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Mar 14
Last Updated on 14 March 2014

Better Late than Never..

backup2

 

I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at one time or another, we’re sitting at home or at the office while it’s raining outside when all the sudden the power goes off. No problem right? Yeah maybe you lost a couple hours of work but it’s not the end of the world. So you drink your cup of coffee or tea (hopefully you made it before the power kicked off) and just enjoy the looking out your window at the storm blowing through….

 

Ok, power comes back on, back to work…. 

 … 

no drive detected… 

hmmm, that’s odd, let’s try a reboot 

…. 

…….. 

no drive detected…

 

Ok so now we’re panicking, you’re hard drive has completely crash and instead of losing a couple hours of work you’ve now lost everything from those family pictures to videos of the kids playing out in the backyard. But only everything that happened after your last backup….backup? What’s that? I don’t know how to do that? That’s too much hassle, you need an extra hard drive and you have to schedule it and maintain it…to much trouble right? Well it’s really not as hard as you might think and after you get it setup once everything else is a breeze. Now what I’ll be talking about today is not using an extra hard drive or an even external drive (both extremely valid and good options), we’ll be discussing Cloud back solutions such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Minus, SkyDrive and SugarSync…all of which have a free version that will work for a lot of people but if you need more they also offer paid subscriptions.

 

Some of the pros of going with a cloud backup solution are:

 

1.  Your backups are off-site (imagine if a power surge fried your PC and your external hard drives)

 

2.  The companies that provide these backup services are going to have backups of your backups (it is there job to have a 99.999% percent uptime)

 

3.  The mere convenience is amazing, you could potentially access your files from any computer or phone at any time…very nice feature to have especially if you’re just wanting someone to see a picture or see a home movie real quick when you’re out on the town.

 

For ease of reading and because I’m more familiar with Dropbox we’ll focus on it for this article. Drop box has made the hesitation of backup a non-relevant point, you simply sign up and install their software to your desktop. Other than some organization it’s really that easy.

 

What happens is Dropbox installs a folder that you can access either from the task bar (bottom right of the screen, it will be a little blue box) or by going through Windows Explorer. To take it a step further you could create a shortcut link on your desktop that will take you directly inside that folder.

 

Now once inside you will see a couple premade folders, public, photos and maybe some others. The first time you setup Dropbox it will take you through some tutorials just to help make you more comfortable with their layout, and as far as I remember they also try and help you import all your current pictures and movies. Any file placed in the public folder has a public link associated with it, you simply copy the link and email it to anyone you want to have access to that particular file (note: this does not give them access to your other files or your PC, only to the file you have designated to give them permission to)

 

After you start saving all your photos/videos to the Dropbox picture folder, or whatever folder structure you design, it’s no different than saving everything to the pictures folder in your My Documents. So after everything gets setup and running you won’t have to do anything different, other than the aforementioned folder structuring, and if you ever have another failure you won’t be quite as worried that you have lost all your files.

 

It does need to be pointed out just for clarity, these are not system backups. They are simply a way to backup the most important files on your system, it’s never fun to reinstall all your programs and get your computer set back up to the way you had it running. But it’s still a lot easier than losing all your important documents, pictures, and videos that can’t be recreated or recaptured.

 

Until next time,backup

 

-Cory

Network Administrator….and avid Dropbox user….

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