Still searching for an online storage service

It’s been weeks since I started to look for an online storage service. I’ve looked in the past but I haven’t put much time and dedication as I have lately. I already have a RAID1+0 set up, an internal drive to handle daily backups, and a Terastation NAS box – why do I need storage online? Two reasons: 1. just in case and 2. accessibility.

I have photos that are over 10 years old. This is when digital cameras we’re hitting the consumer market. Over 90% percent of the photos I’ve taken since using a digital camera are in digital format. I don’t have them printed. These are very important to me, which is why I spend more money getting a RAID1+0 array set up on my PC, use a NAS box, and back up daily.

Having these files online, I can access them anywhere with internet connection. I’d like to be able to share files with friends and family without having to worry about file attachment size limitation with emails. Being that it’s online, files can be accessed any time. Plus, if for any reason all of my hardware at home failed, I would always have a back up of the file elsewhere.

This site along with others have been hosted with Hostmonster.com for several years. They offered unlimited storage and bandwidth. Unfortunately, all the files have to be associated with the websites somehow. I recently moved back to Godaddy for hosting. Not for the storage reason but I didn’t need the extra bells and whistles and to save a few bucks.

I still have a Flickr Pro account. It’s great. For $25 annually, I can upload an unlimited amount of photos and short videos. The problem is I don’t like the interface and I don’t like them renaming my files. Right now I’m only interested in backing up photos so this will work, as long as I ignore the 2 things I hate about the service. But what if I want to upload other files? I can’t with Flickr. So the search continues.

Amazon has been offering a full year of free AWS service (http://aws.amazon.com/free/). They give you a certain amount of resources free every month. Once you go over, they will charge you. It’s a monthly service so prices differ month to month. I have signed up and am already over the free limitations of my account. Not by much. So far after 2 weeks of uploading, I own about $1.45. Doesn’t sound much. Most of that is storage cost and bandwidth. The storage cost is competitive and reasonable, considering it’s backed up with 4 datacenters. But my usage grows and so will the monthly cost. Soon, I’ll be charged the same as if I were to get a service that supports unlimited space and bandwidth. The problem with those services is it’s for back ups only. I’d like to be able to do more than just back ups. I haven’t given up with Amazon but I’ll be watching my usage and see if it’s worth keeping.

Then I tried Godaddy’s online file folder service (http://www.godaddy.com/email/online-file-storage.aspx?ci=9022). I purchased the 100GB for $30 annually. I was able to use a 31% off coupon which brought it down to $20 for a year. Not bad for 100GB and Godaddy usually has coupons flying around. The web interface is just bloated (just like the rest of the website). I used an FTP client and the upload speed was horrible. I tried the desktop software and it was the same thing. My work has a very fast internet connection… (Speedtest.net).

speedtest

To upload a 89MB file took nearly 10 minutes! With the speed I posted above, it should be a lot less than that. I was getting between 35kbps to 140kbps. That’s close to what I get at home. No reason for it to be that slow at work. I’ve uploaded files onto my webserver with Godaddy and get very fast speeds, over 1MBps. Not sure what’s going on but I will be cancelling this service shortly.

I was considering Rackspace’s cloud storage service. Their price is the same as Amazon’s S3 ($0.15 per GB) but they do not charge for bandwidth or request fees. But they do charge $4 per month regardless of whether you use it or not. Though it comes with 10GB of storage space.

I’m going to try Flickr again since for now I only have to back up photos. Hopefully I’ll find a software that is easier to use and useful. Can’t beat their price and this is service as an offsite back up anyway. I recently switched to Adobe Lightroom 3. I will see if I can create some batch jobs that can send files to Flickr and Facebook. Problem solved, if I could.

6 thoughts on “Still searching for an online storage service

  1. I read your “Still searching for an online storage service” post with interest. I am the same situation. I’ve got almost 90 G of digital pictures that I don’t want to lose. For exactly the same reasons I chose GoDaddy Online File Folder and found it to be unacceptably slow. 52 hours later, I have just over 5 Gig backed up. I’m very curious – have you found something better?

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    • i am still using amazon’s S3 service. i have nearly 25GB of data on there and paying a little over $2 monthly. so if i were to look at it annually, it would be around $50. the speed is a lot faster than godaddy. i use a software called cloudberry. they have a free and paid version. i like amazon S3, i just don’t like how they charge for requests. but they have been reliable and large businesses and corporations use the same service.

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  2. Hi. I’m using the GoDaddy file folder via FTP and it is slow at the moment. But I think it can be made to work. The complaints about upload speed in the tech forum say this is a recent development, and the response was a suggestion to contact tech support. $30 a year for 100 GB is awfully good pricing and their iPhone (iPod Touch in my case) application works really well. So I’m not giving up. But thanks for this article; I will check out Amazon and rackspace.

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  3. Hi. For a while now I figured it would be nice to get an online storage space but deifinitely bigger than the 2 Gb that DropBox offering. So I figured that the 100Gb storage space from GoDaddy was the greatest deal. After cleaning up some of the files I wanted originally to sync I finally went on with the WorkSpace Desktop tool and I started the sync at around 3 pm and at 9 pm it…. failed. I then went on the forums and so on. First thing I noticed is actually a lot of complaints (I supposed I should have read those before) about mainly upload speed and browsing independant reviews like yours just confirms this as a major drawback of their overall service. That could explain why one of my client’s web site (incidently hosted at GD) is so slow to load… I am not sure I will keep this subscription very long either but as of my writing this review I am uploading from the web interface and the speed started from 3Kb/s to nearly 2Mb/s so I am inclined to give a shot. As someone was saying on another blog GoDaddy oversell what they don’t really have and instead build upon their sales. So maybe things could go faster in the long term.

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  4. just an update, i have been using Amazon’s S3 service for almost a year now and it’s been great. i use it for backing up my irreplaceable photos. i nearly have 30GB of photos backed up there and only paying around $3-4/month. i seldom download the files, it’s mostly uploads therefore the bandwidth and requests are only active when backing up. i’m very pleased with the service and recommend it.

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  5. I use Acronis and they charge $49 a year for 250GB of space. I use thier program to backup my entire computer and then store my data files online separately. It’s great, but a bit slow the first time you backup all your files. But after that, it updates only the changes you’ve made to the files you tell it to back up.

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