OT: Cloud Backup

We discussed backup options a while back. I back everything up daily to a physical hardrive onsite (I know) but I also use continuous cloud backup. Welp, the other day I had a catastrophic hard drive failure, so I bought a new laptop. Plugged it in and Boom! Back in business. All my file structures and such were back just like I left them. Completely seamless moving to a new machine.


Agreed! I use local Time Machine backups, plus BackBlaze cloud backup. Lastly, our photos are replicated on Apple’s iCloud service as well.

Local backups are for fast rebuild of a failed drive. Cloud backups are when your house burns down (or lightning strike, etc) and takes out the computer plus the backup drive sitting next to it.

Ahhh - unless the backup hard drive is stored in the utility shed in the back yard :wink:

– shhh - don’t tell anybody!

What if your whole neighborhood burns? Or it floods? Or gets flattened by a hurricane?

Not hoping any of these apply to you.


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Hey Mike -

I get that! I think DW and I would be some of the first to get the heck outta Dodge. In that case, we have backup hard drives in each car as well - but we’d most likely grab the one from the shed before we hit the trail. We also have 2 laptops (no desktops) and a NAS device that we will also take with us for sure.

Thankfully, (knock on wood) we live in the Boston area which is mostly susceptible to hurricanes. Our home is 45 feet higher than the lake we live on, so I think we would need about 95% of the state of MA to flood before we get hit.

After a career in IT, I just DO NOT trust organizations that provide cloud services to their customers. Too many “oopsies” lately with hacks and viruses on cloud platforms for my liking. Of course, many others are OK with cloud backups.

Different strokes for different folks!
– thanks for caring!


I use iDrive. Very old tech it seems. I got a good deal on it this year, under $5 and $79 next year. The heart of it for me is how much storage I need. I use around 800 GB.

BackBlaze is really cool. It looks like it is backing things up non stop. iDrive does not look that way. But my art files and in particular my animation files, MP4, do not need repeated back ups. I do not need my daily data backed up.

I am using Quickbooks Online which backs everything up on their servers. They need to be reliable. I am sure they are using back up systems. It is more economical for the daily data back up and security.

I also use Coinbase for a few reasons. CB offers a discount on transactions program(read free trades) for $29/month. With that they include the Form 8949 which will alleviate a major problem figuring out my taxes. That is a huge deal. Also they have cold storage which is much more secure.

I see so many artists avoid the tech. It costs them.

For 38 I have my art on flash drives but live in a building that can go up in flames. I need off site back up.

Here’s another former IT guy who doesn’t trust cloud providers, even for backing up my backups.

Even more, for the ONLY backup. Hackers, system failures at the cloud providers, someone locking your account because you expressed political opinions they don’t approve of…

I have a pair of SSDs in external-drive cases that I use for backups. One’s hooked to the computer. The other is in the glovebox of the car. I swap them weekly. They each have multiple generations of backups starting with daily backups going back 14 days (divided between the two drives).

(There’s another, much smaller backup job, going to the same drives, for my writing and a small selection of closely-related stuff including the software I use. That job runs every 5 minutes.)

I have a script that manages the swap process. It includes some integrity checks on the newly-hooked-up drive, followed by duplicate-file matching (most file systems outside the “fat” family allow a single file to be in multiple directories, so if two backup files are truly identical you don’t need to store both) and running the backup jobs.

Philosophy: If you have your data on only one device, you don’t really have it. If you have it in only one building, you don’t really have it. If you have it only on a device you don’t control, you don’t really have it. If you have it on a device you don’t control, you don’t know who else has it (are you ok with that?).

Experience: the single greatest hazard to your data wears your clothes and uses your toothbrush. That person probably isn’t malicious toward you, but has moments of being a fat-fingered idiot. Protect yourself accordingly.


Warri, I’ve thought about the multiple drive philosophy as well. On the Mac, Time Machine will let you have multiple back-up target drives. They do not have to all be connected at the same time. So setup two targets, but only connect one at a time, and TM is happy. And if both are connected, it ping-pongs between them every hour. No scripts needed!

Understood about not trusting cloud providers. But what would people in Florida be doing to restore their data?

Fun story. Working at Motorola in late 90’s on PowerPC back in the day Apple used them. Moto had a massive data loss. Fortunately they had TWO vendors contracted to do back-ups. Independent companies. Contact the first one, who had a problem. Their data center was in the basement of a building on an Island off Greece, and it flooded. Vendor two was in the same basement…


This is great life advice in general.