I already lost lot of my data in the last years due to faulty harddisks and once I dropped one of my HDDs from the table. I admit, I am more careful now. But for those of you who want to be absolutely sure: meet the ioSafe Solo Hard Drive line that promises you a better sleep, not worrying about your data anymore:
"protect against data loss in temperatures up to 1550° F for 30 minutes per ASTM E119 or being submerged to a depth of 10 feet for up to 3 days. 12 months Data Recovery Service Standard. Up to $2,500.00 towards the cost of third-party forensic data recovery, one time, for any reason including accidental deletion, hard drive failure, fires, floods, etc. Upgradeable to 3 or 5 years. Microsoft Server, Linux, Mac and PC Compatible, USB 3.0 or eSATA, and USB 2.0 Connectivity."
The extra-pricing is very competitive, 25GB of extra space costs 2.49$ per month, 100GB are $4.99. For 1000GB (1TB) Google charges 50 dollars a month. Price drops at Dropbox should appear soon.
Remember: if you sign up to Dropbox with our Affiliate Link, you get 1GB of extra storage for free (a total of 3GB).
Dropbox Cloud Storage increases Free Accounts to 16GB (maximum), increased Referrals from 250MB to 500MB
Dropbox increased the maximum space for Free Users to 16GB: referrals were upped from 250MB to 500Mb per invited user, for "Pro" Account holders, the referral space was even upped to 1GB per accepted invitation. If you sign up to Dropbox with this link, you get an extra 500MB for your signup - that means you will start with initial 2.5GB free cloud storage. A maximum of 16GB is possible, if you invite some more people.
I mainly use Dropbox for Backups and Syncing my data between devices - the Dropbox application/client is available for almost all platforms. We can recommend using the free service as long as possible, since Google plans a new service that will be a strong competitor: the Google Drive Service (GDRIVE) could force Dropbox to lower prices drastically.
After almost 9 months with the OCZ Vertex 3 SATA-6GBPs (read about my OptiBay two-drive setup) and mostly no issues, the drive died on me. Starting with several GSOD (Grey Screens of Death) on my OSX Lion MacBook Pro, the drive became more and more unreliable.
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs: FindNextLeafNode: Error from hfs_swap_BTNode (node 9852)
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs_swap_HFSPlusBTInternalNode: catalog key #54 too big
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs: Runtime corruption detected on SSD, fsck will be forced on next mount.
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs: FindNextLeafNode: Error from hfs_swap_BTNode (node 10370)
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs_swap_HFSPlusBTInternalNode: catalog record #22 keyLength=32 expected=65568
Nov 28 18:30:42 mbp kernel: hfs: node=10965 fileID=4 volume=SSD device=/dev/disk0s2
Nov 28 18:30:43 mbp kernel: hfs: Runtime corruption detected on SSD, fsck will be forced on next mount.
Nov 28 18:30:43 mbp kernel: hfs: FindNextLeafNode: Error from hfs_swap_BTNode (node 14503)
Nov 28 18:30:43 mbp kernel: hfs_swap_BTNode: record #55 invalid offset (0x9B46)
It was getting slower and slower, reporting tons of errors in the Console.app. Then, it did not reboot anymore. Even in an external USB drive enclosure the drive did not mount anymore. Contacting OCZ about this issue, they sent me an RMA number right away and told me they will replace the drive. Does this mean our data is not safe in SSD? What can we learn from this?
First of all, it is a myth that SSDs are more reliable than hard drives. Secondly, they are not even fully supported on OSX yet (see Should I use Trim Enabler on Lion for the OCZ Vertex 3? No!) - at least if you install the drives yourself (which is also what I would suggest, since Apple does not offer any decent SATA 6GBPs drives yet).
So where is the proof, you ask?
Proof #1: The Hot/Crazy Solid State Drive Scale (via Coding Horror)
Super Talent 32 GB SSD, failed after 137 days
OCZ Vertex 1 250 GB SSD, failed after 512 days
G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 251 days
G.Skill 64 GB SSD, failed after 276 days
Crucial 64 GB SSD, failed after 350 days
OCZ Agility 60 GB SSD, failed after 72 days
Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 15 days
Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, failed after 206 days
As a commenter put it: "Average life of SSD = 227.375 days (based on Wills' data)" - which is also what I can confirm.
SOLUTION: Backup early, backup often. Don't rely on the SSD and make two local backups plus one backup in the cloud.
Proof #2: long-term study of SSD failure rates (via Tomshardware)
SOLUTION: Buy drives that come with a very long warranty. Be prepared to let your drive replace for several times.
I am still waiting for my replacement OCZ Vertex and I will benchmark how fast it will die again. Since OCZ told me, it can take up to three weeks for my replacement to arrive, I bought myself a Seagate ST750LX003 750 GB SATA 600, Momentus XT, 8 GB SLC - it's a hybrid 750GB HDD with an 8GB SLC cache. The drive shifts data that is used often in the 8GB SLC SSD space automatically. While the SSD part of this hybrid drive can also fail, the data won't be lost and it will suffer just some minor speed loss (if it fails, since SLC is said to be more reliable than MLC chips). While this disk is now my main startup disk, i will go back to using the OCZ Vertex 3 again, once the replacement arrives. I just need to backup regularly - the speed gain is really worth the trouble.
First of all the bad news: currently there is no way to store any files directly in iCloud. That makes Apple iCloud not a competitor for Dropbox at all. But why do they state "you can access your content on all your devices" when they actually don't mean your MacBook or Macbook Pro? Well, they currently mean "all your iOS devices". While Apple could offer such a service (Backups from your Computer to iCloud) in the near future, currently it really doesn't make any sense to use iCloud if you are not using any iOS 5 Device - and if you also care about backing up other things besides your address book and photographs, let's say your 3D-models or local databases. In this context I can totally recommend iBackup, a free tool for OSX users that need point-and-click backups. In this case, you can backup right to FTP or your Dropbox, which gives you cloud-power as well.