We are moving more and more towards the creation, distribution, and consumption of digital content. With multimedia projects, student and teacher created videos, podcasts, digital photography, and music making, the need to back data up is more critical than ever before.
There are a few solutions available depending on your needs.
- External hard drive
- USB thumbdrive
- DVD/CD backup
- Online backup services
The pros and cons of these options:
External hard drive:
- Pro – low cost in relation to amount of data stored
- Pro – huge amount of storage in pocket size format
- Con – moving parts – higher chance of failure at some point
- Con – initial expense
- Pro – extreme portability
- Pro – no moving parts
- Pro – data size has greatly increased in the past few years
- Con – much higher cost in relation to data storage
- Con – I personally have had higher failure rates with USB thumbdrives than hard drives
- Pro – cheap
- Con – easy to scratch / degrade
- Con – requires DVD burner to be installed to create backups
- Con – small amount of data compared to other options
Online backup services: (https://www.mozy.com)
- Pro – available anywhere
- Pro – usually guaranteed backup on their end as well
- Con – free only for limited space
- Con – requires fast internet for multimedia content
My personal recommendation is to pick up a portable external hard drive. They’ve dropped significantly in price and you can now get a 500GB hard drive for around $100 USD. (slightly cheaper in the States, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc). This is different from the typical larger hard drives that require external power supplies. The portable drives can fit in your pocket, are powered by the USB ports on your computer, and are very light weight.
To the left is an example of a drive that I personally own and have had great success with.
If you have any questions about any of these options or would like some advice on keeping proper backups, please let me know.