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    Best media for backing up photos

    As above should I use an external hard drive, dvds or memory cards?

    5 Comments

    Perhaps all three.

    It is very risky having any important backup files on just one media.

    An external hard drive can be dropped, or can crash, or be stolen, so you may lose evertytihng.

    CDs and DVDs are good, but CAN become unreadable over time.

    Memory cards are not that reliable, but can be used as a spare short time backup.

    You can now backup files "online" to backup sites as well (but of course the company can go bankrupt and you may lose them all).

    I put all my important files and digital pictures on to TWO CDs or DVDS, I also copy them to my external drive, and as I have more than one computer in the house I also copy files to my other computer as a "backup".

    With backups you have to think of "worse case" scenario. What if my house is burgled and my PC/laptop is stolen, what if I drop my laptop and the hard disk is unusable, what if I lose my memory stick.

    Only you can decide how important your pictures are and how much time you should spend backing them up.

    As many of us now have our whole lives on digital pictures then I think it is worth spending a fair bit of time.

    CD's are a very good medium . I've used DVD's for years for films and storage and after a while they deteriate.......it's a well known fact . Infact I started to buy the so called bee's nee's of disk's ............TAIYO YUDEN , expensive compared to others , but there suposed to be the best . I still wouldn't trust them for long ,long term storage . Now ,CD's on the other hand , I have them from over 10 years ago and I can still read them . Yes, I know your limited to 700/800mb of space , but it's better than losing anything .
    Hard Drives can fail , so can flash drives , SSD's may be the answer ,but there too expensive at he moment .
    Whatever you use in terms of disks ..............DONT ........stick labels onto them , This can eat into the surface and render them usless after a while .Buy a printer that print's to CD/DVD's . I use a Epsom R220 and it makes a splendid job . Cheap ink too. HTH.

    Bit more....

    With the price of external hard drives so low (£50 or less for 500Gb to 1Tb) then it may even be worth buying TWO, one of them JUST for your photo backups.

    If you want to get really paranoid about it, you could even keep one external drive at a relatives house JUST in case the worse happens and your house is burgled and all electrical stuff is stolen.

    You have to think of worse case scenario and how important your pictures are.

    Many companies backup to tape and ALWAYS keep an offsite backup copy in case their property suffers a flood or fire.

    Without an offsite backup many companies could go bankrupt if they lost all their computer data (customer names and addresses, invoice details etc).

    Now we have more and more of our lives on computers then a good backup process should be vital for everyone.

    i suggest you do the following.

    1. store them on a NAS
    2. Store the NAS contents on a usb drive (keep off site)
    3. Use Jungle Disk and Amazon S3 (or rackspace) for online backup of the photos

    keep a copy on your PC/laptop, keep a copy on an external hardrive. if one goes you'll always have the other!
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