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Back it Up

This is another blog post about backing up data, and protecting your images. Why? Because if it means just one reader doesn’t lose all their family photos to the digital abyss, it will be worthwhile.

Hard disks have a finite lifespan. This is probably going to be around 3 to 5 years. If, for example, you only store your family photos on your laptop, when it dies (and it will) you will lose all your images or have to pay a lot of money to a data recovery firm to try and get back your treasured memories.

Back up your computer at home, and ideally have another off-site backup just in case of a disaster such as theft, fire or flood that takes both hard drive and back up drive.

Back up at home.

If you’ve got an Apple computer use the Time Machine application. All you need is an external hard disk that is significantly larger than the total of your computers internal hard drives.

I was using a 4TB external hard drive as my main TimeMachine backup, but just bought a larger 8TB Western Digital external hard drive.

As 8TB is still not large enough to backup all my data, I select which drives to back up with the Time Machine (start up disk and the most recent disks of images) and which to manually copy to another external hard disk (film scans and images from 2010-2013).

For windows users there are also applications to help backup your data. An app came with the Western Digital drive, that enables automated backup of data .

Western Digital 8TB external hard drive.jpg

Off-site back up


My documents and all my client images are also backed up and synced to Dropbox. I have a Dropbox Plus account which gives me 1TB of storage for about US$8.25 a month. It works as a great method to give me immediate access to files and sync between various computers.

My main computer system is also backed up to the cloud using BackBlaze. This is US$50 a year and is my best option to retrieve all my data in the event of flood or fire.  Your computer (and all connected hard drives) are uploaded to their secure servers.  In the event both my computer and the TimeMachine are lost, I can download everything from BackBlaze over the internet or request a physical hard drive with the data. It’s an insurance policy that allows me to sleep better at night.

1 Comment

  1. I have also found Google photos a good way to specifically back up my photos and video. Can do it direct from my phone and also copy from my laptop. The in built search feature is super helpful too. Just search “beach” and every picture of a beach will come up automatically 👍🏻

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