What's the Best Method to Back Up My Stuff?

Good Questions

Q - Unplggd, I need help. There seems to be so many options to back my stuff up out there now and I really don't know which one to choose any more. Should I stick with the cloud? Local? Drobo? WHS? Airport Extreme with MobileMe? I don't know them all, but man, there's a lot of them!

A - File backup is like getting a haircut. You just gotta keep trying new ones until you find something that works for you. That said, here's our shot at listing the pros and cons of each service you mentioned:

The Cloud (Dropbox, Backblaze, Mozy, Crashplan): Your files are held on someone else's machine somewhere in the world.
Pros: Your files are safe from fires, nuclear blasts, and babies. Often automated (set and forget).
Cons: Your files should be encrypted or prying eyes (IT people can never be trusted) will find your pictures and blackmail you or something.

The Local External (Western Digital, Seagate, LaCie Hard Drives): Your files are right beside to you.
Pros: Physical control of your files. Really quick to backup. Often requires additional software for automation (or you could use Time Machine).
Cons: Your files are not safe from fires, nuclear blasts, and babies.

The Local Stacker (Drobo, WHS): Your files are nearby with a hard drive failure safety net, often on the network, and can be upgradable as you go along.
Pros: Physical control of your files. Expandable. Can be set up to be automated to backup.
Cons: Your files are not safe from fires, nuclear blasts, and babies. Often quite expensive.

The Local/Cloud Hybrid Thing (Airport Extreme with MobileMe, Pogoplug): Both local and internet accessible hard drives.
Pros: Physical control of your files. Accessible from anywhere. Pogoplug doesn't require subscription fee.
Cons: Your files are not safe from fires, nuclear blasts, and babies. MobileMe requires subscription fee.

Hopefully that helps a bit. We suggest the last option as well as a Cloud backup for the ultimate defense against the forces of nature.

Got an option we didn't think of? Let us know in the comments!

8 Comments