Back up your computer!!! Computers are great until they crash and you lose years of important documents, photos, videos, and memories. I had a catastrophic failure last week and had to reformat my computer with erases EVERYTHING. Thankfully I had multiple backups (redundand backups using different back up programs. It is a good thing too, because neither backup worked perfectly, but between the two I was able to save everything that I wanted.
Because of this I started to research online backup plans. I never wanted to pay a monthly fee, but this crash had me rethinking that. I found a number of great plans from free to very inexpensive. The one I settled on is called CrashPlan Online Data Backup & Storage – CrashPlan – Backup Software, Disaster Recovery
. They have a free option and paid options with a free 30 day trial for the paid version.
I am getting the paid version. For about $50 a year I get unlimited back up including external drives. That is an amazing value if you ask me (No I do not work for them :)
The drawback is that the initial backup can take a while. At first I was backing up everything I had (about 3 terabytes). That was going to take about 3 years to complete. So now I am just starting with what is on my computer and also my photos. That will take about 60 days. The good thing is that as it backs up the files that have backed up are available right away so just because it is going to take so long that is OK because each second I have more and more saved online. Another cool feature is that they have an iPhone and iPad app. You can download any of your data right to your phone or ipad. That is great for music and movies so you can be on a trip and basically have all your movies and music with you.
There are tons of other similar sites out there and from what I have read they are all basically just as good as the next with just small configuration and option differences. I like Crashplan because the price is right and I like how I can set it up. It will let you decided how much of your CPU it uses and you can even allow it to use more at certain times (like when you are not on the computer) and less or even none at other times (when you are heavily using the comp for example).
Please everyone, remember to backup. Don't find yourself in a situation you could have prevented easily. These online backup services are set and forget and then you are safe. Do it right after you close this message. It is well worth it.