If you are like me, your entire life is on your computer … well, maybe not your entire life … but years of photos (births and birthdays, soccer games, silly faces and sweet moments), thousands of songs, and personal documents. A couple years ago I surprised my hubby with Photoshop to compliment his newfound photography hobby for Christmas. The next day as he was trying to install an upgraded hard drive on our computer to support it, a tiny little shock of static electricity fried our entire hard drive! Lucky for us we had been backing up photos on a monthly basis by burning them to CD. Unlucky for us, we hadn’t done that yet for December so gone were the pictures of picking out our Christmas tree and all the other holiday festivities that year (thank goodness we still had pictures from Christmas Day on our camera!) That was a huge wake up call for us – the disappointment of losing even a single picture, not to mention all the other documents we had NOT backed up, but how devastated I would be if we lost everything! As my husband’s photography hobby grew into a passion, there was no way we could keep up with our existing back up method. That’s when my brother-in-law introduced us to Mozy.
Mozy is an online service that makes backing up your files a cinch! It’s automatic, and super easy to use, but also inexpensive (unlimited backup for only $4.95 per month). Definitely worth the piece of mind in my opinion! It’s literally like this cave in Utah that houses all the servers … you select the files you want backed up and the time of day you want the back up to occur and Mozy does the rest … encrypting your data with the same technology used by banks. The first time you do the back up, and depending on how much data you are backing up, it can actually take days or even weeks to download everything (but you can still use your computer as you normally would). Then, once a day, Mozy is able to recognize any new or changed files and back those up. We set our back up time in the middle of the night so we never even notice its happening. And if something ever happens to your computer, the retrieval process is just as easy! We’ve even had a friend who needed to do this and he was extremely impressed with how simple it was to get all his files restored … some were sent online directly back to his computer and some were burned to a DVD in which Mozy overnighted. But he was able to choose how he wanted his files sent back to him.
I’m a fan of Mozy because that’s what we use, but there are several other services out there as well – Carbonite is another one for example. Bottom line … you can never expect the unexpected – something as simple as a fried hard drive, or much more devastating like a house fire or theft (my friend had her computer AND back up hard drive stolen with ALL the pictures of their new baby). So why not give yourself a little piece of mind and what a super Smarty way to ensure your kids will have their digital history preserved forever!
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Why do you need to back up your photos if you download them to say, Kodak Gallery, and place a regular order?
Thanks Tracy…this is a great idea! In our home, both parents work full time and just don’t have the time or desire to deal with technical computer issues like back-ups etc.
Good point regarding services like Kodak Gallery … we just have so many pictures that I’m not sure this would be the best solution for us personally. And like the the second person commented, as two working parents it’s hard to find the time to remember to download stuff on my own. That’s why I like Mozy because it does it all for me and I don’t even have to think about it. But yes, Kodak Gallery, Shutterfly, etc are also good options for housing your pictures seperately.
I am not 100% sure about this but I think sites like Kodak would eventually delete you files… plus you cant store you music, videos or important document. For example we just close on our refi for our house. Our attorney did not give us a hard copy, only a .pdf of the documents. Having the backup like this makes it nice knowing I can always get a copy if I need it.
I am also afraid of losing our stuff. Thanks for the tip. In regards to Kodak Gallery, you could always ORDER pics from them if you kept your site up do date. However, you cant re-download the picture in the same resolution that it was put up there in. So, you could never really do anything else with the pictures if you wanted to.
great post Tracy! this is so important…either to have something off site like what you mentioned or have an external hard drive to mirror what you are doing on your computer..however an external harddrive would not protect you in case of a disaster in your home like fire or flood.nanine
There is a difference between using a service like Kodak Gallery, Flickr, and even Google Picasa online and a backup service. First a backup service like Mozy, or Carbonite or IDrive are true backups. They encrypt and backup your files offsite so you don’t have to worry about a hard drive crash or fire etc. They do it automatically and regularly. Services like Kodak Gallery etc are file sharing services and are not automatic. Using a backup service is a much better path to take.
My friend and I were recently talking about how involved with technology our daily lives have become. Reading this post makes me think back to that discussion we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside… I just hope that as technology further advances, the possibility of transferring our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could experience in my lifetime.(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=http://www.leetboss.com/video-games/r4i-r4-sdhc-nintendo-ds]R4i[/url] DS BB)