It might seem a bit antiquated to have an external hard drive to back up your photos these days with all that fat cloud action, but the ibi from Sandisk makes a compelling play for the category. Housed in a little white cylinder, the ibi looks like your standard external drive with some design chops bu look under the hood, and you find something different. Ok, not literally, it is just a hard drive, but the way it works with your phone and computer is unique.
The cloud is a great way to back up your photos, but there is often a cost after a specific storage limit is reached, and that becomes an annual expense that can add up over time. Here is where the ibster comes in, but first, let's break down who this might be good for.
The Avid Instagrammer - If you are a blogger, content creator, IG maniac, and your iPhone is your primary camera, you will love the ibi. This device is a foolproof way to back up your collection of photos, organize them and share galleries with close friends, coworkers, and sure, even family.
The Cost-Conscious - The cloud adds up after a while, and if you are primarily concerned about your photos, the ibi makes absolute financial sense because there is no recurring cost unless you add on their cloud services.
The Hyper Careful - For those that want a back up for their back up, the ibi provides a simple way to back up photos effortlessly and have easy access to them.
ibi is made by SanDisk, which any photographer knows makes some of the better memory cards out there, there is probably one in your camera right now. In other words, they have a good understanding of what photographers want in an offline storage device, so we get why they created ibi.
This is a purpose-built drive with a slick app that makes using it a breeze. You download it, let your phone find the ibi, and decide on how you want to sync. I decided to do a complete back up of my iPhone photos and videos, there will be a lot of junk on there, but you can quickly delete unwanted images. If you don't want to do a blanket back up of all your stuff, you can select specific photos manually via the app.
If you want to back up your desktop computer, no problem - there is an app for both Macs and PCs, or you can use a USB connection and drag files right on to the drive, you know, old school style.
Want to back up your social media images like IG and FB? Yup, you can do that too and connect to popular cloud services like Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox. If you have a cloud back up, the ibi, and the original source, you should be more than safe. Is that kind of like wearing a condom under a wetsuit before sex, yeah... but some people want to play it EXTRA safe.
As far as file sharing goes, this is a pretty secure way to keep your images as only you can see them with a username and password protection gate. So that image of you passed out in the bushes that you keep around to remind you never to drink tequila again, that's safe from prying eyes.
You can decide to share photos if you want, and you can also invite friends and family (not your mother in law) to what they call the "inner circle." This feature allows people you give access to see and add photos to the ibi. This select group can also comment, share, create albums, and get alerts of new content via the ibi app. If someone gets uppity or is not to your liking, you can quickly delete that user and their data.
Essentially the ibi behaves much like your photos app on your phone; you can share via text, connect to email, post on FB, etc. You can also view your content on the home television through Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. Super easy.
One thing to keep straight is that the ibi does not sync; it's just a straight-up back up the device, so when your ibi makes a back up of your phone, for example, any images deleted on the phone after that are still on the ibi.
Memory 1 TB - Capacity roughly 250k photos as jpegs or 100 hrs of HD video.
Connectivity - Wifi 802.11ac and BT Low Energy
Processer - 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex processer and 1Gig of RAM
MSRP: $130 for 1TB
Should you buy it? If you are looking for a no-fee, easy to use offline storage solution for photos and videos, then it's worth considering. It's easy to use and share images as well as let other friends and family use it, or even coworkers if you are a professional content creator. Although it can be used with your computer, this feels like the best solution for mobile device photographers taking a lot of photos and videos. People who are using DSLRs or more pro cameras should use Lightroom with a cloud storage plan.
- Once you buy it, no more costs.
- The app works seamlessly
- works for a variety of mobile device and desktop computers
- You can quickly and privately share images with friends and family
- Only available with 1TB could restrain power users especially if they are shooting video
- Just another external drive to worry about
- Social posting could be more seamless