A Simple, Efficient, and Free Way to Back Up Data

A Simple, Efficient, and Free Way to Back Up Data

Mike Tyson
Sep 24, 2010

Backing up is arguably one of the most important computing practices. With abundant horror stories about lost documents and crashed drives, it's amazing some still don't consider it to be a vital practice in their routine. After the jump we'll let the hold outs know how they can create a simple back-up system for their most important documents, without the hassle of buying storage space or installing pesky software.

The answer is email! Although it could work on a number of email providers, we'll focus on Google's Gmail service for the sake of explanation. The free service offers its users over 7GB of storage — that's a lot of word documents! Essentially, you can use your existing Gmail address or create yourself a new one entirely for the sake of archiving/backing up your most valuable data in a "cloud"-based system. Simply email yourself any file you need to save with a proper naming system in place. There are numerous reasons to use this method.

Large storage capacity
Although you probably don't want to archive your entire photo collection dating back 10 years, it will certainly be enough space to keep your most valued photos, documents, and other files in a safe place.

Easy access
Not only are you backing up your files for safety, but now they are always accessible to you wherever you go. College students who work on a home desktop and later need to print their papers at school, will often be glad they had a failsafe stored on their email account if they forgot to transfer the file to their flash drive.

Cloud system
Since you won't be storing these files locally on an external hard drive, you're not risking the chance of loosing them by improper handling of the fragile device or a catastrophe like a fire or theft.

Easy Organization
Gmail is known for their ability to organize emails very efficiently. Use folders and color coding to create a complex yet easily navigable system to access your stored data.

Does anyone else find this to be a useful method?

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