External hard drive to back up photos

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unclescrooge
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External hard drive to back up photos

Post by unclescrooge »

I've been using Google photos to back up all my photos and documents but if like an external HD.

Can someone recommend a decent HD that is fast, has over 2TB storage, and is reliable?

Thanks!
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telemark
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by telemark »

For backup drives, I like the Western Digital Passport line because they get their power from the USB port and are designed to be picked up and carried around. Probably not the fastest drives around, but again, it's a backup drive.
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Raybo
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Raybo »

Use a flash drive. Easier, much more mobile, and no need for wires.
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student
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by student »

Any name brand external hard drive will do. Also note that if you have Amazon Prime, you have unlimited photo storage.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Flyer24 »

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.
tibbitts
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by tibbitts »

Raybo wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:22 pm Use a flash drive. Easier, much more mobile, and no need for wires.
A greater-than-2tB model is still pricey vs. a spinning disk.

I'm needing to upgrade beyond my 2tB externals and am hoping not to run out of space before prices on 4tB solid state devices come down.
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unclescrooge
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by unclescrooge »

Raybo wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:22 pm Use a flash drive. Easier, much more mobile, and no need for wires.
Do you mean SSD?
dukeblue219
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by dukeblue219 »

A portable SSD is one thing, but please don't use a USB flash drive (a thumb drive). They're built from the cheapest materials and do not have the sophisticated controllers of SSDs even though they are both flash based. The failure rates are way too high.

Just get a WD Passport 4TB for under $100 and call it a day.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Sandtrap »

Samsung T5 SDD drive.

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Teague
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Teague »

Two of them meet your needs.

I mean that literally - I suggest getting two of them. That probably matters more than exactly which established brand you choose.

I keep one in my office near the computer and back up to that every so often. Then once or twice a year or whenever I'm going there anyway, I retrieve the second one from the off site location I keep it at, and leave the first backup drive there in its place. I take the formerly remote backup to my house and immediately update it.

The local backup protects against a failure of the working hard drive. The second, remote, drive protects against the house burning down or other local catastrophe.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Raybo »

unclescrooge wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:11 pm
Raybo wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:22 pm Use a flash drive. Easier, much more mobile, and no need for wires.
Do you mean SSD?
Yes
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anon_investor
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by anon_investor »

I just helped my dad order a portable Sandisk SSD one, but there are many other reputable brands, Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate, etc. A SSD is better than the HDD, no moving parts so no chance of mechanical failure. I had to help my FIL last year try to recover photos off a failed HDD, NOT FUN.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by 22twain »

For archival purposes, speed shouldn't be much of a consideration. Copying to an HDD will be slower than to a SSD, but you'll be copying any item to them only once, and hopefully seldom need to retrieve something. HDDs are cheaper. Buy two for redundancy. I have two Western Digital MyBook desktop units, as duplicate archives. Recent material (the last year or so) I also keep on my computer's internal SSD for quick access.
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Marseille07
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Marseille07 »

anon_investor wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:24 am I just helped my dad order a portable Sandisk SSD one, but there are many other reputable brands, Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate, etc. A SSD is better than the HDD, no moving parts so no chance of mechanical failure. I had to help my FIL last year try to recover photos off a failed HDD, NOT FUN.
If the OP says they need 2TB+, wouldn't an SSD be quite expensive?
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anon_investor
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by anon_investor »

Marseille07 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:47 am
anon_investor wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:24 am I just helped my dad order a portable Sandisk SSD one, but there are many other reputable brands, Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate, etc. A SSD is better than the HDD, no moving parts so no chance of mechanical failure. I had to help my FIL last year try to recover photos off a failed HDD, NOT FUN.
If the OP says they need 2TB+, wouldn't an SSD be quite expensive?
More expensive, than an HDD, but the prices have come down significantly from a few years ago. I know Costco occationally has some specials.
myleaf
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by myleaf »

I am not sure how long a SSD retains memory without power (memory storage is electric charge on a capacitor). If you plan to back up your photos and put it somewhere (safe deposit box) for many years you may want to consider a regular portable HDD (memory storage is magnetized media).
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MathWizard
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by MathWizard »

Make sure to get a USB3 external hard drive. That will allow you to max out your
spinning hard drive speed.

You can also get a hard drive dock and use a regular spinning hard drive.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by tibbitts »

Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but the last I looked, at greater than 2tB, you have to go to 4tB (I have an older 3tB hdd but those were always the exception), so roughly $100 for an external 4tB hdd vs. $600 for ssd? And you do need at least two. Hdds seem to do pretty well after being unused for extended periods (even years although I wouldn't recommend that); I'm not as sure about ssds but haven't had any experiences with not using those for an extended period. I do expect the price difference will come down eventually.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by midareff »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:27 pm Samsung T5 SDD drive.

j🌺
Absolutely... and you might consider a RAID as a second backup.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by midareff »

tibbitts wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:02 pm Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but the last I looked, at greater than 2tB, you have to go to 4tB (I have an older 3tB hdd but those were always the exception), so roughly $100 for an external 4tB hdd vs. $600 for ssd? And you do need at least two. Hdds seem to do pretty well after being unused for extended periods (even years although I wouldn't recommend that); I'm not as sure about ssds but haven't had any experiences with not using those for an extended period. I do expect the price difference will come down eventually.
Samsung 2TB SSD $189.99 Amazon.
tibbitts
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by tibbitts »

midareff wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:17 pm
tibbitts wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:02 pm Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but the last I looked, at greater than 2tB, you have to go to 4tB (I have an older 3tB hdd but those were always the exception), so roughly $100 for an external 4tB hdd vs. $600 for ssd? And you do need at least two. Hdds seem to do pretty well after being unused for extended periods (even years although I wouldn't recommend that); I'm not as sure about ssds but haven't had any experiences with not using those for an extended period. I do expect the price difference will come down eventually.
Samsung 2TB SSD $189.99 Amazon.
The key is "greater than" 2tB.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Miriam2 »

midareff wrote:
Sandtrap wrote: Samsung T5 SDD drive.
j🌺
Absolutely... and you might consider a RAID as a second backup.
midareff wrote:
tibbitts wrote: Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but the last I looked, at greater than 2tB, you have to go to 4tB (I have an older 3tB hdd but those were always the exception), so roughly $100 for an external 4tB hdd vs. $600 for ssd? And you do need at least two. Hdds seem to do pretty well after being unused for extended periods (even years although I wouldn't recommend that); I'm not as sure about ssds but haven't had any experiences with not using those for an extended period. I do expect the price difference will come down eventually.
Samsung 2TB SSD $189.99 Amazon.
Thank you, I just impulse-bought this on Amazon $189.99 - my photos are very important to me :happy

Is it a real possibility of deterioration of the stored photo quality over time, however, with this Samsung T5 2TB portable USB 3.1 external SSD? I suppose "over time" might also mean leaving this SSD for the kids as fond memory photos of me :mrgreen:
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Sandtrap »

Miriam2 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:57 pm
midareff wrote:
Sandtrap wrote: Samsung T5 SDD drive.
j🌺
Absolutely... and you might consider a RAID as a second backup.
midareff wrote:
tibbitts wrote: Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but the last I looked, at greater than 2tB, you have to go to 4tB (I have an older 3tB hdd but those were always the exception), so roughly $100 for an external 4tB hdd vs. $600 for ssd? And you do need at least two. Hdds seem to do pretty well after being unused for extended periods (even years although I wouldn't recommend that); I'm not as sure about ssds but haven't had any experiences with not using those for an extended period. I do expect the price difference will come down eventually.
Samsung 2TB SSD $189.99 Amazon.
Thank you, I just impulse-bought this on Amazon $189.99 - my photos are very important to me :happy

Is it a real possibility of deterioration of the stored photo quality over time, however, with this Samsung T5 2TB portable USB 3.1 external SSD? I suppose "over time" might also mean leaving this SSD for the kids as fond memory photos of me :mrgreen:
Many Christmas’ ago, we burned all the family albums, tons of them, to DVD and gave those files to the kids.
Now, we email out all the family get together pics n things as they are created for everyone.

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unclescrooge
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by unclescrooge »

Thanks everyone for your responses.

A buddy of mine who's head of IT at a major university convinced me to just pay for Goggle's family storage plan. It's $10/month and they will backup everything for me.
Big Worm
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Big Worm »

Synology NAS/RAID system.

Couple of decent hard drives.

Back it all up to a storage service.

Flawless and no chance for losing data barring a catastrophe.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by adamthesmythe »

I use magnetic drives over SSDs for archival storage. The stored bits in magnetic drives are thermodynamically stable while those in SSDs are not.

Two (or even three) magnetic drives are cheaper than an equivalent amount of solid state storage, last I checked.

There are places where you can find data on reliability of hard drives, for example

https://www.zdnet.com/article/look-at-t ... is-way-up/
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by midareff »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:01 pm
Raybo wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:22 pm Use a flash drive. Easier, much more mobile, and no need for wires.
A greater-than-2tB model is still pricey vs. a spinning disk.

I'm needing to upgrade beyond my 2tB externals and am hoping not to run out of space before prices on 4tB solid state devices come down.
Here's a 4 TB SSD for $78.99 .. how cheap do you want? You even get to pick your color.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by HawkeyePierce »

I would use Backblaze instead. The backup will be offsite and automated, much safer that way.
dukeblue219
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by dukeblue219 »

Miriam2 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:57 pm Is it a real possibility of deterioration of the stored photo quality over time, however, with this Samsung T5 2TB portable USB 3.1 external SSD? I suppose "over time" might also mean leaving this SSD for the kids as fond memory photos of me :mrgreen:
The photo quality will not degrade. However, data stored on NAND flash (the underlying storage medium of SSDs) is not permanent. In general it should last 10 or more years powered off in a reasonable temperature environment (individual drives may have specifications that vary).

However, when things fail with SSDs they do tend to fail catastrophically rather than magnetic drives with may be professionally recoverable.

There is no medium, HD, SSD, floppy, Optical, tape, that will survive decades in an archive with certainty. This is where the cloud excels, as your data is "living" and the underlying hardware is replaced periodically. If you need to keep things at home indefinitely, it's worth checking your backup every so often and monitoring any diagnostic software provided by the manufacturer.
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by Capsu78 »

Teague wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:57 pm Two of them meet your needs.

I mean that literally - I suggest getting two of them. That probably matters more than exactly which established brand you choose.

I keep one in my office near the computer and back up to that every so often. Then once or twice a year or whenever I'm going there anyway, I retrieve the second one from the off site location I keep it at, and leave the first backup drive there in its place. I take the formerly remote backup to my house and immediately update it.

The local backup protects against a failure of the working hard drive. The second, remote, drive protects against the house burning down or other local catastrophe.
Agreed with this level of redundancy. Another plus to 2 identical is the power cord and data ports mean unplug and replugging is with the same wiring. I actually have 3 externals- one assigned as the side of PC bu, and the other two rotate between daughters house and safety deposit box. I can’t find where Amazon Prime offers unlimited storage- I capped out around 60k images, and they are constantly pitching me on a monthly fee to upgrade.
One additional tip I find useful- I keep a log of image count by unit at each update and location. It helps me feel good to know my counts are similar, in case I suddenly had 10k images on my PC master library go missing.
tibbitts
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by tibbitts »

Given enough bandwidth I would use cloud storage more than I do. You have to be careful for example if you change your image naming scheme, the cloud service may well not understand that, and actually replace all the images instead of merely renaming them.

Also many internet providers have a quota that you may encounter that when attempting to initially copy your data to the cloud.
Last edited by tibbitts on Tue Jun 22, 2021 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
formerlybroke
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by formerlybroke »

$60ish dollars for 2TB is dirt cheap IMO. This one is Amazon Prime at $54.99 and has 127,000 reviews (4.5 stars):

https://amzn.to/35HqEGl
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by lthenderson »

unclescrooge wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:45 pm Thanks everyone for your responses.

A buddy of mine who's head of IT at a major university convinced me to just pay for Goggle's family storage plan. It's $10/month and they will backup everything for me.
I have Carbonite and their current rate is $6 a month for up to three different computers unlimited storage.
MarkBarb
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Re: External hard drive to back up photos

Post by MarkBarb »

I would buy a cheap HDD for a local backup and pay Backblaze $60/year for a cloud backup.
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