Photo: Aiming for a higher level in Lamphun.

Travel technology forum

Enough WiFi bandwidth for mass flickr uploading?

Posted by staverton on 3/8/2009 at 23:04

Hi all,

I'll be travelling to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand from mid September for four weeks and am trying work out my best option for backing up photos on the move.

I'm a keen amateur photographer and have been known to take over 1,000 pics in a day whilst travelling (this is the very extreme of course, thanks to all the pretty shrines and temples in Kyoto last year). Realistically I expect to take anywhere between 0 and 300 pics a day. My main camera is 10MPx and so even the JPEGs are around 4MB each (I've given up taking RAWs when travelling).

So, given the volume of photos, the options I had for backing were either:

1 - Buy a load of SD cards and carry them around in something waterproof or maybe mailing them home (although I fancy my chances of getting them home myself better).

2 - Buy a netbook to offload the pictures from the SD cards I already have. Plus, I have a PacSafe and a notebook lock to secure these up in the guesthouse while I'm out for the day.

I think for the amount of photos I'll take, the netbook would be cheaper, plus it would be really useful for using the net on the move too. But the thing is, if it gets stolen I don't really care about the hardware, but loosing the pictures would be awful. So I thought to myself, I could always spring for a Flickr Pro account so I could upload as many photos as I wanted and easily back them all up. That said, I have no idea how much bandwidth the average free guesthouse WiFi has. I mean, if its like South Korea (and I don't expect it to be!), fantastic! However, if it's like Africa, then I may as well not bother.

Any other travelling techies or photographers care to weigh in on how plausible my plan might be?


#1 staverton has been a member since 3/8/2009. Posts: 1

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Posted by somtam2000 on 4/8/2009 at 05:55 admin

Good question -- in the bigger centres - esp in Thailand and Vietnam, I'd say no problems - go the Flickr route, but for laos in particular good high speed internet can be a little less common.

The advantage of using a netbook though is you won't have to sit in internet cafes for hours on end uploading pics when you could be out taking pics!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,021
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Posted by BruceMoon on 4/8/2009 at 07:27


Two issues here - storage & laptop.

Storage, I've chosen to use the higher resolution cards (sandisk Ultra 3) as the write speed is faster and I've had less 'losses'.

An alternative to getting 'hooked up' with technology is to back up your SD cards on removable USB storage 'Flash drive' cards. I know it sounds like more 'gear', but the wealth of pics versus a laptop may be the solution.

Also, the time to transfer the contents of an SD card to a USB flash drive may be a lot less (in many places) than trying to upload to Flickr.

On the laptop, there are many posts, some are for, others against. Look here and here and here for ideas for you.

So, in the end it comes to convenience and weight and what's best for you.


#3 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by busylizzy on 4/8/2009 at 09:55

My plan for photo back-up is as follows:

- copy photos to my latpop (carried for purposes of backing up photos, writing emails/blogs without having to spend more time than necessary in internet cafes, and for managing financial accounts, etc of small business while I am away.)

- also copy photos to my iPod (Classic 160gb) - iPod will always be kept with me where practical, or at least separate from laptop. Will also be used for listening to language podcasts and music on long busrides.

- copy to DVD or CD and send home.

I am hoping that between all of these, I should be well protected against loss of photos.

#4 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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