Photo Backup Done Right

Hello All,

I’m looking to setup the optimal backup solution for family photos.
We have enough data that we can’t keep it on a local drive.

We have a NAS (Synology & an Older Drobo FS)

Goal is to make sure we have 2 copies and camera card as third copy in case.
We fill an SD card and then toss it in a box as that backup.

The question is, how do we manage 2 copies on the 2 NAS devices?

Debating Carbon Copy Cloner or Chronosync possibly mixed in with a Hazel rule to grab new folders and move them since I really don’t want to drag and drop.

What are peoples thoughts?
How am I looking at this wrong (or totally overthinking it)?

Thanks in advance for help



Don’t have a solution yet though can you clarify?

If you say use the Synology for your main storage and then your Drobo for a backup, where is this second copy coming from? Would this be in the cloud or another backup device (large external hard drive or another NAS)?

In a side note I love Carbon Copy Cloner! Definitely a great choice.

I have a Synology as well and go through this headache process as well.
Here is my setup (hopefully it helps)

Hazel is used tremendously for everything from file naming, moving files, etc.

  1. Synology (first copy)
  2. Crashplan backs up my Synology (second copy-cloud)
  3. (2 x Portable Drives) that I swap out back and forth regularly as a travel backup (third copy)

I do have an old Drobo that I technically could back up to as well, but it’s old, slow, and loud.

Not sure why you have the SD card as a backup option, high potential for loss, or card not being read in the future.

Do you get charged based on amount uploaded with Crashplan? Also I’ve heard people say Crashplan Pro or Business is better. Also your portable drives, are you only copying certain files?

Thanks for sharing!

When I upgraded (late) to High Sierra, my NTFS formatted external drive has been a pain.
Trying to move everything off that drive has been a 5 day 4 software test that hasn’t finished, that’s what’s making me paranoid… actually having to test it all.

The cards it’s more just keeping them as a backup / forced card rotation since it takes about 6mos - 1yr to fill a card these days and each year the higher capacity gets even cheaper.

There is no charge based on amount uploaded. I have Crashplan Business.

With the portable drives, I used to copy everything. Lately, I re-evaluated what is most important to me. Everything is replaceable except for Photos. So I focus now on just a regular copy of that parent folder.

I use parent folders on the Synology (music, photo, video, documents-username)

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I’m not sure about your exact situation, but all of my photos are backed up to mutiple locations.

  1. Apple iCloud. My family has a single 2TB plan and use about half.
  2. Backblaze. My wife and I have the service for our files.
  3. ARQ to a NAS (unRAID).

All of this gives me a huge amount of redundancy.

Let me know if you want me to expand on any of this.


This is what I am doing, looking for advise. At least on the Photos side I am using iCloud to backup my iMac/MBP and iPhone.

I backup my iMac and MBP to my NAS using Time Macchine.
I have my NAS upload all data to backblaze. However, What I am not sure and still need to check is if the Time Machine is backing up my Photo Library since they are running on an “external” (always connected) drive. the drive is NOT excluded from Time Machine so I believe I am doing it correctly.

Side Note for Photos:…

I am using Power Photos to remove duplicates, and on my experience is working fine. Not a heavy user by any means since my photo library only have 100GB of Photos and Videos. Hopefully this will give you an idea.

  • Is this topic should be on Workflows?

You can leave it hear and then make a separate workflows post. I think it would fall into that category better.

I have Blackblaze and might pony up for Blackblaze B2. Also what all do you use your unRaid NAS for aside from backups?

My unRAID box acts as a DVR (via a sageTV container), media player (via, and a PiHole. And the massive storage for backups and media.

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Hmmm I’m thinking of doing something similar. I’d like separated backups and media from my data like photos.

That’s easy enough to do. I have my backups in one folder and my media in another. The backups are done with ARQ and is encrypted, so I can’t easily share those files.

Media is still manual as I haven’t had time to automate it. I should be able to set up an rsync job on my Mac to push the pictures to unRAID. I need to look at this tool or something similar to automate downloading the iCloud photos.

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Awesome! Now I’m really wanting to build one! Do you keep your photos on it? I’m in between using Photos and Lightroom right now so that’s part of my issue. I’d also ensure certain critical files and photos are backed up to the cloud.

I keep some photos on it. When I remember to run the sync job on my Mac. My hope is the above mentioned script will just pull the pics from iCloud.

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Is your UnRaid box small or full desktop version?

It’s a full desktop that I put together back in 2013 and have upgraded it with inexpensive or free parts (scored a gen 2 i7 processor for free a couple months ago). The case is some cheap brand that I’ve managed to fit 6 drives into. I don’t recommend it :-).

Yeah I plan on building something a bit better suited. I’d imagine you’ll upgrade it at some point right?

unRAID doesn’t need a lot of CPU unless you’re doing a VM stuff. Even transcoding, while intensive, depends on the number of streams you are casting.

The main reason I went with unRAID instead of going with something from Synology was that I running a Windows 7 box as my SageTV server and I could repurpose the hardware to unRAID for just the cost of the SW license.

I also think that unRAID is more powerful and flexible then most NAS solutions, but it comes at the cost of being less user friendly and the hardware consumes more electricity.

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You can’t backup from UnRaid to your B2 Via Arq right? Id imagine you have a separate external Hd for photos?