Networks and backups and bears, oh my

My new 15″ MBP arrived on Tuesday — life has gotten in the way of me doing much with it yet beyond transferring data — and it has me thinking about backups and network storage for my iTunes library.

Aside from BackBlaze, my local backup solution has been simply plugging in some USB drives every once in a while to do both Time Machine backup and SuperDuper cloning. But now I’m thinking that life would be simpler if I just had one or more drives attached to a router so that Time Machine was essentially always running and SuperDuping could be done more easily and often.

But it looks like most routers (especially the AirPort Extreme) have USB 2.0 ports, not 3.0, and so that limits disk access speeds. It might not make a difference given the bandwidth of a WiFi network, but it irks me nonetheless.

So, then I thought about getting an NAS device, which sounds like a cool, tech-y idea that would be sort of fun to set up. But, man, reading up on them and considering stuff like iTunes servers and other junk makes them seem way overkill for what I actually care about doing (backups and iTunes library).

Which brings me back to a decidedly un-nerdy solution: an Airport Time Capsule with one attached USB drive where I can store my iTunes library. The Time Capsule is attractive partly because I have a $100 credit with the Apple Store. And since I just want to off-load my iTunes library to a network drive, not actually set up any kind of media server, plugging in one of the many USB drives I already own, even via a USB 2.0 port, seems a more reasonable alternative than spending $500+ on a NAS.

Which, aside: The accumulation of external drives that rapidly become obsolete and unsellable is one of my least favorite things about Moore’s Law. Seriously, I have four external drives sitting on my desk at home right now.

4 thoughts on “Networks and backups and bears, oh my

  1. I have hard drives all over the place. Any time I hear a hint of a drive giving out, I immediately replace it (way too paranoid based on past experience with spinning disks).

    Something to be aware of, Mark, is Backblaze’s compatibility with network drives. I would love to plug in one of my large external drives to my Airport router to work as a de-facto server for media; however, Backblaze won’t run a backup from there. So I would have to unplug the drive, walk it over to my computer, and leave it plugged in there while Backblaze runs. Not exactly convenient.

  2. Tim Koppang Oh, good to know!

    I don’t think I’d be using an AirPort-attached drive for anything crucial. Mostly my iTunes library (I still have all my CDs) and maybe a SuperDupe. Still, I’d assumed that BackBlaze would see them if I wanted it to. Hmm…