The Problem: Online cloud storage is too expensive and Amazon Glacier is complicated.
The Solution: Amazon Glacier is affordable and the Arq app makes it easy.
Even though I was backing up years and years (and gigs and gigs) of photos on two separate hard drives, the truth of the mater was this: If these hard drives were stolen or destroyed in a fire or natural disaster, my families photos would be completely lost.
Here’s what I figured out:
Amazon Glacier + Arq = AWESOME!
When I first began to look for a solution, I check-out the usual suspects. I already had a Dropbox account, so I looked at their pricing.
To handle my family photo archives, I would need one of the following plans:
- Dropbox Pro – $499/year for 500GB
- Dropbox Teams – $795/year for 1TB
Unless I needed regular access to these photos (which I didn’t), this was not a good solution. Even a church or organization would have a hard time justifying these kind of rates for long-term file storage!
Next up, Google Drive.
I really like Google Drive’s pricing. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that I pre-paid for a full year with Dropbox, I may have already switched to Google Drive. Since I remembered liking their aggressive pricing in the past, I gave them a look:
- 400GB – $19.99/month
- 1TB – $49.00/month
The 400GB account wouldn’t be quite big enough, so I would have had to jump on the 1TB. This isn’t too bad, but $600 a year is a lot to spend on some long-term file storage, especially when you consider the price of a physical hard drive.
Here’s how it works:
In order to keep costs low, Amazon Glacier is optimized for data that is infrequently accessed and for which retrieval times of several hours are suitable.
Yes. You read right. Several hours. Amazon Glacier works just like a glacier. 😀
You may nothing to upload it, pay a low price to store it, and pay to retrieve it. Amazon Glacier is the perfect long-term storage solution.
Here are the rates:
As you can see, it costs nothing to upload and the rates vary depending on how much you download.
Once your data is uploaded you’re going to pay “as little as $0.01 per gigabyte per month.” Compare that to Google Drives 1TB plan for $49.99, it’s only a fraction of the cost! Only $10.00 per month!
Considering this is a long term backup solution and I won’t be retrieving it unless my local backup storage fails, this is a slam-dunk. In fact, I’m considering storing old client files this way, too. At the most it’s only going to be a few gigs, and then I don’t need to worry about bouncing the data around, anymore.
The biggest problem I had with Amazon Glacier initially, however, was the interface. In fact, I’m still not 100% sure how you can ‘manually’ upload your data. After a few minutes of frustration, I opted to find an app to take care of the mess. A backup system should be easy to use or it will never be used.
That’s when I came across Arq. I’m just about finished using the 30-day trial and I’m absolutely in love! You simply tell Arq what files you want uploaded/synced, enter in your info, and it takes care of the rest–much like a Dropbox or Crashplan. If you want to download and retrieve an archive, Arq will submit the request.
If you’re already using Amazon S3, you can also use Arq to sync and backup your files. Make a file change? Arq Agent will see the change and update the file. So, if you’re using Amazon S3 like a Dropbox or Google Drive, Arq is great for that, too! It even has a built in calculator for your S3 use.
For only $29, this Mac app makes using Amazon Glacier a real breeze. When you factor in the one time cost of the app with the monthly cost of Amazon Glacier, this system is a no brainer.
I loved this so much, I contacted Arq to see if they would be interested in giving a couple of copies away to a few ChurchMag readers. Here’s how you can enter to win one of two copies of Arq: Share this post on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ Leave a comment below, telling us what kind of files you need to backup. That’s it! The winner will be announced in about a week. 😀