So I also use Backblaze, which just backs up mostly everything. This covers my ripped media and adds redundancy for the rarer (#1) scenarios I just mentioned. For 2 (frequent/consistent/verified), it's good*, and for 5 (historical backups), you can roll-back anywhere from today to 30 days prior. By default it doesn't backup OS/software, which would likely be hard to restore anyway with this method. If I had to recover from one of the very bad scenarios, a couple days re-installing wouldn't be my worst problem. For 3, recovery time would be slower since they'd have to ship physical drives to me with the amount of data I have. And 4, do I trust them to protect against outside access? It's a good question, and one that prevented me from using cloud backup systems for a long time. The data is encrypted at rest, and I have a strong password and two-factor authentication, but software vulnerabilities and leaks do occur. I suppose in this case I'm on the side of the benefits outweigh risks. Would I rather lose access to my own data or have someone else access my data? I lean toward the former.
Are we done? Well… we could be. But there's that niggle of doubt. What if I have a huge fire and lose my computer and local backups, and then I realize that Backblaze only has two-thirds of my data? Apparently some people have had issues with Backblaze - I can't say for sure one way or the other, but the fact remains that a third-party service can't be trusted 100%*. So for ultimate backup security, I also periodically transfer all my important data to an encrypted hard drive and store it in a safety deposit box at the bank. And… of course you can't just use one hard drive, because the bank vault is empty while you're backing up to the drive. Gotta have two and swap them out. Yep. That should be pretty secure, and meet the criteria for all of 1 (data recovery) and 4 (outside access), and a reasonable rate for 3 (recovery speed). 5 (historical backups) is also good, depending on what I can fit on a single hard drive. The problem is 2 (frequent/consistent): I aim for once a month, but the reality is more like a few times a year. So it's a terrible primary method, but a great tertiary method.
And that's all! Did I miss anything? Do I have a critical vulnerability? Do you have a good system? Let me know in the comments here or on Twitter or Facebook. Happy World Backup Day!
Thanks for reading,
* Backblaze verification: Backblaze does backup continuously, which means there's typically not much time between making a change to a file and that file being backed up to the cloud. However, verification is something that requires a bit of faith. Apparently all files are checksum’d before upload, but there's no great way to verify that Backblaze has all my data intact. I can check online which files are there, and yes, I can download a random selection of files from time to time, but that's still a random selection of < 0.001% of my files. On the other hand, Backblaze is a successful business employing backup experts, so I'm sure they're doing their due diligence (you had ONE job, right?). Still, at the end of the day, I personally don't like to have one company 100% responsible for my backups, so I don't.