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FORUMS General Gear Talk Data Storage, Memory Cards & Backup 
Thread started 18 Jul 2017 (Tuesday) 09:41
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Dropbox for backup?

 
F2Bthere
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Jul 18, 2017 09:41 |  #1

I have been using the free version of Dropbox for moving files and it works well for that.

I have started thinking about using Dropbox as a backup system for image files (mostly to have an off-site backup, not for regular access).

Does anyone have experience with this? Any advice, cautions, concerns?

A brief search turned up some concerns, but they appear to be a few years back.


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Jul 18, 2017 09:48 |  #2

"Image" as in photos? Or an OS image for restoring your harddrive?

I've been using Dropbox for a while with no problems. With the app on my phone and 3 computers, I always have quick access to files I use often.

Like any online host you need to be prepared for the free version to go away some day or some new limitations to be set. Like when they got rid of the shared Public folder.




  
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F2Bthere
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Jul 18, 2017 09:51 |  #3

Thanks for the response.

I mean to store RAW files from my cameras.

I would upgrade to a paid plan to do this.


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mike_d
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Jul 18, 2017 12:41 |  #4

Dropbox is great for moving/syncing files between devices. It is not a proper backup solution. If you want backup, use a service that does backup. I use Crashplan.




  
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F2Bthere
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Jul 18, 2017 13:21 |  #5

mike_d wrote in post #18405023 (external link)
Dropbox is great for moving/syncing files between devices. It is not a proper backup solution. If you want backup, use a service that does backup. I use Crashplan.

I appreciate the response and understand the idea of using the right tool for the job.

What makes Dropbox the wrong tool? Lack of automation? Something else?


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mike_d
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Jul 18, 2017 13:30 |  #6

F2Bthere wrote in post #18405055 (external link)
I appreciate the response and understand the idea of using the right tool for the job.

What makes Dropbox the wrong tool? Lack of automation? Something else?

The problem with syncing is that everything is synced. Let's say one of your Dropbox enabled devices gets compromised and everything is deleted or encrypted (ie ransomware). What happens next? Every device dutifully syncs those changes, of course. Now what?

A proper backup system keep a deep version history. With Crashplan, for example, if your files got encrypted, you'd simply restore everything to a point before the malware was installed. Crashplan also has features to customize how the backup runs, for example backup sets to prioritize certain folders over others, bandwidth and time of day restrictions, several security/encryption settings, etc.




  
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F2Bthere
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Jul 18, 2017 13:36 |  #7

mike_d wrote in post #18405065 (external link)
The problem with syncing is that everything is synced. Let's say one of your Dropbox enabled devices gets compromised and everything is deleted or encrypted (ie ransomware). What happens next? Every device dutifully syncs those changes, of course. Now what?

A proper backup system keep a deep version history. With Crashplan, for example, if your files got encrypted, you'd simply restore everything to a point before the malware was installed. Crashplan also has features to customize how the backup runs, for example backup sets to prioritize certain folders over others, bandwidth and time of day restrictions, several security/encryption settings, etc.

That makes sense.

My plan is not to sync. Just to copy the RAW files over. Once they are in backup, they just sit there. At least this is my intent. Unless what you are saying is that it will sync anyway...


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mike_d
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Jul 18, 2017 13:40 |  #8

F2Bthere wrote in post #18405074 (external link)
That makes sense.

My plan is not to sync. Just to copy the RAW files over. Once they are in backup, they just sit there. At least this is my intent. Unless what you are saying is that it will sync anyway...

If you have Dropbox installed on your computer, it syncs your Dropbox folder to their servers.




  
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Jul 18, 2017 20:50 as a reply to  @ F2Bthere's post |  #9

I'm with Mike. I only consider Dropbox a temporary storage utility. I set up folders for my clients that I share jobs with them until they are completed. The commenting makes it easy to communicate ideas or requests. That is about as far as I would trust it.


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Jul 18, 2017 21:28 |  #10

I'll use dropbox for the occasional file exchange to clients or storing small files. For large storage cloud solutions, IMO their paid plans can be expensive for what they are (1TB $10/month). If you want bare bones, Google Drive offers 15GB free. If you're on a PC, OneDrive offers 1TB free with Office (also works fine on my iPhone). iCloud, 2TB for $10/month. Amazon-unlimited photo and 5GB storage with Prime, 1TB $60/year.


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bobbyz
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Jul 18, 2017 23:31 |  #11

mike_d wrote in post #18405078 (external link)
If you have Dropbox installed on your computer, it syncs your Dropbox folder to their servers.

Can't you disable the sync? What about manual upload? I use Google drive and can enable/disable sync.


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mike_d
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Jul 18, 2017 23:33 |  #12

bobbyz wrote in post #18405487 (external link)
Can't you disable the sync? I use Google drive and can enable/disable sync.

I do see a "pause sync" button in the UI but I image that's only intended for temporary use. After all, the whole points of services like Dropbox is to automatically sync your files.




  
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Jul 19, 2017 10:28 |  #13

mike_d wrote in post #18405065 (external link)
The problem with syncing is that everything is synced. Let's say one of your Dropbox enabled devices gets compromised and everything is deleted or encrypted (ie ransomware). What happens next? Every device dutifully syncs those changes, of course. Now what?

A proper backup system keep a deep version history. With Crashplan, for example, if your files got encrypted, you'd simply restore everything to a point before the malware was installed. Crashplan also has features to customize how the backup runs, for example backup sets to prioritize certain folders over others, bandwidth and time of day restrictions, several security/encryption settings, etc.

Dropbox has 30 days of versioning by default. You can extend the length with paid options.


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tim
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Jul 19, 2017 14:15 |  #14

Read my article on backups (external link), you'll understand why Dropbox isn't a great backup option. It's fine for distribution, access from multiple locations, but it's a copy not a backup.

Backups should be incremental, offline, and offsite, otherwise they're a copy. Read more about backups on this thread.


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mike_d
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Jul 19, 2017 16:19 |  #15

Bcaps wrote in post #18405840 (external link)
Dropbox has 30 days of versioning by default. You can extend the length with paid options.

I see a way to access an older version of a file, but not a way to restore an entire folder tree to a previous state in one step.




  
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Dropbox for backup?
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