Episode 016: Solutions for Long Term Data Storage

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In this episode, Avery takes questions from Camp Tech listeners. Today’s episode focuses on long-term data storage, specifically for personal data files. She discusses the different options for data storage, considers monetary value, as well as tips to help keep your files protected in storage.

Click to tweet: “Backing up is kind of like insurance, you hope to never need it, but once you do you’re glad you have it.”

Episode Highlights:

  • Making the time to backup your files
  • Two main options for where/how to backup your files
  • Pros and cons of physical storage
  • Pros and cons of cloud storage
  • Cost and value for each type of storage
  • Security in regards to cloud storage


Key Takeaways:

[1:48] Question for Avery: What do you recommend for long term data storage? What is the best way to store things like photos that you want future generations to access? What stable options exist, if any?

[2:51] This episode focuses on personal data back-ups, but it is encouraged to backup your website, as well, if that is part of your business. In addition, if your data is very sensitive, and security is paramount, you may seek further advice from an IT company.

[5:09] Things that will be covered: taking the time to backup your files, where to back them up, backing up from multiple sources, security, cost and value for this project, and ensuring you can access your files where and when you need to, as well as what file format.

[7:30] Two biggest options for back-ups: the first is a physical media, such as a USB stick or an external hard drive. While these usually only require an upfront cost, you may need to consider how technology is changing and whether you will be able to access your files with these devices.

[10:25] Another thing to consider with physical backups is the fact that they could also crash or could be stolen or damaged in an incident. They are relatively inexpensive and do last a while.

[12:02] The second option is cloud storage, or internet storage. The files you back up from your computer are copied to a computer in a remote location. There are free and paid options for cloud storage, as well as options that allow a certain amount of storage for free before you have to start paying.

[14:02] Pros of cloud storage: it is off-site, so the potential of damaging incidents is decreased, and these companies are also making backups of their backups. Additionally, once the files are backed up, they are accessible pretty much anywhere.

[15:29] Two biggest downsides to cloud storage: 1) It is usually a recurring fee, and might end up being more than buying an external drive, though the cost is coming down. 2) Security is extremely important — you really need a strong password and use of multiple passwords for different services.

[18:29] Avery shares some personal instances of backup solutions that have been successful in the past.

[20:45] One of the big concerns about cloud storage is if you have all your information backed up to the same place, what happens if something happens to that solution? Avery is a fan of multiple backups, and uses a multi-tiered backup solution: an external drive, a redundant external drive, as well as cloud storage.

[23:25] In many cases of the cloud storage, your apps will automatically sync to the cloud storage, so as you update, your backup files are also being updated.

[25:13] If you are looking to just get started now, the cloud is Avery’s suggestion for the way to go. There are many benefits to using this solution and is very accessible for many people. Once you take the time to do an initial backup, it should get easier and easier to do each time. The initial backup is also a great time to go through and decide what files are most important, and which ones you definitely want to keep.


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