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What kind of photo and video storage and backup system should I setup

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I've got about 0.5 tb of home photos and videos right now though I can easily see it escalate to 5 tb really quickly with 4k and 360 video which I'm about to start keeping more often.

I have android (Samsung note 3 and Samsung Galaxy s7) and apple phones and windows 10 pcs. Need to be able to do the following on all my devices (though the apple phone only needs to view photos and videos, no backup).

1. Automatic remote and local backup
2. Easily view both photos and videos in the same folder together at the same time with thumbnail previews
3. Some videos are over 10 minutes long
4. Need one backup at home and one in a remote location which could either be a cloud or at my sisters house.
5. Viewing and downloading/uploading needs to be simple cause I'm dealing with some not too computer savvy users
6. I want a system that mostly takes care of itself though im not totally computer illiterate so can do some work. Just dont want a lot of malfunctions so i can do sone stuff but i want it to work usually after I've set it up.
7. Willing to spend up to $500 (this includes cloud cost for 5 years if cloud is used) and willing to buy used.
8. Would really like to be able to easily share my photos and videos with others (including letting them download).

I currently have a wb mybooklive as well as use flickr as a backup. The problem is, flickr only plays back the first 3 minutes of a video and I have like 10 minutes sometimes and my videos are greater than 1 gb these days which is flickr limit. I love how it has a photostream though where all new photos and videos on every device show up at the top and then has a separate page where you can sort via albums. If I can do that with my new system that would be really nice though it' not mandatory.

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you can use a backup system that offers both (many vendors have both local and cloud offerings) or you can do it yourself separately.

First thing you need to do is, figure out which of the vendors (WD, synology, DIY, etc) has the backup software that'd work on all your clients. Some clients actually have it available already (like linux and its networked fs or rsync + scripts), some common apps on phones may also include such functionality. For phones, it may be worth paying if such an app is common and well maintained.

For online backup like cloud, i suggest finding one that you can pay for either as part of vendor package or separate. What i mean is regular payments as theres many. Microsoft, google, amazon are some of the big ones here and may actually offer huge space or unlimited if you are willing to pay some amount every year and may actually have software/apps for multiple platforms to work with it. For example google drive and microsoft one drive, and i am sure many NAS have this app too.

If you get your online backup separately from one of the major providers i mentioned, it may make it much easier for automated backups and choosing a NAS that can run it. From something simple like a single drive NAS all the way to a multi drive NAS array. Dont forget that drives themselves cost money. Each seagate 8TB NAS drive for example costs $200 each just for the drive itself and many NAS systems despite being pricey as they are dont come with drives. This is where DIY comes in allowing you to reuse or cheaply purchase a system and adding the drives to set it up yourself. For example you could reuse or purchase a PC having a low to midrange CPU with 8GB of ram (i recommend 8GB for starters for DIY unless you do a lot of file transfers where caching can help) for much less and install openSUSE or openNAS (openSUSE is admin friendly unlike ubuntu, openNAS is a dedicated user friendly NAS OS) or other NAS focused OS which is free that is compatible with your online storage and use that. IF you use openSUSE it will definitely be compatible as it is a full linux OS which also does require configuring for security.

One advantage in going the DIY route with a full linux OS and spending the effort is that you can configure the network in a secure way such as adding of VPN server and clients, Using SSL and firewall configs. If you're not the kind to spend the time/effort than going with something like synology despite pricey may be something you should consider. Choosing a NAS between ARM or x86 CPU is mainly dependent on the apps you will run on it and the performance you need (SSL and any real time video encoding you expect to do).


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Some NAS with online backup support can get quite expensive, since those backup providers will treat you like a business customer (paying for the used storage space rather than offering access to their home user unlimited services).

What I do here is I have a daily sync task between some important folders on my NAS and a folder on my desktop. That desktop is then covered with Carbonite for online backups.

It does require having enough disk space on the PC to host that copy of your data tho. In my case, I have a mostly unused 3 TB HDD that is more than enough for the few gigabytes of data I need backed up to the cloud.

When researching for a NAS, take a look at which backup providers they support. All the big ones support at least Onedrive and Google Drive, but they will also offer support for various other providers. The only one I ever used for a customer was ElephantDrive on a QNAP.

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