OK.. it’s the end of the year. When was the last time you backed up your photos?
I know many of you have a process for backing up of your files. I also know that many of you (despite knowing better) have yet to put the time and effort into doing this important task. Yes, you should back up your documents and other files as well, but lets stay focused on pictures here. This is where I get the most panicked phone calls; missing and lost photos.
Double Backup – two locations
The general rule I have is to always maintain at least 2 backups. One on-site and one off site. Why? What happens when your house burns down? If you didn’t have a copy somewhere else, you have lost all your precious memories. I know what you are thinking, my house won’t burn down. Well, it happened to my sister. She DID have backups at home, but they were lost in the fire. Seriously, Even if you just backup to a USB drive and take it to work or a friends house, do it. If you do this task once a year, the worst case is you lost a years worth of pics. Not everything.
I personally use a combination of locations. I may go overboard, but I am very protective of our pictures and memories. Here is my setup:
- My main location for files is in my pictures folder on my Mac.
- I have a backup stored on a network drive (Drobo) that I manually copy
- I have a time machine backup running to my Drobo as well
My remote copy is stored on Dropbox.
- EDIT: I have since moved my Offsite Backup to Crashplan
- Many people have so wisely pointed out that Dropbox is not a good backup solution, it is a sync solution.
Notice, I have 2 local backups, and one remote (off site) backup
I happen to store my photos in a nested folder structure that is by year/event. This enables me to easily find and share photos as needed.
- Michelles Birthday
- Vacation to mars
- Work event
Some online resources you can also use include:
Crashplan – automatic backup
Backblaze – another automatic backup solution
Flickr – you get 1 TB of storage now.. for free
Google Drive – yes, you can upload them to your drive account
If you are anything like the rest of the world you are taking more photos on your smartphone and less on a regular camera. Don’t forget to back these up. I suggest at the end of the year to take a snapshot of your phone pics and copy them to your YEAR/PhoneBackup folder. I have one of these for each of the past 5 years. I know I lost some photos prior to that, but I am pretty diligent now.
The method of retrieval depends on Mac/PC and the type of phone you have. (iPhone/Android/other). A little research and you can easily find ways to copy all the files at once to your computer.
Another thing I do is run backups from my phone to online services. I use iCloud Drive for photos backup on my iPhone. I also run Carousel (from Dropbox) to maintain a backup of photos from my device to the cloud. I am an Amazon Prime member, so I am considering trying out their free photo backup solution as well. (it is free for prime members) I don’t really need it, but that nagging in my head about backing up is telling me to add another online service to protect these photos. (maybe I have an issue with OCD here)
Just take the time to do it. Back things up. Get them off your computer drive and on to some external source. Get a copy out of your house. By making sure you are redundant with these you can protect against corruption of files, fires, theft, etc. Trust me, you will be happy you skipped that episode of Nashville to take care of this.