Backing Up – You Do Regularly Back Up, Don’t You?

Backing up computers is one of those tasks that nobody likes, but everyone should do. Questions about backing up arise often. Here’s how I do it.

I find it impractical to use automated Internet offsite backup services. With around 1.5TB of photos/videos, and 185GB of documents, it would take well over a month running 24/7 to initially back everything up online, and would incur substantial data overage charges from my cable ISP.

So I continue to use multiple hard drives with a combo of in-office storage, and offsite storage in a safety deposit box at my bank.

For immediate, short-to-mid-term backup on my main Windows PC, I have two NAS (network attached storage) devices with multiple hard drives in each. For my Mac I have Time Machine automagically backing up to an external USB HD.

I also have a couple of “toasters” that you can hot-swap hard drives in and out of. I clone my entire Windows HD to an external drive every month or two, and rotate with the one(s) in the safety deposit box.

I am looking into adding a Blu-ray drive to my arsenal. Once burned, write-once discs cannot be overwritten, and archival-grade Blu-ray M-discs appear to be about the most permanent affordable means of long-term backup.