ETA: I have switched my online back up method since writing this post. You can read about my newest system and why I switched for more information.
Imagine all of the photos, layouts, and memories you have stored on your hardrive. What would happen if the drive they were stored on died? Do you have them backed up anywhere? What would happen if you had a natural disaster in your area and something (heaven forbid) happened to your home? Do you have an offsite backup of all of your files?
Hang around any digital forum for a day or two and you will see a thread titled something like this, “I thought it would never happen to me” or “Digital Tragedy”. The reality is that it WILL happen…your hardrive WILL bite the dust! Everyone THINKS it won’t happen to them, but hardrives are not meant to last forever!
I (Steph) have never been very good at backing up to CD’s and DVD. I tried, but it just became too much, so I came up with a pretty good system for backing up my files that worked for me. I had two little portable external hardrives (EHDs) one for photos and one for digi supplies. I backed them up to a larger non-portable EHD that was attached to my desktop. Whenever I downloaded photos from my camera, I downloaded them directly to the larger EHD and then copied them to my portable EHD for use on my laptop. Suddenly, without warning, my little EHD with my digi supplies died. I hadn’t been as good about backing it up, so I did lose some supplies, but I was able to get most of my links reset. I bought a new EHD and kept the same system for transferring photos from my camera, but again wasn’t very good about backing up my new EHD. During February 2008, I got caught up on all of my printing and just a couple of days later, that new EHD died. Because of my system for transferring photos, I did not lose any photos, but did lose some layouts (I had just printed them, but have lost the digital files), and again some supplies. I decided that enough was enough and I signed up for Mozy’s online backup. It took about a month to get all 160gigs of photos, layouts, and supplies backed up, but I did get them securlely backed up onto Mozy’s servers.
Fast forward to last month when I lost yet another EHD. We were on vacation and I only lost one days worth of photos that were not yet backed up to Mozy. When I got my new little EHD (a different brand from all of the others this time), I just right-clicked on the Mozy icon on my desktop and selected restore. Within 3 days, I had all of my photos, layouts, and digi supplies back and on my new EHD!! I could have cried with joy!
The peace of mind that I now have by knowing everything is backed up on an extra EHD and also backed up online has been huge! I no longer worry about what will happen if I lose things, because I know the chances are much lower than they were before. It’s not an IF but WHEN will your computer/hardrive die?
Which online backup solution is for you? I have linked below to a couple of articles that might help, but it seems that most digital scrappers use Mozy or Carbonite. Both are very affordable, right around $50/year with unlimited space. The biggest difference is that Mozy will backup your EHD’s as long as they are attached to your computer during a backup. Carbonite does not recognize EHD’s but the backup is more real-time where Mozy backs up once a day at a scheduled time (that you select).
Here is an article on how to choose an online backup service
Here are some reviews of online backup services