How Much Online Storage Do I Need?
Online backup services vie with each other who has more storage to offer. 50 GB? 100 GB? 500 GB? Unlimited? The amount of gigabyte that you can store online are ridiculous. The question you have to ponder is how much storage space you really need. But you should also think about how much storage space you will need in future. Are you planning to back up your whole video collection? Then you’ll have to plan a lot of storage space because HD movies tend to exceed one or two GB.
But first you have to figure out how much data you have and what kind of data you want to back up. If you don’t have time for that I can highly recommend using BackBlaze. Backblaze just backs up everything. And you have unlimited storage. But it is not the best solution for everybody.
For windows users
If you store your important files in the Windows 7 Library you can easily find out how much online storage space you will need. Within the Library folders just right-click on one of your libraries. In my sample I wanted to know how much data is in my „Music“ library. So I right clicked it and selected Properties. In the bottom third of the property window you’ll find the size of the folder. In my case this is 157 GB. What a huge music library! I definitely want to back up that one.
If you have stored your data in other folders: don’t worry! Just right-click on any folder in your system and you’ll find the exact amount of data that is stored within it. Later you can add all the gigabytes and you’ll come up with the final amount of data that you’ll need for your first backup.
For Mac users
For Mac users this almost works analogous. Just right-click on a folder and at the top right you’ll find the exact amount of gigabytes of that folder.
So, how much online storage space do I need then?
Probably you think you just need as much space as you have data on your machine. But this is actually a false assumption. Have you ever come into a situation where you needed to delete files from your PC because they just won’t fit anymore? See? The same happens with your online backups. You need to plan ahead. As you are working and adding files to your PC your backup needs increase, too.
My recommendation is to plan with at least 50% more storage than you actually have on your PC. To be on the safe side I personally use double. And as a secondary backup I have an unlimited online backup solution where I don’t have to worry about storage space. So if you have 50 GB of data that you want to backup you want at least choose a plan that gives you 75 GB of storage space, even better when you go for 100 GB.
Also, you have to think about how many PCs you want to do a backup of. Is it only your PC you want to backup or do you also want to backup your spouse’s PC? Or do you even have a PC at work that you need a backup of? SOS online backup for example does include up to 5 PCs without additional costs.
Once you are clear about the amount of data you want to back up and how many PCs you have you can take an educated decision on what online backup provider to choose.
How much is 1 GB?
If you are not really into computer technicalities you might not know how much you can store with 1 GB. So here comes a little overview how much a gigabyte really is:
- Around 250 MP3 songs
- 200 photos of 5 MB each
- 12,500 word documents
- One full-length movie
So this is already quite a lot. If we now take the 30 GB SugarSync plan this would be around 6000 songs and 6000 photos! Be sure to check out my list of online backup reviews to see which provider fits your needs best!