To Backup OR Not to Backup???


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Guest post by- Michael Hayes

Backing up shouldn’t even be a question anymore. With the emergence of the ‘Cloud’, users can now backup most of their personal files off site. I for one still have family/friends that regularly ask me to try and recover data from failed hard drives or to move their data from an old computer to a new computer. I of course still do it for them, but I also introduce them to the ‘Cloud’.

I’m not going to get into the nuts and bolts of backing up to the cloud. That can be done in later posts, but I will try to explain the theory of the components and what needs to happen.

First off you need to decide on your requirements.

  • How much data?
  • What type of data?
  • Do you need to be able to share it?

In our scenario we are looking to backup 10 gigabytes of family photos and family videos. As a couponer I am looking to do this as cheap or free if possible. Here is a list of the most popular cloud storage services:

Google Drive (5gb free)
Microsoft Skydrive (7gb free)
Dropbox (2gb free)
Box.net (5gb free)
Amazon Cloud Drive (5gb free)
iDrive Sync (10gb free)

Dropbox and Box.net also have the added benefit of being able to create multiple accounts easily with separate email addresses. All of the other services support this as well, but like most people I don’t recommend creating multiple Google, Microsoft, or Amazon accounts just because I use too many other services from these companies and it could get too confusing managing those accounts.

It looks like in this scenario we only have 1 option without having to create multiple accounts because of the amount of data we need backed up. Now that we have selected our service we need to verify that it supports the type of data we want to transfer so our question is; will iDrive Sync support pictures and small video clips? All of the services above should have a ‘Features’ page that outlines what you get for free. For instance the Box.net free service only allows a maximum file size of 100mb. Some of your videos could be excluded from being uploaded. So please pay attention and feel free to try multiple services before paying for one. In today’s competitive cloud storage market you should be able to find a free service that satisfies all your needs.

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In our example iDrive Sync should serve our need and it also has an added benefit of having a desktop client that will automatically keep our files in sync.

As you can see with the example above you can get very creative with utilizing the ‘Cloud’.

In the above we backed up our Family Photos and Family Videos, but what about all those MP3’s you have on your computer? Did you know Google has a service called ‘Google Play’ and an app called ‘Music Manager’ that uploads ALL of your music to the cloud (no matter how much music you own) and will also allow you to download your library if you needed to. Now we have your Family Photos, Family Videos, and Music taken care of. The only thing left are any important documents you may have. Documents you would treat the same as above, evaluate your requirements and choose your service based on your need. For documents I do suggest Dropbox because of its iOS, Android and Windows integration.




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