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Backing everything up the Lazy Way

Wed, Mar 4, 2009

Gadgets, Geek Information

Photo by wonderferret

Photo by wonderferret

 

Has this happened to you?

You turn your PC on and nothing happens. No drive spinning, and when it finally does, you realize that it’s happened to you – you are the victim of a hard drive crash. The hard drive that contains all your files… Pictures, documents, e-mails… You name it. All gone.

Recently, a family member had this happen to him. Fortunately, he was able to (for a fee of $300) retrieve data with the assistance of a professional. Afterwards, he asked me, “What do you do for your backups?” I had a lump in my throat… “Not much.”

“Not much”… And this is coming from Gadget Boy…

So what are our options? Sure, we can run out and get that external hard drive, but you are still subject to potential having your data disappear. I am looking for the hi-tech, on-the-cheap backup methods.

G-Mail

Some people save their files via G-Mail. They simply e-mail themselves their files, and as long as they keep everything under 2 Gigs, they should be ok.

USB Flash Drives

Flash drives are an option, but at 8 gigs, you still have certain limitations. Also, you run the risk of losing your pictures if you ever misplace your drive (and if you have ever lost your keys, then you are susceptible to this).

External Hard Drives

This is obviously an option, with software packages like SyncBack (available in both paid and free versions), but I am looking for something offsite.

Online Backups

These seem to be the rage right now. Carbonite, Mozy, IDrive and DropBox are all scrambling to capture marketshare in this arena. These will be the methods I will be concentrating on. The pricepoints all appear to be similar – $50-60 a year for anywhere from 50 gigs to unlimited storage. DropBox appears to be a little pricier at $10 beans a month, $100 for the year.

Do you back up your files? Please let me know about any other great back up options I may have missed in the comments.

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