I have a lot of photos; but I’m no photographer. In fact, most of the photos are the sucky kind that only members of my family could ever like. But we do like them - they represent various important moments in our lives. Thus, it is important to me that I preserve them.

A few years ago a friend of mine had his photo harddrive crash on him. He didn’t have a backup. He lost a lot of photos that were incredibly important to him. That hit home pretty hard so I made sure to keep a physically synced external harddrive backup of all my photos.

A year later another friend came to me looking for help. His laptop and his external harddrive had both died at the same time; probably some kind of power surge or something. Either way, he had lost all of his photos that he had religiously backed up to his external harddrive. That hit home again so I started syncing my photos to the cloud.

I signed up with TextDrive along time ago. They are Joyent now; but when I signed up as part of their “Mixed Lunch” plan or something like that the account came with a few bonuses. One was a “StrongSpace” account with 25GB of space. This was way before things like Dropbox existed. The tools provided by TextDrive weren’t nill but I found some good windows tools that would SSH to my StrongSpace and do an rsync backup of my photos.

Then StrongSpace was sold and my space was bumped to 50GB! Perfect, I have about 40GB of photos now. But, StrongSpace kind of sucks for viewing your files online. And, because I basically just backup photos, I wanted a better solution so I paid for the 80GB plan with picasaweb at Google. Then I setup Picasa to sync all my photos there. This had the added benefit of making all of my photos available in the photo gallery of my Android phone. I was pretty happy with my setup; two remote backups and the local external drive.

Then I changed jobs. I took my external laptop with me and hooked it up to my Mac (a new computing experience for me), installed Picasa and told it to sync. It re-uploaded all of my photos and my 80GB was suddenly full. Not good. I ended up installing the Google command line tools and deleting all my photos from picasaweb. I haven’t re-synced to that service. Thus my 80GB of space has been laying fallow.

I’ve used DropBox since about when it came on to the scene; I’m a cloud storage hipster. I love the service but I’ve been unwilling to spend the $200/year to get 100GB of space. I’m kind of cheap. I have a SkyDrive account through my new job but I never used it so I missed out on getting 25G for free; so I’m stuck at the 7GB entry point announced this week. Plus, I’m not sure Microsoft is really a better option for me than Google is - plus I already have the grandfathered 80GB for $20/year plan on Google so why not use Google Drive?

Well, Raganwald is why. He seems like a pretty smart guy and he has some real concerns with Google and his concerns keep me thinking and second guessing my decisions to be so tightly tied into the Google Cloud. I use them for Email, Calendaring, Blogging, Google+, Maps, heck just about everything. Do I have anything to really worry about with Google? I don’t know but Reg’s concerns keep on niggling in the back of my mind.

Google Drive came out yesterday and my 80GB was bounced to 85GB. That’s plenty of room for me to sync all of my photos to it; plus because it works like Dropbox, all the photos will also sync to my home computer - and I can setup a local rsync on it to mirror the images to yet another external harddrive. That would give me four local copies and the two cloud copies. If I lost my photos at that point - well fuck it.

Google Drive has some cool features. I like the way it provides a web-client viewer for so many different file types (35 I think). That in itself is pretty damn handy. But it is one more way to tie myself to Google. They are currently one huge single point of failure for my online life. I don’t like single points of failure so I’m tempted to use a different service for my photo syncing. And, if I’m going to switch, maybe I should take Reg’s concerns to heart as I pick an alternative; thus I probably want to avoid MS as well. Sure, Microsoft isn’t exactly an advertising business like Google is

  • but it would be naive to think they aren’t also in advertising.

So where does that leave me? Here are the options I am considering: Dropbox and SugarSync. Why? Well they are the only two I’ve either used or have had wholeheartedly recommended to me by other Cloud Storage Hipsters of course. In either case I think I would get the 100GB plan so SugarSync is a full $50 a year cheaper. The question I then have to answer is “Is Dropbox worth an additional $50/year?” And, remember, I’m kind of cheap. However, I have to remind myself not to compare the pricing of either with that offered by Google since Google augments my low rate by mining my data.

Here is an article that does a brief rundown of the differences between a variety of different cloud storage services. Again, I’m just focusing on SugarSync and Dropbox and, honestly, based on this article I can’t see a reason to not go with SugarSync for my purpose of keeping all of my photos backed up to the cloud and between my home and work computers.

So what do you suggest? SugarSync, Dropbox, or is there some other service that just kicks ass, cares about privacy, and will do just what I need at a reasonable cost? Let me know because I need to make a choice!



I use CrashPlan ( http://www.crashplan.com/ ). I backup with CrashPlan on my home network to a Drobo (http://www.drobo.com), and to the cloud with CrashPlan. Finally, I have a reciprocal arrangement with a friend where we each backup to each other with CrashPlan. CrashPlan is free as long as you don’t backup to the cloud, and very reasonable for cloud storage. I feel very confident that I won’t lose anything!

Lake Mirage Days/Brand New Day

I’m cheap also! I have most of the cloud storage free account sites available, but it gets confusing as to what’s where after a while.

I back up to an external HD and a Synology DiskStation. I also burn DVD’s with all my photos.

My concern is still having off-site storage of my photos with concerns about theft, power surges, fire, floods, etc.

Still looking for that perfect solution.