Portable Backup

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Today’s Question: Back in 2013 and 2014 you were not enthusiastic about any of the available backup storage options that did not need to be connected to a laptop for power.  Have the options gotten any better since then? I’d like to travel without a laptop and would like to copy my CompactFlash cards directly to a storage device, probably two of them, to have duplicate copies. Any new advice?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I have to admit I’m not terribly enthusiastic about any of the portable backup options that are currently available. About the best option I can recommend would be the HyperDrive products from Sanho.

More Detail: For whatever reason, there were a variety of portable backup options available a number of years ago, and there aren’t many options available now. Perhaps because laptops have gotten smaller and other mobile devices can be used to download photos from media cards, there simply isn’t as large a market for standalone portable storage devices capable of backing up your digital media cards when traveling.

You can find the 500GB model of the HyperDrive here:

http://timgrey.me/BH-HyperDrive500

This is the product I would probably recommend most at this point. It enables you to download images from your media cards to the portable hard drive storage, and you could obviously use two matching devices to create two download copies of your photos.

There was recently a Kickstarter campaign for a new portable storage device, which sounds somewhat promising. There seem to have been some delays in production, but the overall specifications look good. I’ve not had a chance to test this device personally, but you can learn more here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dfigear/flash-porter-backup-and-protect-photos-and-video-f

For most of my travel I need the utility of a laptop in addition to storage (and backup storage). As a result, portable storage such as the devices above have not been a priority for me personally. That said, I certainly appreciate the value these devices can provide, and hope there will be improved solutions available soon. And perhaps the Flash Porter linked above will prove to be that solution.