Can't decide on a storage and back-up solution

Which approach? (see below)

  • 1 - cloud-only backup

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • 2 - local-only backup

    Votes: 5 83.3%

  • Total voters


Jan 11, 2009
I'll start off by saying I don't have a fancy setup. I'm amateur and run a small personal server (hyper-V with about 10-12 guests doing random things) on a PC I built myself. I'm also currently on CrashPlan Home one a guest VM, which is retiring, so I'm looking at other options. I'm looking for a different storage and back-up solution.

Currently, my network storage is basically about 3 large HDDs exposed onto the network for things like documents, photos, movies, music, etc. Total data is about 6-7 TB. I was also running a backup server that simply copies from these HDDs to other HDDs and backs that data up to the cloud. Not only is CrashPlan Home ending, but I'm noticing I'm getting low on space.

I'm torn between two approaches:

1. Ditch local storage and make it cloud-only backup - In an effort to make use of HDDs laying around, I could use what's currently HDDs for my backup server and make it network storage. Then, using, say CrashPlan Pro, simply back up ALL data to the cloud (documents, photos, music, movies, shows, etc). This totals 6-7 TB. My total cost would be $10 per month.

PROS: a) No new HDDs needed, b) data is stored off-site
CONS: a) Slow to restore data if there was a crash, b) initial backup will take a while

2. Ditch cloud storage and use local-only - I would purchase a couple more large HDDs and run all backups locally. Total cost would be several hundred bucks for large, decent HDDs.

PROS: a) quick to backup and restore, b) cloud storage may still be an eventual option as a second-level backup
CONS: a) May require additional physical server, as my current is running out of space for HDDs, b) no off-site in case of fire, c) high initial up-front cost

What are some thoughts on this? Again, I don't have any fancy NAS or RAID setups, and I'm not looking to reconfigure my entire setup (too much) if possible. Thanks.


Fully [H]
Feb 19, 2008
What I do is I install my OS onto my SSD and use a separate hard drive that only is for user data. I back that up to a second hard drive, as well as an external drive I keep unplugged. As part of the user data, I also have a folder that I sync to OneDrive. That folder contains the stuff I really don't want to lose. Even if it gets deleted from OneDrive folder and syncs up, you can still recover if from the recycle bin in OneDrive.

My recommendation is to use multiple levels of data protection.


Apr 6, 2015
With a local solution you can restore even if your OS is trashed because you can make a boot disk that will restore from an external HDD.

Deleted member 245375

Small stuff to the cloud, big stuff kept local, that's how I handle it. Small stuff for me = anything under about 2-3GB in size (on a file by file basis), large stuff over that is just impractical to spend time uploading to some cloud-based server farm no matter who runs it. Yes, I suppose if everybody had a minimum of 1 Gigabit or better and it all actually worked at 1 Gbit or better then I'd use cloud-based storage for more "stufff" I suppose, but it doesn't and so I don't.

At one point recently I had several thousand movies carefully encoded from DVDs and some Blu-rays over the past decade or so and at another more recent point I said "Fuck it..." and got rid of it all because with streaming services becoming basically ubiquitous now I don't see a reason to keep data sitting around like that. Hell, I have a 128GB SSD in my laptop for my OS/apps/some stuff with a 1TB hard drive for raw storage and the 1TB drive currently has like 825GB free.

Just don't need that shit laying around anymore, and I'm not a data "hoarder" so, that's what works for me.


Supreme [H]ardness
Nov 21, 2006
The answer is both. Bulk items that are replaceable go onto cheap local storage. Those items that aren't go to both local and remote storage.


Oct 1, 2017
I use Carbonite as a cloud backup solution. I also back everything up onto a hard drive that I keep in my office, stored in a fireproof and floodproof container. Cloud storage has become pretty affordable, and it is nice being able to access file wherever I am.


Limp Gawd
Sep 18, 2005
I use local & off-site. My OS is on one disk or partition (depending on machine), and my data is on another disk or partition and that is backed up to another hard drive and put in my safe deposit box. If I had a massive crash on Friday after the bank closes, it is still far faster to wait until monday to get my disks and restore from them than to download from the cloud.

Plus the 'cloud' is someone elses machine, and what guarantee do you have they're going to stay in business. How many cloud backup companies suddenly just went 'poof'. However, I have highly considered adding Backblaze to my backup for more immediate smaller chunks of data.