How to back up your system

More and more precious data builds up in your computer. Loosing images from the last five years of vacations is a pity. So you want to keep a backup.

I keep two. For my most valuable stuff. One local backup and one off site. Actually it’s off continent. I live in Norway and my external backup is in the US.

Both of the backups are completely automated. Here’s how I do it.

I keep all my images in one folder with several subfolders on our family server. This computer have several hard drives and because I have experienced complete hard drive failures I know how fast you can loose gigabytes of data.

So my first line of defence is to keep an updated mirror of my image folder on another drive. If the main drive drops dead I can restore everything from the second drive. Yes, this cost me twice the hard drive space. Currently I have 120 GIG of images, so I need at least 120 GIG extra space on the second drive. Still pretty cheap insurance if you like your image collection.

To automate the process I use a free software called SyncBack Freeware. I have put up one single profile in SyncBack that simply backup the folder called “Images” from drive 1 to a folder called “Images” on drive 2. This backup is run every hour.

For the off site backup I use a service called Carbonite. It is very user friendly, encrypt your data and is priced very reasonable. Currently it’s $5 a month for unlimited amount of space. 2 GIG upload a day, and about 15 GIG download a day when you need to restore your data.

Carbonite is a software that you install on your computer that gives you a couple of possibilities, from “Back up the My Documents folder“, “Back up all images on my computer” to the more full control option where you simply right click and choose “Back this up” on the files, folders and drives that you want to back up.

I know there’s a lot of possibilities out there so you’re welcome to add your solutions in the comments.

Both Carbonite and SyncBack are Windows only. Paul Stamatiou uses Amazon S3 and jungle disk for the off site backup. That one is Windows, Linux and Mac. I’ll have to ask my friend Oyvind to give you a complete and similar solution for Macintosh. I guess he’ll comment or trackback here when he’s done with his article on how to back up your mac…

Have a look in the comments here. Seems like Carbonite isn’t that unlimited after all: Carbonite – when unlimited is limited