Online backup solutions prevent awkward conversations

snapshotsIt used to be that a fire or natural disaster was the only thing that could wipe out an entire lifetime of photographs, but now that they are stored on hard drives, a butterfly flapping its wings in China can wipe out a lifetime of digital pictures.

There are plenty of ways to backup your important files and photos; Cds, DVDs, thumb drives and external hard drives. Unfortunately, unless you're running Time Machine on a Mac or have the discipline and know-how of a systems administrator following through after the first backup is about as likely as magical fairies backing up your data for you.

I know, because even my best-laid plans and reminders failed to save thousands of my wife's pictures that bit the dust when her hard drive failed so spectacularly that not even DriveSavers could save it. Just last week I was asked to help recover every baby picture a couple had taken, which if they had been backed up online, would have prevented an awkward; "No you're not adopted!" conversation later in life.

After restoring what backups we did have for my wife's pictures we decided to move to a backup process that doesn't require me to do anything -- Mozy. Mozy is one of several handy online backup solutions but it is the only one I am constantly recommended by the non tech savvy friends I know.
Unlike burning a backup CD or DVD once a month, Mozy constantly backs up your data and keeps it safe and secure. The first backup will take some time -- two days in my case -- but subsequent backups will go much quicker and happen when your computer is idle. Best of all, since the backup isn't stored next to your computer, so your important files are safe even if something tragic happens to your house!

Mozy costs $4.95 a month or $54.45 for a yearlong subscription; comparatively, hard drive recovery starts at close to a thousand dollars from reputable companies. You can save even more if you sign up for two years, netting three free months and there are several coupon codes out there to save 20% off of your first order. If you want a chance at getting a year free you should follow Mozy on Twitter where they give out a free account every Friday and often share 24 hour discount codes as well.

When it comes to backing up the important pictures of your first born, favorite vacation or even your fluffy little puppy, there's no room to mess around. If we had signed up for Mozy instead of trying to stay on top of a manual backup solution we wouldn't have had to deal with the loss of thousands of photos last month. If you don't use Mozy, at the very least find and use some sort of backup solution right now so that you don't have to try and explain a lack of childhood pictures to your bundle of joy later in life.
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