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Back up Your Data for Less Than $10 per Year using Amazon Glacier

Back up Your Data for Less Than $10 per Year using Amazon Glacier

I was looking for some backup solutions over the weekend for all the pictures and videos I’d taken over the years and found an easy way to use Amazon Glacier. Currently all my media is backed up on hard-drives but hard-drives can deteriorate over time and if a fire or flood broke out or even a burglary  the backups could be destroyed or stolen too. Furthermore, it’s a pain switching the hard-disks back and forth to copy files which means that it can be months before I perform another backup (I keep my backup hard-disk separate from my computer).

Looking online, there are a bunch of online back up solutions such as CarboniteElephantDrive amongst many others. There are sync tools such as Google Drive, Skydrive and Dropbox. But when I looked at the prices I thought there must be a cheaper way.

Screen shot 2013-02-19 at 10.13.08 AM

    How to backup for less than $10 per year

    Amazon Glacier is your friend. It takes a bit of setting up, fortunately there are some free tools out there. Here’s how it works.

    1. Create an Amazon Glacier account. If you already have an Amazon account, you can use that account.

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    2. Create an API key for your Amazon Glacier account by going into your Security Credentials page in Amazon and then create an Access Key ID, this should also provide you with a secret access key.

    3. Download Fast Glacier (It’s free). This is the app that will connect to Amazon Glacier and let you backup your files in an easy way.

    4. When the application starts up, type in your account name, access key ID and secret access key into the following screen –

    add-new-glacier-account

      5. Create a Vault (I picked US East for the cheapest prices, but you may want to pick another location)

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      6. Now it’s simply a case of adding files or folders that need to backed up and then letting it run.

      (For Mac users, you can use Arq)

      What’s the cost?

      It can get complicated here –

      For me, I had about 60GB of pictures and videos to store. The cost is $0.01 per GB per month. That’s $0.60 per month for storage. Amazon also charge for data transfer. For putting the data into storage, it’s free. For each file you put into storage or remove from storage it costs $0.05 for every 1000 files. (Assuming 1 request per file)

      For restoring backups (retrieving files), the first GB of data is free, after which it costs $0.12 for the first 10 TB of data.

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      The cost in my scenario is 60 GB, 12,000 files, I won’t be downloading data all that often (maybe when I sync but that should be less than 1000 requests per month after the initial backup is complete)

      So my annual cost will be
      $0.60 x 12 (Storage cost)

      +

      $0.05 x 12 (File request cost)

      = $7.2 + $0.60

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      Add in the initial cost of uploading the data which would be $0.05 X 12 =$0.60

      My total annual cost will be $8.40. Even if I were to backup an extra GB of data per month, after a year, that extra cost would be $0.66. barely over $9. To restore all my data it would cost $7.68, but i don’t expect to do this often. Here’s the pricing page in case you wish to see the prices for yourself.

      What’s the disadvantage?

      Glacier is designed for archiving, so it’s not designed to work on ‘Live’ documents. It’s for the things that you don’t need to modify (hence why I use it for pictures and videos). It’s not fast.. it’s not designed to be fast so retrieving data may take some time, but if you need long term storage for your backups, this is the most cost effective and stable solution I have come across.

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      Last Updated on May 14, 2019

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      8 Replacements for Google Notebook

      Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

      1. Zoho Notebook
        If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
      2. Evernote
        The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
      3. Net Notes
        If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
      4. i-Lighter
        You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
      5. Clipmarks
        For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
      6. UberNote
        If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
      7. iLeonardo
        iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
      8. Zotero
        Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

      I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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      In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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