I'd love to use Dropbox to back up all my photos and videos, especially from iPhoto. But I'm not exactly sure the best way to do this is, given that I know that my 2 computers with iPhoto directories will conflict with each other within dropbox. And my video collection (with 2 little kids) is getting massive. 100 GB from Dropbox won't cut it.

I understand flickr is a good option, in that they integrate directly from iPhoto and have unlimited uploads (how is this possible for only $25/year?). Can they also automatically synchronize photo/video folders?

  • 2
    Not sure of a solution, but Dropbox is a bad idea for an iPhoto backup. Would be way too many transfer/sync issues, plus there's no way it would stay consistent across multiple computers. Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


First option, there are some excellent services that provide online backup solutions for a reasonable price. Two examples are Mozy and Backblaze. The advantage is that you can set it and forget it, and it will back up all your files (with options for some things you might want to exclude).

Another option is using Dropbox. You can move your iPhoto Library from your Pictures folder to the Dropbox folder and alias it to the original location (drag using option to make an alias instead of a copy). If you don't alias it, iPhoto should just ask you where the library is stored when you relaunch it anyway.

I don't really think of services like Flickr as backup, they're more of an online photo organizer, but yes they can be used that way too. There is no synchronization, so you have to upload your updated files manually.

  • As I mentioned in my question Dropbox is not an option due to their storage limitations. However, I really like Dropbox' mechanism. Is Mozy or Backblaze the same? It's hard to tell from their website, can I designate a particular folder to be my backup folder?
    – at01
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 16:52
  • Mozy and Backblaze are designed more around a full-system backup, but you can set folder patterns for what you do or don't want backed up so you can work it to your preferences. There are no hard limits on storage like Dropbox.
    – Andrew Vit
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 21:30

My Library lives on my iMac. It’s Backed up to  two external hard disks every day. These disks are permanently attached to the iMac. These back ups run automatically. One is done by Time Machine, one is a bootable back up done by SuperDuper

It’s also backed up to a portable hard disk when ever new photos are added. This hard disk lives in my car. For security, this disk is password protected.

I have a second off-site back up at a relative’s house across town. That’s updated every 3 or 4 months.

My Photos are backed up online. There are many options: Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug etc. However, check the terms of your account carefully. While most sites have free uploading, you will often find that these uploads are limited in terms of the file size or the bandwidth you can use per month. For access that allows you to upload full size pics with no restrictions you may need to pay.

Every couple of months I test the back ups to make sure they are working correctly. It’s very easy to mis-configure a back up application, and the only way to protect against that is to do a trial restore.

  • I do want my photos and videos backed up online, I should've made that clear.
    – at01
    Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 23:31

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