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Raspberry Pi Backup System Saves Data to USB Drive

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: ThinkLearnDo)

Premium backup subscription services from big names like Apple and Google can cost upwards to $100 annually. Instead of relying on third-party systems to manage data, ThinkLearnDo decided to create an encrypted backup system from scratch using our favorite board, the Raspberry Pi.

Not only does this system automate data backups, but it also works as a keychain holder. This works for ThinkLearnDo, who keeps a 512 GB USB drive on hand, ready for backing up data overnight. All you have to do is hang up your keys at night, plug in the USB drive and your backups will be ready to go by morning.

There are different ways to go about setting up the backup system, but ThinkLearnDo has opted to integrate a separate Linux server. This server backs up files from multiple computers that are connected to it and tells the Pi which files have changed to facilitate the backup updates. The system is programmed to stop the backup processes by early morning so the drive can be safely removed when it’s time to go.

ThinkLearnDo is using a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ but there’s no reason you couldn’t use a more recent model like the Raspberry Pi 4. In addition to the Pi, you’ll need a USB drive formatted to EXT4 for receiving the backups as well as a 3D printed case to house everything together. You can find the files for the 3D printed shell over at GitHub. If you want to use the system as a keychain holder, be sure to pick up a few cup hooks to mount to the bottom.

The project is totally open source which makes it easy to recreate at home or to just get a closer look at how it goes together to make something similar. Check out the project page over at GitHub or, if you don’t want to make it from scratch, order a kit from ThinkLearnDo over at Tindie.

If you want to make this Raspberry Pi Project for yourself, check out the original thread shared to Reddit for more details. You can also follow ThinkLearnDo for more cool projects as well as any future updates on this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.