You know you need to backup your data that’s currently spread out across your devices, but you put it off because the mere idea of even starting the process to backup all the pictures, videos, messages, software and apps is exhausting. So you cross your fingers and hope that you never have to deal with massive data loss.
The problem with that “strategy” is the more devices you and your family have, the more data you will acculumate on those devices, which means more potential threats for corrupted data or a virus to slip in and cause chaos.
While there may be more intricate and invovled ways to backup your data, you need to start somewhere. Here is my simple data backup strategy to make sure your families’ data is safe in the event of “sooner or later, it’s going to happen”
Smartphone/Tablet –> Computer –> External Hard Drive –> Cloud
Smartphone/Tablet –> Computer 1 of 4
Your mobile device is starting to become your daily computing device. So I'm sure there is information sitting on your smartphone or tablet right now that if lost, would be devastating. There are services that will let you back up your mobile device directly to the cloud, but in most cases, you will eventually have to buy additional cloud storage space the more data you try to back up to the cloud (I'll get to that later).
I suggest that you manually backup your families' mobile device data to one computer. That way, you know you have a good complete backup file at home. I know, physically connecting your mobile devices to a computer every week or so is not as sexy as turning on a device setting or using a mobile app to automagically backup/sync your devices, but there's nothing like the piece of mind that comes with manually backing up data to another device...plus, you will save on you monthly wireless data bill by not automatically backing up your mobile devices to the cloud.
Computer –> External Hard Drive 2 of 4
All those pictures, home videos, "backup copies" of purchased movies, receipts, family documents, etc. are collecting dust on that one computer that's shoved under the desk of your home office. Either that, or every family member has their own laptop, and they are saving all kinds of stuff left and right.
The same reasoning for manually backing up your mobile devices to a computer, is why I suggest backing up your computer(s) to an external Hard Drive. The going rate for a large-capacity external Hard Drive is relatively cheap, and you can easily connect it to each family member's computer, or connect your Hard Drive to your home network, to make sure all the data in your home is safe.
External Hard Drive –> Cloud 3 of 4
Since saving large amounts of data to the cloud cost money, and it takes a long time to complete the process, it makes sense to round up the data from all your devices in one place first, before saving it to the cloud.
Services like Crashplan, Mozy, Bitcasa and others all offer easy ways to back up your many devices to the cloud. Having all the data you need to backup the cloud on one device makes the process easier, versus trying to manage multiple devices in the cloud.
Multiple Data Copies 4 of 4
I don't know if you've noticed, but by using this strategy, you have also created multiple versions of your data in multiple locations.
If your external drive is on the fritz, you have a copy in the cloud. If your computer goes down, you have a backup on your external drive and in the cloud. If your smartphone or tablet dies, your computer, external drive, and the cloud can get you up and running in no time.
I’m here to let you know that data backup for your family doesn’t have to be complicated or tedious. If you have some suggestions on easily backing up your data, be sure to drop a line in the comments section.