Last week in SLC, on my way out the door for this trip, I did my scheduled computer back-up. Some time ago, I set up a routine where each week I use Superduper to make a complete back-up of my desktop on one of two external drives. My husband takes the updated drive to his office and brings home the other. Because he was traveling when I left, I tossed the drive into the HWY89-mobile and brought it to Phoenix. That last minute decision, in hindsight, turned out pretty lucky since I now have a mirror of my desktop in case I need it while I’m unexpectedly delayed here in Phoenix.
Before I organized my back-up system, I was relying on a collection of random external drives, mostly LaCies of different footprints, capacities and vintages. Talk about a mess-just keeping track of the cables was a project. I went looking for a hardware solution that would simplify the off-site back-up process, because I knew if it were difficult I wouldn’t keep it up.
Whinging one night at home, R suggested that I get a NewerTech Voyager Q Hard Drive Docking Station. It’s a case that connects to the computer by a USB or Firewire cable and looks like a toaster. I drop in any 2.5″ or 3.5″ hard drive up to 2TB into the device, connect it up and use the drive like any other external device. When the back-up is done, the drive pops out like a frozen waffle. I bought it (under $80!) from Other World Computing. I got a pair of Western Digital drives to complete the whole system for less than I paid for just the Drobo housing I use for my primary storage of RAW files. Compared to my fleet of LaCies, the drives themselves are much less bulky for storage, and who needs a power supply for every TB of back-up?
For my money, the Voyager Q is an amazing bargain. It’s cheap enough that I am ordering a second unit to replace the LaCie that I use to back up my CF cards while on the road. That way I can always bring a copy of my desktop with me too. Not that I plan to need it, but it’s nice to know I have it when things go awry.
If you need to add back-up storage, take a look at the Voyager Q system. As your photography archives, “the toaster” might just save you some cash.