Syncing using a Raspberry Pi 2 for off site backups

I have a friend that’s a photographer and he want to backup his pictures off site and he doesn’t want to use something like Carbonite. He asked me for options and I thought that syncthing could be what the doctor ordered. He runs Windows 8.

He is how I have it planned.

He initially backs up his pictures to a external 4TB hard drive. Then installs the Syncthing windows client and sets the local pictures folder for syncing. He passes the hard to me and I hook it upto a Raspberry pi 2 and enter the sync details.

Then whenever he add picture locally they get synced to the external drive that is with me. Thus having off site back up. I know the pi doesn’t have great transfer speeds but it doesn’t have to be a speed demon, just reliable.


Be careful: Syncthing isn’t a backup tool, and shouldn’t be mistaken for one. Any disk corruption / accidental deletions / etc, which result in a file disappearing from his machine, will also result in the file being deleted everywhere else by Syncthing.

To be honest, I think there are a few incremental backup systems which can back up to Amazon S3 these days. Might be worth considering.

You need to snapshot at your end otherwise this backup is unreliable.

If he deletes a file or gets a virus, the deleted or damaged files will be propagated making the remote site useless.

Yeah I made him aware of the fact it isn’t a true backup and that it’s just a copy and any changes made his end will be reflected in the off site sync. He hasn’t got back to me yet if he’s happy with this. He current does off site backups by doing it locally then storing the drive at a relatives. He just wants a third option.