Online Backups

I’m sure I don’t have an exhaustive library like most photographers, but I’m wondering if anyone uses any online backups? If I remember correctly—when the wildfire destroyed the town of Paradise, CA—Erin Babnik was able to recover all her work because she used an online backup service. I believe it was Backblaze. I’m pretty sure @Sean_Bagshaw uses Backblaze…at least I think I remember him mentioning it in one of his YouTube videos.

Anyway, I’ve been using external HDs, and I haven’t had any issues…yet. I guess I’m wondering how other photographers, who probably have way more photographs than I do, backup their files? Pros/cons, best practices…things like that.

In addition to backing up on external hard drives, I also use Backblaze. It’s pretty cheap, $5 or $6 a month and once you get going is effortless. The only drawback is the upload time. I had 6TB of photos to backup, and it would have taken several months with my very slow AT&T DSL, so I upgraded the DSL to their fastest one available in the SF Bay area, and then it only took two weeks. I’m very happy with it. I inadvertently deleted a photo on my boot drive and on both external backups, and it was very easy to retrieve it. I just went to, found the photo, and pushed “recover”.

1 Like

Another vote for Backblaze. Yes, the original upload takes a long time (weeks), but after that it’s all automated for continual backup. I chose Backblaze over other online backup services because it was the only one that would also backup connected external hard drives.

1 Like

I use Crashplan. This was before they shut down the personal account and switch us to the “small business” account. I have been thinking about moving to Backblaze but it’s too much of a hassle considering the initial upload :frowning:

1 Like

I use Amazon Photo . If you are a Prime subscriber, it provides unlimited free storage for all photo files, including raw files, plus 5 GB of free video storage. It has an automated uploader and works with external drives. It’s UI could stand some improvements but it works.

1 Like

I use a more low tech approach, primary copy on internal hard drive, an onsite backup on an external drive at my home, and a third copy on an external drive in a safe deposit box at a bank. Fortunately my bank is almost next door to my local grocery store, which is convenient for frequent swapping of two externals so a relatively recent version of my images library is always offsite at the bank. If something wipes out both my home and the bank, I’ve got bigger problems than losing my image collection.


Thanks for the suggestion @Steve_Kennedy. I’ve gone ahead and installed and uploading a test folder of some 45GB. Frankly, I don’t care how long it takes; it’s the updating and syncing in the background that will matter.

My BIGGEST concern is: What the hell am I signing up for? Where are the T&C’s in terms of using a “Big Tech” cloud solution? Google, FB, and no doubt Amazon have their hooks and I have little confidence… There’s now a direct link between Amazon and one of my hard drives, my PC.

Does anyone have any of these concerns? I will turn this off in a heart beat if I learn of anything.

Just wondering what other’s thoughts are putting not just your files out there… but literally allowing your PC to be connected to the Cloud. Security? encryption?

Thanks for any comforting thoughts, concerns or downright warnings…


@Lon_Overacker, I assume T&C means Terms and Conditions. Here is Amazon’s Terms of Use page - I hope this answers your questions.

FYI - I also use external drives for backups. I always have a backup drive at my desk and a duplicate in my fire safe. It’s much faster and easier to retrieve files from these, but a few years ago I had my primary drive fail. I hadn’t realized until then that I hadn’t backed up in a few weeks and I lost the raw files of some of my favorite photos. Now I have at least 4 copies so hopefully that will never happen again.

Another vote for backblaze from me. I used to use two rotating external drives that I would use to mirror my data to weekly and keep one at work (offsite) and one at home. The problem with this manual process is that I wouldn’t consistently keep the schedule.

I keep my lightroom catalog and photos on a large external SSD drive and backblaze fortunately supports external drives without problems. It emails me if it hasn’t “seen” the external drive in a while – then I plug it in and leave the computer running for a while and all is backed up. (The reason for everything on a fast external drive is so that I can work on my photos from my PC and my laptop.)

Backblaze has saved my bacon big time once: My (large) lightroom catalog got corrupted when I merged a smaller catalog into it. Fortunately backblaze stores a number of previous versions of each file it backs up and so I was able to recover a version of my catalog file from a day before that worked fine.

1 Like