In general, costs are determined by how much data you want to store and how often you’re accessing it. There are many other alternatives for cloud storage, each with its own pros and cons. Most of the services listed below are very good in their own way and are well-suited to other purposes. But in terms of backing up large archives of RAW image files, they have issues. The plans are packed with features, but many of them might not be relevant to what you need for backing up photos.
- The Basic Plan is $72/year but doesn’t include backing up external hard drives (you can add that as an option–and extra–service).
- There are also many general backup services designed for most other file types that work just as well with RAW files.
- I’ve had to use the download restore for smaller batches of files many times and have used the hard drive option to restore a large archive when an external drive crashed.
- If you want to add that feature as included, as well as being able to backup multiple computers , you’ll need to step up to the $288/year plan.
- More recently, I’ve also added their B2 service into the mix of my automated backup routine.
- They’ve now done away with those and offer 3 unlimited plans which varying degrees of features and priced accordingly.
However, a dedicated local backup program may provide more features, including imaging of your whole computer. If you think of cloud backup as putting aside your files for safekeeping, rather than for instant access, you’ll have a better idea of the major difference between cloud backup and cloud storage. Cloud backup will still let you retrieve individual files or entire folders, but it may take some time to get your files back, possibly up to several hours. A hot folder is a location the cloud service provides that looks like a normal folder on your desktop or mobile device but it is a constantly monitored online location.
Some cloud backup services let you back up to local media, such as an external hard drive, as well as backing up to the cloud. This saves you the trouble of having to use separate programs.
If you already have a OneDrive account or are looking for a one-stop cloud for business use, it’s worth a look, but it makes less sense to head in that direction just for backing up files. Zoolz Home is an automated backup service with unlimited file storage. They specifically focus on “lifetime” cloud storage for data that isn’t retrieved often. And unlike many of the other online backup offerings that use Amazon’s or Rackspace’s cloud storage, Backblaze maintain their own datacenter and have custom-designed their own storage pods.
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So if you drag a photo into the hot folder the cloud service looks at the contents of that folder and makes that file accessible to any of the other devices that may be using the cloud service. Some services offer only one hot folder, others allow several. Some services create the hot folder that you must use; others allow you to select an existing folder (e.g. your My Documents folder) as a hot folder. Yes, Backblaze is a true backup service rather than cloud storage. For what you’re after, free soft better bets will be things like Amazon S3 , Box.net, or Rackspace.