Backing It Up: My Gear Recommendations

Backups! The least fun part of photography. But so important! Here are some my recommendations on what tools you need to get backed up.

External Hard Drives

When buying a new EHD, it generally best to get the biggest size you might need. How much storage are you using right now? How much do you add to that with new photos each month? Answering those questions can help you decide what you need.

Storage Size: 2TB or less

WD My Passport 1TB or 2TB:

My recommendation for an external hard drive 2TB or under. I love it because it’s so portable. I suggest one color for your main drive and another for your backup drive, so it’s easy to know which one is which.

Storage Size: over 2TB

WD My Book 4 TB External Hard Drive:

Seagate Expansion 4TB Desktop External Hard Drive:

These are my recommendation for > 2TB. I recommend buying one of each brand, if you’re getting two. This is to avoid two drives expiring at the same time.

Both of these can be formatted for Mac or PC. I would format them to remove the software it comes with. You can go with another size, but 4TB is a good price point right now.

Backup Software

Mac and PC versions. Easy to use, and it’s FREE. It can be kind of a memory hog when it’s running though.

PC only. Free version available.

Cloud Backups

CrashPlan or Backblaze

Both are good. I am leaning toward CrashPlan because they keep your backups indefinitely. BackBlaze keeps them for 30 days.


Anker® AH231 USB Hub with 9 USB 3.0 Data Ports + 1 Smart Charging Port

If you are running out of USB ports, as I did, consider a USB hub. I’ve tried a few, this is my favorite. Whatever you get, make sure it’s powered, USB 3.0, and has good reviews – cheap doesn’t work for these in my experience.

Bluelounge CableBox Mini White

I also like the above USB hub because it fits in this, to manage the cables/ugliness on my desk.

Brother P-touch Home and Office Labeler and TZe tape and
I make a label with the drive name (and purchase month/year) and print copies for: on the drive itself, both ends of the USB cable, and both ends of the power cable. Example Label: Main EHD (9/2014).

TZe tape makes it so easy to peel the back off. A bit extra prints off, I just leave it on for this purpose, but cut it for centered labels when used elsewhere in my home. I got a multi-pack of the tape at Costco, and it’s lasting forever!