We have a feeling #WorldBackupDay will continue to grow in popularity. Digital photos and videos seem to pervade every part of our lives. The surge of popularity in smartphone usage over the past few years allows us all to have access to a high-quality camera conveniently located in our pockets. We don’t just take pictures of birthday parties and holidays, we document everything. Sometimes we take more than one photo to find that perfect one to share online and don’t delete the 3 or 4 ones we don’t like or need.
While there are many advantages and conveniences associated with taking digital photos, the main downside is our lack of ability to physically hold onto them. We’ve all heard the horror stories of some type of technological mishap causing someone to lose every last digital photo and video they’ve ever taken. Not to mention the SPACE they take up.
Ensuring that you have proper, secure backups in place for your photo archive will bring you peace of mind knowing that your digital photos and videos are safe and sound, not to mention easily accessible! We’re going to review three tips for this:
- Setting up a cloud backup
- Backing up to an external hard drive
- Deleting old backups
1. Set up a cloud backup
A cloud-based backup option is easy to keep up with and in many cases allows you to set up automatic backups from your phone or computer. Another benefit to a cloud-based backup is that you can easily access your backed-up files from your mobile devices, not to mention you have the ability to back up your photos and videos from anywhere at any time. Some commonly used cloud backup options that we recommend include Dropbox, iCloud, Crashplan, Carbonite, and iDrive. We’ve included tips for two of the most popular options for our clients, iCloud and Dropbox.
How to Make Sure Your iPhone is Backed Up to iCloud
- 1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
- 2. In iOS 8 or later, tap Settings > iCloud > Backup
- 3. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.
- 4. Tap Back Up Now
- 5. You can check if the backup has finished by tapping Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, and then select your device.
How to Install Dropbox on Your iPhone (Alternative iPhone backup)
- 1. Open the App Store
- 2. Tap “Search” on the bottom panel and type in “Dropbox”
- 3. Tap “Get”
- 4. The Dropbox app will start to download
- 5. When it’s finished, tap “Open”
- 5. When the app is open, tap “Photos”. A window will pop up asking if Dropbox has permission to access your Camera Roll — tap “Allow”
- 6. Your photos from your Camera Roll will start to sync to Dropbox
- 7. Anytime you want to backup your Camera Roll to Dropbox, just open the Dropbox App and your Camera Roll will sync. All you have to do is open the App!
If you’re a Google photos user, last year they launched the Free Up Space function that allows you to remove the originals from your phone and literally free up all that space. You can learn more about how this works by reading our review and how-to of the Goolge Photos Free Up Space feature.
2. Invest in an external hard drive
While it’s unlikely that your cloud backup will fail, or worse, go out of business, it’s not impossible and it can take a while to retrieve files from your cloud storage provider. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to storing your irreplaceable digital memories. Choose a hard drive that has enough free space to fit your current archive and then some. Your best option will likely be a 1-2 Terabyte drive. Pick something with good user reviews like a Western Digital or Seagate drive.
You can set up automatic system and folder backups on your external hard drive using Windows or OS X’s built-in tools, which will sync to the hard drive when it is plugged into your computer, or on a set schedule. You should plug your drive in long enough to complete a full automatic backup at least once a week, to be safe, but you could also do it once a month. You can easily update your archive manually by dragging and dropping your archives onto the hard drive icon on your desktop.
You can also keep a second external hard drive backup in case of an emergency in a safe deposit box at your local bank or with a family member. This will let you get your archive back much more quickly than your cloud backup service will be able to if it fails or in the event of a disaster at your home.
3. Remember to delete your old backups!
Remember to delete the old backup right before or after creating the new backup, otherwise, you’ll find yourself with a mess of duplicates from multiple backups of the same thing. It’s helpful to make a note on your calendar to do these manual backups. Depending how many photos you take, you’ll either be doing this monthly or weekly.
The important takeaway here is that it’s important to have at least two separate backups of your archive: one in the cloud and another on an external hard drive. There are several options as far as the type of cloud backup you choose, but no matter what you select, the dual-backup system will ensure the safety of your archive and will provide you with peace of mind that your memories are securely stored.
For additional information on any of these services, please visit:
PC Mag Guide – 10 Best External Hard Drives
Need help with digital photo organizing? Ask us about our services!
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