Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

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Saving$
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Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Saving$ » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:20 pm

Anyone know anything about this? Supposedly 5gb of free online storage of important docs.

Supposedly they take care of the security. Details at: https://www.fidsafe.com/security/

Can someone who understands this stuff explain if this is safer, less safe, or the same as other solutions?

The other free solutions that seemed to be available was to store important docs on an online service such as Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive via encryption. Then you had to decrypt the bundle everytime you needed to access it or add to it, and re-encryt and upload. FidSafe seems ALOT more convenient, so does that mean it is less safe? I'm envisioning that an ideal storage /backup solution is everything on the local hard drive, and sensitive financial docs (investment, bank and 401k statements, scans of old tax returns) backed up to FidSafe and everything else on Google Drive.

Also, what is in it for them? Privacy policy seems to indicate the data is private, but it seems like they would not offer this for free unless they planned to mine the data for their marketing efforts. Am I missing something in the privacy policy?

Also, does this seem like a bait & switch - ie they will give you 5gb free for a year or two, then start charging?

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:06 pm

This is interesting. I think it's the sort of thing financial institutions should be doing.

This piggy backs off of the identification infrastructure (e.g. two factor login) they need to provide anyway. So it has relatively small marginal cost. I would expect they are offering it as an added service to help attract and retain customers. They could do something nefarious with it, but the privacy policy says otherwise. Do you trust them? If not why are you letting them handle your money? :twisted:

One disadvantage is the Fidelity has the encryption keys, so they can access the documents, unless their ethics and privacy agreement prevent that. But this is also an advantage. If you had the key and forgot it the documents are lost. If you store things on Google drive and lose the your two factor key convincing Google that you are you can be troublesome, possibly impossible. If you forget your Fidelity login or lose the two factor key Fidelity will have a process for reasserting your identity, probably including showing up at one of their offices with a photo ID and a few other things. Once Fidelity has re-authenticated you, you get access to your documents back. Also if you die or can't manage your account your representative could probably get a court order to access the documents.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by tfb » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:10 pm

I have been using it for a few years. I'm not a security expert. It's safe enough for me. I trust they are not reading my documents. Because of its limited feature set, the system doesn't cost Fidelity that much to operate. It doesn't have to be a revenue center. It's easily supported by Fidelity's marketing budget as a differentiator to retain existing customers, and maybe one small reason to attract new customers. I expect it to be free indefinitely.
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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by inbox788 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:21 pm

Been looking for an essentials document solution and this is an interesting one. I would be using it as part of a succession plan, so the ability for 3rd party to access is actually beneficial. Here's a list they provide:

https://www.fidsafe.com/essential-documents/

Security is huge, and the ability for a bad actor to access these documents is a bit unnerving. And if this is where the valuable data is, you can bet they'll be targeted. Still, I may begin with the public documents and less critical documents and data (deeds, wills, etc.). List of financial institutions, but maybe not yet account numbers and most likely not passwords.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by afan » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:25 pm

there are several services that work by encrypting the files on your computer, then uploading and storing the encrypted files. They never have the plain text of your documents, so no one can read them without your encryption key. This means that if you lose your password, you are out of luck. The best they could do would be to provide with the encrypted files. But it is very secure as long as you keep copies of your password.

Spideroak is an example. It is not free, but it is cheap.
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student
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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by student » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:42 pm

afan wrote:there are several services that work by encrypting the files on your computer, then uploading and storing the encrypted files. They never have the plain text of your documents, so no one can read them without your encryption key. This means that if you lose your password, you are out of luck. The best they could do would be to provide with the encrypted files. But it is very secure as long as you keep copies of your password.

Spideroak is an example. It is not free, but it is cheap.
Great info. One can kind of do it for free, right? First encrypt the file yourself locally, then upload it to Fidsafe.

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Saving$
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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Saving$ » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:14 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:.... Also if you die or can't manage your account your representative could probably get a court order to access the documents.
It has a special "Share after death" feature, explained at the bottom of this page: https://www.fidsafe.com/about-fidsafe/
Your designee just provides a copy of a certified death certificate and they create a FidSafe account for your designee with all your data in it...

The question would be if Fidelity, once notified of your death for the accounts they manage, would advise your executor that the FidSafe data exists...

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:23 pm

I'm not really convinced of the value of such a thing. In my case, I have printed instructions for my wife (or my executor, if it comes to that) referring to a USB memory stick in my safe with all that type information stored on it. What benefit does FidSafe provide that my USB stick in my safe doesn't? Not trying to be snarky, I'd really like to know.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Toons » Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:25 pm

Sounds like a great idea to me.

"FidSafe is currently offered as a value-add, no-cost service from XTRAC LLC, a Fidelity Investments Company."
Who knows what the future holds....
Bait and Switch,,
I doubt it

https://www.fidsafe.com/info/faq/



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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:53 pm

smartinwate wrote:I'm not really convinced of the value of such a thing. In my case, I have printed instructions for my wife (or my executor, if it comes to that) referring to a USB memory stick in my safe with all that type information stored on it. What benefit does FidSafe provide that my USB stick in my safe doesn't? Not trying to be snarky, I'd really like to know.
For me the advantage of something like this is it "tags" the documents with large amounts of money (so they are likely to be found) and puts a, hopefully robust, security screen in front of them (so they can't be accessed until I'm dead or gaga).

I think arranging to share files if and only if I'm unable to act as a difficult problem. Standard encryption does not help much, as it just makes it a problem of handling the password instead of the files, and a USB drive is smaller than an index card with a password. The biggest problem with a letter of instruction is where do I leave the letter? If it's with someone else it's out of my control,* if it's at my house I run the risk of going ga before I go gaga and my house resembles something out of Hoarders by the time somebody else takes over.

There's also an issue of fire damaging or destroy the letter, the safe, the USB drive and me at the same time. Or Chinese capacitors in the USB drive, if I'm not constantly monitoring it. Fidelity's IT should be better than that.

None of these are completely compelling for why it's better than your USB drive, so even snarky rebuttals would be useful, as long as theres a little bit of substance.

* which is pretty much what happens if I use Fidelity, so it comes down to is there somebody I trust as much as Fidelity who is less likely to die than Fidelity.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by G-Force » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:15 pm

Merrill Edge has something similar. If you go to Help and Support > Documents there is an option to store wills, estate plans, and other documents.

Unlike Fidsafe which appears to be owned by Fidelity, Merrill Edge appears to be outsourcing this to a company called Siftsort.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by gpburdell » Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:40 pm

Logged into my Fido account today and saw there was a marketing message for FidSafe. I have never heard of it before. Of course, I came here first to see what everyone's thoughts are. It looks safe and I like that it's owned by Fidelity or at least one of their subsidiaries.

Anyone else have any thoughts, feedback, etc on FidSafe?

thanks

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by F150HD » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:15 pm

echo post above, wondering what the catch is that this is free? (just read about this service)

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by fatcharlie » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:05 am

Saving$ wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:20 pm
Can someone who understands this stuff explain if this is safer, less safe, or the same as other solutions?
Their 2-factor authentication solution depends on SMS, which is not the best practice, so that looks bad for their security. Dropbox, for instance, supports U2F, which is probably the gold standard.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:49 am

fatcharlie wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:05 am
Saving$ wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:20 pm
Can someone who understands this stuff explain if this is safer, less safe, or the same as other solutions?
Their 2-factor authentication solution depends on SMS, which is not the best practice, so that looks bad for their security. Dropbox, for instance, supports U2F, which is probably the gold standard.
Indeed, they go to great lengths on their web site to describe their "state-of-the-art security", but their 2FA depends on SMS (or, alternatively, a voice message to whatever phone number you designate, which I assume can be your home landline). Reading through their "security policy" document, I have to say that I don't see anything listed there that strikes me as "state-of-the-art", it all seems pretty much what a business must do nowadays to conduct business at all over the Internet (end-to-end encryption, physical access to their on-site systems restricted, etc).

I have a FidSafe account, but I do not put anything sensitive up there, nor will I unless and until they can convince me that their security has improved over the current "status quo".
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Blueskies123 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:09 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:23 pm
I'm not really convinced of the value of such a thing. In my case, I have printed instructions for my wife (or my executor, if it comes to that) referring to a USB memory stick in my safe with all that type information stored on it. What benefit does FidSafe provide that my USB stick in my safe doesn't? Not trying to be snarky, I'd really like to know.
I am not trying to be over the top but what if a tornado/earthquake/hurricane/gas explosion takes you out and your whole house. This is what offsite storage is for assuming there is something that important to your heirs.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:31 pm

Blueskies123 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:09 pm
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:23 pm
I'm not really convinced of the value of such a thing. In my case, I have printed instructions for my wife (or my executor, if it comes to that) referring to a USB memory stick in my safe with all that type information stored on it. What benefit does FidSafe provide that my USB stick in my safe doesn't? Not trying to be snarky, I'd really like to know.
I am not trying to be over the top but what if a tornado/earthquake/hurricane/gas explosion takes you out and your whole house. This is what offsite storage is for assuming there is something that important to your heirs.
I don't really think the concerns you raise are "over the top", that's what disaster preparation is all about.

Granted, if a tornado hit and took out the entire home (along with me and DW), then I suppose it would be just about impossible for my executor to find that little bitty USB stick in the carnage. I'm grateful that you pointed that out. I'll have to re-think my disaster plan, I suppose. Perhaps I should put alternate copies in my safe deposit box in our bank. I was hesitant to do that over the possibility that my executor would not be able to get access in a timely manner.

I'm still not comfortable storing a document with my entire financial picture up in the cloud, though, no matter how well encrypted.
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

jatwell
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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by jatwell » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:11 am

Also remember flash drives have a limited life span. Up to ten years for a high quality one, but not forever.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by McDougal » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:18 am

jatwell wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:11 am
Also remember flash drives have a limited life span. Up to ten years for a high quality one, but not forever.
And that's if nothing malfunctions in the drive along the way. Again, not to sound "over the top" but if I was using this method I'd have a backup of my drive in a separate place.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:26 am

I spent a lot of time figuring out the most secure way to provide emergency access to our key succession planning documents to our adult children in the event my wife and I go down in a plane crash or I die and my wife needs assistance accessing and managing our finances (she has no interest or involvement now).

My first-line solution is to put all the info in paper copies and/or back-up portable hard drives in our home safe and tell our adult children where the key to the safe is hidden. My hopefully fail-safe solution (house fire, etc.) is to put all the info in a free 5 GB account at the zero knowledge cloud storage site Sync.com and put my master password for Sync.com in Dashlane's free Emergency Access feature. I only put the number/letter string in a Dashlane Secure Note that says "Here's the code I said I would post", otherwise my Dashlane account is completely empty. Dashlane is a well-reviewed zero knowledge password manager. Our children are all set up with the free Dashlane Emergency Access feature. They will be able to access my Dashlane account if I ever die or become incapacitated.

From my (amateur) research, highly encrypted, zero knowledge web accounts such as Sync.com and Dashlane are the most secure solution. Of course, you DO have to remember your master passwords!

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by moehoward » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:32 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:31 pm
Blueskies123 wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:09 pm
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:23 pm
I'm not really convinced of the value of such a thing. In my case, I have printed instructions for my wife (or my executor, if it comes to that) referring to a USB memory stick in my safe with all that type information stored on it. What benefit does FidSafe provide that my USB stick in my safe doesn't? Not trying to be snarky, I'd really like to know.
I am not trying to be over the top but what if a tornado/earthquake/hurricane/gas explosion takes you out and your whole house. This is what offsite storage is for assuming there is something that important to your heirs.
I don't really think the concerns you raise are "over the top", that's what disaster preparation is all about.

Granted, if a tornado hit and took out the entire home (along with me and DW), then I suppose it would be just about impossible for my executor to find that little bitty USB stick in the carnage. I'm grateful that you pointed that out. I'll have to re-think my disaster plan, I suppose. Perhaps I should put alternate copies in my safe deposit box in our bank. I was hesitant to do that over the possibility that my executor would not be able to get access in a timely manner.

I'm still not comfortable storing a document with my entire financial picture up in the cloud, though, no matter how well encrypted.
I agree wit you storing entire financial information on the cloud. Like you, I keep a encrypted USB stick in my safe. I also keep a copy in our safe deposit box and one in my son's safe deposit box in another city. Updates are little bit of a pain. For you gloom and doomers I guess a natural disaster could hit my home, my bank down the street and my son's bank...

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by hirlaw » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:42 am

U2F, which is probably the gold standard.
A couple of questions about the U2F security key: What if you lose the key? What if you are trying to log on with an IPhone (no USB port)?

Thanks

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by teniralc » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:01 am

I store these types of documents in 1Password Family and in Dropbox. Though 1Password family only gives I think 1gig of space, these pdf documents don’t take up much storage and it makes it easier for me to manage-family each has their own “vault” and when I change something they get the changes in their vaults. Dropbox is similar. Passwords are only stored in 1Password but the “what to do” document can really be stored anywhere because there are no account numbers or passwords on that.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by 2015 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:18 am

student wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:42 pm
afan wrote:there are several services that work by encrypting the files on your computer, then uploading and storing the encrypted files. They never have the plain text of your documents, so no one can read them without your encryption key. This means that if you lose your password, you are out of luck. The best they could do would be to provide with the encrypted files. But it is very secure as long as you keep copies of your password.

Spideroak is an example. It is not free, but it is cheap.
Great info. One can kind of do it for free, right? First encrypt the file yourself locally, then upload it to Fidsafe.
I encrypt all files locally using Veracrypt (free) and then upload them to GoogleDrive (15GB free with each google account). If anyone were to gain access to my laptop they would find no files there. Only the encrypted Veracrypt "containers" which contain all data which would be useless to them. Same goes for GoogleDrive. Were a breach of GoogleDrive to occur, only access would be to the encrypted VC "containers". One has the ability to "harden" the encryption when creating the containers in Veracrypt which is what I do.

I subscribe to the 3-2-1 concept of data storage/backup: 3 copies, on 2 different media, with 1 offsite. As such, I have about 5 separate encrypted containers containing all files and data on my laptop and 2 identical copies of each container stored in GoogleDrive, so it becomes 3 copies, on 2 different media (hard drive and cloud), with 2 identically stored offsite in GoogleDrive. You don't have to create 5 separate encrypted containers, but I did categorizing each VC container based on frequency of files use. This makes for much faster upload. For example, I don't take a lot of pictures so I don't have to upload pics often and therefore my pics are all in their own encrypted container. Frequently accessed financial files are in their own encrypted container as they are accessed, unencrypted, revised, saved, and uploaded to GoogleDrive more often.

Data backup has now become super easy/fast as I'm always surfing the web while the backup occurs in the background. I also only upload to GoogleDrive using Avasta's Banking Mode, which serves as a computer within a computer. After uploading, I simply erase all history, close the browser and it's as if the session never happened on my computer.

For my executor, I have 2 identical UNencrypted thumb drives stored in my safe deposit box containing only information they will need to know in order to settle my estate. This way, storage/backup are kept separate in order to make estate execution as simple as possible for my executor (having just settled an estate myself).

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Blueskies123 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:40 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:23 pm
I'm not really convinced of the value of such a thing. In my case, I have printed instructions for my wife (or my executor, if it comes to that) referring to a USB memory stick in my safe with all that type information stored on it. What benefit does FidSafe provide that my USB stick in my safe doesn't? Not trying to be snarky, I'd really like to know.
Is your safe fireproof? If so for how long? 15 minutes? Do you know how hot it gets inside a safe if placed in a burning fire for 10 minutes, 20 minutes or two hours?

Is it waterproof?

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by AlphaLess » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:48 am

inbox788 wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:21 pm
Security is huge, and the ability for a bad actor to access these documents is a bit unnerving. And if this is where the valuable data is, you can bet they'll be targeted.
Yup. It will get hacked one day.
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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by 47Percent » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:04 pm

F150HD wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:15 pm
echo post above, wondering what the catch is that this is free? (just read about this service)
It is not inconceivable that companies can spend some amount of money to generate good will and customer loyalty.

The people who actually end up using Fidsafe will probably have significant amount with Fidelity. If your spouse/SO gets access to critical and important documents through Fidsafe, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that they will continue to keep the money with Fidelity -- which is no small thing for a money management company. Acquiring and retaining large value accounts tends to get expensive.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by southerndoc » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:57 pm

I signed up for FidSafe last night. I'm not sure how many documents you can store with 5 GB. I was looking for something that would last a decade or more for storage.

Right now I'm using a local NAS (Synology RS815+) with their CloudStation Drive app. Store it in a folder on my computer, it syncs with all my computers automatically, and stores a copy on the NAS. The NAS backs up to BackBlaze nightly in case the house catches fire.

I had looked into Neat, but it was cumbersome to use (the app wasn't that responsive on my Mac with large files).

Maybe I should just stay with my current setup and quit looking into online storage systems.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by TallBoy29er » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 pm

Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple?

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Vulcan » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:37 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple?
Cloud copies have their place for ease of access, but not for archival.

OTOH, if you burn your data onto a high quality Blu-Ray disk (not CD or DVD) it will last, for any practical purposes, forever (hundreds of years if accelerated aging tests are to be believed).

Ability to actually read the data requires that Blu-Ray readers are still available, of course. But CDs have been around since the 80ies and can still be accessed readily.

So I view quality Blu-Ray disks as effectively permanent storage medium. I recommend Verbatim.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by TallBoy29er » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:47 pm

Vulcan wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:37 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple?
Cloud copies have their place for ease of access, but not for archival.
Don't tell that to Google docs, Google Photos, iCloud Storage and photos, DrobBox, Amazon Drive, etc. Their marketing departments will be completely bummed.

In reality, it's possible that companies that many use for online storage, like Amazon and Google, could go away w/ no notice, but it's not likely. By 2025 Gartner suggests that 80% of business will have no data center, and be fully in the cloud. Right now, that means Amazon, Google, and Microsoft will be running the majority of the infrastructure for those businesses. 100% safe? No. But if they go away, there may be some bigger problems than not having that nice picture of grandma.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Vulcan » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:52 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:47 pm
Vulcan wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:37 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple?
Cloud copies have their place for ease of access, but not for archival.
Don't tell that to Google docs, Google Photos, iCloud Storage and photos, DrobBox, Amazon Drive, etc. Their marketing departments will be completely bummed.

In reality, it's possible that companies that many use for online storage, like Amazon and Google, could go away w/ no notice, but it's not likely. By 2025 Gartner suggests that 80% of business will have no data center, and be fully in the cloud. Right now, that means Amazon, Google, and Microsoft will be running the majority of the infrastructure for those businesses. 100% safe? No. But if they go away, there may be some bigger problems than not having that nice picture of grandma.
I rely on Google Docs/Gmail heavily, but for the data I want to be sure I have, I also keep a local copy.
Google makes it easy with Google Takeout.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:20 pm

For those who are worried about 50 year archival, don't. Your cybernetic implant will not understand PDF files, and when you ask the intelligence how to find Adobe Acrobat and Windows 10, you will be informed that wasting processor time on frivolous queries is prohibited by the Singularity Act of 2065.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:39 am

Vulcan wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:37 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple?
Cloud copies have their place for ease of access, but not for archival.

OTOH, if you burn your data onto a high quality Blu-Ray disk (not CD or DVD) it will last, for any practical purposes, forever (hundreds of years if accelerated aging tests are to be believed).

Ability to actually read the data requires that Blu-Ray readers are still available, of course. But CDs have been around since the 80ies and can still be accessed readily.

So I view quality Blu-Ray disks as effectively permanent storage medium. I recommend Verbatim.
Well, I could readily read my 9-track half-inch tapes for years and years, too. I believe the format began life in the early 1960s, and was still around after I stopped using them for my own data in the early 1990s. So a run almost comparable to CDs. But it's tough finding equipment to read those today. So I'm not confident in blu-ray being permanent, due to equipment availability.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by zeugmite » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:48 am

When I tried FidSafe a year ago or so, it really wasn't very user friendly. I gave up on it.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Northern Flicker » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:06 am

fatcharlie wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:05 am
Saving$ wrote:
Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:20 pm
Can someone who understands this stuff explain if this is safer, less safe, or the same as other solutions?
Their 2-factor authentication solution depends on SMS, which is not the best practice, so that looks bad for their security. Dropbox, for instance, supports U2F, which is probably the gold standard.
It may be worse than SMS:
When you access your account, we ask you to provide more than just a username and password. This can be a unique code sent to your US-based mobile device, or one or more personal security questions that you know the answer to
If you choose which as an account configuration parameter, this is reasonably secure as long as you don’t login from the phone to which the SMS code will be sent. There have been examples of people convincing a cell phone telco to move a phone number to a different SIM with inadequate authentication/authorization. But compromising the authentication also will need a password.

But if the login lets the person logging in choose whether to use an SMS 2nd factor or so-called security questions, then it is more dubious. You may be able to lock down such an option reasonably well by providing long, random strings as the answers to those questions.

The biggest weakness of most authentication schemes in use today is the password reset mechanism. Before loading sensitive data, do a password reset and ask yourself if it would be acceptable if the info supplied for that were the normal login credentials. Often, it is a fairly weak mechanism, such that if your phone is compromised, the resultant access to SMS codes and emailed password links will be sufficient to reset the password and compromise the account.

Some providers do well by using U2F or RSA tokens but fall down if you call and say you lost your security fob or hard token, which someone other than you may try to do.
Last edited by Northern Flicker on Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Vulcan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:48 am

tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:39 am
Vulcan wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:37 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple?
Cloud copies have their place for ease of access, but not for archival.

OTOH, if you burn your data onto a high quality Blu-Ray disk (not CD or DVD) it will last, for any practical purposes, forever (hundreds of years if accelerated aging tests are to be believed).

Ability to actually read the data requires that Blu-Ray readers are still available, of course. But CDs have been around since the 80ies and can still be accessed readily.

So I view quality Blu-Ray disks as effectively permanent storage medium. I recommend Verbatim.
Well, I could readily read my 9-track half-inch tapes for years and years, too. I believe the format began life in the early 1960s, and was still around after I stopped using them for my own data in the early 1990s. So a run almost comparable to CDs. But it's tough finding equipment to read those today. So I'm not confident in blu-ray being permanent, due to equipment availability.
Magnetic media has inherent longevity limitations beyond hardware availability though.

I doubt Blu-Rays are going away any time in the next few decades, since a lot of movies are sold on it, so there will be continued demand for hardware to read it, and thus the 1980s CDs will remain readable too.

Heck, even vinyl players are still being made!
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by SimonJester » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:09 am

Vulcan wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:48 am
tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:39 am
Vulcan wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:37 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple?
Cloud copies have their place for ease of access, but not for archival.

OTOH, if you burn your data onto a high quality Blu-Ray disk (not CD or DVD) it will last, for any practical purposes, forever (hundreds of years if accelerated aging tests are to be believed).

Ability to actually read the data requires that Blu-Ray readers are still available, of course. But CDs have been around since the 80ies and can still be accessed readily.

So I view quality Blu-Ray disks as effectively permanent storage medium. I recommend Verbatim.
Well, I could readily read my 9-track half-inch tapes for years and years, too. I believe the format began life in the early 1960s, and was still around after I stopped using them for my own data in the early 1990s. So a run almost comparable to CDs. But it's tough finding equipment to read those today. So I'm not confident in blu-ray being permanent, due to equipment availability.
Magnetic media has inherent longevity limitations beyond hardware availability though.

I doubt Blu-Rays are going away any time in the next few decades, since a lot of movies are sold on it, so there will be continued demand for hardware to read it, and thus the 1980s CDs will remain readable too.

Heck, even vinyl players are still being made!
In 50 years you probably will probably not find a blu-ray player to play the disc. On top of that you will probably not find the application to read the data. If you had a VisiCalc spreadsheet or an Apple Writer document in your hands today could you access the data? Not so sure...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Vulcan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:57 pm

SimonJester wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:09 am
Vulcan wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:48 am
Magnetic media has inherent longevity limitations beyond hardware availability though.

I doubt Blu-Rays are going away any time in the next few decades, since a lot of movies are sold on it, so there will be continued demand for hardware to read it, and thus the 1980s CDs will remain readable too.

Heck, even vinyl players are still being made!
In 50 years you probably will probably not find a blu-ray player to play the disc. On top of that you will probably not find the application to read the data. If you had a VisiCalc spreadsheet or an Apple Writer document in your hands today could you access the data? Not so sure...
Compact Disk was introduced in 1982. That's 35 years ago. They are still made, and are read by a plethora of modern devices and are not in danger of going away any time soon.

Optical media possess the best available combination of media longevity (especially for Blu-Ray, which uses inorganic recording layer sealed in polycarbonate; DVDs use organic recording layer, and CDs are both organic and unsealed) and backward compatibility.
I fully expect Blu-Ray disks (which were introduced 10 years ago) to remain readable in the decades to come. And thus, CDs as well.

Compare that to hard drives or tapes from even as recently as 20 years ago that can not be easily read today even if the data on them is still intact (which is in itself not a given).

TL;DR: if you have data that you want to archive for a long time, burn it to a Blu-Ray disk.

As for data formats, the concern is overblown. JPG was introduced a quarter century ago, and is doing better than ever.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Northern Flicker » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:26 pm

For how long does a cloud archival service archive their backups? Forever? Are you going to monitor it to be sure you notice a missing or corrupted file before all of their backups containing the good version are gone?

And even if they have the backups forever, are they going to reload the file from a series of backups going back in time until you find the latest version of a file that was not corrupted, say 30 years ago? In such a circumstance, good luck explaining what you need to the customer service agent.
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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by GoldStar » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:33 pm

southerndoc wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:57 pm
I signed up for FidSafe last night. I'm not sure how many documents you can store with 5 GB. I was looking for something that would last a decade or more for storage.

Right now I'm using a local NAS (Synology RS815+) with their CloudStation Drive app. Store it in a folder on my computer, it syncs with all my computers automatically, and stores a copy on the NAS. The NAS backs up to BackBlaze nightly in case the house catches fire.

I had looked into Neat, but it was cumbersome to use (the app wasn't that responsive on my Mac with large files).

Maybe I should just stay with my current setup and quit looking into online storage systems.
I thought about looking at FidSafe last time this thread was resurrected but never got around to it.
I don't use cloud storage for my financial stuff. I have it all safe on a hard-drive which is backed up to a NAS. Every 6 months I back it up to another hard-drive which I then bring over to my bank and drop in a safety deposit box. If my house burns down I only need to download the last 6 months of data from my banks/brokerages. (I also put all my photos on that drive - they take up most of the space).
PDF files are small - 5 GB will likely be more than sufficient (photos and videos are a different story).

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by yeahman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:50 pm

I use a combination of LastPass, Microsoft Office, and 7zip.

LastPass, on top of being the best password manager, gives you 50MB of storage and premium gives you 1GB, which is plenty for your critical PDFs. End-to-end encrypted so even LastPass can't access your account. I specify users who can request access and access is granted automatically if I don't deny it within a specified period of time. LastPass is available on all platforms including the web so I can access it from anywhere with an internet connection.

Microsoft Office lets you password encrypt documents including OneNote sections. These are backed up to Microsoft OneDrive. Encryption is end-to-end so Microsoft cannot access my docs. I can decrypt them on any computer with Office including iOS and Android.

Finally, for misc files or things I want to archive and probably never had to look at again, I zip it up and attach a password. This too is backed up to OneDrive. Accessing these docs requires downloading, decrypting, and unzipping.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by F150HD » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:46 pm

SimonJester wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:09 am
In 50 years you probably will probably not find a blu-ray player to play the disc. On top of that you will probably not find the application to read the data. If you had a VisiCalc spreadsheet or an Apple Writer document in your hands today could you access the data? Not so sure...
+1

Someone at work sent me an 'Appleworks' document via email about 2 years ago. :confused

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by yeahman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:24 pm

Show of hands. How many people have a blu-ray drive for their computer?

Redundancy solves the longevity problem. Just back up to 2-3 cloud locations.

As for formats, I use PDF-A for documents, which was designed precisely for archival.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Vulcan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:52 pm

yeahman wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:24 pm
Show of hands. How many people have a blu-ray drive for their computer?

Redundancy solves the longevity problem. Just back up to 2-3 cloud locations.
Blu-Ray burners cost less than $100.
And quality 25GB Blu-Ray disks are less than a buck a piece, about $5 for 100GB triple layer ones (BDXL).
It really is a no-brainer for a permanent archival solution.

I have more than 500GB of family photos and videos.
Do the math.
I would have to spend more on cloud storage. At each of those 2-3 locations. Every year.

I still backup to Google Photos for free - but it doesn't preserve directory structure, one more reason it is not a replacement for archival storage.
I also use Google Docs and GMail - but download the Takeout periodically, and burn it to an encrypted DVD.

Now, Amazon's drive does offer unlimited photo storage for Prime members - but I found their desktop client software too slow and clunky on a large file collection such as mine. And I would still have to have my own copy anyway - so I decided not to bother, even though I am paying for Prime.
Last edited by Vulcan on Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Vulcan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:53 pm

F150HD wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:46 pm
SimonJester wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:09 am
In 50 years you probably will probably not find a blu-ray player to play the disc. On top of that you will probably not find the application to read the data. If you had a VisiCalc spreadsheet or an Apple Writer document in your hands today could you access the data? Not so sure...
+1

Someone at work sent me an 'Appleworks' document via email about 2 years ago. :confused
So, don't save you family pictures and documents as Appleworks.
Save them as JPEG.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by TallBoy29er » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:57 pm

Vulcan wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:52 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:47 pm
Vulcan wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:37 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple?
Cloud copies have their place for ease of access, but not for archival.
Don't tell that to Google docs, Google Photos, iCloud Storage and photos, DrobBox, Amazon Drive, etc. Their marketing departments will be completely bummed.

In reality, it's possible that companies that many use for online storage, like Amazon and Google, could go away w/ no notice, but it's not likely. By 2025 Gartner suggests that 80% of business will have no data center, and be fully in the cloud. Right now, that means Amazon, Google, and Microsoft will be running the majority of the infrastructure for those businesses. 100% safe? No. But if they go away, there may be some bigger problems than not having that nice picture of grandma.
I rely on Google Docs/Gmail heavily, but for the data I want to be sure I have, I also keep a local copy.
Google makes it easy with Google Takeout.
First, thanks. I didn't know about google takeout. i was going to research if they made data access available. you saved me the trouble. thank you!!! :sharebeer

Second, seeing as how having access to download your data is so easy, i find it unnecessary to keep updated local copies. just my 2 cents, to each their own.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Vulcan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:33 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:57 pm
Vulcan wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:52 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:47 pm
Vulcan wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:37 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:27 pm
Storage is cheap. 5 Gb is nothing. No bait and switch, just marketing. Will the online storage last forever? I don't know. Will Fidelity be around in 50 years? Google? Apple?
Cloud copies have their place for ease of access, but not for archival.
Don't tell that to Google docs, Google Photos, iCloud Storage and photos, DrobBox, Amazon Drive, etc. Their marketing departments will be completely bummed.

In reality, it's possible that companies that many use for online storage, like Amazon and Google, could go away w/ no notice, but it's not likely. By 2025 Gartner suggests that 80% of business will have no data center, and be fully in the cloud. Right now, that means Amazon, Google, and Microsoft will be running the majority of the infrastructure for those businesses. 100% safe? No. But if they go away, there may be some bigger problems than not having that nice picture of grandma.
I rely on Google Docs/Gmail heavily, but for the data I want to be sure I have, I also keep a local copy.
Google makes it easy with Google Takeout.
First, thanks. I didn't know about google takeout. i was going to research if they made data access available. you saved me the trouble. thank you!!! :sharebeer

Second, seeing as how having access to download your data is so easy, i find it unnecessary to keep updated local copies. just my 2 cents, to each their own.
I don't download them very often. Maybe once a year if that. But I feel better I have my own copy of all my emails and Google documents.

As for family pictures/videos, once uploaded to Google Photo, directory structure is lost and files are resized.
My copy is the source of truth on those, not Google's.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by yeahman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:38 pm

Vulcan wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:52 pm
Blu-Ray burners cost less than $100.
And quality 25GB Blu-Ray disks are less than a buck a piece, about $5 for 100GB triple layer ones (BDXL).
It really is a no-brainer for a permanent archival solution.

I have more than 500GB of family photos and videos.
Do the math.
I would have to spend more on cloud storage. At each of those 2-3 locations. Every year.

I still backup to Google Photos for free - but it doesn't preserve directory structure, one more reason it is not a replacement for archival storage.
I also use Google Docs and GMail - but download the Takeout periodically, and burn it to an encrypted DVD.

Now, Amazon's drive does offer unlimited photo storage for Prime members - but I found their desktop client software too slow and clunky on a large file collection such as mine. And I would still have to have my own copy anyway - so I decided not to bother, even though I am paying for Prime.
You have to specify that it's 500GB of photos and videos. Nobody should be burning Word documents to Blu-ray.

I back up photos to Google and Amazon. It costs me nothing since I would have Prime regardless. Granted, Google recompresses so it's not ideal. If I cared more about my photos, I would probably back them up to a local NAS and remote NAS at a relative's house. Would need 3 independent failures to lose my photos. The best part is that all of this would be done in the background requiring absolutely no effort after setup.

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Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

Post by Vulcan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:47 pm

yeahman wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:38 pm
Vulcan wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:52 pm
Blu-Ray burners cost less than $100.
And quality 25GB Blu-Ray disks are less than a buck a piece, about $5 for 100GB triple layer ones (BDXL).
It really is a no-brainer for a permanent archival solution.

I have more than 500GB of family photos and videos.
Do the math.
I would have to spend more on cloud storage. At each of those 2-3 locations. Every year.

I still backup to Google Photos for free - but it doesn't preserve directory structure, one more reason it is not a replacement for archival storage.
I also use Google Docs and GMail - but download the Takeout periodically, and burn it to an encrypted DVD.

Now, Amazon's drive does offer unlimited photo storage for Prime members - but I found their desktop client software too slow and clunky on a large file collection such as mine. And I would still have to have my own copy anyway - so I decided not to bother, even though I am paying for Prime.
You have to specify that it's 500GB of photos and videos. Nobody should be burning Word documents to Blu-ray.

I back up photos to Google and Amazon. It costs me nothing since I would have Prime regardless. Granted, Google recompresses so it's not ideal. If I cared more about my photos, I would probably back them up to a local NAS and remote NAS at a relative's house. Would need 3 independent failures to lose my photos. The best part is that all of this would be done in the background requiring absolutely no effort after setup.
NAS backup is not the same as offline archival.
If the data gets corrupted at the source, it can easily overwrite good copies.
There's a reason companies use offline backups.

Google Turns to Tape to Rescue Lost Gmail
Last month we had an article on whether tape backup was obsolete, which discussed some of the reasons why many organizations continue to use tapes. One of the outfits is Google, and this week those tape backups proved invaluable to a group of Gmail users whose email boxes disappeared during a software update. When a bug wiped out Gmail boxes, Google turned to the tape to restore the data.

"I know what some of you are thinking: how could this happen if we have multiple copies of your data, in multiple data centers?" wrote Ben Treynor, VP Engineering and Site Reliability Czar. "Well, in some rare instances software bugs can affect several copies of the data. That’s what happened here. Some copies of mail were deleted, and we’ve been hard at work over the last 30 hours getting it back for the people affected by this issue.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase

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