I know, I know…when someone gets after you for not backing up your computer, it sort of feels like Mom is badgering you to brush your teeth and wash your hands, right?
Mom was right. Clean teeth are happy teeth and don’t you DARE touch anything with those filthy hands! If your Mom had included data backup in her admonishments to you, she would have been right about that too.
When it comes to backing up your personal computer—you know, the one that contains all your digital photos, videos, music, important files and more—you probably think to yourself, “I’ll do it soon” or “Maybe I’ll use a cloud backup service someday” or “I have a solid state drive and, um, they don’t crash?” Unfortunately your best intentions, procrastination, laziness or nonchalant attitude won’t save those ONLY COPIES of precious baby photos, images from your wedding, videos of a family vacation, or those critically important, now-digital documents you’ve already shredded, when your hard drive crashes and can’t be recovered.
You have four options when it comes to backing up your one-and-only copy of a digital file:
- Buy a cheap drive and backup to it. Cheap drives don’t last long and aren’t that durable. I’ve had several go bad on me over the last 10-20 years.
- Backup to the cloud with a service like Crashplan. If you have multiple terabytes of data, however, it could take weeks to backup (and use a lot of your internet bandwidth) or you’ll be sent a big drive and you’ll have to backup to it and then ship it to the cloud service (to get a headstart on future backups and save both you, and the cloud backup service, a lot of bandwidth cost).
- Buy an ioSafe secure vault drive (more on that below).
- Do nothing and hope your computer’s drive never crashes, a power surge or brownout doesn’t fry the drive, your house doesn’t start on fire, or some burglar doesn’t come in and take your computer and its files for a joy ride in his stolen car.
Option #4 is like not having homeowner’s, auto, or health insurance. You may never need any of them, but if you do and aren’t insured, you’ll likely lose big or lose everything.