We hear it all the time, we should backup our stuff. It’s not at the forefront of our minds because we turn our devices on and expect them to work.  But what if they don’t? What if there’s a natural disaster? Power failure? Oops moment?

Before computers came along, filing cabinets, safety deposit boxes, and safes protected the important documents and pictures. Electronic versions of them need the same safety net. Transferring them to a different device are good redundancies. Keeping them with a offsite backup provider is even better.

Five years ago, I had already gone through the CD/DVD backup stage. With the amount of data I needed to keep safe, it was impractical.  (My current restore is 180GB – That’s roughly 39 disks for every backup.) I considered external hard drives a lifesaver until one crashed. Still vulnerable with on site backups, I did some research on backup providers and settled on Crashplan because of their price.

I haven’t looked back since.

The plan I’m on costs me $60 per year for one computer with unlimited storage in cloud. It’s worth every penny. The client works in the background and runs every 15 minutes. (A user can change this setting.) Unless it gets into one of its file verification processes, which happens every two weeks (again adjustable), I don’t notice a thing until I need a restore.

Desktop to laptop or desktop to tablet (Android. Have the app installed on my IPad, but haven’t used it yet.) and the files I need are available. Most of the time, I’ve used it for grabbing files when I wasn’t on my desktop or when I didn’t like something about the version of file that I had. Today, I’m using it for a totally different purpose. My external hard drive crashed. It’s the second drive I’ve lost in the last few weeks. Both due to old age.

For now, I’m splitting the restore to the remaining two drives. One a brand new SSD and the other that also a little long in the teeth.  As soon as I can, I’ll get a new external drive and put everything back on that. Of course, I’ll keep Crashplan updated with the configuration, so I don’t lose anything.

I can’t emphasize this enough… Electronic data (documents, pictures, etc.) stored in on one device is vulnerable to deletion, hardware failure, or other unforeseen circumstance. Make at least one backup of it, preferably in a different location, for peace of mind.