Monday, August 8, 2011

How do YOU backup?

I've been thinking a lot lately about memories and how to preserve them.  We have, literally, tens of thousands of digital photos.  And one of Topher's favorite activities is sitting down and watching videos of himself, of which we also have several hundred. So whenever I download new pics or videos to our computer, I immediately back them up to this little device. 

Amazing that something so small could hold so much, right?  But then I really got to thinking.  We've been in a flood, after all, and we know that irreplaceable things can disappear in moments.  And if this little device ever went under water, everything would be gone.  Forever.  That gives me panic attacks.

So I decided this week to back everything up a second time, on a different media.  I bought a spindle of 50 blank DVD's (for $12.99) and laboriously transferred every folder, every document, and every movie over to the discs.  It took 34 of them (each holds just over 4 gb).  Because we learned from experience that DVD's can survive getting wet just fine. 

I also made an index for each disc of which folders were on it, so if I needed to find photos of Topher at 6 months old, for example, I would know just where to look.  This folder is not waterproof yet.  (Enter some big baggies in my near future.)

So there you have it.  My external hard drive, my data discs, and then the occasional third backup to Youtube and Shutterfly.  Now all I need is a waterproof/fireproof safe to store it all in and I'll be able to sleep better at night.  I'm pretty sure.  Is there another way to backup that I'm missing?  (We tried Carbonite for a year but it bothered me that it can only back up files currently on your computer.  And having that many videos and pics on my computer, along with the Carbonite software, was really slowing everything down.)

So how do YOU backup?  I know there are people out there as paranoid as me.  Right???



  1. Ahhh a subject near and dear to my heart :)
    Anything I care to keep is on a hard drive, that gets backed up nightly to an external drive, and also to a service similar to Carbonite called CrashPlan (They have a free version that lets you back up to a friend/family member's computer off-site while keeping all your files encrypted if you are interested). Then like you I back up to DVD's and Blu-ray disks manually every so often.

    The backup strategy I follow uses the 3-2-1 rule:
    3 Backup copies of anything you want to keep.
    2 different storage media.
    1 offsite storage location.

    Happy backing up!

  2. I like the way you think, Justin. I should have known you'd have fantastic advice. Thanks so much!