NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy. If you are looking for genealogy-related articles, you might want to skip this one. However, if you would like to learn of a cheap and very secure method of storing data in the cloud for backup purposes, this article may be of interest to you.
Wasabi is a brand-new cloud storage service. The company is so new that not all the planned “bells and whistles” are yet available. However, the present implementation hows a great deal of promise. In short, Wasabi appears to be perfect for Macintosh and Windows users looking for a simple way to use cloud storage at very low prices.
I signed up for Wasabi a few hours ago and, so far, it seems to work well. I am using Wasabi in the same manner as an external disk drive. Installation and operation was simple. If I do encounter problems with Wasabi in the future, I will publish a follow-up article at that time.
The most obvious advantage of Wasabi is the price: $.0049 per gigabyte/month which equals $4.99 per terabyte/month (all prices are in US dollars).
That is cheaper than Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Amazon Drive, and most other cloud-based file storage services. Indeed, several competitive cloud-based file storage services do offer free storage for a limited number of gigabytes. However, none of the others will store a terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) for $4.95 a month or less. If you have more than a few gigabytes that you wish to store off-site, Wasabi appears to be the cheapest service available today.
Wasabi also offers a “try it free” option. When creating a new account on Wasabi, you receive up to one terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) free of charge for the first 30 days.
In addition, Wasabi is compatible with Amazon’s popular S3 file storage service that is used by thousands of corporations as well as individuals. If you already have software installed that stores files in Amazon S3, you can take advantage of Wasabi’s lower prices simply by changing the configuration information in your present backup software to point to your new Wasabi account instead of to the present Amazon S3 account.
Using Wasabi is as simple as copying files from your hard drive to a flash drive or external hard drive. In the Wasabi app, click on the files or folders you wish to copy and drag them to the new Wasabi folder. Wait a few seconds or minutes (depending upon the size of the files and the speed of your Internet connection) and the files are copied to Wasabi. That’s it. The files are not automatically deleted from your hard drive. Obviously, you can manually delete them, should you wish to do so.
Please keep in mind there are several disadvantages of using Wasabi, however:
Wasabi works only on Windows 10 Home Edition, Windows 10 Pro, and Macintosh OSX 10.12.5 and later. It does not work on earlier versions of Windows, such as XP, Windows 7, or Windows 8. It also does not work on Macintosh versions earlier than 10.12.5. Also, there is no capability of backing up tablet computers or smartphones.
At this time, Wasabi does not offer automatic file backup software that will create backups every few hours. There are only three methods of copying files to Wasabi;
1. Go to the Wasabi.com web site and download the Wasabi Client for Windows or the Wasabi Client for Macintosh and use it for uploading and downloading files.
2. Go to the Wasabi.com web site, log into your account, and manually specify the files or folders to upload or download.
3. Use some other piece of software that is designed to back up files to Amazon S3 (such as Arq, Cloudberry, CyberDuck, Dragon Disk, Jungle Disk, or similar products) to make the automatic backups for you. I am using CyberDuck simply because I already had that program installed in my computer and I find it easy to use.
As with all backup software, I would never trust Wasabi or any other single cloud-based file storage service to keep the ONLY copy of important files. Hardware failures, software failures, and simple human errors happen occasionally on even the more well-known file backup services. Always keep two or three, or more copies of all your important files in two, three, or more locations. If any one computer dies or if any one cloud-based file storage service goes offline abruptly, you can always fall back to one of your backup copies.
Is Wasabi Suitable for Everyone?
I would say “No” for several reasons.
1. The company and the Wasabi software are both new. For storage of files that are critical for you, I would suggest that you use Wasabi only in ADDITION to other backup procedures you already have in place. I might change that recommendation after the software has matured a bit more.
2. Wasabi is not a “set it and forget it” piece of software. It will not automatically make backups for you in unattended mode unless you use a third-party backup product, such as Arq. Using Wasabi alone require the user to MANUALLY copy files to and from the Wasabi servers.
3. While the Wasabi documentation is easy to read and is easy to understand for most people, there is some requirement to understand S3 “buckets” when using the Amazon S3-compatible features. To be sure, that is a problem created by Amazon S3, not by Wasabi. The Amazon S3 interface requires some understanding of the unique terminology involved. Any product that offers compatibility with Amazon S3 always has similar requirements. The requirement to understand S3 buckets is not overwhelming. In fact, it is rather simple but will require a bit of reading by anyone not familiar with the terminology involved.
Even though I believe that Wasabi is not suitable for everyone, I also believe it will appeal to many people who possess modest technical skills. First of all, it is cheap. Next, it isn’t any more complicated than that of several other cloud-based file storage services. Finally, Wasabi appears to be very secure and safe from hackers. See https://wasabi.com/product/security/ for the details.
To learn more about Wasabi or to sign up for the service, go to https://wasabi.com.