Help me to consolidate cloud storage and backups

backup

#1

Hi everyone, I’m looking for some advice in consolidating the mess I have currenty:

  • $12/month 1 TB SpiderOak storage plan that I use to backup 2 MacBooks in the family – using only about 100 GB of this
  • External hard drive using TimeMachine to backup my Macbook daily
  • Using free (compressed) Google Drive to store ~ 15 GB of photos
  • Using free Dropbox account to sync a 400 MB DevonThink database
  • I also have some photos in iCloud and some on my mac that are different from what is in Google Photos (that is a whole other mess I need to clean up)

My question is how can I consolidate this? I need a cloud storage backup solution and a cloud storage photos solution and a general cloud storage location for DevonThink and shared files. Is there something I can use that will do all of that?

I like SpiderOak because I can store files on it and use it as a cloud backup solution with their software installed. I don’t need to pay a separate monthly subscription for Carbonite or Backblaze – I can utilize the cloud storage I already pay for, but I haven’t seen this offered with iCloud or Dropbox.

It would be nice to have one place for photos, files & backups. Thanks for any tips.


#2

I guess I can only really recommend what I do:

  • Backblaze for remote cloud backup. It’s inexpensive and limitless.
  • Time Machine local backup, just need a hard drive shared on the network somewhere (or a Time Capsule or external HDD/SSD).
  • iCloud for all cloud storage and photo storage. Again you’ll have to pay a little bit it works super well and syncs everywhere.

#3

Do you have any specific reasons for using Google Drive for photos and Dropbox for DevonThink? Are you using iCloud for anything other than photos?


#4

Given that the only thing you’re actually paying for is Spider Oak, it doesn’t seem like you have a big financial motive to consolidate. There would probably be some benefit from getting all your photos into a single system (I use iCloud, but Google Photos works fine too). Other than that I don’t know if the juice would be worth the squeeze to move your DEVONThink database into one of the other services (or to move your photos into Dropbox).

So I’d say get your photos situation sorted out and otherwise keep doing what you’re doing.


#5

It’s actually not nice at all. What you should want is redundancy – everything backed up to multiple destinations. And no backup is any good if you can’t restore locally deleted or destroyed files – make sure that you can.


#6

Certainly backups should be separate from files or if that cloud service goes belly up you just lose everything.


#7

Well $12/month currently is all I’m paying yes and looks like I can get the same backup functionality from Backblaze for $6/mo per computer or $12 total.

I’m a recent Mac convert to I used Google Photos because I was on android previously, but I really like the editing tools in Photos and being able to arrange albums on my macbook so that is a draw to use iCloud exclusively for photos, but I would need another $1/month subscription to have enough space to store my photos (not a huge deal). I also can’t figure out exactly how to use things like Snapseed and editing tools with Google Photos. It just isn’t as seamless as the Photos app.

What I LIKE about Google Photos is the image recognition + search, but it looks like Photos has this too now… so I guess that kind of gets rid of that argument. I don’t like that it is only a web interface.

I’ll do some more research on this whole Google Photos vs iCloud Photos thing.

Anyway I appreciate the feedback it helps me sort this out.


#8

Today my primary cloud storage is Google Drive. I’m a long time Gmail user, the price is the same as iCloud, & I find it much faster. All data syncs to my local hard drive.

My photos upload to iCloud and replicate, full size, to Google Photos. I keep almost no data on my iPhone or iPad, so 50gb of iCloud storage is currently enough for my photos & device backups

I replicate all data from my 2011 Mac to an external USB drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. The SafetyNet feature archives all deleted or replaced data.

Then I back up everything to Amazon S3 using Arq backup software. I prefer Arq because it offers versioning. Amazon S3 Glacier is very reliable & inexpensive (but Glacier is meant for infrequent access, Standard S3 is more expensive). Arq can backup to several destinations, Google, Amazon, Dropbox, Backblaze B2 as well as Arq’s own cloud service.

Whatever your choice, I recommend you do not backup to the same location you choose for your consolidate data

My total monthly cost is:

Google Drive 200gb: $1.99/month for 100gb + 100gb Free.
iCloud 50gb: $0.99/month
Amazon S3 (around 450gb): last bill was $1.76
Dropbox 2.5gb: Free (seldom used)


#9

Ohh I like this idea of using your own backup software (Arq) and leveraging Amazon for the destination… from my calculations its very similar in cost to go that route than BackBlaze, even considering I would need to purchase TWO licenses for Arq at $50 a piece (for our two computers), and the cost savings would be more the next year.

How is your bill for S3 so low if it is $.023/gb ?


#10

I second that, I believe it will be your best approach.


#11

S3 Glacier is only $0.004/gb + transfer costs. I have older backups stored at different tiers, so billing is a bit complicated. The cheapest rates are for data that you don’t plan to access often. In my case, I would only download from AWS if I lost data from Google and my local backup.

https://aws.amazon.com/glacier/faqs/