Using Google Drive for RAW backups

I have been trying for awhile now to find a convenient, inexpensive way to remotely back up my catalog of RAW images. There are a ton of options out there, including Zenfolio, Photoshelter, Smugmug, etc, etc. Each one of these has their strengths and benefits. However, I already use separate services for my web hosting (namecheap), and email (Google Apps). So I didn’t really want to add ANOTHER monthly fee to possibly duplicate services I was already paying for. For $10 a month Google offers an “unlimited” version of Apps, $5 a month more than I was already paying for the standard version.

Google Drive Logo

The benefit though is that with Unlimited you get 1TB of Drive storage, vs. the 32GB I already had. Seemed like a good deal to me! No file type limits, and I wouldn’t have another bill or account to manage. For non-apps users, you can do the same thing with a normal (free) Google account, by upgrading your storage limit here. Same pricing applies, $10/month for 1TB of storage.

Google Drive Pricing

The problem was getting my files uploaded to Drive. As some of you might know already, the Google-provided Drive Uploader is mainly intended to facilitate syncing content across multiple devices, not a one-way backup routine – and uploading everything via the web interface was out of the question. After a ton of hunting around I stumbled upon a program made to do exactly what I was trying to accomplish. It’s made by a company called Cloudberry Labs, that specializes in Amazon S3 backup software. However, they have produced a version capable of backing up to a bunch of different cloud storage providers, including Google Drive. I got the free trial, and put it to work uploading roughly 160G of .dng images.

Cloudberry Backup Screenshot

So far I have been happy with it. The software keeps a local database of files uploaded, so it’s capable of resuming interrupted uploads, as well as updating changed files. It also has bandwidth limited and scheduling capabilities, so that uploading won’t interfere with your normal internet usage. The interface could use a little work, but it does the job. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive, and extremely flexible way to back up your digital negatives, I would give Google Drive + Cloudberry Online Backup a look.

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