April 27, 2022 Annelise Randmaa BackupCloud Storage

This is How I Lost 10 Years of Photos aka Why Cloud Storage is Important

This is how I lost ten years of photos aka why cloud storage is important

Backing up your photos and videos to a cloud may seem like a frivolous expense if you’ve never experienced the unfortunate event of your digital archive disappearing into the void. 

Especially ten years ago using a cloud backup was not yet common. Users, who had large amounts of data but also a limited budget would just store their data on a physical storage device such as an external hard drive. 

But in my case it was a family NAS server that got me in trouble.. and ended up costing me close to ten years of memories. 

This article tells the story of how it happened and why I now recommend using Storadera’s S3 compatible cloud storage for photo backups.

Let’s dive into it.

There was a time when I did not use cloud storage

When you’re only twenty-something and about to move to another country, it is safe to say that you probably travel light. You only bring maybe one-two suitcases of clothes and a trusty backpack to hold your laptop and other valuables. 

As a millennial I did not own any photo albums that I’d want to bring along either. Most of my photos from ages 14 to 23 were already digital. I stored them on the hard drive of my desktop computer. 

Going away on an adventure all alone I did not want to risk losing them in any way. In order to protect them, I created an archive and encrypted it to store it on my family’s NAS server.

Several years passed and I returned home. One day, after settling in a nice apartment, I decided to bring my photo archive home. It was a solid plan, but I was shocked to find out that the archive was not there. It had vanished mysteriously without a trace as if it had never existed. I was absolutely heartbroken. Even though we looked into it, we never did find out why or how my photo archive disappeared.

Coming to the decision to start using cloud storage

After living through such a tragic event I often found myself pondering over one question in particular. Was this a preventable issue? Perhaps, but it was a different time. It was not the case back then, but storing all of your photos on the cloud is quite common now. 

This is how I lost ten years of photos aka why cloud storage is important
Creating lots of photos is a standard part of the modern human experience

Photos are really just memories. Maybe they’re not something you look at daily, not even weekly or monthly in most cases. But every once in a while it sure feels nice to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce on the times long past. As a person with a memory that can rather be classified as “that of a fish” or “bad”, my photos mean the world to me. So I decided to do better.

From network storage to cloud storage

To protect my memories, I took two steps. First, I purchased a 2 TB capacity external hard drive just for my photos. Knowing that 1-4% of hard drives fail I knew that it shouldn’t be my main and only storage location. I copied all of my photos from my hard drive to my new external hard drive. I then uploaded the entire contents of my external hard drive to Storadera’s S3 compatible cloud storage. 

Maybe you noticed that I did not mention using a NAS as a storage location. That’s because at my new home I did not have a NAS setup so I had to work with what I had. Truth be told, a NAS can be a great addition to keep your overall backup strategy rock solid. But as I learned the hard way, it should never be your primary backup location. 

In any case, I decided that the best strategy for me would be to implement the 3-2-1 backup system that you can read more about here. I now keep one copy of my photos on my desktop hard drive, another on my external hard drive and the third one with Storadera’s cloud storage space. A fun fact: the term 3-2-1 backup was coined by a photographer.

Why use Storadera’s S3 compatible cloud storage

With all the different options out there available you might be wondering why I stand by using Storadera over other providers? There are many reasons, but the main advantage of Storadera is that it is very straightforward. Storadera is all about transparency – there are no limits and you only pay for what you use. 

That is ideal for me, because when it comes to most of my data I just want to store it somewhere without worrying about some sort of data capacity limits or needing to upgrade my plan from time to time. It also means that there are no extra fees that most other providers have, such as for downloading your data. 

Another important factor is the simplicity of the setup. Storadera provides S3 API, which stands for application programming interface. That means that to access Storadera’s cloud you require an interface application. Now it might sound complicated, but it’s actually super simple! Storadera has created many integration manuals for the most popular applications and they can be easily found on the homepage

This is how I lost ten years of photos aka why cloud storage is important
Just some of Storadera’s many integrations

I decided to go with Duplicati, a free open source backup client highly regarded for its data efficiency. I personally recommend Duplicati due to its quick and easy setup and because it works in the browser. With the help of Storadera’s setup guide it really did take no more than 5-10 minutes. To be fair, most of that time was spent thinking of a strong enough password. Anyway, all I had to do was set Duplicati up with Storadera once and now my backup runs according to the schedule I set. It keeps everything on my external hard drive safely backed up so I never have to give it another thought.

Cloud storage is important if you value your data

These days cloud storage used in conjunction with physical storage has become the standard in many industries, but it is not yet a typical setup for your average Joe. The moral of this story is simple –  if you have precious data sitting around on a physical or a network device somewhere then you should really consider making the decision to start storing it on the cloud. Whatever it is – if it’s important to you then there is no reason to not take that extra step. Losing your data sucks and it’s one thing I never want for anyone to go through.

So my advice is to start using Storadera today. The service is so affordable and simple and once you set it up you never have to go through it again. Truly the smallest price to pay for peace of mind. 

And if you have ever lost all of your photos then please tell us about your experience in the comments!

Curious about the differences between backup vs archive? Read about them here.

Check out our pricing page and see how we compare to our competitors.

Inspired by the article? Get started with Duplicati and check out the integration guide here.

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