Sunday, 5 January 2014

Crash Plan

There is nothing more boring and awful and NECESSARY than backing up your computer.
- Matt Buchanan, Buzzfeed

I want to share a little gem with those of you who have tons of photos on your computer, never print them and worry you may loose them one day if when your computer crashes. It will crash one day - computers do that. If you don't care if you loose your stuff, then no big deal. You need not read any further.

But if you have things - documents, photos, letters, that you would really be heartbroken if you lost them, well then this little blog post is for you.

Data - we all have it on our computers. I have data and photos that people pay me for. I can't afford to loose it so I back everything up to an external hard drive - maybe you do that too. But since I have to be  absolutely sure I don't loose stuff, I back up every photo shoot to two hard drives. One giant hard drive and one smaller one that carries my shoots from the past month. I have had external hard drives get corrupted and loose data. It happens. It's just a matter of time.

So to save your data from the eventual computer crash, you save it to an external hard drive..... that sits on your desk.
But one day while you are out of the house, someone breaks in - they take your computer and hard drives. or heaven forbid, you have a fire, or flood.

Houston, we have a problem.

It's gone! All of it is gone!

For a few years I have always saved my second hard drive to a different location - this is a pain to store it and retrieve it every time I want to add to it so I tend to leave it on my desk more then I should. I bet you do too. You have an external hard drive you back up to sitting on your desk right? ;)

Okay, so now what? The two external hard drives might get stolen, burnt or corrupt.

Here is the solution.
Back up to an external server on the internet - people with GIANT hard drives that keep your photos and data safe. Ah, the cloud!

I researched several options, read the reviews and settled on CrashPlan. It was easy - I started with the free trial plan and began backing up all my files. It should take the average person about 4 or 5 days to get it all backed up. It just works away in the back ground.

But since I am not average and I was backing up ALL my clients files (going back 5+ years), it told me my backup would be complete in 3.5 months!
Yikes.  The guys at CrashPlan were great in figuring out how to speed this up. And I learned a lot about upload and download speed. I obviously didn't have enough upload speed and wasn't my cable company happy to help me out there. ;)

It took me over 2 months to back up my data from 5 years of shooting, but I had 1.4 Tbs of data. Thats 1400 Gb, thats 140,000 Mb - thats a LOT of data. Unless you are a photographer or videographer, you likely don't have that much to back up. But for $6 a month you can know that no matter what happens your photos and data are safe.

And one day you may actually print some of those photos. That's a whole other blog post coming soon. :)

I had some real struggles in the beginning because it was a lot of data to back up - I had to up my shaw account for faster data transfer - I discovered I had THE slowest and cheapest plan with shaw - so slow and so cheap they hadn't offered this plan for years but we were grandfathered in. (how long have we been with Shaw Cable? Since the nineties - remember @home?) The benefits are, I now upload clients photos to my web site in seconds and not 10 minutes. The down side is yet another business expense!

Where IS my accountant?

The tech people at Crash Plan are fantastic! Responded the same day to my requests and walked me thru issues I had with time machine and other settings to speed this up. But when all the data was there I gave a big sigh of relief and now my computer constantly backs up the days photos to the server where they are as safe as I can make them.

So all this to say YEAH for Crash Plan - may I never have to retrieve my photos from them..... but should I have major issues, my photos are safe.

Boxing day my hard drive crashed - problems with these fancy fast fusion drives on the new iMac. Yes even Macs can have an issue. We had to wipe everything off the hard drive, reset the fusion drives and load it all back up again. No worries! I knew that worst case scenario the drive was damaged and we might have to get my data back from CrashPlan - but it wasn't so it was an easy reinstall.

Peace of Mind.

Now go check out CrashPlan. If you don't want to spend the monthly fee then download the free plan and back up to another computer that is not in your house. The options they offer are hard to refuse and the peace of mind is worth it!

and I didn't get paid to say any of this..... just passing on something good to all my readers.

BTW - if you want a discount click HERE- feel free to use me as a referral. I don't get a discount or kick back - I pay regular rates. Only new subscribers get the discount. Just let me know…… unlike that person from Regina who just used my account as a referral/gift subscription and didn't tell me……I know who you are :)

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