What is the best way for a home user to back up data?

Steve Cleland May 23, 2012
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Ok, so I have been trying to get a good grasp on cloud vs RAID vs backup. My situation is that I have a lot of data (pics, music, important stuff my wife will kill me for if I lose it…) and need to figure out how to handle it.

I am new to RAID but that being said…I had an external RAID drive at one point (2x500gb) in RAID 1. One drive failed and I realized at that time that it was too small (full!) and maybe too little protection for what is expected of me.

So I heard of Carbonite and others and cloud storage (let them use their redundant system to ensure safety of data), but it is confusing and I have a large amount of data (expensive). And then there is backup, the one thing that everyone should understand by now, that I have NO clue on.

This is all a matter of learning curve but I don’t have the time nor have I assimilated enough information and understanding fast enough. I feel like Charlie Brown and the football…ARRRGGHH!!!

The data mess has pulled away from me again. I want to protect my data and have it accessible easily (under threat of death or worse), I want to protect my immediate system’s data (that which is not “stored” somewhere), I want to be able to bring a system back online relatively quickly (the RAID), and I want to get it up and running and have minimal maintenance.

Yes, I am a home user, but my demands are somewhat like a business user (NO LOSS.) Yes, it will cost me money…meh. (No, I’m not made of money, but what’s your life worth?)

I am willing to build my own in house system to handle this. I have extra comps hanging around (Core2 stuff), maybe building a sever to handle data from multiple computers (I have no server experience) would suffice. Maybe it’s as simple as setting up an internal RAID for each computer (RAID 1/5/10). If you could provide some scenarios and approximate cost (like $, $$, $$$) I would be eternally grateful! …e-ter-nal-ly….

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