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SD cards vs USB sticks as backup devices
Thread poster: Oliver Lawrence

Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:35
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
Oct 8, 2010

I have heard that SD cards make for more robust and reliable backup devices than USB sticks. I would be interested to hear your views on this, and what you would recommend. Thanks.

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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:35
Member (2006)
English to Polish
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no big difference Oct 8, 2010

Both use solid-state memory. On one hand SD card is more fragile (and easier to lose too), on the other USB stick has more components which may break down. I would say that a good and sturdy pendrive is better from an average SD card. On the other hand if you were to buy a cheap pendrive - you will be better off with a SD card.

Best Regards
Stanislaw


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Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:35
Member (2009)
English to German
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Mini HDD are risky Oct 8, 2010

I can't talk about the reliability of SD cards yet (have only been using mine for a few weeks now), but "USB" devices can be mean little bastards (am I allowed to say that?). I've had two mini HDDs (those you simply plug in via USB) and both of them simply crashed and gave up within approx. 1 year. Both came from the same manufacturer, so maybe that's the reason (although this is one of the leading manufacturers in this field). Since the third time is the charm, I've decided to give it one more try and have bought a mini HDD from another manufacturer. So far it's working (bought it a few months ago), but....

Maybe if you really only use it as a backup solution and store it in your closet (no shaking or carrying around), they'll last longer, but I've been told that these mini HDD typically don't last long.

Regarding ordinary USB sticks, I'm actually pretty satisfied. I use the USB storage of my MP3 players and I've never had any problems with it. But I don't store gigabytes of data on them, only my most important documents (like TMs and invoices and such).

Given my experience with the HDDs, I now back up my backups.. you never know. So, whichever version you choose for your backups, don't absolutely rely on it!


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Daniel García
English to Spanish
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Hi quality USB sticks are better Oct 9, 2010

A high quality, encrypted USB stick will be safer than an SD card.

Mine has even went through the washing machine with no visible efect on its performance.

Daniel


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:35
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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@Oliver Oct 10, 2010

Oliver Lawrence wrote:
I have heard that SD cards make for more robust and reliable backup devices than USB sticks.


Where did you hear that?

USB sticks tend to be thrown around a bit, so there's a greater chance of it breaking. SD cards are usually safely tucked in a device like a camera or gameboy, and these devices get thrown around a lot less, and even if we do treat them like something that can be replaced any day, the card is still protected by the device surrounding it.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 07:35
English to Hungarian
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USB stick Oct 10, 2010

I have no hard data on this, but I'm fairly sure a high-quality USB stick is more reliable. For one thing, the actual hardware is more bombproof. SD cards are more fragile and they also need to have tiny memory cells that fit in that small body, so I'd assume USB sticks would be more reliable.

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FarkasAndras
Local time: 07:35
English to Hungarian
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True Oct 10, 2010

Simone Linke wrote:

Given my experience with the HDDs, I now back up my backups.. you never know. So, whichever version you choose for your backups, don't absolutely rely on it!

Absolutely. I think a good backup strategy for the really important stuff is to have 2 backups at home (external HDD and USB stick or some other similar combination) and an online (could) backup with dropbox or something similar.
If a burglar steals your computer and external HDD or you lose both when they're in the same bag, or the house burns down or floods, you don't want to be left without your data.


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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:35
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I forget where it was... Oct 10, 2010

...that I read that, but it appeared a sensible source. The writer claimed that SD cards were
1) less liable to fail than USB sticks due to having fewer component parts
2) easier to write protect
and my query is essentially whether that is true or not. And naturally whatever I buy is going to be a decent product by a manufacturer that I have heard of, so I'm looking to compare quality with quality, not quality with crap.


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Daniel García
English to Spanish
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Yes, comparing quality with quality Oct 10, 2010

Oliver Lawrence wrote:

...that I read that, but it appeared a sensible source. The writer claimed that SD cards were
1) less liable to fail than USB sticks due to having fewer component parts
2) easier to write protect
and my query is essentially whether that is true or not. And naturally whatever I buy is going to be a decent product by a manufacturer that I have heard of, so I'm looking to compare quality with quality, not quality with crap.


There are some things which even the best SD cards cannot offer (unless I am wrong):

- Hardware encryption.

- Metal water-proof case which is also sealed to prevent tampering. It would be really difficult to phisically open a sealed USB stick without distroying its contents.

Here are a couple of them:

[hyperlinks to product manufacturers not allowed by site rules unless they pay for advertisement]

Daniel


PS Edited to remove the hyperlinks to manufacturers of USB drives in accordance with the site rules. You can google them if you are interested.



[Έγινε επεξεργασία στις 2010-10-12 16:34 GMT]

[Έγινε επεξεργασία στις 2010-10-12 16:35 GMT]


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Wolf Kux  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:35
Member (2006)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Another backup method. Oct 10, 2010

Norton (the antivirus software provider) does rent some disk space.

For backup purposes, I think that this service could be a good idea, since:

a) data centers MUST BE very well protected, also against visits from Bin Laden's boys since such protections is the nature of data centers;

b) if you are on a longer trip and need to read / write a file from abroad, you may have always a chance to get this file from everywhere you could have an Internet connection. Of course, backup need to be done before your trip started.

For, let's say 10-20 GB of space monthly, I think their fees may not be too expensive.


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:35
Danish to English
online backup Oct 11, 2010

I use a service called Jungle Disc. It is a back-up in a secure vault, and is very highly rated.
I am set up for automatic back-up every night at midnight. It backs up EVERYTHING. It takes place with no input from me. The first back-up can take many hours, up to 20 or more. After that it just takes a few minutes, as it only backs up files that have been changed, or applications that have been added or modified. It costs about $2.50 a month, and the payment goes through Amazon.com, for some reason. This has been an enormous relief, as I no longer have to worry about backing up on a USB or other device. And if my computer were to disappear I could buy a new one and get EVERYTHING back. Also, you can do a back-up at anytime, besides the scheduled one. Also, if you have a laptop, you can still do back-ups anywhere if you have internet access.


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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:35
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all Oct 12, 2010

for the useful comments so far

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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:35
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
jungle disc Oct 12, 2010

Brian Young wrote:

I use a service called Jungle Disc. It is a back-up in a secure vault, and is very highly rated.
I am set up for automatic back-up every night at midnight. It backs up EVERYTHING. It takes place with no input from me. The first back-up can take many hours, up to 20 or more. After that it just takes a few minutes, as it only backs up files that have been changed, or applications that have been added or modified.


Hi Brian,
I've been checking out your recommendation, and I'm interested whether you've got the "simply back-up" or "desktop" edition? And does it really back up your applications, and not just your data files?
I use DropBox, but find it a bit of nuisance because I have to remember to actually do the back-up.
Thanks,
Emma


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:35
Danish to English
simply back-up Oct 13, 2010

Hi Emma
I have simply back-up. I am not absolutely certain whether or not it backs up apps, though that is not my main concern, as I have all those on CD,s. But the first back up took over 20 hours, and the total size uploaded is almost 13 GB, which I didn't even think there could be on my computer. I am not very knowledgable when it comes to IT stuff. It might be the photos that add up. So I just have basically photos, some music (Itunes), and word docs. The nightly back-up,s are usually from 5 to several hundred MB. The IT guy who takes care of all the computers in the office I work in says this is one of the best systems you can get.
It might be worth getting the Desktop version. It is still cheap, and the thought of losing all of my work is just beyond imagination.
If you get it, it would be interesting to hear what you think.


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:35
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
@ Brian Oct 13, 2010

Thanks for the extra info

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