In January 2010 I wrote an article called Protect your photos and videos with ioSafe. During this review I became so impressed with the ioSafe that I didn’t feel comfortable storing my photos on a regular hard drive anymore. As a result I chose the ioSafe Solo as my only local storage solution for my photos and videos in 2010. This past August when I wrote about the fact that ioSafe® Announces the SoloPRO: Its Fastest Rugged External Hard Drive, I knew what I wanted to use to hold my 2011 photos.
As you can see from the graphics above I’ve got some storage issues! My primary operating system drive is C:, my 2010 photo drive was the ioSafe (D:) and my photos before that were stored on E: which was a replacement for a handful of Western Digital Passport portable drives. All of my backups go to a 4TB Buffalo Systems NAS device (shown as both L & Y above) which is configured in a RAID 1 0 configuration. Until recently all of my data was being backed up to Mozy, but given their new policy which doesn’t allow unlimited backups I’m having to discontinue the service as it would be cost prohibitive to me to use their new plan.
For 2011 my images are now going to the ioSafe SoloPRO 1TB (I:) as shown above. Unfortunately I had to connect it to my computer via USB 2.0 (see below).
During the last month plus that I’ve had this drive I’ve noticed that it performs significantly faster than any of my other drives, so despite the fact that my internal drives are 7200 RPM 3GB/sec SATA drives and this is USB 2.0, the time it takes to save a large (400MB+) Photoshop PSD file is about 30% faster. I suspect that I am not getting the most out of my internal drives as my controller appears to be doing something stupid (running them in ATA mode) which also prohibits me from using eSata unless I switch my controller to RAID mode. The problem with RAID mode is that it reorders my drives and I can’t boot my to my Windows 7 OS or re-order the drives via the BIOS so I decided it wasn’t worth the headache to solve this problem.
At any rate, the added performance was a pleasant surprise as it wasn’t something I expected unless I was able to plug in via eSata.
Why ioSafe Products Rock
Okay, unless you’ve been in a cave somewhere, you’ve probably seen some of the cool demos that explain why these drives deserve the name safe! Here’s a cool example where they dunk it in the pool and then burn the heck out of it, yet the data is perfectly safe:
Here's another fun video where they not only burn it but they also run it over with an excavator:
Still not convinced? Let's see how it handles being shot with a shotgun and a M16:
A Real World Testimonial
"We had family pictures, including some we scanned of my mom and dad," Smith said. "It's the sort of thing that if you think about, if you lose it, it really hurts."
Smith said he was walking through the post-fire mess of his home "when I remembered (the hard drive) was under my desk. I dug down through all the debris, and there it was. It was scorched, all right … I shipped it back to (ioSafe), and they recovered everything, our pictures and tax records, everything."
An Alternative to Offsite Backup
I love the idea of backing up my photos to services like Mozy, but I’ll admit that it was painfully slow and now is cost prohibitive. Given the fact that you can bolt this product into the ground for protection against theft (just like a real safe), and it can withstand most of the abuse one could ever throw at it, then why use off-site (a.k.a., backup in the cloud) anymore? I thought it might be for situations like a power surge or destruction that managed to penetrate the case, but ioSafe has thought about that too!
Data Recovery Service
All ioSafe products come with a data recovery service plan which you can optionally upgrade for a longer duration. This service will use extraordinary means to do whatever it takes to recover your data from your drive. These are the services that get data off those flight recorders on crashed airplanes, so odds are they’ll get at least some if not all of your data back. It’s $99 for 5 years of protection which is dirt cheap, so it was a no brainer for me to add this service when registering my drive.
Where to order
SPECIAL OFFER for ioSafe.com (Expires May 31, 2015)
- Click here to order and use the coupon code ronmart to save 5% OFF on any Solo G3 or SoloPRO.
- Click here to order and use the coupon code ronmartNAS to save 10% OFF on any 214 or 1515+ when you buy direct from ioSafe.com.
WARNING: The discount coupon codes are CASE SENSITIVE!
What you get here is basically an high quality hard drive with about $200 premium for being in a fireproof case. This isn’t a bad deal for the peace of mind it offers. As a result, this is what I do for my photo masters each year. I use one of these per year and when the files are backed up they go onto a NAS (see my ioSafe 1515+ NAS article).
To learn more about this product or the full-line up of ioSafe drives, click here. Be sure to come back here to get your discount code before ordering!
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- Camera Bag Recommendations and Special Offer
- Nikon D810 (includes SIGMA 50mm Art & Otus 55mm)
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- Zeiss Otus 55m f/1.4
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I was given a ioSafe SoloPRO 1TB under no obligation from ioSafe which I used for my review in this article. I may get a commission if you purchase using the link on this blog, so thank you for your support by using my links.