There was always someone in my class whose laptop gave up just before a major assignment was due. The computer would have to go in for repair, and they would be left with nothing. (Those people became the first kids on the block to run out and buy external backup drives). Think about it: right now, if your computer died and wasn’t coming back, would you be able to finish your assignment or keep running your business? External hard drives are great, but what if there is an emergency (flood, fire, earthquake) and your hard drive is destroyed? It’s worth looking into online backup before you need to use it.
Online backup systems allow you to upload your files to servers in Maine, or Vancouver, or New York, or…… the point is, the servers are far away. I have heard that your backup files should be at least 100km away from your primary computer, because chances are good that a natural disaster will affect both your home and office if they’re in the same city. You should do your own research to figure out which system is best for you, but here are some basics to get you started.
Cost: $55 per year
Good to know: 15-day free trial
Newly released, professional version of SmugMug. (SmugMug only lets you backup JPEG, GIF, and PNG files. SmugVault allows RAW, TIFF, PSD, and PDF. )
Cost: Storage – $0.22 per gigabyte, per month
Transfer data in – $0.33 per gigabyte
Transfer data out – $0.51 per gigabyte
‘Recurring fee’ of $1 per month
Good to know: Free 14-day free trial of SmugMug (not SmugVault)
Cost: Desktop license -3.95 per computer, per month
Storage – $0.50 per gigabyte, per month
Good to know: Mozy also offers a ‘home’ edition that offers 125GB of storage for $9.99 per month
Cost: $5 per month, or $50 for one year
Good to know: Can only back up files smaller than 9GB
As I stare at the system of external hard drives in front of me as I write this, I realize how necessary an online backup service is. Researching this piece has made me pretty paranoid, and rightly so. If there is a fire in the middle of the night, the job I shot yesterday would be gone. If my office got broken into, why would a thief take my computer but leave my external drives? Everything would be gone. External drives are a great safety net, but online backups seem to be the next step to being safe and prepared.
Do you use an online system? What service do you use, and how has your experience been?
Image source: dvs