PSA: You need a computer backup system! (AKA Tales of Hard Drive Woe) | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

30 October, 2015

PSA: You need a computer backup system! (AKA Tales of Hard Drive Woe)

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This post was sponsored by Carbonite as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

Did you know that October is Cyber Security Awareness Month? The month might nearly be over, but it's never too late to keep an eye on your digital life, as it were. One thing I finally got around to doing that I should have done a long time ago was installing an automatic cloud-based file backup system (in the form of Carbonite, to be precise). Here's the thing: I've had a lot of with repairing my computers when they went on the fritz in the past, but even if you have a 100% success rate with restoring files from busted drives, other stuff can happen—laptops get stolen and sometimes, if you're the same kind of special fool that I am, you intentionally hide your hard drive from yourself and never find it again.

A family photo I managed to scan again... but many others have been lost.

Yes, you read that correctly—I hid my own hard drive. There was a reason, believe it or not... I was going out of town for a week or so and was concerned that someone might steal it if they broke in, so I tucked it away in some unseen corner of my apartment. Problem is, I hid it from myself so well that I couldn't figure out where I put it when I got home! That was back in 2013 and I still haven't found the thing, despite hours of looking. Did it sprout legs and walk off?! Maybe I'll find it again someday, but in the meantime I'm quite sad to have lost it... that little drive contained a bunch of irreplaceable stuff like scans of old family photos, short stories I wrote long ago, plus what might be the only existing files of some short films I made in college. Bummer, bro.

The Hard Drive Losing Incident of '13 has also made me more vigilant about backing up my work files. I started doing freelance work a couple of years ago, which means I have to keep track of various receipts, invoices and contracts myself... things that I really can't afford to lose. I used to only back those up to a (thankfully separate) hard drive, but now do a classic HD backup and have Carbonite set to take care of that for me as well! (And I write down where I hide my stuff when I go out of town now, haha.)

Using Carbonite is very easy. To get started, visit their website and enter your info to start a free 15 day trial—no credit card needed just yet! After that you install the backup program, which will guide you through the process of selecting which files you want to back up and how often (or if you're not sure, it has some quick automatic settings that take care of most kinds of files).


The initial backup takes a little while, but once that's all done Carbonite runs securely in the background taking care of business. Another nice aspect of this type of backup service is that if you accidentally delete a single file, you'll be able to recover it! (Lord knows how many photos for my blog I've accidentally deleted.)

Another way to manage the files you want backed up is through regular Windows explorer—just right-click the file, select the Carbonite menu and choose the appropriate action (e.g. backup, stop backup etc.)


Once your files are all backed up, you can access them from any internet-capable computer or device (including the Carbonite app for iOS and Android). Couldn't be much easier! They also have help/support team available 7 days per week if you need it.

Carbonite currently offers three personal pricing tiers depending on your backup needs:
  • BASIC: $59.99 per year. Unlimited cloud storage for one computer, free support and more. Supports both Windows and Mac.
  • PLUS: $99.99 per year.  Unlimited cloud storage for one computer, free support, mirror image backup, hard drive backup and more.
  • PRIME: $149.99 per year. Unlimited cloud storage for one computer, free support, mirror image backup, hard drive backup, automatic video backup, courier recovery service and more.
You can read more about the plan specifics here. If you purchase any Carbonite plan, make sure to use coupon code INFLUENCECENTRAL at signup—it will get you two additional months of service with any paid plan for FREE! (Offer expires December 31st, 2015.)


Do you have a backup system in place on your computer? What's the worst experience you've ever had losing computer files (either due to technical failure or user error)? Let me know in the comments!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy. #Carbonite4Me
 

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