One of the most common questions I get from people is “What is the best way to backup my photos?” There are quite a few options that you can choose from. Not backing up, should not be one of them. Digital photos are great, but if they are only stored in one location, a hard drive failure can destroy years of awesome images and memories. Here are some options for you.
- Use an external hard drive. External drives have become cheap. All you have to do is plug in and drag the photos to the hard drive. Many hard drives come with software that will do automated backups, so all you have to do is set it up and plug it in. If you are an Apple user, you have an amazing backup system built into your operating system, it’s called Time Machine. After you set it up the first time, all you have do is plug in and it makes incremental backups of your entire hard drive. An external drive can also fail, but it’s better than keeping everything one place.
- Cloud storage. There are a ton of options to choose from. Dropbox, Box.com, Google Drive, OneDrive, Mozy, Carbonite…the list is extensive. The prices for all of these will vary but they are all pretty reasonable. A few of them like Dropbox and Google Drive will offer a limited amount of free storage. All of these options are accessible from any device or computer with internet access. The nice part about cloud storage is, you don’t have to worry about hard drive failure. They are safe.
- Photo sharing services. This is my favorite option and Flickr is my favorite choice. Flickr now gives all users 1 TB of storage for free! This is amazing. The iOS app also had a nice update that makes it even easier to upload images directly to Flickr. Photo sharing services give you options to upload pictures that can be public or private. Some even have some basic editing features. There are several options when it comes to photo sharing and storage services. This post by The Verge.com does a great job of breaking down the different providers in this category.
The bottom line, BACK UP your photos! I would highly recommend Flickr as a place to store and share your images. If you have any other ideas or suggestions about backing up, please share them in the comments below.