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File Storage for YouTube Creators while on the Road

July 9, 2017
Youtube File Storage

YouTube creators tend to film far more content than they actually post on YouTube.  It is also common for creators to film using a variety of cameras, such as DSLR, GoPro, Drone, and iPhone.  Many content creators also are filming in higher and higher resolutions with some starting to produce some of their content in 4K.  This requires significant file storage that even a high-end laptop simply does not accommodate.

I can break down the different storage strategies into three different categories:

Mobile: for content creators that are travelling lightweight by suitcase or backpack, or creators who regularly bluewater sail, RV boondock, have an offgrid Tiny Home or prefer a simple lifestyle with minimal environmental impact, minimal power requirements and like simplicity.

The Mobile solution can be most easily achieved with small portable USB hard drives.  They are lightweight, are about the size of a deck of cards, and do not need a separate power plug.  These drives often cost well under $100 for a 1TB drive making it both cheap and easy to carry multiple drives around in a small RV, sailboat or even a backpack.

The primary drawback to this solution, is heavy content creators may require a number of drives, and I have seen one Sailing YouTube channel that has close to a dozen of these drives.  Also these drives do not have any redundancy so if a drive is lost, damaged or stolen, you content is gone forever.  However an easy strategy to deal with this is to always have your content saved on two of these drives and only travel with one and store both in different locations.   Since this method is so cheap, the best method is to travel with 2 copies on two drives while producing content, and then to have additional drives at your home base for long-term storage to offload the content to regularly.

Portable USB Drives

Home: for content creators that travel less frequently, have a regular home base, or have ample access to AC power via a Solar/Inverter setup or have a generator onboard their RV/ Sailboat.

Unlike the mobile solution, this solution is not suited for someone who has less stable AC power access or travels by backpack as these drives typically require an AC power plug and are bigger (usually the size of a hard cover novel).  These drives are often a little faster, have a lot more storage capacity, have multiple ways to connect to them (wired network, wireless network and USB).  Some even offer redundancy by mirroring the drives to protect you from a drive failure and loosing all the content you have created.

Home Drives

Professional: for content creators who need significant storage capacity, significant speed and have reliable access to AC power.

The Professional category is best suited for people who are comfortable with technology, require additional storage capacity as well as higher speeds.  These devices are usually sold as Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.  They typically have multiple drive bays allowing for dozens of Terabytes of storage space.  They also usually have multiple redundancy methods to protect files like RAID 1 (mirroring between two drives or two groups of drives) and the more robust RAID 5 (grouping a bunch of drives into one big disk with a parity disk which allows you to sustain the failure of any of the disks in the array).  Drives are also often hot swappable, so in the case of a failure you do not need to power down the NAS to replace the failed drive or use tools to get it out.  They have much higher thru put often with multiple 1GB and in some cases 10GB ethernet connections and by using much faster hard drives.  They also can often be expanded on the fly by buying another identical drive (if you have empty bays) and expanding the storage.

Unlike the other two options, this solution can often be quite expensive, with you needing to buy the enclosure for up to $1000, plus up to a dozen drives for around $100-200 each.  This option is very power-hungry, louder, and generates a lot of heat.  It is also a good idea to protect it with a battery backup.

Professional NAS

Drives

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