Backing Up Your Digital Life

Monday, January 3, 2011 - 10:13am

Want to back up your photos and other files? There are several options.

For anyone who stores photos, videos or documents on their home computer one major concern is making sure they stay there, or at least making sure they're secure.

To back up your digital assets, decide first how much storage space you need.

That means checking your largest files.

You'll want roughly double that amount of memory capacity.

Your next decision is whether you want copies of those files with you on disc, external hard drive, or at a remote location online.

"I think there are more benefits to the online backup service, than there are to the hard drive, but some people aren't comfortable with having things live outside of their own home," says's Suzanne Kantra.

If you're one of those people an external hard drive is one option.

A terabyte of storage costs about $100 dollars and will last three to five years.

Going the online route for backup means paying a monthly or annual fee to a service.

They can either sync your files, which means saving the most recent version, or archive them, which means digging deeper.

Numerous companies, including Carbonite and Mozy offer online backup.

One that Kantra singles out is Keepvault.

"I like this one for families because you can back up more than one person's file to this system with one account," she says.

Kantra also favors two other services.

One's called Sugar Sync, the other's called Drop Box.

They each offer syncing and archiving of files.

"That gives you synchronization and it also has versioning and you can go back and get those earlier versions of your file anytime, so it's the best of both worlds," Kantra says.

Extra security never hurts when it comes to saving digital files.

One bonus to doing online backup is that with some companies, it also allows you a way to share files with persons of your own choosing.

If you're not comfortable with online backup, don't like external hard drives and choose to save files on DVDs or Blu-ray discs, it's suggested you use a special archival quality disc that's less prone to damage and likely to last longer.

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