I have about 100gb and growing that is critical for my business. File size growth is slow, so it will be years and years before it even gets to 200gb.

I have multiple local copies and a copy in google drive, but I want to leave a hard drive at my mother-in-law’s house.

I only want 2.5 form factor or smaller as my mother-in-law will be carrying it here when she comes to visit us on the city.

I’m not sure what the recommendation is. I’m not a millionaire, I’m just freelance. So, I’d like to minimize cost.

  • NateNate60@lemmy.world
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    8 months ago

    100 GB is a pretty small amount of data.

    Want to minimise cost? 128 GB USB drives can be had for around ten dollars. Fifteen dollars will get you 256 GB. Stick with a cheap but reliable brand like SanDisk or PNY. It will last you years with proper care, even with regular use.

    I do not really see a reason to invest in a “real” hard drive or external SSD for your use case. There isn’t enough data to justify it and USB drives can take a lot of abuse and still work.

    Edit: There are a lot of fake USB drives sold online where the controller has been hacked to report a higher capacity to your operating system than actually exists, for example, reporting 512 GB when there’s actually only 64 GB of storage. If you try to store more than the actual capacity, your old files will be overwritten with the new ones. That’s why you should be suspicious of very high capacity drives (1 TB+) sold online for low prices. I would not buy any USB drive online that claims to have a capacity greater than 512 GB.

    • Nollij@sopuli.xyz
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      8 months ago

      Regarding fakes, there are tools you can (and should) run on any new drive. I personally like h2testw, but there are others as well.

      You should also avoid sketchy resellers. This includes Amazon, due to their policy of commingling and their response to counterfeits. Don’t buy from Amazon! Stick to trustworthy and first-party sellers. If buying online, make sure they don’t have a third party seller. In fact, probably best to skip any that even have a 3rd party “marketplace” system.

      • NateNate60@lemmy.world
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        8 months ago

        I don’t think there are really any fake 256 GB drives on the market. The real drives are priced low enough that there’s really not much profit to be made from selling fakes. It’s just not that much cheaper to make a 32 GB drive and flash fake firmware than to actually make a legitimate 256 GB drive. Or buy the AmazonBasics brand since only Amazon makes and sells them.

  • papalonian@lemmy.world
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    8 months ago

    I’d like to second the large flash drive idea. You can get a couple of them and a case to keep them in for less than $50 total and have multiple layers of redundancy

    • M500@lemmy.mlOP
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      8 months ago

      It looks like a 256gb ssd costs about the same as a flash drive. So I’ll probably go that route.

  • Helix 🧬@feddit.de
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    8 months ago

    SSDs lose charge over time. Within a year, bitflips might occur. I recommend going with an HDD with a shockproof case.

    This ineo t2580 looks good but I can’t seem to find the maximum capacity. Try not to use HDDs over 12TB and you should be fine.

    • M500@lemmy.mlOP
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      8 months ago

      Thanks, I was thinking about a 1tb my passport from western digital.

      I live in a third world country so my options are a bit limited.

      I’m not worried about her dropping the drive, I just don’t want to ask her to lug around a 3.5” drive.

      Are mechanical drive resistant to bit flips?

      • Helix 🧬@feddit.de
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        8 months ago

        Are mechanical drive resistant to bit flips?

        No, but they don’t lose charge over time, so bitflips are less likely if they lay around for a long time. However they are less resistant to mechanical failures, so it’s kind of a trade-off.

        If you use a sane backup software it should be able to just overwrite all the data making bitflips hardly relevant.

    • cmnybo
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      8 months ago

      If you avoid QLC drives, keep it at a reasonable temperature, and don’t use a drive that’s had a large number of write cycles, it will be fine for a year.

      I would definitely read everything on the disk yearly so the controller can detect any weak blocks and rewrite them though. A good way to read everything would be to take a checksum. You can then compare that to the previous checksum to make sure the files haven’t changed too.

      Mechanical drives have issues with long term storage as well. When hard drives get older, sometimes they will just refuse to spin up after sitting for a long time.

      • Helix 🧬@feddit.de
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        8 months ago

        If you avoid QLC drives, keep it at a reasonable temperature, and don’t use a drive that’s had a large number of write cycles, it will be fine for a year.

        Sounds reasonable. Maybe even use SLC, some enterprise grade SSDs still offer that.

        When hard drives get older, sometimes they will just refuse to spin up after sitting for a long time.

        True. I would recommend to replace them after 5 years or if they’re frequently in use, after 35000 hours, whichever comes first.

        • cmnybo
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          8 months ago

          SLC drives would hold data for a very long time, but they are pretty much only available for industrial use now and come with an industrial price tag. Even MLC is going away, it’s no longer available in consumer grade drives and getting harder to find in enterprise grade drives.

  • Juviz@feddit.de
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    8 months ago

    You say that data is critical for your business, have you considered a cloud backup as well? AWS has very cheap storage options depending on the speed the file needs to be available at. Also I’d definitely not go with flash memory, bit flips can be a real danger. I’d go with a 1 TB HDD in an enclosure, additionally to a cloud backup

    • NateNate60@lemmy.world
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      8 months ago

      OP already says that multiple backups and cloud copies exist. I do not recommend mechanical hard drives because they’re inherently fragile. If OP really needs high-quality long-term archival storage that is robust and lasts forever, I will recommend a tape drive and do so with a straight face.

      Bit-flipping is, frankly, a non-issue to such an extent that even considering it seriously is moving into tinfoil hat territory.

        • NateNate60@lemmy.world
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          8 months ago

          On its own, no, but it can be used, like any cloud storage solution, as part of a robust backup strategy. Particularly, if the desktop sync feature is enabled, every client machine that has the sync application installed will download and synchronise the contents of the Google Drive locally. If the Google Drive servers go kaput this still means you’ve essentially got several off-site backup copies of the data on Google Drive.

        • sloppy_diffuser@sh.itjust.works
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          8 months ago

          Backblaze B2 is another option. Not sure if its as cheap as Glacier as its hard to compare usage based billing.

          I pay about $1-2 USD/mo for 100GB. Storage is about $0.02/day, The rest of the cost is access costs.

          I use rclone to do my own encryption. Most of the cost is probably backing up my phone nightly (Round Sync which is rclone on Android). Specifically signal results in a new 400Mb backup every night with 99% of the same data as the last backup.

      • smoothbrain coldtakes@lemmy.ca
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        8 months ago

        I agree with tapes if the data is large and not accessed frequently. Magnetic tapes are still one of the most information-dense mediums, surprisingly. WORM tapes are Write Once Read Many and are used by serious large enterprises for long-term archival storage.

  • 7heo@lemmy.ml
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    8 months ago

    It depends how critical the data is.

    SSDs and flash are great for speed, but as other comments have mentioned, they can eventually lose data more than other mediums. However this reportedly isn’t likely to happen over the normal rated timespan of the devices, unless there is a critical defect.

    Magnetic storage will likely last longer, and as it is a much older tech, is less likely to have firmware bugs and other problematic surprises. Plus, as you can see on https://diskprices.com/, the cheapest medium per TB remains magnetic storage.

    Then there are tapes. The drives sure cost a hefty sum, but if you have loads of data to backup, this is likely the cheapest option.

    Finally, optical. Optical is great in the sense that is is physically a ROM, so data cannot get compromised by mishandling or other staff mistakes; but it still can have issues with the reflective layers peeling away from disks.

    So, in the end, I would personally not recommend using SSDs for data backups, out of precaution. Sure, SSDs will likely retain all data just fine for years to come, but I want to be able to store data for as long as possible, with the peace of mind that only magnetic storage will afford me. Plus, if your data is worth backing up, it is worth whatever extra price or effort you will have to do with.

    As for the other options, well, they all have their use case, but I don’t see much advantage for them in the general use cases. Just make backup copies of your data on magnetic drives, in a few physically different locations, with proper access control.

    • M500@lemmy.mlOP
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      8 months ago

      Thanks! I don’t mind spending some money, what I was trying to communicate is that I don’t want to spend $1000 on some solution.

      I think I’ll get a mechanical drive and a few 256gb usb drive or maybe an ssd and have a few off site copies in case one medium fails.

      I’ve never had an ssd go bad, but I’ve had external mechanical drives fail over time, so I’ve been hesitant to trust them.

      • 7heo@lemmy.ml
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        8 months ago

        I had SSDs go bad, and mechanical hard drives too. The major plus for me is that with HDDs, it is somewhat predictable, while with SSDs it has always been sudden (in my experience, at least).

        However, there are more parameters to consider. The storage temperature, the relative humidity, to backup frequency, etc. In the end, if you want a 100% time proof solution without caring for the costs, engraving a crystal, storing it underground in a lead-lined container, is probably the surest way to go. Everything else is a compromise.

  • comador @lemmy.world
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    8 months ago

    As NateNate60 mentioned: USB Flash. I second this as a cost effective alternative to anything else. Corsair Survivor, Sandisk Exteme Pro and Kingston DataTraveler Flash drives to 256GB are cheaper than anything else and just as reliable.

    Should you want to go the SSD route, the Corsair MX500 drives purchased with any external esata or usb chassis is the most reliable option for the price.

    • M500@lemmy.mlOP
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      8 months ago

      Thanks! I have a spare enclosure and an ssd is about the same cost as a usb drive is similar cost.

    • M500@lemmy.mlOP
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      8 months ago

      I thought mechanical drives are Ok to move around if they are powered off.

      • LeylaLove [she/her, love/loves]@hexbear.net
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        8 months ago

        Yeah but we’re talking 2.5 inch drives, and we’re talking about less than a terabyte of storage. There is no good reason to pick a physical drive HDD over an SSD when they’re practically the same price at that storage level. SSDs are simply safer to move, there are no moving parts, dropping an SSD isn’t that concerning, dropping an HDD can easily kill it. I mean think of this this way. There IS a physical reader that goes across the entire disk. That doesn’t exist in an SSD. It’s hard to do, but you can realistically take a hard drive and just SHAKE it to death with your hand, make the reader fall out of place. While shaking a solid state is more like just shaking a giant flash drive.

        • M500@lemmy.mlOP
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          8 months ago

          Thanks! I decided to go the ssd route. It’s priced about the same as a usb drive of the same capacity and I have spare enclosures.