This is a guest post by Peter Zaborszky who runs BestBackups
When I was 20 and travelling in Europe for the summer, I had a bad experience that stuck with me. Back then flash memory cards were expensive, so I couldn’t keep all my photos on the camera, I downloaded them to my laptop every 2-3 nights. And then disaster struck. At one of the hostels my whole bag was stolen. Including my laptop. While having something stolen is frustrating and I felt like I’d been taken advantage of, the long term effects made me feel even worse. Quite a few weeks worth of photos were gone. The memories will stay with me, but photos do help me remember them!
Digital cameras have become almost the only type of cameras used now, which means that we are dependant on hard disks and computers for storing our photos as well. This is great in some ways, our photos are accessible, we can modify them, and print them as many times as we want. But, the weak link is the hard disk or computer. The scenario I’ve described above can happen, or it can happen without theft as well, what if simply your hard disk fails? According to Boston Computing, 6% of hard drives will suffer data loss in the next year. That sounds low, but considering there are thousands of readers on this blog, that means hundreds of failed hard drives among the readers. The statistic becomes even scarier if you use more than one device!
Now there are ways to avoid this, the most common I’ve heard of is having a second hard drive (usually external), where you can backup your files. This works great and has done for me too, but there are problems with it. What if you forget to back up? Or what if the external hard drive fails?
There is a second option that is becoming more and more popular. Hard drive prices have come down so much that there are now online services where you can store your data. They are become so popular that they are getting thousands of GB of data uploaded to them every day. You’ve probably heard of Dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive, but there are several other (over 50) providers who specialise in this area, and can give you a better service than these well known brands. Not to mention the per GB price of these mainstream brands is higher than some specialist providers.
Some providers actually give you unlimited space, which is extremely useful if you’ve got an extensive photo collection. How much does this cost? You can get away with under $5 a month for unlimited space for some providers, which is pretty amazing.
I’ve personally reviewed almost all these providers now on my site, so I know what to look for and how good they are. I’ve prepared a list of top backup providers for photos especially for this blog, if you are interested in more providers just check out our service. So here goes:
1. Winner: Backblaze
$3.96 per month for unlimited space ($5 if paid monthly)
A 5 year old company, they have the best price in the industry for unlimited space, and their software is great and easy to use. They continuously back up your files, which means as soon as it is modified it gets uploaded to their servers. They have been featured extensively in the “tech press”, as a promising company for the future. They have a great focus on the customer and a good technical team.
$4.95 per month for 75GB, or only $6.95 for unlimited space ($9.95 if paid monthly)
Easy to use website, easy to use software with the features that you need, and a reasonable price for both limited and unlimited services. They upload at intervals when you tell the software to, for example hourly or daily.
$4.99 per month for 30GB, or only $14.99 for 100GB!
Although they don’t offer unlimited uploads, their per GB rate is the best in the industry. Their mobile support is probably one of the best in the industry, which is getting more important every day. They also support versioning, which means if you change a file, you still have access to the previous version of a certain amount of time.
While these three providers are great, there are plenty of others with lots of different features. Some providers even backup your Facebook account. So while these are good, it’s worth checking out the other as well.
We’ve tried to make it as simple as possible to find the right provider at BestBackups.com, so check out our reviews there if you are interested. We also have a mailing list for special coupons and discounts.