Backup Drive Storage


Today’s Question: How far apart, physically, from each other do you keep the two backup drives?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I recommend keeping backup copies of your data at two different locations, though for my local backups I do keep all copies at my office when I’m not traveling. I supplement this local backup, however, with an online backup using Backblaze (

More Detail: Under ideal circumstances I recommend keeping copies of your local backups of photos and other important data at two separate physical locations. In practice, of course, this is not always particularly feasible.

For my local backups I do keep the original and both backup copies in separate rooms at my office, though I do have the partial comfort of the fact that the building is protected by fire sprinklers. I should keep an additional local copy at my storage unit across town, but the reality is that I don’t.

When I’m traveling (which is significantly less than it used to be due to the pandemic) I carry the original and one backup for my key data, leaving another backup at my home office.

It is less than ideal to keep all backup copies at the same physical location in terms of the potential for losing all data should the location itself be seriously damaged or destroyed. While I should add an additional backup at a different location, I instead supplement my local backups with an online backup using Backblaze (

Admittedly, at times the online backup will lag behind my local backup since the online backup by its nature requires an internet connection. However in practice since I’m not adding a significant amount of data at any given time and my internet connection is quite fast, my online backup is able to keep up with my ongoing data production. The initial backup with Backblaze can require considerable time, but ongoing backup updates generally won’t take much time at all.

Using a third-party service for a remote backup isn’t quite perfect in terms of not being able to personally manage that data storage, but in the context of my overall backup workflow I’m comfortable with the system I’ve implemented. After all, so far (knock on wood) the only reason I’ve had to recover from a backup is that a drive has failed (multiple times) or because I’ve accidentally deleted files (this is rare, fortunately).

At some point if I do experience a catastrophic data loss at home, I’m sure I’ll get more serious about maintaining backup copies at multiple physical locations that I directly control. But for now I feel that my backup workflow is working very well for me.