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Online Backups

Hi everyone, as you can well see, I haven’t had a chance to post to this blog for the past month.  I am helping a client with a very cool book project that I will write about soon.  I thought though that I would ask YOU a question in the meantime.   I have written about the importance of backing up both your images and your Lightroom catalog, to one or more external hard drives and/or an online backup service.  So the question is, if you use an online backup service, which do you use and why?  What does it cost, how much storage space do you get, and how easy is it to regularly back up your work?    Please share with me and my readers by posting a comment.

Thanks in advance.

UPDATE 2015: I now use Backblaze – it’s inexpensive and easy to set up.

2017-07-09T12:41:25-07:00 November 2nd, 2010|15 Comments


  1. Dan November 2, 2010 at 11:07 am - Reply

    I’m currently using Back Blaze. I’m on a Mac and am loving it. $5 a month. Runs seamlessly in the background and provides unlimited space and backs up external drives as well. Here’s the link-

  2. wade November 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    I use Backblaze. It takes forever, but its backing up. Pointing a drobo at that is certainly fun.

  3. Dick November 2, 2010 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I’m not sure about the cloud. When putting things into the cloud, you lose control over it.
    See also this interesting article:…-in-the-cloud-your-data-can-get-up-and-move-on-its-own/

  4. torqemada November 3, 2010 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    I use Carbonite for online backup. It costs me around £25 a year (I buy multi-year deals) and gives me unlimited backup space. It runs without any issues and doesn’t suck up much bandwidth at all while it’s working.

    • Larry Lancaster March 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      I’m told that Carbonite won’t backup applications. How do you tell Carbonite to backup the LightRoom database? In addition to your photos, this is the important thing to backup because it has all the changes made to your photos.

      • Laura Shoe March 3, 2011 at 12:41 pm - Reply

        Larry, I agree with you that it is critical to back up the catalog for the reason you mention. The catalog is just a file, not the application. You will find it (an .lrcat file) within your catalog folder. To find this, go to Edit (Lightroom on a Mac)>Catalog Settings. The location is showin on the general tab. It is not necessary to backup the previews file/folder, as LR will regenerate previews if they go missing.

  5. murat November 4, 2010 at 11:33 am - Reply

    i use crash plan(~6 mo.s now), and pretty happy about it. that is, of course, on top of my regular time machine backups, as well as 2 sets of bootable backup clones that are being rotated to an off-site location.
    i think their family plan was ~$100/yr., i can backup all the computers/external drives in my home studio to it. it does it automatically in the background whenever my computers are idle(a customizable feature; i told it to use 80% of the resources while idle to speed things up), so it does not slow the system down while i am working on something. initial backup takes days(obviously depending on one’s amount of data – i had ~500gb at the time, i simply left the computers running overnight for almost a month, and was all set. if you are in a hurry for initial setup, you can mail them a hard drive for additional fee to get set initially(i had local backups&didn’t need this). after that, everything is incremental, and fairly quick, i have always been 99.9 to 100% backed up after the initial upload. i’ve been sleeping pretty well! 🙂

  6. Bill G November 4, 2010 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    I use Carbonite, too – cheap and effortless to use.

  7. Richard Haber November 5, 2010 at 6:52 am - Reply

    I am using Mozy and Carbonite. I find that Mozy will backup 5GB of digital image files in about 3 hours overnight. Carbonite seems much slower and I am accumulating images much faster than Carbonite can back them up. Mozy Unlimited costs about $50USD per year and so far I have about a terabyte of digital image files backed up

  8. John November 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    I also use Carbonite. It’s apprx. $52 per year and after the initial backup, it automatically backs up as a file is changed. No issues and is hardly noticable. Will not back up an external drive but will back up a home network backup to the carbonite computer.

  9. Scott Citron November 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    I use Dropbox. Costs me $50/yr for 50 GB. Not the cheapest but I can access my files and catalog from multiple computers with ease.

  10. Richard Blouin November 27, 2010 at 8:45 am - Reply

    I don’t trust the cloud. RAID-5 array (50Tb), plus everything on dual DVDs stored offsite (in a bank vault actually). I also still do film, so I scan to DNG at 4,000 dpi and keep the negs in archival sleeves offsite (at another bank). Yearly costs of DVDs run to about $60. I get the vault storage for free with my corporate bank account.

  11. Arno November 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Carbonite here, too.
    Not the fastest to back up, but it’s easy to use and cheap for unlimited storage space.

  12. Online Backup June 12, 2012 at 4:05 am - Reply

    I currently have 2 external drives backing up the my data. The only problem with that, is that they are in the same location as the server so fi disaster strikes, there goes the data. It would be nice to have it off site and this is a perfect solution

  13. Pete Freeman June 10, 2013 at 9:10 am - Reply

    I have been looking for a easy to use off site backup. This post really helps.

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