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.