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Photo Tips > Backup Your Computer

Optimum Backup Setup

Step #1 - Memory Cards as Backups

Buy several memory cards and a case for them.

Number them, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Don't fill a card up with hundreds of photographs—import often.

Photograph using Card #1.

Import from Card #1 and then put it at the bottom of the stack.

Card #1 is now a backup.

Put Card #2 into you camera and photograph.

Import from Card #2 and then put it at the bottom of the stack.

Card #2 is now a backup.

Repeat the above.

When Card #1 comes to the top of the stack, format it in the camera.

Step #2 - Set Your Program

To Backup

Your organizing/editing program has a backup feature.

The best backup is one that's done automatically.

For example, the default Lightroom backup is once a week.

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This writer suggests changing the default to Every time Lightroom exits.

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If your organizing/editing program doesn't do automatic backups, create:

• A rule, such as, I'll backup whenever I've made changes.

 • A reminder on your calendar or reminder software.

Don't Use this Option

Your organizing/editing program may have an option to delete your photographs from the memory card after importing them.

If some of the photographs were not imported properly—and they are no longer on the memory card—your photographs are gone.

Step #3 - Cloud Backup

A cloud backup uploads your files to a company's servers.

Your files are encrypted and are stored in multiple locations.

Advantages

Use a cloud backup because it's:

• Automatic.

• Offsite.

• Often free.

As you add or delete files on your computer, the backup in the cloud also adds or deletes the backups of the files.

If there's a fire, burglary, or other calamity in your home, you'll have a backup offsite.

If you're using a free cloud service, and go over the size limit, transfer little-used files to two external hard drives (one at home, the other, offsite).

Disadvantage

The initial upload of your files may take days.

Some cloud companies will send you an external hard drive.

You copy your files to the external hard drive and send it back to the company.

Thereafter, your uploading will be done quickly to the cloud as you work.

Companies

Search for cloud backup reviews current-year.

Here are some online backup companies.

Most companies handle Windows and Mac.

Backblaze

Backup.com Norton

Carbonite

CrashPlan

DropBox

ElephantDrive

Google Drive

iCloud Mac

Microsoft OneDrive Windows

MiMedia

Mozy

PhotoShelter

SugarSync

Mirror Backups

Backups include your files.

Your operation system and software, and their preference settings, are not backed up.

A mirror backup copies everything on your computer:

• Operating system

• Software

• Preference settings

• Files

If your computer crashes, you can restore everything quickly.

You won't have to reinstall the operating system, download software, and reset the preference settings.

Test

Test whether the backup is functioning properly.

Try to recover a file.

Save it to your Desktop and see if it shows up there.