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Hi fellow crustaceans,

I’ve come to the conclusion that a USB backup drive at home doesn’t quite cut it. Though I don’t live near a fault zone, I’d prefer to be prepared for a situation in which the hard drive becomes a single point of failure.

I’ve looked at tarsnap and amazon glacier for simple “bare” where I can just sync files from the USB disk to the internets, but I’ve also wondered whether I should cut out the “dump to drive” step and just sync to a hosted nextcloud instance. A local hosting company gives me 500GB for 5€ a month, which seems somewhat decent.

Anyway. My question is: What do you use?

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    If hosting a NAS at a friends house isn’t an option, Backblaze B2 might be a nice option ($5/1TB/m *)

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      +1 for Backblaze B2. I use it with Restic and it works great.

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        I use B2 and have been happy with it. I use rclone to interact with it.

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          rclone seems neat. Thanks for the pointer!

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          I’d recommend using fiber inside your house for faster backups.

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            The only issue I found with Backblaze is that it requires your phone number upon registration.

            This is a serious turn-down.

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              Why is this a problem? Genuine naive question.

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                because they don’t need it

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                  Not OP but for me:

                  • I don’t give my number out to anyone except people I know
                  • I have a Google voice number which a lot of companies flag as “not a real number” for since reason
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                    Spam, data collection, identification

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                    Auch, didn’t know that. That’s indeed a negative. Especially when you have to link payment details anyway.

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                    Backblaze B2 + Duplicati backs up all the non-application files on my laptop for ~$0.10/month. It’s been a few months and I don’t even think they’ve billed me yet since the monthly bill is so small.

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                      @timvisee after reading your and other recommendations, I’m trying out BackBlaze. I have a lot of photos, around 60,000. I’m currently backing them all up individually (as in, I just point to the folder and sync the folder). Should I be creating tars of them and backing those up? Thanks!

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                        Tarring would probably be faster yes, to prevent lots of expensive file creations.

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                      Slightly surprised to see no one’s mentioned rsync.net thus far – I’ve been a happy user/customer for a number of years now. It’s refreshingly simple – just a remote filesystem you have access to over SSH, very nice for integrating into *nix systems. No special (and/or proprietary) client-side software needed. It may be a bit on the pricier side compared to some alternatives, but there are a variety of discounts available, including a pretty hefty one if you opt into an attic/borg account, which is basically just the same thing as the default setup, but without the (zfs-based) snapshots they otherwise include as part of the baseline package.

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                        My old dual disk NAS with two new mirrored drives in my brother’s basement in his 19” rack a wee bit unter the ceiling. My rack in the ground floor houses his NAS. Gentlemen’s agreement to not push backups before 2 am.

                        I once had an old thinkpad with two drives in my old company in the server room (I was the admin) but this seemed no good idea after this company was sued and got raided (fortunately the NAS was not of interest).

                        Family pictures and such are written on older 3.5” server HDs in silicone hard disk protector frames with USB adapters. Storage of the disks in a safe. The key is in the lock I use it as a fire safe locker, but want to avoid a brute force attack.

                        Before that I used a dedicated Plextor DVD recorder, gloves and virgin DVD medias, ammo canister as storage for the DVDs. Good method, but ALWAYS finish the session and write the TOC.

                        Before that I used DAT tape.

                        I had data loss due to

                        • gravity (slip, bonk, f<beep/>k… DTLA drives had glass platters and are incompatible with free falling in stair cases)
                        • humidity (flood in the basement. not tap water, but waste water with heating oil)
                        • magnetism (forgot to occasionaly reread tapes… for 15 years, plus my Mom put them under the roof)
                        • compression. I will never ever again compress backups.
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                          What was the compression format that you used that failed? How did it fail?

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                            (sorry for late answer, I’m sick @home)

                            bzip2, compressing a tar archive to preserve owner/permissions I could not extract the data any more after block reading errors.

                            It was “optimized” without the need for it: the backup media (DVD blanks were awfully expensive back then) was almost empty.

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                          I just found out that my university alumni account is a google apps account that comes with unlimited storage. And it does seem to be truly unlimited, one of my coworkers who has the same account has over 40TB on their’s.

                          Definitely worth figuring out if you have access to something similar.

                          I haven’t actually set this up yet. If anyone has suggestions for a tool that will encrypt and upload to google drive, I’d love to hear it.

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                            That sounds like a great idea right up until someone notices, and it becomes quota’d, probably with zero notice.

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                              ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                              It explicitly says its unlimited and as long as it’s part of a proper 3-2-1 backup system I don’t really feel that’s its much of a risk.

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                                If the alumni people are fully aware that they’re offering this service, fine: it sounds like an accident to me though.

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                                  I had to check, but it’s explicitly listed as ‘unlimited’ on their plans: https://edu.google.com/products/gsuite-for-education/editions/ Seems like they’re [edit: meaning Google are] pretty aware of it.

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                              rclone does encryption and supports Google Drive. It’s probably your best bet for tooling, plus you can mount your encrypted Drive as a FUSE file system.

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                                Nice, that looks pretty perfect. Thanks for the suggestion.

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                                I just checked and my university uses GSuite. My old university account has unlimited storage. :)

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                                  Duplicacy has been mentioned in previous backup threads and supposedly supports google drive, haven’t tried it though.

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                                  I use tarsnap, both on my laptops and my VPS.

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                                    +1 for Backblaze B2.

                                    I’ve also wondered whether I should cut out the “dump to drive” step and just sync to a hosted nextcloud instance.

                                    https://www.backblaze.com/blog/the-3-2-1-backup-strategy/

                                    A 3-2-1 strategy means having at least 3 total copies of your data, 2 of which are local but on different mediums (read: devices), and at least 1 copy offsite.

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                                      I currently use (by way of duplicity) gpg-encrypted backups sent to amazon’s EC2.

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                                        zfs send from NAS to a disk inside external enclosure, and driven to a safe deposit at the nearby bank. ~$50/year.

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                                          I own a small security and privacy related company. For this I have around 150 TB’s of storage spread out in three locations:

                                          1. A storage server (FreeNAS) in my own rack at home.
                                          2. A storage server (FreeNAS) in a rack at a friend with his own company.
                                          3. A storage server (FreeBSD) in a colocation.

                                          All data is encrypted (FDE and FBE) and these locations are geographically separated by 50 and 100 km. I use a combination of rsync and syncthing depending on what needs to be backupped. Some might find this overkill, but when it comes to my customer data I really want to be fully in control myself (no public cloud stuff, physical access etc.) and make multiple geographically separated backups (at least two per backup) to make sure they don’t lose their data. As a added ‘benefit’ I also use it for my personal backups, but that is only a couple of hundreds of gigabytes.

                                          About cost: storage is rather cheap nowadays, so it doesn’t add much overhead. Instead of my current rack hardware (which is quite powerful and expensive) I used to use second hand HP Microservers. They are like 500 euro’s new (250 second hand) and they give you ECC memory, which is not a luxury when dealing with backups. When using the bandwidth at friendly locations and paying only for hardware and electricity (which is very expensive in my country), this server with 2 x 8 TB in RAIDz1 will cost you 0,65 eurocents a day/20 euro per month (250 electricity, 500 server, 440 disks) if you write it off in a five year period. 500 GB for 5 dollars a month seems like a very very bad deal then ;-). Backblaze is more affordable than your local hosting company, but hosting it yourself vs. hosting it at a cloud provider is also a matter of requirements and preference. When going above a certain amount of terabytes, self-hosting is very lucrative.

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                                            You should also take a look at https://wasabi.com/. They offer full AWS S3 compatible API, but for cheaper (no api fees, no ingress/egress fees, only storage), they also provide 11x9s reliability and immutable storage features. I use them for my backup needs, as I didn’t want to deal with backblazes api and prefer the widely used AWS S3 API.

                                            I also have buckets there that serve as my nextcloud storage (nextcloud can use S3 for storage), that way I don’t have to worry that much about the reliability of my nextcloud setup, as the data is fairly safe at wasabi.

                                            The nextcloud server itself runs at scaleway, in their amsterdam location, where I also have the S3 buckets, that way performance is pretty nice.

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                                              Nightly rsync to a remote NAS in the shed via powerline adapters. If my house is on fire, my backups are still safe. No cloud required. No internet needed.

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                                                My personal backups:

                                                1. borg backups to a small ZFS NAS.
                                                2. borg backups to rsync.net.
                                                3. Photos are also backed up via iCloud Photo Library.

                                                Family members:

                                                1. Backblaze.
                                                2. TimeMachine (via SMB) to previously mentioned ZFS NAS.
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                                                  I use Arq to sync to AWS Glacier. Really easy to set up and pretty cheap.

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                                                    I use rsync.net for off-site backups.

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                                                      Local drives (spinning and solid state), geographically stored in various locations.

                                                      If you’re looking for an online solution, Spider Oak might be an option?

                                                      I’ve also heard good things about NextCloud

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                                                        Various locations. I use borgbackup, which is really nice. I store backups from servers/laptops at home on servers in a datacenter with my own gear, and backups from those servers to a box at home. For other installations I store the backups at cloud-storage providers like B2, Hetzner, Rsync.net, and PCExtreme. I’m also thinking about really long term offline storage with Online.net’s C14 storage (cheap amazon glacier alternative).

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                                                          A home NAS (HP microserver) via rsync, and from there I use duplicity to upload to google cloud storage (multi-regional coldline). The latter is ~€ 10 per 1 TiB.

                                                          I like having a copy at hand for ease and speed of recovery, but if I had to choose only one, I’d go for the cloud one since it’s off-site.

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                                                            I have two ZFS setups. One is my primary VM and NAS box, the other is a four-drive bay mini-ITX backup box at a family member’s house out of town. I just perodically run delta backups between the two sites using a VPN, sanoid, and ZFS raw sends to allow for end to end encrypted backups.

                                                            Unfortunately, I’ve had two drives fail on my backup box. Both WD Reds. I RMA’ed the first (it had 65526 bad sectors before ZFS gave up and SMART stopped counting…) and the drive they sent me as a replacement started having read errors. So I had to RMA it a second time. Third drive’s the charm?

                                                            I like WD RE (even though they’re 512 byte sectors instead of 4k…) and the HGST helium 8TB drives I’ve got on my home VM server/NAS way more in terms of reliability…

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                                                              A USB drive, a home NAS and a storage VPS from Time4VPS (60€/1TB/y). All the backups are handled with BorgBackup

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                                                                BorgBase also seems like a great option:

                                                                Secure your data from just $2/month or $.005/GB/month
                                                                
                                                                Unlimited free trial (5 GB and 2 repos) after signing up. Custom plans available. No API or data charges.
                                                                

                                                                My backups take up only ~7 GB so far with BorgBackup, so IIUC I would be fine with their free trial, and start out paying ~1 cent/mo.? No transfer fees, compared to B2.

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                                                                  I think that you have to subscribe to one of their plans such as the $25/100GB/year and every additional GB will cost you 1 cent/mo

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                                                                    Yeah, I’m not sure. Haven’t yet found a way to contact someone there.

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                                                                I use Time Machine to a local disk alternating with a SMB share from the big ZFS box in the the basement; I use Carbon Copy Cloner to a local disk as well; and then I use BackBlaze for offsite backups. It’s probably overkill, but now that it’s all set up it all Just Works.

                                                                I also push the photos to SmugMug, but that is 100% superfluous.

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                                                                  I use AWS Glacier to back up my NAS. It’s economical and just works but I’ve been considering B2 as well.

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                                                                    I use mega (200GB, €50/yr) as cloud sync/backup, plus backup to a USB HDD that lives at work (synced via rysnc). I also have some important stuff synced to flash drive that’s on my keyring. I’ve considered, but haven’t yet gone ahead with, Amazon Glacier as a secondary cloud backup.

                                                                    Somewhat orthogonally, the best thing I ever did in terms of backup strategy was drastically cut down the amount of data I was trying to store. The less you have, the easier it is to manage.

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                                                                        thanks; fixed

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                                                                      I don’t use flash storage, that seems to be unreliable for long term storage. I just use some large spinning SATA disks.

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                                                                        Three things for my laptop:

                                                                        • Tarsnap: Weekly snapshot from a cron job (although that cron job is broken since my Debian 10 upgrade). Includes most of home directory.
                                                                        • A few times per year, rsync snapshots to an encrypted partition on an external drive. I’ve been using --link-dest to do deduplication between snapshots, but it can be a performance issue, so I might stop doing that and just keep one snapshot that I keep updating. This external drive is at home.
                                                                        • Once a year or less, I take a full disk image while running from a Linux live USB. I keep that disk image at work. This is something I generally do just before an OS upgrade or partition surgery.
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                                                                          It seems like you’re referring to workstation backups, so I’ll comment on that.

                                                                          For my local machines, both backup to a local Time Machine drive, and both also backup to Backblaze.

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                                                                            I’m using the S3-compatible object storage offering from PCextreme. I encrypt it with ugarit, which also nicely takes care of deduplication of shared data/data that never changes, so that it doesn’t take up more space than necessary.

                                                                            It’s EUR 25 per terabyte a month for the storage. You also pay for data traffic, but that should be relatively minimal once you’ve done the initial backup.

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                                                                              I don’t do backups currently.

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                                                                                Daily incremental snapshot (using rdiff-backup) onto a dedicated backup hard drive (mounted in my NAS); monthly rsync of all increments onto external usb hdd that lives off site (locked drawer at work) the rest of the time.

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                                                                                  I use a pCloud lifetime membership as my NAS. A couple of years ago I needed to upgrade my NAS at home but instead bought the pCloud subscription for less.

                                                                                  I backup my pCloud storage back to my old NAS now-and-then since I haven’t actually reached the limits of that thing yet, plus it is also fully synced to a few computers. Yes, I know cloud sync isn’t really backup, but it is good enough for me.

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                                                                                    Far better than a USB backup drive at home, I use a mirrored NAS at home! btrfs RAID-1 using borg. And I take an external hard drive with a snapshot to my mom’s house whenever I visit her for Christmas.

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                                                                                      rsync between servers and NAS. manual disk dump every few months and stored a) in the same city and b) in a different country.

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                                                                                        I’ve had a lot of years with CrashPlan and it’s been absolutely solid. I’m moving to Backblaze now, though.

                                                                                        I also have a rule to never delete important data, no matter how ‘sure’ I am that it’s backed up. I regularly (once a year or so) retire storage devices (hard drives/ SSDs - internal and external) and replace them with newer / bigger / faster / cheaper models. I keep them forever, of course.

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                                                                                          I use Arq Backup to back my three Mac devices to a Google Cloud Storage bucket (Coldline Storage class). And I pay less than EUR 4 a month for 1TB storage (and API requests).

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                                                                                            Local NAS with a raid 0 mirror - two 6TB drives, my storage needs are not huge.

                                                                                            The content I don’t really want to lose goes to s3 glacier deep archive - this costs me ~50 cents a month for ~500GB.

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                                                                                              Currently I use iCloud for all my documents, so those are backed up anyway. I also use timemachine with an external HDD. Still considering using something like Backblaze.

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                                                                                                I have a small synology NAS (2 drives RAID) stored at $WORK’s server room. It was a bit expensive but at least I have control over my data.

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                                                                                                  USB hard drive using rsync. I’m a simple man.

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                                                                                                    I don’t have a huge requirement (~300GB). I use a local 500 GB SSD with a SATA-USB3 cable. This disk is rsynced to a remote dedicated server with 1 TB and I pay €11/m for that. I believe that they use RAID1.

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                                                                                                      1. portable USB hard disk at home
                                                                                                      2. portable USB hard disk at my workplace, updated monthly-ish
                                                                                                      3. backups to B2

                                                                                                      the most important thing I back up is my personal photos, so zipping up each album and throwing them onto a drive is good enough for me.