Looking for ideas for my data backup setup?

Hey folks. Me again.

After searching for information for the last few months on how to improve my backup system to the next level. I thought maybe I should ask the community. For now my only backup system is a WD (elements) external HDD of about 4TB encrypted with veracrypt and with a hidden partition for certain personal documents, videos and personal configuration files.

As a proton user (mail plus) I have been thinking about upgrading to proton ultimate for a while, but considering that there is still no GUI for linux and the storage they offer is about 500 GB it is not worth it for me. Then I thought about using tresit and to be honest I’m interested. unfortunately they are not OSS, but well, after seeing all the comments it doesn’t seem a bad option. The only problem is the price/TB. Almost 10 euros for 1 TB seems too little to me, at most I’m looking for a bit more than that (2 TB is good enough) as I plan to use it as an off-site backup for the next 8 years (until I can fix a couple of things in my live and finally start with a NAS).

Personally I am now using filen.io. But being a fairly new company that hasn’t had any audits yet has made me a bit wary, so I use cryptomator or veracrypt for very important files before uploading them.

I can’t read code (yet, it’s a hobby I might take up in the future), which is why an audit is important to me. Considering that I’m a bit clueless in all of this, I need at least an external instance with more knowledge than me that can provide me with the assurance that the product I’m using is doing what it claims to do.

So what I am looking for is a way to backup my linux boot configurations on my laptop to a partition container on my external HDD and also to the cloud. (preferably something that offers better value for money than tresorit. If there is currently no such thing, I will simply have to keep my words to myself and use the 1TB they are offering or use filen’s 2TB service for 8 euros a month for certain documents and the most important ones encrypted with cryptomator or veracrypt until the company has an audit. )

So what is your preferred way to accomplish this ? Hoping for different ideas to implement on my existing system and at least (i hope) this will last for the next 8 years before I can finally move to something completely off-site other than the cloud.

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Decentralized, encrypted, competitive pricing, well established - Adobe uses it: Storj | Adobe Video Partner Program

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Wow. This is interesting. I’ll have to do a bit more research on them. But it looks promising.

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Interesting system and an interesting company. I’m delighted by a response that the company provided on the forum they own: "We do not condone the use of illegal content on our platform, but the nature of the platform with its end-to-end encryption prevents us from having any control over what is stored or shared by users. We believe decentralized technologies will have a lasting, positive effect on society. However, such technologies can only flourish in the long term if they work within and evolve with a society’s legal and ethical norms.

However, if illegal content becomes public and is reported to us, we will comply with all legal requirements to shut down such links." I like this way of thinking. After all, I’m also in favor of certain sacrifices that are necessary to obtain privacy. The fact that they have these kinds of ideas seems interesting to me. I still need more information, but this doesn’t seem like a bad service. My question is, why has it not been suggested as a recommendation for PG?


That service is anti-privacy, lol. You wont ever remove your files from them, as they are stored all over the internet, and while now they are encrypted, quantum computers are a future and all our current encryption will be pointless. Forget such services!

If you are familiar with rclone check Koofr. It has unique feature with Vault folder, you may rclone your backups directly to that folder and with same password you encrypt backups with rclone you may view your files in app or web. To say it simpler it is Cryptomator build in usual Cloud Storage. Koofr supports rclone and contributed code for native rclone integration to their cloud. Koofr is old company and they have decent privacy and true zero knowledge encryption.

If you need to backup pc config/data check BorgBase. It is very convenient incremental backup service for any amount of data, only changed files are uploaded. They have own GUI app, CLI app, I use community PikaBackup app, which Borg supports with own money.

Both services are private and good. Better than ProtonDrive and Filen, both of those are useless, as they are not supported with rclone and manual uploading is a waste of time and basically bullshit.


Thank you for the response. I haven’t researched enough yet, so my previous comments were simply based on what little I read on their website and forum (I agree with the idea, but the topic is mainly to explore different options, and eventually, after enough research, add this to my own setup). But coming back to your response, I was already considering using BorgBase for backup considering they have been around for a long time and have support from the Linux community.

I’m not familiar with rclone, but nothing I can’t learn (it’s always good to add more knowledge to my arsenal). The problem is that I wasn’t sure about it yet, but I still keep it in mind. No idea about Koofr. I’ll check it out, thanks.

Rclone is CLI tool that support around 60 cloud providers for super easy backup. You may backup files with encryption and there is even no need to download them back if you need them, you just mount encrypted folder, see files, unmount and done. Sure it works with everything except Filen lol, but Koofr is kinda special with their Vault, which is not same as pCloud or MEGA do, that is real zero knowledge encryption with your own keys and password.

Interesting. I’ll have to dig a bit more into how to learn to use rclone. It’s an interesting way of doing things, and considering my eagerness to learn, this doesn’t seem like a bad way to do my backups while gaining new knowledge. I’ll check out Koofr. One last question, if rclone encrypts your data and backups before uploading them to Koofr, does that mean it doesn’t matter where Koofr is based, right? Because they can never have access to your data stored in the vault? Am I correct?

The service encrypted your file, split it into pieces, then distributed the pieces all over the nodes, which is not publicly accessible on the internet where anyone can access your encrypted data, unless you specifically shared it.

And the service won’t keep anyone data upon removal. That would be closed to Arweave, not Storj.

Could you elaborate more regarding why the encryption technology used by Storj is not ready for quantum?

How is it compared to other encryption technologies used in other cloud storage providers?


I can not say for sure, I really not in a mood reading some 4 years old whitepapers how is it different with IPFS, but if you share something nodes should tell each other the link, so nodes know your link! They can download your private data and probably there are tools to see all created links, similar in IPFS. Anyway such storage is good for something you do not want to be ever deleted, similar to torrents. But not your private data, that is incredibly dumb to store anything sensitive this way, you never can be sure if your data is not stored at some node forever.

As for quantum computers that is just a future where current encryption algorithm are too weak. Who can say how it will be soon? I can not.

Edit. BTW OP read their site more carefully about them being able to delete files if they are reported. That is against storing illegal torrent stuff, like movies etc, why they would like to store those files lol, but users data are more valuable, and most users won’t encrypt anything lol, who knows what they dig and why. I really disliked their website, looks too fishy for me, I am not going to dig into, I just not interested to store my files all over the internet (for free?)

Rclone encrypts everything locally, it does not matter which service you use, let it be GDrive or Dropbox, your data is encrypted before it is uploaded. The problem is all services will at least see files names, like Cryptomator files, but Cryptomator also can obfuscate filenames, not sure if rclone can, I am not thay paranoid maybe… But Koofr has special folder, data copied there (any way, not just rclone) will be obfuscated, even for Koofr, you may create password locally, they can see nothing at all, that is why it is different and it is called zero knowledge encryption, that is why other services usually call it something weird or at least being honest with users, like Proton, they call it zero trust encryption, which is different, but honest.

Giving a few thoughts of mine on this, since creating a data backup setup was a thorn in my foot for a while.

  1. Encryption Tools: There are some key differences between VeraCrypt and Cryptomator that are worth pointing. As it stands Cryptomator does not support key files nor hardware keys for accessing the containers, while VeraCrypt does provide those options. Additionally Cryptomator uses containers with flexible storage, which changes depending on the files you place into it. VeraCrypt’s container size on the other hand is fixed, so you have to define it first. VeraCrypt also supports hidden containers, which Cryptomator currently does not. My recommendation is to use Cryptomator locally on your device, which grants you some additional protection should your physical device ever be compromised and in the hands of bad actors. You can use it as an alternative to your default home folders, such as Downloads and Documents, and thereby have a second layer of encryption for any general files. The reason I recommend it for that purpose is due to its flexible storage, while with VeraCrypt you are going to run into the issue of either giving the container too little space or too much space.

  2. Backups: General rule of thumb is to maintain 3 back ups, including 2 offline and 1 online backup of any files. HDDs are preferred for local backups. However, instead of backing up everything and anything, you may want to separate some of your data and compartmentalize rather than using 1 container and 1 password for absolutely everything. Make a list of absolutely critical files, for example photo copies of your IDs, password databases, and potentially a video capturing everything inside your home in the event of a fire (comes in handy for home/renter insurance). Any critical files should be in one bucket while all other files, which you can slice and dice however you like, should be in another. You can backup both types of files to the same cloud storage and HDDs, however by splitting them up you aren’t required to always have 1-4 TB of backup storage available, instead you can keep any critical files within the single-digit GB range. This makes it much easier to backup the critical files to other locations.

  3. Cloud Storage: For cloud storage, it doesn’t really matter what provider you use as long as they are known for a higher level of security and stability. Even though I constantly read debates on which cloud storage provider to use for privacy purposes, it really doesn’t matter. Fundamentally you are entrusting another entity with your files and are uploading them to someone else’s computer. There is no provider in this space that you can 100% trust and rely on to keep your data safe and not share or forward it to 3rd parties.

Therefor, you want to take the approach of using password-protected VeraCrypt containers AND use key files and/or a hardware key. The reasoning here is to counter Harvest Now, Decrypt Later. This should be your default policy when uploading your containers to anyone else’s machine. Any provider can technically store your files for an indefinite period of time and once uploaded, you are giving up some control over your data. If you use a password, key file, and a hardware key, it becomes virtually impossible to decrypt the containers. In this case, it doesn’t matter what cloud storage provider you choose, including Proton, Dropbox, OneDrive, or even Google Drive, since you always give up some control, but you can mitigate any of the security risks by using the above mentioned process.

So when looking for a cloud storage provider, you want to change your criteria.

Important questions to ask:

  • Does the cloud storage have a history of suspending access, especially for frivolous reasons? (e.g. Google locking out a family out of their Google account due to a false alert by their CSAM scanner)
    • Answer should be “No”
  • Does the cloud storage provider have a history of unexpected and unintended loss of data?
    • Answer should be “No”
  • Does the cloud storage provider have a routine backup policy?
    • Answer should be “Yes”
  • Have there been any reported cases of the cloud storage provider sharing your personal data with 3rd parties (not including your uploaded data).
    • Answer should be “No”
  • Does the cloud storage provider require a lot of personal information during the registration?
    • Answer should be “No”
  • Does the provider delete the account after X period of inactivity?
    • Answer should be “No”, however this policy is pretty common. Look up the policy and keep it in mind.
  1. Hidden Backups: This is a policy I rarely see anyone talking about, so I want to bring up the value of hidden backups. A hidden backup is one that nobody except you knows about even exists. I’m mostly referring to remote backups in this case, but there are some other offline options as well such as getting a fake coin into which you can place an SD card into. (https://www.instructables.com/Hidden-compartment-in-a-coin/)

Since the above article discusses the coin option, I’ll explain the online option. If you need to backup any critically important files, you can use Tor to sign up at a cloud storage provider of your choice, including Proton, Woelkli, or some other provider. If you use Tor throughout this process, including uploading your files, then nobody knows that those files exist and belong to you. This is a great way of saving some of your most critical files in a catastrophic event, such as your cloud storage providers suspending your accounts and losing access to any and all physical devices and backups.

Keep in mind that some of the providers above have an inactivity policy. Proton deletes accounts after 1 year of inactivity, however you can mitigate this by simply paying for a one-time subscription and then cancelling it. See their policy: Inactive accounts | Proton

  1. Don’t lock yourself out: Manage your master passwords well and make sure to apply them properly. If you only have access to your passwords through a local password manager and you need the password manager to access online backups, this is a recipe for disaster in a catastrophic event. Make sure you always have access to your password managers and that you always have an online backup of them. If a fire burns down your house and all of your offline hardware, you need to be able to access your password manager in some way, else you’ll lose access to just about everything, which would make a catastrophic event even worse.

  2. Key files and hardware keys: You can generate key files in a number of different way, in fact you can use virtually any file as a key file. However, you can also generate key files using VeraCrypt tools or KeePassXC. I recommend keeping your key files separate from your cloud storage backups. For example, if you upload a VeraCrypt container to the cloud and upload the key files to access the container right next to them, then that beats the entire point of using key files. Therefor you want to safeguard any key files that you use and keep them backed up completely separate. Consider creating a few hidden backups for them.

For the hardware key, the only key I recommend is OnlyKey (https://onlykey.io/) given that it requires a pin. After 10 failed attempts, it becomes unusable. Maintain some easy-to-access backups of the OnlyKey, similar to the key files.


None of the nodes are keeping your whole data anyway. Therefore, even if some nodes have your data, the data they keep is basically broken. Contrary to centralized storage providers where your data is being keep on a single point of failure.

However, if you assume any encryption is useless against quantum threat, that would be another story, in which no cloud storage provider should be recommended, Koofr or not.

But then again, offline storage is not invincible. In fact, it is a single point of failure and is prone to some threats as well. For example, if someone can get access to your physical backup device, it would be easier to break the encryption on the device than to do it over the internet, which would also leave some traces, because of firewalls and other security measures. Moreover, if redundant backup is not well performed, there’s a chance to lose all the data due to device failure.

This would be irrelevant, since all users files are encrypted automatically before sending to any nodes.

Do you know that Storj mainly uses Rclone to sync through S3 interface?

In the same way, your data on Storj won’t be visible to Storj node providers, since it’s encrypted and split before sending to any nodes. Why Koofr is better in this area is still unclear to me. On the contrary, while Koofr only does this with Vault folder, this is the standard security measure for every file/folder that you upload to Storj nodes.

Storj is not free to use. There’s a trial limit, like every other cloud storages.

If anything, based on the facts available, when comparing to Storj, Koofr is a lot more fishy to me, since only Koofr Vault’s source code is available. I can’t find their server side source code. On the other hand, all of Storj source code, client side and node side, are available on their repo. See: GitHub - storj/storj: Ongoing Storj v3 development. Decentralized cloud object storage that is affordable, easy to use, private, and secure.

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Yes, server side encryption is irrelevant, indeed. I spent some minutes on their forums… Is it about tokens, crypto and node holders earn some shit giving their storage? You can not be serious… Reminded me Brave forums, which are absolutly shit, yet the product is OK. So maybe scorji is OK, too? Okey maybe it is, but I feel it is a crypto scam. Also about GitHub that is one more joke, right? Are you a node holder, BTW?

First, I believe attacking other user is against the forum rule. I am a user, not a node runner, by the way.

Yes, this is true, and it’s why this is a serious project. It’s sustainable. Therefore, the users wouldn’t have to be worried that it will go away very soon. This is a plus, not a con.

Being a crypto project is a plus, not a con. PG’s VPN recommendation even suggests the use of anonymous crypto as one of the privacy’s minimum to qualify criteria, right?

I think it would depend on the coin. There are many shit coins, indeed. But Storj coin is not one of them.

I am very serious, as well as Adobe, who partners with Storj regardless of whether it’s a crypto project.

What joke?

I’m currently using S3Drive app to encrypt my files to Backblaze/Storj and is feature rich. Soon you’ll be able to use any commercial cloud storage (Dropbox, GDrive, etc…, auto media backup and mount it as a native cloud storage on your phone or desktop. The app also gets constant updates and listens to its users in terms of feature requests.

Since the app is not open source, I only use the app on mobile for the buckets that don’t contain my sensitive data.

On desktop, I use Rclone, which covered all my needs.

Quantum computers will only have an advantage for asymmetric cryptography (public-private key) and won’t have much (if any) effect on symmetric cryptography (pre-defined password, what you’ll be using for encryption) Post-quantum cryptography - Wikipedia

As for backups, I recommend using restic, here’s a review by someone who was in charge of cryptography and security of go at Google restic cryptography

Alternatively, cryptomator or kopia look pretty good as well. Once it’s been encrypted with any of these, the cloud service you choose doesn’t matter too much.

If you have a buddy you trust enough, you could arrange mutually keeping backups with them or something, and make use of syncthing’s untrusted device feature, which you can use on its own or as an extra layer of encryption on top of restic or kopia. Untrusted Device Encryption — Syncthing documentation

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Wow. These is a good one, thank you for your reply.
I have a couple of questions, what do you consider picocrypt ? I have also been thinking about using it taking into account that the software offers the paranoid pack for offline decrypting situations. The recommendation of hidden backups seems interesting to me, so I will also take it into consideration. For I have my backups kept on my WD elements external drive encrypted with veracrypt. One part of the container contains documents of normal importance and the hidden container contains documents of utmost importance. I will consider the option of using a hardware key to mitigate harvest now and decrypt later. Considering that I am also interested in taking a backup of my linux home folder and fedora configuration, would you consider something like BorgBase with its vorta integration (and if this is the case, would it be necessary to use a veracrypt container for it considering that borg also encrypts your backup) ? Or something like restic with rclone ? (Kopia seems to be somewhat new in the game, so I’ll have to do my research). But I still can’t tell to be honest, each option seems cost effective, but I’ll have to think about which one is the most cost effective in my situation / price of the service.

My last question would be about hardware keys. What is the difference between onlykey and a yubikey ?

Thanks very much for the responce!

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BorgBase looks pretty good. I haven’t used it, but I’ve used a different service by the same company and I like them. Personally, my cloud backups go to Hetzner.

We bought an OnlyKey once but the person who was reviewing it left before reviewing it… We should probably get another one at some point. YubiKeys are exceptional though, and very commonly used (i.e. you’ll find a lot of support for them). With VeraCrypt you can set them up in conjunction with a PIN to fail after a certain number of PIN attempts, if that’s the kind of thing you’re worried about, so I wouldn’t worry about that being an OnlyKey exclusive feature.

I wasn’t a fan of OnlyKey’s backup feature, where you can export the secret keys on the device to a file. You can definitely make the argument (and many people have) that it’s more convenient for backing up in case you lose the key or whatever, but at the end of the day once you make a backup your security is reduced to the security of that backup file.

IMO the point of hardware security keys is to eliminate any possible risk of secret compromise like that, so I appreciate YubiKey’s approach more, even though it means you basically need two keys for redundancy. It’s a less convenient backup solution, but they maintain a very clear minimum bar for security instead of making that security optional.