Your data backup habits
We talk a lot about power backup here. It's an Anker community, after all, right? But what about data backup?
Even if we don't realize, we use, generate and store a lot of data, much more then we would like to think about. Today, it's easy and cheap enough to buy storage, and our friend @elmo41683 started an interesting thread about storage space here, and one of the best uses of all the storage space we can have today is to have a robust backup system.
If you ever read a little about backup, you probably stumbled upon the 3-2-1 rule:
Quite simple, isn't it? Yet, most people ignore the need for backups.
I remember when I was finishing my bachelor's degree, writing my final paper. I became somewhat obsessed with not losing anything. It was way before the cheap external large storage and before the cloud became a thing. Dropbox was only just starting. Without knowing it, I was already abiding by the 3-2-1 rule: I had my paper saved in my computer, in two separate thumb drives, in a 3.5 floppy disk - yes, they were still around those days - and on Dropbox. So, more a 5-3-1 rule in my case, I guess.
I was into the 3-2-1 rule until a few months ago. I use a NAS connected to my network backing up my MacBook Air through Time Machine and a separated external drive for most of my data - which is mostly photos. And I used CrashPlan until they decided to go business-only. I haven't decided on a new cloud backup system yet, and I must confess I'm a little anxious about it.
Having had my share of lost data, I was always wary of the way I store it. I used everything from hundreds of CDs to dozens of DVDs, to external drives, to the cloud, and back again. Up until 2012 I was an Windows exclusive user - mostly because I didn't had the money to go Apple. I can't really say anything about the state of the Windows system these days, but until 2012 it was anything but reliable. And it didn't had any comprehensive backup system worthy of trust. So I had my data carefully copied into several discs, and a list of every software installed, in case of a system error - which happened about twice a year. By the end, I began reinstalling everything from time to time before a crash would happen.
Then in 2012 I could finally afford a Mac. I used Time Machine in an external drive I had to manually connect to backup, which meant I could forget to plug it in sometimes. I had one crash on my Mac, and my most recent backup was a couple of weeks old. Two realizations came from the experience:
Backups are important. I lost two weeks of data, which at the time was not a lot, thankfully. But I could have lost a lot. Today, if I used the same system, I would have.
Time Machine is an awesome backup system. Apart from the two weeks I lost, once I recovered the system from the backup, everything was there, all the softwares, all the files, down to the tabs open in my browser at the time of the latest backup. It was incredible. I don't know if Windows systems have a similar solution packed in, though I'm sure there are third-party softwares that would do the same.
The next week I bought the NAS, a 2TB WD MyCloud, the simplest NAS you can buy. Today, I'm already studying a replacement system because my NAS has only one drive, which means no redundancy, and I need a new cloud backup service. Maybe I'm a little paranoid, but better safe than sorry.
For most people, the tech we use have a lot of backup already set up for us. Both Android and iOS have their backup systems that only need the user to set it up once, for instance. But if you stray from the common user just a little, of if you have something deeply important, like a thesis you are working on, on your computer, you better think about a more robust backup system.
What do you use? How do you keep your data safe and organized? Which services do you use to store your data? How much do you rely on the cloud, and the standard backup systems?