Why You Should Back Up Your Photos Online
*Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored or paid for by Backblaze. I use Backblaze myself and these are my honest, personal opinions of the service. The links in this post are affiliate links, which mean if you sign up with Backblaze through the link I will get a small commission which helps to support the Love Your DSLR site. This does not cost you more money at all.
I should start this post off by letting you all know… I have been taking pictures, LOTS of pictures, my whole life. Then, when I got my first digital camera in high school, my problem became even worse! Hundreds and thousands of pictures. And then one day in high school, my computer crashed. My whole world, or so it seemed, was gone! All of my photographs and documentation of life up to that point vanished. We took the computer to Best Buy to see what they could recover (they got some of it), but it was a hassle and a very emotional experience for me. I cried. A lot.
Then, a couple years ago, one of my external hard drives failed. This time, it was even more of a big deal because I had UNFINISHED client images on there. Thankfully, I did have copies on another drive, so they weren’t gone forever, but that moment – plugging in the drive and watching it NOT load on your computer – was a pivotal moment for me.
I began researching ways to back up my data online. I’m have a system down for backing up client images on two drives (in case one fails), but none of my personal photographs (or general documents for that matter) had ever been backed up. If the internal hard drive in my computer had crashed, I would have lost EVERYTHING. Wedding photos, engagement photos, honeymoon photos, and life from our first year of marriage. Those are important!!
Enter Backblaze. I have all of my data backed up online, including my internal AND external hard drives! Now, there are a few different backup systems to choose from, but here’s why I love Backblaze and wholeheartedly recommend it.
It backs up everything
Some online backup systems require you to tell it what to backup. If you forget to mark a file or folder and something happens, you’re out of luck. With Backblaze, it’s the opposite. It basically backs up everything, minus a few exceptions like operating system files and what-not, so you can rest assured that you’re not missing anything. If there are things that you do not want backed up for any reason, it’s really easy to create an exception and not include those files.
It backs up my EXTERNAL hard drives!
This part is the best. With Backblaze, not only is my computer backed up, but I can back up all of my external hard drives as well! It’s a little different than backing up a computer, as you have to make sure your hard drives get plugged into your computer on a regular basis, but it’s SO awesome to know that if one of my externals fail (which I seem really adept at causing that…), I don’t have to worry because it’s backed up, too! I can just toss the failed drive, get a new one, and download the original files onto the new one!
Access to individual files from ANYWHERE
A while back, I had to send my computer in to be repaired as the fan started going bad. It was in the shop for a few days, and there were a couple times I needed to access files that were on my computer. Since everything is backed up on Backblaze’s website, it was super easy to go online from my husband’s computer and download that ONE file I needed. I didn’t have to download everything… didn’t even have to download the whole folder it was in. I just clicked on the file and it downloaded right to his computer. SO. EASY. They’ve even got an iPhone app so you can get your files on your phone if you need to! Can you imagine? Essentially carrying around all of your pictures on your phone?! Wow!
Works in the background automatically
One of my favorite things about Backblaze is that you can set it to automatically check for updates and back up files in the background. For instance, I’ve been scanning old photographs from when I was younger. The other night, when I was finished with the stack I was working on, I checked Backblaze and it had already backed up the majority of the photos!! How awesome is that? It is incredibly comforting knowing that I don’t have to do anything and my files are still backed up. (Call me lazy, but I just LOVE automated systems! Less work for me = more fun time!)
Backblaze offers a free trial, which is what I started with, to allow potential customers to test out their service before paying a single cent. I was able to start backing up my computer, experiment with the settings, practice downloading files, and determine whether or not Backblaze was right for me. Turns out it was, so at the end of the free trial I simply entered my payment information and everything was a go.
A few things to note
Depending on your internet speed and size of your computer, the initial backup of your system can take a while. When I first signed up for Backblaze, my large hard drive coupled with slow internet meant that my computer wasn’t backed up by the time my free trial was over. But that’s okay. Slow and steady wins the race, right? My mother, however, signed up for Backblaze and her computer was done in a flash. So, just be aware that it may take a bit longer than you think to backup your computer. Think about it – it takes a LONG time to send hundreds of gigabytes through space to an off-site server! ;)
Regardless of whichever online backup system you choose, I can’t stress this enough: YOU NEED TO BACK UP YOUR FILES! It’s honestly not a matter of IF your files get lost, but WHEN. Save yourself a lot of trouble and potential heartbreak. Be proactive instead of reactive! Seriously, have I convinced you yet?!
Download the free trial of Backblaze. You’ve really got nothing to lose. If you like it, awesome! Congrats! You have one less thing to worry about. If you don’t like it, just cancel the free trial and move on to testing out another service! Easy peasy. Now get to backin’ it up!