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Backup question about tapes vs. drives

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I have some data that I need to backup each week (under 100GB) that I want to take away for safe storage, sort of a personal disaster recovery. A friend recommended a tape backup solution, but that seemed very pricey. I was considering just using a couple of portable harddrives, leaving one here and one at a friend's for safe keeping and rotating them as needed.

Any drawback to that? With low prices on harddrives, it seems like it would be cost effective.

Thanks for your help and advice!
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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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Portable hard drives are fine but they're normal mechanical drives so they will be prone to mechanical failure if not looked after properly.

Depending on the exact size of the data needed for backing up, 32Gb USB Pen Drives are available. Not cheap but available, and will take more of a physical beating before they fail. Plus they're easier to carry and most often survive occasional ventures into the washing machine.
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    Je suis Napoléon!

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another solution (though also could be costly depending on the volume) would be to use one of the many available online backup solutions where you can back up your important stuff daily over the internet....they take care of making sure your data is available (from anywhere) and safe
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Hard drives are fairly cheap, but there are issues with using them for backups, especially if you transport them. You should let them sit for around 24 hours to become acclimated and don't let them get too hot.

Tapes are independent of the mechanics of the drive, but have issues too. It works well if you have lots of tapes, but otherwise the drive price can make it not worthwhile and you then have a single point of failure unless you buy more than one drive.

DVDs are pretty cheap, but you would need many to do the backup that you want.

I have heard ads for carbonite, or something like that, which is an online service for $50/year, which is much cheaper than disks.

The bottom line is there are pros and cons for each method and you need to decide which is best for you.
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