No-frills online file storage

I have a very large amount of data that I’d like to backup online somewhere safe. I’ve tried idrive and carbonite but I don’t care for the features like continuous protection and the always-on software. They limit my file sizes, will only synchronize with local drives, and restrict uploads after 150GB. I have around 3TB worth of files in various places and I just need a simple repository that I can back everything up to from any pc I happen to be on. No fancy file sharing, continuous backups, or anything like that. Is there anything out there that would work for me? Any tips would be very much appreciated, thanks!

Amazon S3 is pretty much your only option. It looks like it’ll run about $300/month.

I realize you specified online storage, but if the post above is accurate and the price is too steep, you might consider a portable USB drive. Newegg, and probably many other places, had a 3TB USB drive for $130 the last time I looked, and it’s no bigger than a large hardback book. If most of your work is done in a small number of locations, you could buy several of them and not have to carry them around, and the data transfer even to fill ten of them would probably take much less time than trying to upload 3TB to the net.

Install Truecrypt on them before you load anything, and they will be as safe as anything.

3TB of storage will be expensive on any service. I think the most cost-effective option would be to run your own server. For example, a Windows Home Server combined with Hamachi will allow you to access your server from anywhere. You can buy a server designed for Winodws Home Server (e.g. Acer H340), or just buy the software (OS) and install it on a standard (dedicated) PC.

Some other network storage boxes (QNAP, Synology, etc) may have a similar capability as well, I’m not sure.

Holy cow, $300 a month is way too steep for me. I can build and maintain servers but I wanted to have all my data offsite in case of a disaster. I do have data backed up to USB drives but they’ve failed so often on me that I don’t really trust them at all. Its mostly hi def pictures, video, and music but also system images and so on. Maybe I’ll back them all up to the 3TB drives and keep them in a vault somewhere. Thanks for the info guys!

Safe deposit boxes at your local bank might be a great solution. Just make sure they’re big enough to fit your backup media.

Not to be paranoid, but you may not want to pick too local a bank. If, for example, a flood destroys the computers in your home or office, it might similarly affect the vault at your local bank. So you might want to choose one a little further out.

CrashPlan’s Family Unlimited option claims to offer unlimited online file storage from up to 10 computers. It has some of the more advanced options that you don’t want, but I’m guessing you can turn them off. At $6-$12 a month it seems like a pretty good deal.

There’s no free lunch. This guy tried to backup 3TB to CrashPlan and it was going to take 3 years.

For huge initial backups they offer a seed service where they mail you a 1 TB hard drive and you copy the files and send it back. This costs extra, and would take 2-3 mailings to complete in the OP’s case, but could be worth it. After all, you’re going to run into the bandwidth issue with any online backup.

You want something like PogoPlug. You can install software on your PC that lets it function as a secure web server, serving up the contents of all your TB drives. Of you can buy the PogoPlif hardware and connect it directly to your router with your drives attached. The hardware option is about $100, the software is $29 for unlimited lifetime use.

$300/month is a bargain. Mozy would run you close to $1500/mo for that much data in a business plan.

Think of it this way, how much does a server with 3+TB of raid-1 or better cost, probably gonna set you back a couple grand at least even bargain shopping for parts, you are asking for a hefty chunk of drive space on a professionally managed/maintained server, you are not asking for something that comes cheap.

Thats not crash plan, thats most likely his upstream bandwidth. Also I would question just how much time he let it run before panicing. Sometimes these pieces of software look at # of files and see how many files uploaded so far to extrapolate the time

6000 files x average 1 min per file = 100 hours

however if a few files up front are large it might estimate 3-4 min per file and tell you several weeks, but once the first few hundred files upload and it starts moving through files that only take a few seconds each, the estimate may plummet to just a few hours.

In theory, you wouldn’t even need a server OS, just map the drive to the share on any joe lunchbucket box with enough hard drive space via hamachi.

3TB with a 1 mega bit per second upload speed will take 277 days to upload. 1 mega bit per second upload is what I get at home with my cable modem 25mbps down and 1mbps up. 3TB is a lot of data.

The up on my tier2 comcast business class lines is only 7Mb up, so it would only take 2 months or so :smiley:

Looking further down the page, it looks like the upload itself will cost nothing, but the cost of downloading all of that data back from S3 would be $240.00.
I’d suggest looking into ‘reduced redundancy storage’. It’s still RAID, just not quite as awesome as regular S3 RAID.

I’ve found it wasn’t the external hard drives that are unreliable, it is the power supply and enclosure. I’ve had several that worked fine once I extracted them and put them in a new enclosure or sata docking station.

I’d buy 2 drives and rotate one off site every week. You could also keep the home one in a fire safe when not in use.

If you wanna go that route, just a couple extra 2TB HDD’s and hot swap bays with a synch based backup so its just looking for new or changed files. Probably fast as most of the stored files wont change very often.