You would think just a second hard drive would be enough to suffice for something like this wouldn’t you? This isn’t so, neither for the server or home use!

Home Backups

I bought a Netgear SC101 a year or so ago, put a 400GB HDD inside it and it runs like a dream, I’m only using one slot of the two available, so it’s not RAIDed or anything. On recent duplicate file scan I discovered that I’m not actually using it as backup device, it’s simply become add-on storage (and lots of it!). I clearly need to backup the data on that as well! You ought to do a scan yourself, you might find you have exactly the same problem!

Fact: I need backup space for all of my hard disk on both laptops (and probably the wife’s as well), and also for the whole of the SC101 storage device.

  • Option 1 – 2nd Drive (A)
    Get a second drive, copy all the data back to my laptop (not sure it would fit, but we can cross that bridge later), RAID the existing HDD drives in the SC101 for redundancy, copy the data back to the newly RAID’d disk and I have a secure device.
    Pro’s: All I need is a second HDD of at least equal size.
    Con’s: I’ve read some absolutely abysmal reviews of the SC101 under RAID conditions recently. I’d also still be using the SC101’s proprietary file storage system, so couldn’t just stick the drive in another machine to get the data off, if the box ever blew up I’d need another one to make it work and get the data off.
  • Option 2 – 2nd Drive (B)
    Get a second drive, add it to the SC101 copy all the data to it from all the machines and the SC101. Remove the disk and store it somewhere VERY, VERY safe.
    Pro’s: All I need is second HDD of at least equal size, but at least I won’t be using the badly reviewed RAID capabilities of the SC101. I’ll also be able to have it copied over in a day without any major headaches of moving data.
    Con’s: I’ll need to store the drive safely, and it still will be in this proprietary format that means I can’t get the data off without another SC101.
  • Option 3 – USB Hard Disk
    Largely similar to option 2 in that the data is on a USB hard disk that I can unplug whenever I feel like it and store it away, alright it’s in the house, but I can probably live with that!
    Pro’s: No RAID headaches, plug it in the laptop overnight, stream the data, can even use syncing software to get the data across, it’s not plugged in all the while, nor is it in a proprietary format.
    Con’s: I can’t actually think of any, except that the data on the USB isn’t RAID’d, but as it’s a backup that shouldn’t be a huge problem (how many failsafe’s can you put in!!?)
  • Option 4 – Another Network Disk
    Again largely similar to option 2, but it sounds/feels more permanent than a USB disk, yes I know thousands of people use them everyday, there’s just something I dislike about USB!
    Pro’s: Use syncing software to get the data across, it can be plugged or unplugged when necessary, and it isn’t in a proprietary format. I could even RAID it with the right type of disk.
    Con’s: Probably an increased cost vs option 4?
  • Option 5 – Online Services
    Something like JungleDisk, or the online backup service from my own ISP? This is putting my data in the hands of someone else, and paying for how much I use – not something I’m particularly keen on!
    Pro’s: Offsite, way, way offsite!
    Con’s: Data security, integrity, internet latency etc. etc.
  • Option 6 – My own Online Service
    This doesn’t actually exist yet, but may well do pending the outcome of a future post on server backup data services.

Which would you choose?