Today’s backup solutions are easier, and friendlier than ever.
It cost some money (not that much), but you get more than what you pay for: Peace of mind.
I personally had these tools save my ass more than once.
Last year I witnessed some heart-breaking loss of data… A friend’s car got stolen with a laptop inside. 2 house burglaries. A drive crash. A disk-on-key virus. A disk-on-key hardware failure. A laptop water-spill. Another friend found out his backup scheme wasn’t really backing up anything…
The year before I had my own laptop’s hard drive crash.
A couple of years ago a cousin’s home got on fire(!).
My friends lost urgent work they had to turn over, priceless photos, unrecoverable hard work they put lots of sweat into.
Please, don’t let it happen to you. I hate getting these phone-calls…
Some hard learnt tips
1) It’s only a matter of time. Accept the fact that data gets lost/corrupted. Hoping for the best has nothing to do with it.
2) Without a check – you’re not backing up. I had the “pleasure” of having a false sense of security with my backup scheme, only to find out I was backing up corrupted data on a daily basis. This periodical check saved me from a potential very unpleasant situation.
3) Try using your backed up files. Make sure they actually work. I once found out that I was not backing up some hidden files in one of my code directories. Took me a couple of hours to recover some important configuration I had in these hidden files.
4) Mozy.com saved me when my drive crashed. I owe them this much. Carbonite is also good. I now use JungleDisk (for a bit more advanced users). These tools send your data, encrypted, to “the cloud”. As far as you’re concerned – a tsunami can flood your house, your data will stay safe. ~$5/month for all the storage you need. Less than a hard drive’s cost.
5) Do some “what if” scenarios (play days): can be fun to imagine atomic bombs, faulty scripts, nasty people and key loss. Stay humble, though. Reality finds creative ways to destroy your data. Losing your original copy when trying to check if your backup worked is one of my favorites 😮
There you go… Had to get this out of my system 🙂