“Just because you’re paranoid…” Backup Then Backup Again
Until recently, I relied on solely an external hard drive to backup my photos. As the amount of photos I had grew and the amount of time spent taking and editing them ballooned, I became increasingly paranoid that one day despite the backup, I would lose my laptop and backup at the same time to fire, theft or some other mishap. And as Kurt Cobain would say, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you”
A few weeks ago I lost my laptop in Switzerland whilst on holiday – scratch the first copy of photos. This morning my backup hard drive went from a near silent whirring to an ominous clicking that seems to be the machine equivalent of a death rattle because there’s no more life in the old dog – scratch the second copy of photos. Of all the people I know who’ve had a hard drive fail, every single one of them has been a Lacie, no exaggeration. So it shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise that the drive that failed came from this company. Big thumbs down to Lacie, grrrrr.
The only reason I’m not throwing furniture or crying in a corner at this point is my paranoid self setup a third copy of my photo library online in ‘the cloud’. Until this morning my online backup was just providing peace of mind but now its saved me from disaster.
Online backup services are now easy to setup and very affordable. When picking a provider there are the obvious factors to take into account like What does it cost? and Will the company still be in business when I need my files back? I use a service called Crash Plan which costs $5 dollars a month and allows you to backup as much data as you want. A less obvious factor to consider is the software provided to perform the backup. Online backup is in general slow (depending on your internet connection) and it may take several days to upload your latest shoot. With this in mind, you need the software to run reliably in the background and not have a negative impact on your computer whilst its running. Crash Plan’s software seems uber stable on my Mac and has a nice feature to slow down backup whilst your using your computer and limit how much CPU gets consumed. I haven’t tried there Customer support, but if you’re anything like me your first port of call is normally Google so this isn’t a big consideration.
This week roll of honor:
The Good – Crash Plan Online Backup
The Bad – Lacie Hard Drives
The Ugly – Whoever has my laptop now