How to Use YouTube to Back Up Your Data for Free

Though the convenience of backing up your digital documents to the cloud and having them available anywhere was once a costly privilege, Google now makes your digital hoarding possible for the price of a fancy cup of coffee: 2TB of storage for just $10/month and even more, if you need. But there is another way to benefit from it Google’s massive amount of cloud storageAnd it’s totally free.

YouTube is not only a great way to share videos with the world, It’s also a useful archiving tool – provided you don’t mind your video content being subjected to aggressive attacks video compression. According to Google, basic YouTube accounts can upload videos up to 15 minutes long. BBut verified accounts extend this limit to videos that are either 12 hours long or 256 GB in size, while the number of videos that can be uploaded each day seems to vary from user to user.

That’s a lot of data pushed to the cloud at no cost to the user, but does it have to be all video content? The answer is both yes and no, as YouTuber HistidinZwerg discovered. She created a tool called AKA ISG (Infinite storage glitch what you can can be found on GitHub) which takes a single ZIP file with other sorted files and converts it into a video, with the data stream fully visualized across frames – but to the human eye, it looks like nothing but monochromatic noise. You can see a sample file uploaded to YouTube below, but those sensitive to flashing lights may not want to hit the play button.

YouTube as a kind of hard drive (read description)

If the uploaded data needs to be retrieved, the video file can be downloaded again from YouTube and decoded. It sounds simple, but there have been some challenges to making this happen, including the ongoing question of whether or not this violates YouTube’s Terms of Service. (We bet Google will find a way to say this, so maybe don’t save your only copy of important files this way.)

The main challenge was finding a way to prevent the uploaded stream videos from being corrupted by video compression: a process that aims to reduce file size by often discarding or altering fine details in a video – just that what these videos happen to contain. The solution was to ensure that the fine details never become too fine or too small to be affected by YouTube’s compression algorithms, and by never using anything smaller than 2×2 pixel blocks, this technique has so far managed to to avoid corruption, but that could easily change with an algorithm tweak.

The downside of overly cautious error checking is that the file size of the videos produced is often four times larger than the original ZIP file containing the data. So if you have a 1GB zip file, you will need to upload up to 4GB to YouTube. That could severely impact your internet bandwidth unless you’re lucky enough to have an unlimited data cap. Is it an ideal way to backup your data? Absolutely not, YouTube could delete a video with all your wedding photos without warning. But it’s completely free, which might make the risk worth it for those always eager to beat the system. How to Use YouTube to Back Up Your Data for Free

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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