As always, I am obsessed with backups. Because, we all procrastinate and so many people have horror stories of times they lost important data, like family photos. Just a quick recap:

  • Backup your mobile devices automatically (if you’re on iOS just turn on iCloud backups).
  • Backup your laptops automatically to your NAS (Network Attached Storage) when you are at home.
  • Also, get your photos off your cameras and phones regularly and put them on your NAS. I also use Flickr for storing and sharing my favorite photos.
  • Finally, make sure your NAS is being backed up regularly to an offsite location. Fire, theft, and floods are far more likely than you realize.

It’s that last point that has caused me so much trouble. The easiest solution before now was to send all the data to Amazon Glacier using the Glacier Backup app from Synology Package Center. Unfortunately the pricing on Glacier storage is still a little too high for me. It ended up being around $10 per month for my 1.2 terabytes of data.

But when comparing pricing on various other cloud storage solutions I saw that Amazon is offering something that no-one else can compete with right now… unlimited storage in Amazon Cloud Drive for $60 a year! Microsoft, Google, Apple and Dropbox are all quite a bit more expensive than that now. As far as I can tell in their help documentation, they really do mean “unlimited”.

Unlimited Data

I have successfully switched my Synology DS213+ to use Amazon Drive in their Hyper Backup application. I am using the latest version of DSM, I installed Hyper Backup and configured a backup job by following the wizard.

setup

I choose to turn on encryption and enter a long password that I can definately remember, because it may be a long time before I have to use that password.

Choose the applications and file directories to back up. I leave my collection of ripped DVDs out of the backup to save size.

Set the backup job to run automatically on a schedule, at least once a week. I chose to run mine every Sunday morning at 1am. And when it’s complete you get a directory of inscrutable files and folders containing encrypted data inside your Amazon Cloud Drive interface.

files

Here’s the hard part, letting it run that first backup. I have a very slow internet upload connection (about 5 megabit upload according to speedtest.net), meaning the first upload took 12 days to complete. And sadly the first few times I tried to run it I included the huge video files, and the backup job completely failed after a few days. Hyperbackup was not able to continue the failed backup job, it re-started each time. And, to add insult to injury, last month XFINITY instituted an internet usage cap of 1000 Gigabytes. Which I promptly breezed through with my several aborted backups. Thankfully, XFINITY will give you 2 “grace” months before they start hitting you with their usurious fees. So, now that I’ve done the initial backup I shouldn’t come close to using it up again. (Unless I need to download and restore a complete backup in the case of total data loss.)