Today there are more choices than ever. For most users today, a larger capacity USB stick with 64GB or 128GB can handle a vast number of images from digital cameras etc. USB 3.0 sticks are now readily available and they are much faster than the older models.
USB sticks are easy to handle with the retractable design. They also use very little power so there is no stress on the laptop power supply.
The price for a 128GB USB stick has now fallen to below $100 making them a very popular choice for backups. Larger capacity USB sticks are more expensive but prices are falling.
We own numerous bare hard disks salage from laptops and with a low cost USB SATA cable, the hard are a practical choice. Hard disks with a USB cable case are low cost and very popular. USB 3.0 ports have more power for hard disks however modern disks use less power making them work fine with USB 2.0. USB 3.0 has become more desirable for charging mobile phones.
Subscribers to Microsoft Office 365 get 1 TB of space for OneDrive so the cloud is an options for backups. Cloud solutions are abundant. Restoring files from the cloud however can be slow as internet speeds are not very fast.
Google is currently revamping their image servers. They are being integrated into Google Drive with some additional services for their Pixel phones.
Apple has iCloud which they are using for their phones. Recent versions of iOS have removed the ability to copy photos directly from the phone.
OneDrive, Google Drive and iCloud all have mobile apps for phones. Considering that mobile phones are a growth area, apps are crucial.
More services are available around the world. Smaller services may be bought buy larger entities as there tends to be a lot of consolidation in the tech sector.
Hard disks attached to the home access point are popular as a network appliance. This sort of approach scales up the most for the most demanding needs. Low cost boxes for 2 to 4 hard disks can handle vast amounts of personal information. Larger boxes with more hard disks are available up to 60 disks in a box for rack mounted solutions.
Many have an older model NAS already in use. Its not a problem to use 2 or more NAS units at the same time. Migrating a large amount of data over a gigabit LAN takes a while which makes the case for using both units long term.
RACK IN THE HOME
For those building a new home, its not a bad idea to have a EIA rack designed into the house. Then a rack based network storage box can be installed along with the network hardware all neat and tidy. The room for the rack needs little space, but it needs a lot of air flow to keep it cool. The cabling for the Wi-Fi boxes can be easily wired up to every location needed.
The rack fits in 2 feet of space; a locked door can keep it safe from children. Most of the rack will be unused, but if the family wants to get into web development, the rack can host a web server if desired. There is room on one rack for over 1PB of storage using modern had disks.
With enough hard disks, a home based business of backups for the neighborhood is a practical way to help everyone. Earning $5 a month per client is not a lot of cash until the business grows.
We have several laptop machines in the studio. These are popular as they are mobile and be used anywhere. With wireless networking, the easiest choice is a network solution.
Wave 2 802.11ac can manage close to 50 MB/s backup speeds. Older 802.11n networking is comparatively slow.
A NAS box connected to the home network box can be assigned a drive letter and then file history or another backup solution can be used. File history runs in the background so it can cope with slower network connections without worry.
We use 7-zip which can consolidate files quickly or it can compress files when needed. 7-zip is free which makes it very popular. 7-zip can also restore files from many other archive formats.