It’s happened to me twice now. That oh so sickening feeling of going to open a file, only to discover it has somehow vanished off my hard drive.
Computers are mysterious creatures. I jokingly tell people they’re black magic and voodoo, although I sometimes wonder if there could be some truth to this. Both times it happened was after I’d saved the files and shut down my computer properly. Obviously, files can be lost or hopelessly corrupted, even when you’ve done nothing wrong. This is why I have off site storage.
What is off site storage?
Off site storage, sometimes called the cloud, is just that. Your files are backed up to a third party server. So, heaven forbid, your computer gets lost or stolen, or an important file gets lost or damaged, you can easily download a backup. Some people may worry about privacy, which is a legitimate concern. However, any reliable off site storage company will encrypt your files.
What I use
I use Carbonite, but there are other offsite backup services out there. Carbonite costs me a little over $50 per year, and it’s money well spent. It runs in the background and automatically backs up my files. I never have to stop and do a backup. On those rare occasions when I’ve had to use it, I found it very easy. The first time was to recover missing a Word file. I got all but the last two paragraphs back. More recently, I had to recover an InDesign file that mysteriously vanished. Carbonite downloaded it completely intact.
But I back my stuff up on a flashdrive
Some people tell me they don’t need off site storage as they manually backup their files up on a flash drive. So, what happens if you lose that flash drive? What happens if, Heaven forbid, your home is burglarized? Or if there’s a natural disaster and you lose you home? It happens. In such a scenario your flash drive may be lost as well. You can replace your computer, but the data will be gone forever, unless you have an off site backup.
Stuff happens, and it can happen to you. Carbonite has saved my rear-end. Not once, but twice. I’m now a customer for life.