A Comprehensive Home Backup Solution: Intro

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series A Home Data Backup Solution

We live in a digital world. Gone are the days of taking rolls of film to the photo store to get developed then storing them in photo album binders stashed away on some obscure basement shelf. We are taking many more photos than we used to, mostly because we now always have a camera with us, and because it’s really, really easy.

But then we leave them on our phones, on our digital cameras, on our computers. We are playing roulette with them, hoping that hard drives won’t fail and phones won’t get lost or dropped in the swimming pool.

In addition to these precious memories, most of our important documents are on the computer. Or at least easy to access copies are on the computer.

I used to worry about losing everything, but not anymore.
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Home Backup: Philosophy

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series A Home Data Backup Solution
What can possibly go wrong?

When you think about protecting your digital life there are a number of things that can wipe out everything electronic that you have if you’re not prepared.

  1. The most likely thing to happen is that you or someone else will accidentally delete a file or folder from your computer. It has happened to me more than once and I’m sure will happen again.
  2. The second most likely thing is that your hard drive will fail where all your information and media is stored. I have lived through one hard drive failure since 2001 and know a number of people at work so have had failures. It is more common than you think.
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Let’s Get Started

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series A Home Data Backup Solution
What’s In Your House?

Accidental file deletion, or failure of a hard drive can be easily protected against by making a local backup of all your information. “Local” for the purposes of this post means that the backup copy is located in the same physical premises as the master copy, probably your home or small business, and on your local / home network. I’m considering the requirement for this to be a separate physical device, be it an external hard drive or ideally on another computer.

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Planning Your Backups

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series A Home Data Backup Solution
So how does this all work? The Planning…

Let me start with a couple of assumptions.

  1. You are connecting to the Internet through some sort of “always on” connection  (ie not dial up)
  2. You use a router to connect your computers to the Internet
  3. You are using any version of Windows, XP or newer. The software I’m recommending is only built for Windows based computers… I have not done the research to find equivalent software for Mac or Linux. Reader suggestions would be appreciated!

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Home Backup: Putting It Together

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series A Home Data Backup Solution
So how does this all work? The Doing…

Now that you’ve planned your backups, bought a new drive and maybe a new router, it’s time to actually get the backups working.

Setting Up Your Hardware

The first thing to do is to connect the external hard drive to either your router or a designated always on computer. You will need to set this drive up as a shared drive so that all your other computers and devices can see it over the network. If you’re more adventurous and have a NAS device, you will connect via ethernet or wifi but the concepts are the same.

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