Friday, March 28, 2008

Tech Stuff: Backing Up Your Photos

The other day I was thinking about the many digital photos that our family has taken and how they are being stored on the various hard drives in our household when it occurred to me, what happens if that computer locks up and the hard drive fails? Now, one of our computers is a Mac, so I know it will never happen (wink, wink), but I realized that we have several years worth of memories that should probably be protected. I decided to start looking for an easy way to back them up online, so that I wouldn't have to worry about dying computers ever again.

Xdrive is a service from AOL that allows you to upload up to 5gb of data for free. It's a pretty sweet deal, but I found the interface a little clunky, and it wasn't optimized for photo sharing.

Google's Picasa Web is a service that I currently use. They only give you 1gb of storage for free, but it's fairly cheap if you need to upgrade. ($20/year/10gb) I like the interface, it's easy to share albums, and it works well with the Picasa desktop application, but I wanted something even easier. I didn't want to have to load pictures onto the computer, and then manually upload them to the web. I thought there should be an automated option.

That's when I found Sugarsync. It's a brand new service that automatically syncs your pictures (or files, videos, music) to the web. Not only that, but if you have several computers, you can keep them synced as well. When you load your pictures onto one computer, it will automatically add them to other computers if you want it to. In fact, you can see them on your smartphone as well. It costs a little bit more ($50/year/10gb) but it is much more sophisticated than the other sites. And, they are offering a half price promotion if you sign up before April 15.

Try some of these out before you have the unfortunate realization that hard drives don't last forever!


Anonymous said...

good info my friend. thank you for your research!

Anonymous said...

I know that you are into more of the technical stuff than me, but I only put the pics on the computer that I want to see, the others I put on a cd "usually from Walmart for $2.50 each ( I now have a printer that I can use to download the pics to a CD, but I haven't used it yet) and they provide an index print of everything on the CD, and then I file them in a CD notebook. I love this process. Not only do I not have to go on the computer to view the photos, but I have a quick reference with the index print and if I do want to add a pic or download it, I just pop in the CD.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the useful information. I have been thinking the same thing regarding my digital pictures. I like to maintain control over my stuff so I don't use the internet for storage. I purchased a multiple flash card drive that accepts all the different cards and a 5gig flash card with the intention of backing up all my data including photos on the flash card. Now, the only problem is doing the deed and being prepared when technology bypasses the flashdrive and goes to something more exotic.

Anonymous said...

Good thing to do something sooner than later. Our son
Rich lost everything! :{

Anonymous said...

Cheryl, be careful, archiving images on CD's have been proven to not be the sure thing. Various qualities of CDs, environment can't render your CD's blank! The best approach here would to be make several copies to keep at different locations, and every other year or so, back those up again.