While traveling for weeks and months at a time, we take a lot of photos. Generally, every day Valerie uploads these photos to our laptop. Eventually, these photos are removed from the camera in order to make room for more photos so our laptop is the only place those photos exist. What if the laptop stops working or is lost/stolen? Those photos are gone.
What we used to do was to carry some USB drives and periodically we would backup the new photos onto one of the USB drives. This was not the most ideal solution since the USB drives could very well be lost/stolen along with the laptop. In addition, there are other files that we have on the laptop that we may modify that we want to keep backed up as well.
Essentially, what I’m describing is the situation faced by most computer owners in that we need to have a viable and reliable means to keep the contents of our computer backed up. Now, technology seems to be encouraging us to move to a cloud model where all our files are stored in the cloud so that we don’t need to retain any “local” content. I do make use of the Microsoft OneDrive cloud service but I’m just not ready yet to completely give up locally stored files. Also, I have not found a cloud service that offers encryption so if you are concerned about securing your most sensitive content you would have to manage the encryption which seems to negate the advantages of using cloud storage.
Recently, I have started using the online backup service BackBlaze. In a nutshell, BackBlaze provides an automatic backup for an unlimited amount of data from your computer. The secure backup is done in the background while you use your computer using whatever internet connection you have available. So anytime you add or modify files on your computer, they will be backed up as long as you have an internet connection.
This is very powerful for us since the backup for our laptop will be kept up to date no matter where we are in the world. When we add new photos, they will be backed up. If we were to completely lose our laptop, we would be able to retrieve our files, again, from anywhere in the world.
Naturally, BackBlaze isn’t the only such service available. I chose this service because it provides for backing up an unlimited amount of data and stores your backed up data in an encrypted form. The cost is $5 per month or $50 for the year. Your initial backup will take several days depending upon the amount you have to backup and the speed of your internet connection. After that only new or modified files will be sent to backup.
The initial backup of our 150GB of photos, music and other content required about two weeks to complete but since then BackBlaze has been effective at keeping our laptop backed up at all times.