On re-reading my previous post, I realized that I have a lot to share about how I do my backups. It doesn’t hurt to review that process and share it with you…whether you make regular backups or not.

Here are a few givens:

  • I work across multiple computers, so my data has to be accessible cross-platform in easy to read/open formats.
  • 95% of the work (including home and work) is archivable. I honestly don’t need access to everything 100% of the time.
  • A large audio/video/photo collection needs to be backed up in at least 2 places – online via a web service and on external hard drives (2 at least).

Software Tools

  • 7zip on all platforms. Better compression than zip, free open source software.
  • OpenOffice (ODF) format for all Office documents
  • GPG4Win, MacGPG, KGPG on GNU/Linux to encrypt individual files (7zip multiple files first, then encrypt the result 7zip file).
  • TrueCrypt for less confidential data and to serve as an encrypted “container” for data. I make these in sizes of 4gigs each so that I can back up quickly to USB External hard drives and/or 8 gig flash drives that are now so inexpensive.
  • Picasa and PicasaWeb, as well as Flickr, to backup images. I’m migrating content to PicasaWeb since I have tons of room there (11 gigs for $20 a year).
  • GoogleVideo to backup videos

The hardest part is getting everything going the first time. However, the peace of mind is well worth it.

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