So recent events in the lives of those around me have impressed upon me the importance of emergency preparedness. I already have my disaster kit prepped in the closet with food, water, crank radio, flashlight, and other sundries. I've got a first aid kit for medical emergencies. But I realized that I didn't have a good data backup plan.
A lot of my life is archived and documented on digital files that I keep on my laptop. Photos, videos, music, documents, and more are all precariously maintained on this one device. If something were to happen to it, I would be devastated. I'm sure you would be as well.
I spent a good period of time reviewing the various options for data backup out there and talking with friends about what they use. This is the plan that works for me:
- Onsite Backup: A dedicated external hard drive that regularly backs up the contents of my computer using Time Machine.
- Cloud-based Backup: I use the service Backblaze to backup all of my files onto the cloud.
This plan effectively covers me for most emergencies, including theft, accident, and fire. And it's very cost effective at $120 for a 2 terabyte external drive plus just $5 a month for Backblaze backups to the cloud. It took almost no effort to setup and totally runs in the background while I am on the computer, without a hitch.
I highly recommend Backblaze. It's got very easy setup, runs smoothly, and has a number of neat extra features including:
- Recover specific files
- Rapid data recovery via hard drive sent in the mail
- Locate computer service
- Unlimited file size
- Military-grade encryption
It's pretty great.
As an added incentive, I have a code that provides three months for free for anyone that signs up by January 12. (I also get three months free.) Click here to sign-up for Backblaze and get three free months!
For onsite backup, I use Time Machine, which comes bundled with all Macs. This makes data recovery of your entire drive or specific files very easy. I don't know the equivalent for the PC, but I'm sure it exists.
Now is a great time to get your data backup plan in place. It's nice piece of mind knowing that your precious files, photos, videos, and music are okay, no matter what may happen to your computer or home.