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Monday, September 18, 2006

Online back-up matures

If you have a lot of digital material - such as the family photos - on your computer, you must have decent back-ups in place. Imagine your computer broke down and wrecked the hard drive in the process (it's happened to me)? Or was damaged by fire or flood? Or stolen? Disaster.

Luckily there's now at least two good online back-up systems - Mozy, offering 30Gb of storage for $5 a month, and Carbonite which costs the same for unlimited space. Both have good client software which looks after the initial back up and then keeping things synchronised.

Of course, there's always the nagging feeling of what happens if your chosen back up provider goes out of business... well, the odds of that occuring just when you need such a service are low, and now with two players at least if one folds you can fall back to the other. But hopefully, web 2.0 businesses are planning a little better and such fears are unfounded...

I still adhere to the "lots of copies keeps stuff safe" principle. I synchronise all my data between my laptop and desktop using FolderSync, and also make periodic syncs to a USB hard drive. I also use the USB hard drive to dump my back ups to my sister's computer when I visit her (and back hers up at the same time) for off-site storage.

Maybe it's a little paranoid but I'm covered if either of my computers fail, or even if the house burns down. Now though, chosing one of these online services (Carbonite would be my choice) is probably a simpler solution :-).

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