Backing Up Your Photographs

Posted On: 2014-01-23 11:03:56 ; Read: 1944 time(s)
A hard-copy or printed version of your digital photo is the best backup you can have especially for your favourite photos. However for all those thousands of digital images you take you should also make a digital backup – a second copy stored elsewhere in case anything happens to the original file.
All digital storage is susceptible to failure, you can never know when it’s going to happen so you should do regular backups to minimize losses. At least once a month is a sensible strategy, more frequently if you are taking large quantities of images.

How to Backup your Photos – there are several options

Technology is changing so fast, but currently, the most convenient backup solution is to a second hard drive (you can get stand alone hard drives that just connect to your computer when you want to back things up). Obviously keep your second hard drive off site if possible in case of natural disasters.
The cheapest way is to save your files onto recordable CDs or DVDs, but you need a drive in your computer capable of burning discs to take advantage of this. For ultimate archival storage choose gold CD-Rs or DVD-Rs which will last for decades if not centuries. Many normal CDs only last 5 years or so, and there is always the risk of scratches or file corruption. So if you choose this option backup your backups every 5 years or so or use gold discs.
For the best protection, consider making duplicates of all your archive CDs or DVDs and pass one copy along to a family member or put it in a safety deposit box or fire-proof safe.
You could also store your photos in Online backup services which will protect them from natural disasters as they are not physically kept with the rest of your household or office. However you normally need to pay for the service (often a monthly fee) and if you do need to restore your photos from this back up you need a reliable internet connection. You should also choose a company that does not resize or compress your pictures; and one that you feel confident will not go out of business. Keep a note of any passwords separately too, incase of disasters such as fire/floods/theft etc.
There are now many cloud based systems such as dropbox or icloud which will store your images either manually or automatically from your devices as you take them, if you decide this is the best way to keep your backup up to date.
For ultimate protection use a combination of the above services so you know whatever happens you have a backup somewhere to restore all your precious images.


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