Today was my son’s first day of first grade. Like any proud parent, I took a bunch of pictures to document the momentous occasion. Like any digital photographer, I downloaded the pictures to my computer where I have year after year of my life documented in photographs. If you have a digital camera like most other people these days, you also have those priceless photos stored on your home computer. As important as those photos are, they are dangerously close to being lost forever.
All those priceless photos of birthdays, graduations and vacations can be lost in an instant if you have a hard drive failure or virus. A family member could accidentally delete them. Someone could steal your computer. A fire could incinerate your memories, or a tornado could wipe your computer from the face of the earth. Almost all of the possibilities I have described above have happened to people I know. Typically the first question I always ask is: Did you have a backup? Unfortunately many times they did not. What a terrible loss. If they would have only taken some simple steps, the loss could have easily been avoided.
Thanks to broadband Internet access and cheap online storage solutions, you can easily backup your data AUTOMATICALLY for little or no money. If you have less than 2GB of data, you can backup your data automatically on a daily basis to the Internet for FREE! Just go to https://mozy.com/registration/free and sign up for a free account. If you exceed 2GB of data, you pay just $4.95 per month for UNLIMITED storage! That is a heckuva deal for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that all of your data is backed up.
Another service I like is http://www.carbonite.com. It is $54.95 per year and, like Mozy, it offers unlimited storage. It has a 30 day free trial, so you can try it out before you spend any money. The neat thing about Carbonite is that is puts a little green dot on the icons of the files that it has backed up – so you know at a glance that the picture of your first grader getting on the bus is backed up.
Keep in mind that if you have a lot of data, it may take days or even weeks for the initial backup to occur over the Internet. During that time you will need to leave your computer on so it can backup 24 hours a day. But once that initial backup is complete, only the data that changes is backed up, so those incremental backups happen in minutes. Make sure you check the backup periodically, and setup the service to alert via e-mail if a backup hasn’t occurred in a few days. That way you can always be assured that those precious memories are available for years to come.
If you would like to learn more about your data backup and storage options, please join me for a complimentary lunch and learn at the Montgomery Inn in Montgomery on Septermber 18th from 11:00 to 1:00. The title of the event is “Drowning in Data” and will cover data storage, backup, and recovery. Details can be found at http://www.LAN-Solutions.com.