Home Buyer's Guide Storage-2013
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Storage Solutions

Hardware and services for safeguarding your photos

Labels: SoftwareGear
This Article Features Photo Zoom

LACIE 2BIG USB 3.0
The 2big USB 3.0 is available in 2 TB, 4 TB and 6 TB configurations. The 2 TB and 6 TB versions are 7200 rpm drives and include a USB 3.0 PCI card; the slower 5400 rpm 4 TB model doesn't include the card. Estimated Street Price: From $329 (2 TB).

WESTERN DIGITAL MY BOOK STUDIO II
With USB 2.0 as well as FireWire 400 and 800 connections, My Book Studio II comes in 2 TB, 4 TB and 6 TB configurations. A capacity gauge on the front gives you a visual representation of space remaining. Estimated Street Price: From $199 (2 TB).

OWC MERCURY ELITE PRO 800 RAID MIRROR
The Elite Pro 800 RAID MIRROR is a preconfigured RAID 1 system available with up to 4 TB capacity, with eSATA, USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 connections. Or, buy just the enclosure and add your own drives. Estimated Street Price: From $349 (500 GB).

CLOUD BACKUP
Install Carbonite, and for $59 a year per computer, your files are automatically encrypted and backed up to Carbonite's servers. Storage space is unlimited, and you can access your files on any Internet-connected computer, and even your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry smartphone, as well as from an iPad or Android tablet.

Dropbox is free for up to 2 GB of storage, with paid plans starting at $99 per year for 200 GB of space. Dropbox works by allowing you to specify a folder on your hard drive that will automatically sync to Dropbox servers. Dropbox also offers the ability to easily share specific files or folders with anyone (meaning your recipients don't need to use Dropbox).

GoodSync isn't an online server in itself—it's a handy app that makes it really easy to sync your files to inexpensive storage services like Amazon S3, Google Drive and others, or even your own server via FTP. It also lets you automatically sync your files between multiple computers and external drives. Windows and Mac versions are available. From $29.

EASY ARCHIVES
With memory cards like the Kingston Digital 16 GB SDHC retailing for under $20, consider leaving your photos on the card even after you import them and simply use a new card once it's filled. That way, you'll always have your original files—just label and date the card and store it somewhere safe, like a fireproof box.

Another affordable protection is to copy your most important images onto a USB flash drive like the Transcend JetFlash 780, priced at about $25 for 8 GB of storage. Fill it with your best shots, then keep it in your desk drawer at work, your car's glovebox or some other away-from-home location.

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