I have a confession to make. I am a back up freak. If you saw my desk you would see 3, 1tb drives and 1, 2tb drive. I need all of these because of my huge and growing digital library. I have, in essence, become a digital hoarder.
The main hard drive on my iMac is only 500gb. When I bought it, I could not imagine filling that space. Then I got an Apple TV for Christmas a couple of years ago. I was then faced with the fact that my digital collection was starting to grow. I already 5,000-song library and now I have added oodles of TV seasons, movies and documentaries to my collection.
The other day Deb wanted to see a documentary that I knew I had downloaded but moved to another drive because I can’t hold them all on my internal hard drive. I went searching through all my backup drives and I couldn’t find it. It turned out that my 2tb drive had died. It wouldn’t spin up or show any kind of connection to the computer. I changed the USB cable, I tried a Firewire cable and nothing worked. I also checked Apple’s Time Machine but those back ups only go back to March.
About 10 months ago or so, I signed up with Mozy, which is an online backup system. It backs up your entire computer. I didn’t realize it right away but I had also backed up all my back up drives. So today, when I had a little time, I checked what was available on Mozy and sure enough, there was the documentary I was looking for. I have now downloaded it again. When I replace that backup drive, I will just be able to completely restore everything that was on it.
Backing things up does not have to be difficult or onerous. I rotate my iTunes back ups amongst 3 drives. This means I always have at least two iterations of my iTunes library at any time. I had to pay for Mozy but it did its thing in the background and when my computer was idle. I didn’t even notice it for the most part. I think it took a couple of months before every thing was finally backed up. Retrieving it was super easy as well. All of my documents are stored in Dropbox and on 3 computers. They are also backed up on Mozy.
I am pleased how easy it was to restore a file. I am not at all concerned now about something happening as I know it will be easy to restore files. It may take a very long time but that is better than never getting them back in the case of a catastrophic failure. Most experts recommend backing everything up twice. One backup stays on site and the other is somewhere else. While you can do this with multiple hard drives, I think Mozy is less expensive and easier.