I know, I know, here comes the dreaded back-up-those-files speech. it seems like such a bother, yes? And a hard drive failure just COULDN’T happen to me, right? NOT SO my friends.
I’ve always read and heard that it’s not IF you have a hard drive failure, but WHEN. And it happens all the time. I’ve ready so many horror stories of losing that precious data simply because there was no backup system in place. Please don’t let that happen to you. Just imagine all your precious photos and memories gone forever and then it won’t seem like such a bother.
What is a Backup?
A backup is an additional copy of your data, a snapshot in time just in case there is data loss or corruption.
Generally, it is wise to have an offsite storage (in case something happens to your home - robbery, flood, etc) and a nearby backup for easy file retrieval.
I would recommend you backup at least your photos and your personal documents. Digital supplies are nice to have backed up, but not irreplaceable!
In my case, I have:
- My photos and supplies on my internal hard drive in my computer
- EVERYTHING backed up with Crash Plan (in the cloud)
- A backup on an external hard drive at home (Seagate Go Flex)
- A DVD of my most precious photos with my parents
- All my photos automatically uploaded to Flickr thanks to Eye Fi
Don't feel you need to do all this! I suggest just starting by having an online backup service.
I’m here to help you get a backup system in place. I’ve taken some time to research the various online systems. Let’s dig into the comparison of the various scenarios of backing up those files.
Here’s a little comparison I did for a few of the more popular online backup solutions.
- Carbonite – $59 up to $149 per year with 5 different plans, unlimited space for home plans, external hard drive support for 2 of their home plans, Courier recovery service
- Crash Plan – Free up to $120 per year with 4 different plans, unlimited space on some plans, external hard drive support, no deleted files no matter how long your external is unplugged, seeded back up option and recovery to your door. I have been using Crashplan for two years now and love it!
I used the seeded backup, so they sent me a 3Tb external hard drive and I used their program to load all my data onto it. I sent the EHD back to Sydney and voilà! All my files were backed up.
Crash Plan also has an app so you can access ALL your files from your phone or tablet.
- Mozy Home – $5.99 upwards per month, 2 plans both with limited space, external hard drive support, recover all your files with one click. I used Mozy for a couple of years but with their new policy I couldn't afford to pay for 3 terabytes of storage!
- Back Blaze - $3.96 up to $5.00 per month, unlimited space and external hard drive support, recovery via downloading your files or you can order your files on a flash or USB drive for a fee.
- Zip Cloud - $4.95 - $6.96 a month for 75Gb to unlimited space.
- Just Cloud - Free starter plan with unlimited space, then $4.95 a month (billed 2 years up front)
Why I chose CrashPlan
A couple of reasons I went with Crash Plan:
Quick Uploading with an External Drive
CrashPlan has the option of purchasing an external hard drive, free shipping to your home to back up your files and then you ship it back to them (postage paid) for faster initial set up. Depending on how many files you have, and face it, we scrapbookers and photographers can have gigs and GIGS of files, right? That could take days or even weeks to complete an initial back up.
I needed terabytes of space, so I couldn't affort Mozy any longer. CrashPlan also support external hard drives.
Crash Plan has offices in Australia so I get local support and don't have to wait till the US wakes up to get help.
Your Task: Protect your files
Now that you’ve read what I’ve researched, go ahead and click on each site’s link and make an informed decision for yourself. I’m sure there are others out there as well that you may want to look at, but don’t wait until that inevitable crash happens before you consider a backup plan.
I hope this provided some valuable information for you and has you on your way to beginning your own backup plan so you can feel secure when that failure happens.
Leave a comment and let me know what you’ve decided for YOUR plan. I’d love to hear your opinion.