Last updated on December 10th, 2021
World Backup Day is March 31. It’s a day meant to remind everyone on the importance of making backups of one’s computer files. Hard drive failure, data corruption, accidentally deleting files, etc., are all incentives to back up at important records.
I last wrote about my own backup strategy a few years ago. A few things have changed since then; I don’t own a Mac anymore, so I’m down to a Linux computer and a Chromebook, plus my mobile devices. Thus, I thought I’d write an updated post listing my current file backup strategy.
External hard drive
I have a 2TB external hard drive I use to make local backups. Every so often, I plug it into my computer and copy over my computer’s files. (When I had a Mac, I’d use Time Machine, which is an easy to use automatic backup program.)
I also have an older 1TB external hard drive, which I use mainly for extra storage space for my computers. Both hard drives also store my video files.
Online backups are as important as local backups. I mainly use Google Drive to store copies of most of my documents (excluding my video files and a few miscellaneous documents). Since I have a Chromebook, I receive 100GB for free for two years, though it’s $2/month otherwise for that much storage.
Google Drive also provides an option to download Google Docs files to a non-Docs format (such as DOC, XLS, etc.), for downloading/backing up such files locally.
I also have a Dropbox account, though it’s been little used lately. Dropbox is a decent service; it also has the advantage of being an independent service, i.e. not tied to one of the major tech titans like Google, Microsoft, etc.
I use Google Photos to backup my phone’s pictures, as well as my archive of digital camera photos. It’s built into my Android phone, making it easy to use by default. Google Photos offers unlimited photo storage, but only if the photos are compressed in size; otherwise, it uses your Drive storage to hold full size photos. I opted to switch the settings from the unlimited default setting to full size, as I don’t want Google Photos to compress my pictures.
Of course, I also keep a local photo backup on my external hard drive. Google Photos makes downloading a collection of photos to a computer easy.
Google Play Music
My music collection’s been uploaded to Google Play Music, which lets users store up to 50,000 tracks for free. Said tracks are stored as 320kbps constant bit rate (CBR) MP3 files. Google Play Music is also a music store and Spotify-like subscription service, so getting new music is easy.
Like my photos, I also store copies of my music files on my external hard drive.
How do you backup your files?
Photo by Alejandro Pinto. (Flickr / CC BY / cropped from original)