How to back up your data in 6 different ways

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Have you ever deleted something important? Has your laptop ever crashed? I want to share my 2 cents on why it is important to have a backup of your important files.

While there are many ways to back up your files, I’m going to share the way I do it.

I used many backup solutions throughout my life. Here is my opinion on the most popular options.

Apple Time Capsule

It takes a snapshot of your entire operating system many times a day. It’s made by Apple and may sound reliable enough to consider this option. But please don’t use it.

Apple Time Capsule takes snapshots of your system many times a day and stores them on highly unreliable hardware. Please note that it’s not a cloud backup option.

My 2TB Time Capsule just stopped working one day, when I was a university student in Oxford. It just stopped working. I lost most of my university work and personal files that day.

Dropbox

I then tried Dropbox and loved it. Its free plan allowed me to store my personal files in the cloud. I could easily access them on my phone whenever I needed.

I even managed to expand my free plan to almost 30GB, which gave me a lot of space for work. Some of my local web projects are stored on Dropbox, including databases. E.g. I can run the same development website on multiple laptops, using Dropbox.

Unfortunately, Dropbox is not a secure cloud solution. It was hacked in 2016. Hackers gained access to login data for almost 68 million users. If you weren’t using two-factor authentication you most likely exposed your personal data to the hackers.

Although Dropbox was hacked I still think it’s the best cloud solution. I believe you can restore a file within 30 days if you accidentally deleted it. Just make sure you enable 2FA and you’ll be good.

External Hard Drives

I have a lot of vlogging footage as I upload new videos to my YouTube channel every week. If you have a lot of data like me, you won’t be able to store everything in the cloud. It will be either too expensive or too slow to retrieve your footage.

External hard drives are very affordable nowadays. You can easily get a portable 4TB hard drive for under $100. Hard drives are unreliable, they get corrupted without a warning. Therefore, you need to have at least two copies of your files. Luckily, all you need to do is get a second hard drive and copy your files there.

NAS

NAS or network-attached storage is another popular storage solution. It’s basically a home cloud storage, if setup correctly using RAID, is a reliable storage solution.

Shared storage

If you’re a popular blogger and have a team working on your 4K footage simultaneously, you can get a 200TB storage beast by LumaForge, sold on Apple website. It’s a 200TB network attached rack, which has a lot of Ethernet ports and can be expanded to over petabyte of capacity.

In RAID 60, “only 132TB is available out of 200TB. This is a perfect solution if you have over $50,000. Yup, it’s very expensive.

Cloud Storage

It’s a good option if you don’t have a lot of data. You can use Dropbox or Google Drive for free. If you need more storage you can easily increase it by upgrading your plan.

I don’t see it as a place where I’d store my video footage. Not yet. It’s just too slow, it will take hours and hours to download my vlog footage when I need it. If you don’t need your files too often and don’t want to fill your portable hard drives you can store it on Amazon Glacier or other services. Although it’s a relatively cheap solution, their pricing policy is complicated. They usually charge per GB of outgoing traffic.

Summary

I keep my important documents and some of the web projects in the cloud, on Dropbox and Google Drive. It’s free and relatively secure.

My video footage, photos, RAW files are stored on multiple portable hard drives.

I use Github as the main place for my websites.

Check out my macOS list of applications and share how you back up your files, in the comments below.

Cheers,
Renat Galyamov

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