that USB port. Which is why your internal (probably SATA) transfer between two spinning discs may be faster than your USB 2 connection to that SSD.

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cikame

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#17  Edited By cikame

@gundato: The SSD was connected directly through SATA, hence why it makes no sense to me :P. All my tests through USB have been through 3.0 or faster.

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zoofame

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Depends how much you want to spend really. At 2 TB some options are:

$60 external SSD enclosure (m.2 nvme, usb-c 3.1gen2) + $200 for 2 TB SSD

$40 external HDD enclosure (sata, usb-a 3.1gen2) + $50 for 2 TB HDD

For this application you don't really need the random r/w performance of a nvme SSD but the price difference between that and a sata SSD is almost immaterial with no downside. The biggest benefit of SSD over HDD is convenience as it wouldn't need a second cable and power brick and you could carry it in your pocket if needed for multiple machines. Obviously a HDD is still going to be about 1/4 the cost and ideally you would have more than one backup for data you really care about.