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Cheap static storage

Posted on 2013-01-11
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Last Modified: 2013-01-12
I need a remote location to store data.  It doesn't need to sync. Static is fine.  Basically, this will be my remote drive.  Instead of buying an external drive and copying certain files to it, then putting that drive in a safe deposit box for offsite storage, I've decided to just use a remote service.  This way, I always have access to it.

Most remote services have syncing and transfer limits.  I don't need syncing.  I do need about 300GB of storage space.  I might download 50-100GB per month.  These files will be application install files, photos and music.  I will rarely access them.  The above large transfers are in case I need to download an app (Adobe Photoshop) that is 2-10GBs big.

Dropbox an similar services are around $99/yr for 100GB.  But I don't need all of their bells and whistles so I'm looking for something cheaper that is more stripped down and will allow about 300GB of storage.  Any ideas?
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Question by:brettr
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by:Levi Gwyn
Levi Gwyn earned 25 total points
ID: 38768861
have you looked at http://www.carbonite.com  Never used it myself but have a friend who swears by it.
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by:Dr47
Dr47 earned 25 total points
ID: 38768869
Find a cheap webhosting service... Fatcow or GoDaddy, etc... and utilize FTP. I think that would be close to what it sounds like you are looking for.
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by:marine7275
ID: 38768877
Windows Skydrive
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by:brettr
ID: 38769102
Carbonite would be great but only the more expensive plans allow backing up an external drive on Macs.  To bad.

@Dr47: that's a violation of terms of use...at least it is for bluehost.

Skydrive is limited to 7GB.  Reread the post.

Basically, I need a large archival storage and not a backup service.
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by:noxcho
ID: 38769219
Interesting, buy a raid based external storage do backup tot and close to a fireprotected safe. That is the cheapest variant.
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kode99 earned 450 total points
ID: 38769464
Best route may be to go to the source.

Many of these online 'cloud' storage services are merely a front that is using a big service like Amazon for the actual storage.  This is the reason for the terms with GB limits, in and out transfer limits etc.

You could end run the storefronts and deal directly with Amazon.  The cost is fairly low but now you will pay for the storage and transfers depending on how its stored.  In general its free uploading and paid downloading.

http://aws.amazon.com/s3/pricing/
http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/pricing/

So the bonus is you only pay for exactly what you use at low rates but its not a fixed  monthly or annual cost anymore.

Free Clients for accessing Amazon (also paid pro versions available with extra features),
http://s3browser.com/
http://fastglacier.com/

Another common limit of package services is to limit it per computer or device.  So you pay X per year/month per system.

Backblaze has unlimited storage.  I don't think there is a limit in the fine print either - but I do they have a out if they think somebody is overusing/abusing.  It is a charge per system and it will backup external drives on mac and pc.  It backups up whole PC's and not sure that you can limit it or pick and choose files to backup.

http://www.backblaze.com/internet-backup.html

Another unlimited service is OpenDrive,

www.opendrive.com

They have a $99 unlimited plan as well as a customizable plan.  It looks more geared toward the way you plan to use a online service.  A virtual drive is setup on your system and then you copy files to and from that.  I also think they allow for multiple systems on one account.

Another to check out is Symform.
http://www.symform.com/

It is a actual 'cloud' service,  so unlike many which are really just remote servers,  Symform operates an actual distributed network.  It operates a like a private torrent network so data is stored in many systems and you can offset your cost by contributing space to the network.  This does make it possible to get free storage,  though you do have to dedicate some space and some bandwidth to the service.  You can of course also just pay but it's not the best price that way.

The big advantage is that because the data is distributed when you wish to download something its is also like downloading a torrent.  So many sources each contributing bandwidth gives a much faster download than you get with many other services.

Amazon pricing is fairly typical for wholesale costs.  Services are all over the map on prices and conditions.  Whenever data amounts get large the options become fewer and more expensive quickly.  Most of these flat rate services do not want any power users.

Unfortunately not many say anything about download speeds when you want your data back either.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 38770198
Rackspace and Amazon have the same price - $0.10/GB per month.  For my 300GB, that's $30 or $360/yr.  Not cheap by any means.  But I'm still weighing options and may find that this is actually a good price.
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Author Closing Comment

by:brettr
ID: 38770199
Great info.  Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 38770201
@noxcho:

Fire protected safe - really?  Go ahead and put your media in a so called fire protected safe while the structure around it burns for 1/2 or more at between 1200 - 2000 degrees fahrenheit.  Then take it out and let me know how well it works.  No thanks.
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Author Comment

by:brettr
ID: 38770213
By the way, I went with http://www.iozeta.com yesterday.  Only $3.88/mo for unlimited storage and transfer.  Also Mac compatible and works with an ext drive.  There are a few limitations in the software for what I'm wanting to do.  But nothing major since there are round about ways to get the job done.  I'm trying it out for 3 months.
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