Backing Up Your Photos
Do your digital images really exist? If you really think about it, unlike the old days of film when you could tuck away your photos, slides and negatives safely in a file cabinet, today’s digital files could suddenly cease to exist as the result of an unexpected power surge, black out or hard drive crash. In a very real sense, they literally don’t exist in a physical form, unlike your old negatives and slides. Instead, they are only 1’s and 0’s stored in “virtual” form on a delicate hard drive or memory card.
This makes it absolutely essential that you back up your digital files in order to insure that your treasured images will be around for future use. One way is to back up your files to DVD’s, CD’s or a USB drive, but this can be a labor intensive project and still requires you to store the archived media someplace safe. Even then, because of changes in technology and the uncertain archival nature of the media, you may still find that your images are not safe. A mere twenty years ago the primary media used for external data storage was the 3 1/2″ floppy disks (up to 1.4mb); then came the larger Syquest, Bernoulli, Zip and Jazz disks (up to 1 gb). Where are they today? Do you remember 8-track tapes, Beta-max, VHS and Compact Cassettes? They all now occupy a place in the same legacy “Phantom Zone”.
The simplest answer to this dilemma is to store your images and other important files off-site in the “cloud”. This archiving method can be ideal because it places your data at your fingertips anywhere you have an internet connection. It’s also very easy to restore or download your files to a new computer, tablet or smartphone. This procedure incrementally backs up all of your important data so that any changes you might make will be saved as well. Best of all, the process is automatic and runs in the background, so you never have to “remember” to do it – it just happens!
Today’s operating systems in both the Windows and Mac OS environment offer built in cloud storage. Check with your OS provider for the cloud storage options they offer. Some software providers may include limited cloud storage with their products, like Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Photoshop CC.
At Uphoto, we use and highly recommend Carbonite On-line backup. Carbonite runs continually in the background, protecting new and changed files whenever your computer is connected to the Internet. You don’t need to choose which files to protect because every Carbonite Home subscription comes with unlimited backup space. Carbonite is designed to be easy to use, but if you ever have questions, their U.S. based support team is available to help. Best of all, cloud backup plans for a single computer are available for as little as $6 per month.