Sunday, January 12, 2014

Backups - Part II (Local backups)

Way back in December I posted "Backups - Part I (An Overview)" as a reminder as to why you should do periodic backups of your valuable information. In reference to this blog, I will be considering your valuable information to be all that genealogical data that you have accumulated over many years of research.

There are two places you can store your backed up information, either locally or out on the Internet or "cloud".

When I say locally I mean on some sort of media you can actually put your hands on whether it be magnetic tape, CD/DVD, USB flash drive (AKA memory sticks) or an external hard disk. The advantage with local storage is that once you have bought it you own it and don't have to keep paying for the usage. The big disadvantage with local back up storage is that if you keep it in the same location as your data there is a chance it may be lost in a natural or man-made disaster (fire, flood, earthquake, etc.). You can mitigate that risk of loss by keeping your backup media somewhere off site. This is where the physical size of the USB flash drive is so useful. It is small enough to fit in a bank's safety deposit box or to give to a friend for safe storage. Today's USB flash drives are inexpensive and can easily store up to 64 GB of information.

As to how to back up that information onto local backup storage you can use built in backup software (eg. Windows Backup), copying data via your file manager (Windows Explorer), or via third party software. In my case, I use a wonderful product called SyncBackFree to copy any changes to files (added, deleted, or modified) to my USB flash drives. It is quick and simple to use and, even better, it is free.

Just make it a habit to back up your information on a regular basis.

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