I’ve recently changed my back-up strategy slightly. I was keeping all of my photos and my iTunes folder on a 2 terabyte drive – actually 2 terabyte drives configured to mirror each other. I also use Backblaze to back up everything to the cloud, figuring that off-site back-up for my photos is important. My drive was starting to fill up and I thought about simply getting another RAID set-up (I’ve got 5 of them now). But then I realized that I don’t save new stuff to my Photos folder or iTunes more than once or twice a day and that RAID was probably way overkill.
So instead I went out and got a 3 terabyte Seagate Backup Plus USB 3.0 drive.
I figured I’d use the included back-up software to schedule a back-up every night and that would take care of things. One thing I didn’t know – and the guy who sold me the drive also didn’t know – is that Seagate’s software can be set for “continuous” back-up. Just leave it running and it will back stuff up almost immediately after any write or modification.
One other thing the Seagate software does is pretty cool. It can log into your social networks and download all of the photos you’ve uploaded there. This is a big thing for me and I suspect potentially a big thing for other people as well.
So I now have folders with all 5,000+ photos I’ve uploaded to Facebook – and it was done with just a couple of mouse clicks. It also offers options for Flickr (didn’t seem to work for me – only two photos got downloaded, need to see what went wrong) and Youtube. Presumably they’ll add in other social networks in the future.
I have zero idea if the software from other companies’ drives does something similar. In the past, I’ve always ignored this stuff. Maybe WD or LaCie or others also cover it but I can’t say. And probably there’s software you can get that will do the same thing without a hardware purchase. But seriously, hard disks are probably the thing in your computer that fails most often and if you’re not backing up your data on a regular basis, you’ll have only yourself to blame if someday you lose everything.
I can say that the Seagate drives are pretty reasonably priced. The 3 TB USB 3.0 drive goes for US$149 (order from Amazon). They also make 1 TB and 2 TB versions, USB 2.0 and Firewire on different editions as well.