Backing up your files is one of those dreaded chores. You know you should do it, but it somehow gets to the bottom of your To Do list.
I’ve had the misfortune of having a computer crash and have lost all of my files, including personal pictures, that I will always regret losing. This memory haunted me recently as my laptop started randomly shutting down on it’s own. I was reminded how much I had to lose if this laptop died on me. :(:(
Not only is it our business and personal documents that are at risk of disappearing; but it’s our photos and our music too. If you have an iTunes library, you can’t get all of your purchased music back if something happens to your computer, whether it be a crash or your computer getting lost or stolen. Or something as simple and random as a coffee spill.
Online backup is the way to go these days. Remember the days of backing up to CDs? Some people opt to back up to an external hard drive, but that doesn’t seem safe to me. What if something happens to the external hard drive?
Using an online service is the best option in my opinion. You can set it up to backup automatically, and it operates in the background while you are working. Once your files are backed up online, you can restore them at any time, from any computer. It’s affordable- around $5 per month per computer, depending on the service you use.
I wrote a previous post about Mozy Online Backup. I had had luck with it previously, but this time, it would not back up my Mac files at all. I kept getting an error message that my files were not backed up successfully.
So, I am trying a different program, Backblaze, specifically for Mac users and created by ex-Apple employees (according to their website).
Before you backup your files, I would recommend cleaning up your folders and files. Delete anything you don’t need. Not only does it feel great to get rid of stuff you don’t need, a Spring Cleaning for your computer, but it will also make your backup go faster. There is no reason to back up files that you don’t need since Backblaze backs up all of your files, unless you specifically exclude folders.
I am in the middle of my first backup. I’m amazed at how many files I have, and I am not even using half of my storage capacity. The Backblaze documentation says the first backup could take days or weeks. It’s been 3 days so far, and I still have a ways to go, as you can see below.
It took 9 days but my files backed up successfully! Yeah! It backs up while you are working. I was a little impatient waiting all of those days, and kept checking on the status, but I did have 65,000 files to back up. Every time I restarted my computer, I manually restarted the program to make sure it was backing up. As I suggested, delete anything unnecessary before you start your backup so that it goes faster. Look in temporary cache folders, download folders and other folders that you don’t use often. The movie files took the longest, so delete any of those that you don’t need. Otherwise, if you want, just back up everything so you don’t have to worry about missing any files.
It feels great knowing that my files are safe and secure, and that from now on my files will be continuously backed up.
Here is the website for Backblaze. They have a free 14 day trial, so you can test the backup to make sure the process works for you.