So I finally decided to invest in an online backup service. What an online backup service does is copy your local files to its own servers, then if your hard drive crashes, your laptop gets stolen or gets washed away in a Tsunami you are secure in the knowledge that your irreplaceable files can be restored with a few clicks of a mouse.
What to backup?
This will of course vary from person to person, here are some suggestions.
- Pictures – Say what you want about old school film cameras and paper pictures, but they are definitely durable. This is not the case for their digital counterparts, an accidental click of the mouse, a careless drop of that shiny new external HD and thousands of 12MP HD goodness can disappear forever. This should be the first thing on your backup list.
- Home Videos – Same reason as above. Note Digital video can have huge file sizes, depending on quality, something to consider when choosing what to backup.
- Documents – All forms of impossible or hard to replace documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Things such as thesis, homework assignments and financial documents fall under this category. If you use financial software such as QuickBooks or Microsoft Money also remember to backup the files that these products produce.
What to look for in a backup service?
- Price – Obviously you want to compare prices between services.
- Space– How much stuff do they let you backup? 5GB? 150GB or as much as you want!
- Archiving– Does the service let you keep the files on their server indefinitely? A lot of services will delete your files on their server 30 days after they have been deleted from your hard drive, this seems to be the only way they can offer “Unlimited” space, since you can only backup as much as you actually have on your hard drive. This was a major deal-breaker for me, since I have a lot of files which need to be backed-up but which I very rarely open, so they just eat up space on my hard drive. I need to be able to back them up and delete them from my hard drive, something you cant do without Archiving.
- Versioning – When a file changes on your computer, will the next backup overwrite the old backup or will it keep both the old and new files. With versioning you can restore older versions of your file not just the latest backup.
All backup services should provide you with their own software which runs in the background and automatically backup any new or changed files, it is a good idea to try before you buy.
After considering a few options I have decide to go with iDrive.com you get 150GB of space, 30 File version and indefinite Archiving (“No data is deleted from your IDrive online account until you manually delete or run sync to match your desktop data to your account. You control your backup data.” ) for $4.95/Month or $49.50/Year.
Try It for Free.
Most online backup services will allow you to use 2GB of space at no cost at all! Try them now
www.idrive.com 2GB Trial
https://mozy.com/home 2GB Trial
http://www.carbonite.com/ 15 Day trial