How to keep Your Photos Safe

Hard-Drive-Parts | How to keep Your Photos Safe

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How to keep Your Photos Safe

Are you backing up your precious photos? Our computers and removable storage media are full with experiences and precious moments. However electronic media is not safe. Hard disks crash and removable media fails. Disasters can happen. Digital photo albums are vulnerable and if not backed up you lose thousands of photos and a lifetime of moments in just one hard disk crash/failure.

What are backups? backups are just copies of our files that are put in a safe place. Example of such copies can be photos put on a DVD/USB pen drive and placed at a friend’s house. TheDVD/USB pen drive could of course be placed in your own house but that would be less safe since in case of a disaster in your house you might lose both your computer and the backups.

Hard-Drive-Parts | How to keep Your Photos Safe

Are your precious photos safe?

A few years ago backups were hard to make. You practically had to be a computer guru to figure our those backup software. Today however backup was made easy using a number of software solution and online service.

External USB HDD | How to keep Your Photos Safe

Backing up to an Online Cloud Service

As any other service backup found its way to the Internet too. A number of sites provide backup services today for everything from digital photo albums to your word documents. Those services usually charge a monthly fee of around £10 to £20; but some provide a more limited service for free. The idea behind the service is simple: instead of backing up to a DVD is just to upload your photos to a site and create copy there. The site stores the backups for you in a safe place far away from your computer.

Server-drive | How to keep Your Photos Safe

There are many advantages to using an online backup service. First they are usually very easy to use. Some provide software that you download and install on your computer. You then point to the folder where your photos reside and the software takes it from there. It will make sure new files are uploaded to the backup service and that your backup is always fresh.

iCloud Options

If you have a Mac, then upgrading the standard 50GB of iCloud Storage to 200GB for £2.99 could be a viable option. If you want to upload RAW files, these files will fill up the iCloud VERY fast due to their size. So getting a larger external HDD (Hard Drive) maybe the more viable option. Something like a WB My Book 4TB HDD, or a NAS (Network Assisted Storage) system where you can have as many backup drives as you want. NAS systems are NOT cheap, but they are upgradable when you have money to spend.

External Hard Drives or NAS Systems

There are quite a few options for external Hard drive storage, Cloud Drives or Network Assisted Systems (aka NAS for Short). There are a few options you could consider. We have a WD My Book 4TB External Hard drive and is connected to our home network. Western Digital My Book’s are designed to work with both Apple and Microsoft. These start from 1TB (Terabyte) all the way up to 16TB’s. That is a LOT of storage. If you are are Vlogging a lot, then you may need to consider other options, as all of your video’s will fill your storage space up fast. Especially if you record in 4K Ultra High Definition.

QNAP and Drobo have more options for extra storage capacity. I not bore you with two main competitors of Hard Drive manufacturers but its a close horse race between them both. Seagate have produced safe computer hard drives for many years. Now they have a monster of a hard drive, which can store up to 10TB. There is ONE small snag. The price tag. They will cost a mere £332.35 each.

Always got Options

If you settle for one of the cheaper 4 Bay QNAP System with the highest amount of possible storage, it will still set you back a pocket wrenching £1769.99 with a mammoth 32TB of storage. This will be enough to storage all of your favourite movies, photographs and iPhone photos for the next 10 years. For Photographers and Vloggers, this should be sufficient to at least 3-4 years depending on your media quality.

As mentioned earlier, 4K UHD movies will burn through this storage rather rapidly. If you need more storage, there is QNAP 12 bay System and this will also raise the cost up to or over £3,118.80 with a possible 80TB of storage. if you are small business, then you may need this. If not, the smaller 4 Bay QNAP would probably meet all of your needs.

All of these devices can sit on your home or office network and connect to the internet router. They also come with software to manage, configure and maintain these systems for you.

qnap_ts_453a_4g | How to keep Your Photos Safe


There are quite a few systems similar to Western Digital and QNAP. Another one I have come across is DROBO. Their website is more user friendly when it comes to looking for the type of device you need for your office or personal needs.

If you load up all of the 5 Hard drive bays with 8TB in each bay, you have will be to store the following:

  • 2,909,091 photographs
  • 1,391 movies
  • 50,000,000 large documents
  • 106,667 work files
  • 4,571,429 songs

Drobo_5c | How to keep Your Photos Safe

The Drobo 5C will still cost you an estimated £1,719.22 and can connect to your computer via the USB port. The Drobo comes with management software designed to keep all of your files backed up and protected in the event of a power outage and or a hard drive failure. With the Drobo 5c, there is no need to connect to your home network, however, the more expensive Drobo options are network compatible.

Final Remarks

When it comes to backing up your data and precious photographs, are you really willing to cut costs to keep them safe. Nothing is certain, but there are means and ways of at least protecting your work. I have tried to give a low down on some viable storage options. Not all of these devices are within your spending range. Would you rather have more than one USB hard drive or one mass storage device? I know what I will be looking for in the near future, but all that depends on how many videos we generate for Vlogs and product reviews.

Please Like and Comment below.

John M


  1. What a brilliant roundup. I do have a mac and didn’t relaise it would be so cheap to upgrade my cloud options so that’s something I’m going to look in to, thank you. I do have al ittle storage system but even that is starting to get clogged up so it’s about time I made some changes.

      • Don’t do it, drobo is unsafe, it has 1 point of failure that’s really fragile: the thin provisioning map. Buy some disks yourself and make sure you have either an old PC or enough room in your current one to put them in, then buy a license for StableBit DrivePool or get DriveBender. Lot cheaper, puts disks to sleep when not in use and when the house burns down you only have to carry 1 big case instead of 2.

        • Actually, I had been thinking about using an old PC as file share system. I was going through some possible solutions. When I do these types of guides, I don’t always come across known issues. Your insights are very much appreciated.

          John M

  2. great article. I have several hard drives and USB drives filled with photos and that is what I don’t like about digital photos. I don’t have a tendency to delete any photo even if it is blur. Weird isn’t it? But I am loving right now the cloud system but let’s see how quickly I run out of space 🙂

    • Because my photographs take up so much space, if I think its too un-recoverable, then I delete. Each file is over 24mb in size. Times that by 300-600 at a time, then they can take up a LOT of space. So I do have to delete some every so often.

      John M

  3. These are great ideas! I definitely need to use one of them, I am so worried about losing all my photos! I lost some photos when my eldest was a baby and I was distraught!

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