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

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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.

      More by this author

      Hoi Wan

      Hoi is a mobilist who blogs about technology trends and productivity.

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      Last Updated on November 25, 2021

      How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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      How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

      There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

      Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

        What Does Private Browsing Do?

        When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

        For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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        The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

        The Terminal Archive

        While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

        Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

        dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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        Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

        Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

        However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

        Clearing Your Tracks

        Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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        dscacheutil -flushcache

        As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

        Other Browsers and Private Browsing

        Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

        If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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        As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

        Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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