Clouds storage and backup plans

I just recently stumbled on pcloud and started to wonder fi it’s time for me to get a non-free cloud to store my documents.
I’ve seen backblaze’s backup, which is not really the same thing but it was the one I wanted to get for my data. Now that I saw pcloud I’m not sure anymore. pcloud has a lifetime offer for less than 200eur for 500gb which seems like a perfect way to store my docs and data, especially because they offer also zero-knowledge encryption.

Anyone care to share their backup strategy?
At the moment I’m using two external HDs phisically separated (two different cantons lol).

Cloud is for me an absolute no go. My backup strategy: All my computer data is also on my synology NAS.

  1. Synology NAS
  2. external HD backup of Synology-drive (encrypted)
  3. external HD backup of Computer (encrypted)
  4. external HD backup of Computer (encrypted)

1), 2) are in my house. One of 3) or 4) is in my house, the other in another place (family), I switch them occasionally to always keep an updated HD outside of my house.

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How much data do you store this way? I know scanned documents take more space than fully digital ones, but I wonder if anyone gets more than 5gb of data.

I use as well 2 external harddrives. One is at my location and the other one at a second location. I swap them 1-2 times per year.

For me it is important to have the whole process completely automated. Moving disks around manually is not an option.

Basically, I use a Synology NAS to store all my data. So I have a “Drive” on my NAS which syncs to with my laptop. And then, the NAS backs up everything to the cloud.

And I’ve tried several cloud solutions as a backup. I use Hyper Backup on the NAS which supports client-side encryption so moving data into the cloud is not really a problem IMO. Obviously, in such a case you can’t use many of the cloud providers features they may provide such as browsing files because the data is completely unreadable to them.

I’ve tried pCloud when I didn’t have a NAS and it is good if you don’t need the zero-knowledge option. The zero-knowledge option is basically a separate folder and they recommend only putting specific documents into that folder such as your passport copy or something. You can’t and they don’t recommend putting all your files into that zero-knowledge folder and you can’t use features such as versioning in the zero-knowledge folder. That was a dealbreaker for me and I asked for a refund and then bought the NAS.

I’ve also tried Backblaze (their S3 compatible storage as a Hyper Backup location) because it’s cheap but it’s a US company and the backup process was terribly slow (even though I’ve used their EU location) and the initial backup would have taken months (compared to days with other providers), so I cancelled that one.

If you want a Swiss provider I can recommend Infomaniak or Exoscale (S3 compatible but expensive). Scaleway is a French provider which offers S3 storage and is much cheaper, it works flawlessly. I guess it’s better to use something from CH or at least Europe (or maybe even a Taiwanese service such as Synology’s own C2 backup service which also works great), rather than a US service.

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Including the photos it is about 350 GB. Documents (scanned pdf) is quite negligible when it comes to this amount of data :slight_smile:

About the cloud: it is clear, IF cloud, then only encrypthed! And if you encrypt, I would definitely not use the encryption method offered by the cloud provider but something independent. But even with encryption, cloud is a no go for me.

I understand your concerns, I’ve also always seen confidentiality of my data as the biggest concern, however, this changed recently and now my biggest concern is the availability of my data (confidentiality still remaining important of course).

I was always suspicious of US cloud-based services (you know Snowden & Co), and I’ve heard many stories of people having their Google and/or Microsoft accounts being arbitrarily terminated just because they have visited the wrong country (being on a US sanctions list, or other black list, etc.) to visit relatives, for business, etc. and checked their emails on their phone or something similar, or other strange reasons. But I didn’t give it a further thought.

With the rise of cancel culture, wokeness, political correctness, and thought policing, this has now reached new levels. The joint effort of Apple, Google, and Amazon AWS to shut down the social media platform Parler for allowing the wrong political party/president to exist on their platform and not ban them, opened my eyes. I mean you can be a fan of Trump or not, but this is outrageous.

This tendency now continuous with the censorship regarding Covid. So basically that means, those US companies can and will shut your accounts down whenever they want, for whatever reasons, even if they don’t like your political opinion. That led me to not entrust any US services anymore with my data and that’s why I’m using now Swiss and/or European alternatives.

Your house could burn so I really wanted an external location and I wanted an automated solution, so a Swiss or European cloud service was the obvious choice. I know that’s also not perfect even though I use encryption from the NAS, but it’s better to lose a bit of security on the confidentiality part but gain on the availability part. Sure I would prefer a solution which is in complete self-control such as a vacation house somewhere with internet and you can place a second NAS there and do syncing in (near) real-time :wink:

I like your reasoning about why no US-cloud providers, that’s an important point. And sure, It’s always a trade-off between comfort and security. For me, your last point seem to be an excellent solution: Place a second NAS in another’s home place that you trust (and he/she can put his/her data on your NAS). Like this you’re not dependent on the cloud at all but have more or less the comfort a cloud provides. You could sync the data with NAS-software or use open source software like Syncthing (or I mean better: backup-solution!).

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As a last resort, I use AWS Glacier with my synology and AWS deep glacier with my computer. All my data is maybe around 3TB (yes I also backup the ripped Blu-ray discs) and costs me below USD 20 per month. I like the fact that I could fat-finger my stuff and not find out for a long time and still go back.

But I am happy to read about different strategies to move some of the data out of the hands of US companies

I am worried more for my data and photos and a lot less for my movies and music, especially because I have the phisical version of them, but mostly because it’s not that important if I lose all of them. The documents on the other hand are very important.
That is why I can easily put them on a usb stick and I could even carry around with me if I wish.

Side note: How do you backup your bluray? I don’t want to buy a blu ray reader for my pc just to backup them.

I agree, if not automated probably you will end up with an older version when needed.

I also use Synology which back up in an external HDD every night important docs and photos/personal videos. I am upgrading my Synology now and plan to put the old one into my parents house (another country :slight_smile: ) to automate a backup therenover the internet. Everything encrypted.

For Synology users: I have an extra layer of security whereby the encrypted folder gets unmounted everytime the power goes off. Therefore in case someone breaks in and steals my Synology when he boots (in case he manages to log in) at least the important folders will be encrypted.

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I’m rather happy with the EU Blackblaze offering (speifically the S3 compatible B2 Cloud Storage offering). I can saturate my 100 MBit/s uplink and do incremental daily backups. No encryption tho as I don’t have anything sensitive on my NAS (well some crypto wallets but they’re password protected themselves).

I don‘t want to take this political but…

You‘re getting it wrong: Parler was not taken down for the Republican Party existing on it. Nor for Trump himself didn‘t even have an account on it.

It was taken down due to the amount and share of violent and hate speech on it - after the US capitol had been violently stormed.

If we‘re looking „political opinion“ and free speech, I don‘t think Europe is preferable. Quite the contrary: I think Europe allows less free speech and political opinion than the US.

That said, Europe has stronger privacy laws and tends to solve issues more by due process than let them at the whim of private companies.

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No, I don’t.

I know that he didn’t have an account on it, and I never said that he had, but many of his followers and supporters had an account on it. People who merely exercised their right to free speech.

That’s just a blatant excuse to justify the shut down of unpleasant political opponents, the same way as the media in CH now claims that there are only flat earthers, Nazis, criminals, and conspiracy theorists demonstrating against Corona measures. They were shut down because they didn’t want to participate in a joint censorship effort against political opponents of the Big Tech, they were shut down because they allowed free speech. They were shut down without court hearing and/or verdict.

The political opinion of Big Tech companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, etc. is very obvious when they shut down Trump supporters and people who question Corona measures, while at the same time they tolerate violent Islamic extremist groups and left-wing anarchists on their platforms.

I really don’t get why so many people are just parroting the media narrative believing every nonsense that’s written there without even the slightest form of questioning it. In the US it is even more obvious than in Switzerland. It doesn’t matter what the name of a president is and what he does, if it’s a Democrat he’s a glorious leader and deserves a nobel prize for peace and when it’s a Republican, it’s a stupid misanthropic crock who belongs to hell. Always the same story.

I will be a challenger, Why do you need a backup?

My job related data, the company that I work for take care.

Personal data
Mainly are photos, videos, some documents…

Photos & videos, it is nice to have some memories, but how often in the last 5-10 years did you have time to sit and have a look.

May I am a bit strange but memories are in my brain. I revised one I want. and when I will get old I will forget, but I will forget that my backup exist too

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Personally I have lost all photos before I was 26 years old since I had no backup and they stole my laptop. This included several trips abroad as well as 1 year exchange program in another country, memories that as I grow older will for sure fade if not refreshed by photos/videos. Thankfully I managed to get some photos from that time from friends. I urge everybody to have at least one backup of photos.

Sure I don’t look old photos all the time but it is very nice to look back from time to time. And I don’t even touch the topic of kids :slight_smile:

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I backup all my photos and documents. I do it like this:

  • I have a NAS at home and all the pictures and my notes (Joplin) are synced from our phones/computers to the NAS through my self hosted Nextcloud.
  • I have a second, smaller NAS at my parents house and every sunday morning all the important data is synced from the NAS at home to the NAS at my parents house.
  • Once a month I plug one of my external USB harddrives into the NAS and it then automatically copies the data to the drive. I take this harddrive with me every time I leave the house.

For me it is also important that everything happens automatically. Synology NAS have great features when it comes to this.
The backups are also monitored through an e-mail that gets sent to healthchecks.io. Whenever a backup fails, I get a notification to my work mail address (which is not so helpful at the moment as I work from home anyways :rofl:) and on my phone (through a smart home software called Home Assistant).

Some probably think this is overkill, but I once lost all my photos and documents from many years because both of my external harddrives failed at the same time.

That does not prove your claim - nor does it contradict the official reason given by platform operators.

That’s just your personal interpretation and/or conspiracy theory.

They didn’t shut them down. The length that Trump himself was “tolerated” on their platform to spew out his baseless claims and lies about election fraud is evidence to the contrary. If they wanted to “shut down”, they would have removed him much earlier than they did. (I’m won’t be disputing that they may have been more lenient in enforcing against policy against a few left-wingers. But then, those didn’t bring on a constitutional crisis like Trump did).

Who was ever shut down for questioning Corona measures?

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It is obvious that it was a joint efforts of the Big Tech against people with political opinions not matching theirs. Do you really believe they would communicate something like “oh we didn’t like their opinion so we have deleted all their resources”? Of course not. They can’t make it too obvious so they use psychological warfare tactics such as framing to discredit people first and then ban them. They do the same here regarding the Covid sceptics. 3-4 people rattling a fence over which they could easily climb if they wanted, is going to be depicted as a “prevented storm on the parliament building”. LOL. How can you close your eyes on such things? Do you really don’t see it or you just (un)consciously ignore it?

No that’s a fact. Where are the court orders or verdicts? There aren’t any. It’s just Google’s Politbureau playing God / dictator. Well, of course, it’s their right to do that but then we must be allowed to call it what it is. But when they start interfering with individual rights and use warfare tactics to shut down unpleasant opponents, they are crossing a red line which is not tolerable.

Wrong. Twitter permanently suspended Trumps account and there were no grounds for that. AWS shut down the whole Parler platform, Google and Apple removed the apps from their App Store, what’s that if not shutting down a whole business?

There aren’t any other reasons for shutting down an elected president of the United States and/or his followers but at the same time tolerating Islamic extremists and militant left-wing groups on their platform, than politically motivated ones. All the fuss around Trump, framing him as insane so they had to protect codes of nuclear weapons from him and secretly manipulate the chain of command and so on, was just ridiculous and a political show.

I understand that Trump was maybe not the most sympathetic person (well still light years more sympathetic than Biden) and I would have voted for Jo Jorgensen instead of him :wink: But the political interference of those platforms start to constitute a problem for democracy and individual rights such as free speech. The game is always the same: Bush → Idiot, Obama → Superhuman & Nobel Prize, Trump → Idiot, Biden → Superhuman (Nobel Prize pending).

There are several people whose accounts were suspended on US social media platforms, I personally know several of them. That’s why many Corona sceptics now operate several channels on the same platform because every time they say something that is not approved by Google’s Politbureau, they get a strike and if you accumulate 3 of them, your account will be terminated. You might be not affected by this because your opinion on such topics conform with the ones of Google’s Politbureau, so you’re good, but there are is massive censorship, framing and oppression going on out there on those platforms.

That’s why people revert to platforms which uphold individual rights such as free speech, like Parler, Telegram, etc. and new platforms such as Locals gain in popularity.

Best thing however, would be not to use US services at all because the government there is not much better with their mass-surveillance and political campaigns e.g. against Chinese competitors.

Especially, avoid Google at all costs wherever possible, and don’t use any social media platforms at all.

In terms of Cloud providers, neither as a private individual, nor as a business, I would entrust my data with and rely on US-based services who can and have shown they are willing to arbitrarily terminate accounts, if their Politbureau or the government feels like it.

It’d be great if we took less opportunities to turn every thread into a flame sprinkled with misinformation…

Now, back to the topic at hand. I might sound simplistic and dull, but I find OneDrive’s 1TB offering through Microsof 365 great since you get Office as well (if that’s important to you). And up to 6TB with the Family package. That is why I use for the most important documents: first copy on the NAS and encrypted backup in OneDrive.

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