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4 TB USB Restore Drives Are Here: Yay!


blog-4TB-restores
Backblaze is increasing the maximum size of our USB Hard Drive restores to use 4 TB external drives. That means when you order a USB Hard Drive restore, you can now select to restore up to 3.5 terabytes of data. That’s about a 30% increase over the previous 3 TB drives that topped out at 2.6 terabytes of data.

The price is $189, the same as before. That price includes a USB hard drive with your data, FedEx next day shipping once your data is ready, and as always you get to keep the drive. There’s no extra charge for the next day shipping and if next day shipping is not available, we’ll use the fastest means available to us via FedEx. To date we’ve shipped restore drives to Backblaze customers in all 50 states and many countries around the globe including Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, China, France, Australia, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, Great Britain, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, Israel, Qatar, and more. In short, you’ll get your data fast and you get to keep the drive — easy.

A few of things to know

  • As noted, the 4 TB drive maxes out at about 3.5 TB of data. If you have more data than that, you will need to order additional USB Hard Drive restores. Each drive you order is $189.
  • If you have multiple computers that you need to restore from, you will need to order one drive for each separate restore.
  • If you purchase a USB Hard Drive restore, we will ship you a drive large enough to accommodate your data. For example, if you are restoring 2.1 TB of data we could ship you a 3 TB drive. The price will be $189 no matter what size drive we send.

The different ways to restore data with Backblaze

  • Web Browser — For free, you select the files/folders you want to restore using your web browser to download the files. This is good for small amounts of data, typically 1GB or less as the web browser itself is prone to timeouts and errors.
  • Backblaze Downloader — For free, you select the files/folders you want to restore using your web browser and then download and use the Backblaze Downloader to stream and checkpoint the data download. This is similar to apps like iTunes and Netflix in how data is downloaded. Be aware that larger amounts of data will consume lots of network bandwidth and will take time.
  • USB Flash Drive — For $99, you select up to 110 GB of files/folders you want to restore and get your files on 128 GB USB flash drive. We send it to you next day express (within the US) so you get your data fast and you get to keep the drive.
  • USB External Hard Drive — For $189, you select up to 3,500,000 MB of files/folders you want to restore and get your files on an external USB hard drive large enough to hold your data, up to a 4 TB drive. Once prepared, we send it to you next day express (within the US) and you get to keep the drive..

 



Today Show: Cryptolocker Continues To Hold Data Hostage


Last October we wrote a blog post about a new piece of ransomeware called Cryptolocker. At the time it was a relatively new virus, and was not yet affecting as many people as it is now. As of March, Geek.com reports that Cryptolocker’s “… masterminds have raked in somewhere in the neigborhood of $30 million, and that’s because around 40% of victims are paying the ransom.”

A few days ago, the Today Show ran a report on Cryptolocker as well. According to the Today Show report embedded below, “You can backup your computer and use anti-virus software, but the best defense, experts say, is caution with unknown attachments and emails.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

How Backblaze Can Help
Since Backblaze is an unlimited and continuously running online backup solution that is not locally connected to your machine, all of the data files on your computer and external hard drives get backed up and are available for restore.

That means that if you get hit with the Cryptolocker malware and your computer locks up, you can simply order a Backblaze restore with all of your data on it, reinstall your operating system and any programs that you had installed (including Backblaze), and then you’re back up and running! That means you won’t need to pay Cryptolocker hundreds if not thousands of dollars, and you’ll have all of your photos, videos, music, work documents, and anything else you’ve created safely back on your computer.

Backblaze has already saved multiple customers from losing their data to Cryptolocker:

We’d like to remind all of our users and blog readers to stay vigilant and use best-practices when using the internet and email clients. Hopefully you’ll never be hit with Cryptolocker, but we’ll be here for you if you do.

Author = Yev

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Flickr Announces 1TB of Photo Storage. Awesome!


Camera

Big news in the technology industry this week as Yahoo’s board authorized the purchase of Tumblr, and Flickr announced 1 terabyte of photo storage. One terabyte of storage. That’s a lot of photos. By their estimates over 500,000 of them, maybe even more, depending on the resolution and quality. We think this is great! Having your pictures in more than one spot is a great idea, and one that we whole-heartedly recommend. That’s why we started the Backblaze online backup service, to make sure all of the photos, videos, documents, and memories you’ve accumulated along the way are backed up and ready for you, should anything happen to your computer.

The Flickr news is great for folks that have a lot of pictures and want a place to store them, but what about the other data? You may not think about it too much, but the documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, and videos you’ve accumulated throughout the years is just as important as the photos you’ve taken. For that, we’d like to recommend ourselves!

What do we offer? Well Backblaze is:

Unlimited – We’ll take all of your user generated data, no matter how much you have!

Unthrottled – Have a great internet connection? Awesome! We won’t hamper your upload speeds.

Uncomplicated – Get started in under 5 minutes. Just create an account, download the trial, and go!

Unexpensive – That’s not a word, but for $5/month per computer, we figured we could make it fit the “un-scheme”, plus that’s the most you can pay!

Want to use Flickr, or a service like it, and Backblaze together? Fantastic! The more places you have your data, the better off you are in case of data loss on your machine. Plus, folks tend to upload less than 1% of all the photos they take to various services; we’ll back up all of them! A good backup strategy is a lot like a good investment strategy, diversification is good!

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Backblaze Mobile is Alive!


We announced Backblaze Mobile a few months ago, and while it took a little longer than expected (we couldn’t help but add in features) Backblaze Mobile for iPhone is now ready for you! That’s right! If you have a Backblaze account, you’ll now be able to access your online backup on the go, from your iOS device! What about Android? That’s coming up next, stay tuned!

What Does Backblaze Mobile Do?
Backblaze Mobile is a free app, available in the App Store, that allows you to access, download, experience, and share all of the data that’s been uploaded from your desktop or laptop and to your active Backblaze account.

Access Download Experience Share
(click on any picture above to see it in full size)

How it Works:

Access: After signing in to your Backblaze account, you’ll see a list of all the computers (Windows and/or Macs) you are backing up with Backblaze online backup. Select one of these computers. Next you’ll see all the drives for that system that Backblaze currently has backed up. This can include multiple internal as well as connected external USB, Firewire and Thunderbolt drives.

Download: The folders and files are organized just like those on your computer, so the files you want are easy to find. Once you’ve located your file it can be downloaded to the iPhone. Remember, the current the file size limit for a single file is 30 MB. You can download as many files as you want and you can see a list of your recently downloaded files by selecting the “downloads” button.

Experience: Once the file is downloaded you can see and/or hear the file. Viewing a PDF, listening to a MP3, or previewing a Microsoft Word doc are all possible. You’ll be able to see and/or hear all the file types your iPhone knows how to present.

Share: Once you’re sure you have the right file you can share it. The options you get depend on the type of file, for example, if the file is an MP3, you may not see the “print” option, but it will be present for a JPG or GIF file.

Take Control!

The Backblaze Mobile app will give you greater access to all the data you’ve backed up with Backblaze throughout the years. Forgot a presentation? No problem, just download it to your phone. Have a picture on your computer that you want to show to a friend? No problem, just download it to your phone. Hanging out with friends and remember a fun picture you took, and then have an urge to post it to Facebook and tag them in it? No problem, just download it to your phone and share it! With Backblaze Mobile you can finally take control of your data.

Have questions? Check out the Backblaze Mobile FAQ!

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Backblaze datacenter grows 1000x.Datacenter 2.0 needed; apply within.


Datacenter

40 petabytes of data takes up a lot of room. Those little ones and zeroes that make up your photos, videos, spreadsheets – your digital life – that we backup online for you are adding up. We started out nearly five years ago with 20 terabytes of data storage. Shortly after that, we signed the deal for our first quarter-cabinet in our current datacenter and we have steadily added more and more cabinets. Each full cabinet has 8-10 storage pods and when you do the math, we now have about 40 petabytes of storage. Growth is good.

So we are looking for another datacenter. We’ve created and issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) to get the process going. It’s a fairly short document, 8 pages, which outlines our requirements. And what do we need in a datacenter, here are a few things…

  • Space – Air conditioned, clean, raised floor for up to 225 cabinets – Hey, we provide unlimited data storage, so we need lots of space.
  • Network/Bandwidth – Multi-vendor 10Gb redundant symmetric connections – we don’t throttle backup speeds, so big pipes are mandatory.
  • Power – Each cabinet requires a 30 AMP 208Volt circuit, which powers 8-10 storage pods in each cabinet.
  • Physical security – Access controls, CCTV, good location, fences and barriers, manned patrols, etc.
  • Amenities – Space for Guido, parking, storage, loading dock and free back massages (just kidding, but it doesn’t hurt to ask).

Providers must provide documentation on their SSAE 16 or “SAS 70 type II” status. A LEED certified facility is desired. Of course we want a reputable provider with a proven history of providing stellar service.

Backblaze has grown from a commitment of just 1/4 cabinet to committing to up to 225 cabinets, a 1000x increase, and we are looking for a great partner to work with us.

We want to start using our new datacenter in December. It’s aggressive, but we believe it can be done. If you are interested in being our next datacenter provider you can download and view the RFP to learn how to submit your proposal, but act now as initial responses are due on Aug 20th.

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Backing up photos while traveling – feedback


Last week I wrote about the struggle I had backing up photos while on my honeymoon. I had a few thoughts for how I would solve the issue in the future, but did not find any ideal solutions and said I would update the blog post if anyone emailed me with good tips.

With feedback from 21 individual people (mostly photographers), I think I have a grasp on the solutions.

Backup to a Hard Drive Device
Most people suggested some hard drive backup. These devices take a memory card and copy the photos to the built-in hard drive. The complete set of devices:

Digital Foci
Epson P-3000/6000/7000
Jobo
MemoryKick
Nexto DI
Sanho HyperDrive
Vosonic
Wolverine
Xs-Drive

HyperDrive Album

All of these devices perform effectively the same function. The main differences are:
* Is there a screen to view the photos?
* How much space is available on the hard drive?
* How much does it cost?
Below is my summary of these items for each of these products.


Company/Product View Photos Storage (GB) Cost
Digital Foci
Picture Porter 35 Yes 250/500 $400/$500
Photo Safe II No 250/500 $160/$220
Epson
P-3000 Yes 40 $400
P-6000 Yes 80 $600
P-7000 Yes 160 $800
Jobo
Giga Vu Sonic Yes 160/250/500 $350/$500/$850
Giga One No 120/250 $190/$210
MemoryKick
MemoryKick Si Yes 160/320/500 $300/$360/$430
MemoryKick MediaCenter Yes 30/60/120 $120/$200/$260
Nexto DI
Extreme ND2700 No 64 – 500 $240 (160 GB)
NVS2500 Yes 500 $2,000
Various others…
Sanho HyperDrive
HyperDrive Album Yes 160 – 750 $400 – $650
Colorspace UDMA Yes 120 – 750 $300 – $600
Vosonic
VP8870 Yes 120 – 500 $290 – $520
Various others…
Wolverine
PicPac II No 80 – 320 $95 – $170
ESP Yes 160/250 $320/$400
Xs-Drive
Xs-Drive Smart 2300 No 120 – 350 $170+
Xs-Drive Smart 2500 Yes 200
Xs-Drive Smart 2600 Yes 120 – 350

The companies also try to differentiate the devices on a variety of other features:
* File transfer speed
* USB 2.0 support
* Zoom, rotate, delete
* Screen size, quality
* Ability to save videos/music
* Tethering (save directly from camera)
* Number of cards that can be inserted at one time
* Size, weight
* Maximum size of an individual file
For your specific needs, consider whether these other items are important.

Which one of these is the best? I don’t know and I’m sure it depends on what you’re optimizing. However, based purely on the sample of responses I got, the HyperDrive received the most kudos, with the Epson and Digital Foci models tied for second.

Backing up SD-to-SD
Having said all of that…one person actually found exactly what I wanted: an SD-to-SD card backup:

The iMONO HD-2400 sold by USB Geek

It copies one SD card to another, is fairly small, battery powered, and costs just $22.

SD-to-SD copier

One thing I do worry about with the device is mistakenly copying the blank SD card onto the full one. I am hoping the device has some protection against that or at least makes it really obvious which way the copy is going.

I just ordered one now and will let you know how well it works when I get it.

Backup to SD Card versus to Hard Drive
I love the backup-to-hard-drive devices above. Many of them look sleek, store all the photos you could take on a yearlong trip around the world, and allow you to preview and work on the files as you go. For many people these devices are lifesavers.

However, while traveling, keeping these devices in the same bag as your camera means that your photos are not fully protected. If they were backed up online, fantastic, but the whole issue here was that I wanted to travel without a laptop and not have to worry about finding a blistering fast Internet connection. Thus, having a card-to-card backup where I send one of the cards home periodically means losing my bag will not cost me my data.

Either way – it’s great to see that there are some options. Stay tuned for my review of the iMono device.



Backing up photos while traveling


Kenya safari photo

Two weeks ago I returned from my honeymoon – a trip to Kenya that included an amazing safari. While the trip was incredibly relaxing, I was nervous until a few days after I returned home.

You see, since this was a honeymoon, my wife made a firm request: no laptop. Checking email and doing work could wait until we were back. A few days into the trip I realized the photos we were taking would be great memories, but we had no way to backup the SD cards while we were on the road.

What if I dropped the camera? If our luggage was lost? If the SD cards got soaked?

I started putting the camera and SD cards into a zip-lock bag and then into the hotel safe whenever we did not bring them with us. I thought about backing them up online, but waiting for a slow satellite-based Internet connection in a game reserve in the middle of the Masai Mara was not practical. I figured I could go to an Internet cafe and burn backup copies onto DVDs, but the computer DVD burners did not work.

In the end I just continued to be paranoid throughout the trip. When I got home, I downloaded the photos to my wife’s PC, then to an external hard drive, then to my Mac. Within a day they were also backed up online by Backblaze.

Finally, I felt safe.

How would I backup my photos while traveling in the future?
Backup to an iPod
Backing up to an iPod seems like the most natural option. iPods are fairly inexpensive, capacious, sturdy, and most people have at least one. Looking around, this seems to be one of the best iPod SD card reader options available. However, “best” does not mean “good”. This Belkin device is over six years old and customers have said it is very slow and only works with old iPods (think actual click-wheel.)

Backup to an iPod Touch or iPhone
I actually had an iPod Touch with me on the trip, but had no way to transfer photos to it. This seems to be the only iPhone or iPod SD card reader available that has been reviewed. Again, the reviews are not fantastic – but it does seem to work.

Backup to an iPad
Apple has developed its own SD card reader for the iPad. The reviews are good. It’s developed by Apple. It’s not too expensive. But… it requires taking an iPad with you on your travels. This is not an ideal solution because a) at over $500 not everyone can afford one, b) it is somewhat fragile, c) it is a bit large if all you want is an SD card backup.

Backup to an external hard drive
Using an external hard drive to backup the SD card to versus using the memory inside an iPod should be fine. However, most external hard drives are designed to be plugged into a USB port on a computer.

Backup to an SD card
I would love to just have a small device that would duplicate one SD card to another. SD cards are cheap and I would put the backup SD card in the mail and send it back home. Unfortunately, I can’t find a single device that does this. Belkin? Sandisk? Kingston? I’m looking at you.

Of course, as soon as possible I would do my Backblaze online backup – but while traveling without a laptop, next time I will bring one of the options above.

Have you found a better approach? Email me with tips at gleb.budman at backblaze dot com and I will update this blog post if someone suggests something really useful.

UPDATE: After receiving a lot of feedback, I published a detailed blog post summarizing the feedback about how to backup photos while traveling.