3-2-1 backup

Securing my data in an overly-redundant manner


I recently made the switch from local network storage back to external drive storage. To me, plugging in an external drive is much simpler than having to dedicate and maintain a network-connected device, though this is likely due to my minimal storage requirements - I’m not even close to filling up the terabyte. I am a huge fan of redundancy when it comes to backing up my important photos and files, and as such, I follow the 3-2-1 backup principle. Three copies of the important files exist; two locally and one offsite.

I have two 1TB SSDs in my place: one in my desk drawer and one in an all-elements safe. The drive in the desk drawer is the convenient backup while the drive in the safe is the secure backup. If I need quick access to my files, I need only to lean to my left to retrieve the SSD from its drawer. This drive sees the most use and data is transferred the very second I want to make a copy. The secure drive is removed from the safe once a week to back up the convenient drive’s files and is not actively used.

The offsite drive is stored in a heavily-surveilled professionally-guarded secret nuke-proof bunker with a trusted individual. This drive is only backed up once every month or so. Any more frequent of a backup would prove inconvenient for both parties. The offsite drive is merely a last resort; if I’m relying on this drive to recover my files, shit hit the fan and I’ve probably got more pressing matters to tend to than recovering my travel photos and archived computer projects (as sentimental as they are to me).

3-2-1 may seem overly redundant, like a waste of drives or too much of a hassle, but I’m willing to go the extra mile to preserve the data that is most valuable to me.


Tagged: backup security