One thing I was pleased about during my recent laptop problems was I felt fairly confident that in the worst case scenario I would be able to reformat and retrieve all my data from various backups. I’ve always known I should back up but until relatively recently this was a somewhat sporadical and very manual process. Hopefully I know have a much better process in place.
Firstly I have a free account with Mozy which allows me to backup upto 2GB of data online. The software runs every night, checks the file locations I’ve selected and saves any changes since the last backup.
Earlier this year I started using Syncplicity, initially as a replacement for DropBox (which I really ended up disliking a lot), but now find it acting as a reassuring safety net. Like Mozy you select which folders and files you want to sync and Syncplicity runs in the background and updates any files as you change them. This means you also have version control on all your files, the options to view them online on any computer and also sync them to other computers if you want. You can also edit the files online and have them sync back to your own machine (although I don’t use this option). Another great feature of Syncplicity is you can enable it for Google Docs to create local backups of all your Google Documents.
I’m not entirely sure if I really need to be using both Mozy and Syncplicity for the same files but I am. I like the synching of Syncplicity and the fact that I can download the full backup set from Mozy.
Because I’m only using the free accounts with 2GB of space, I don’t use these services to backup photos. I upload most of my photos to private albums on a Pro Flickr account. I’m also one of the few people who make use of Windows Briefcases to create a sync copy of my photo directories on an external hard drive which I try and update weekly. Finally, every few months I burn all new photos to discs.
It seems to work for me, I was slightly concerned about everything being in the cloud but I think I’m getting over that now. I could do with a way of backing up Gmail and now I need to work out how to introduce another computer in to the process, hopefully Syncplicity will take care of that.