If you have a high resolution camera (more than 6 megapixels) you will fill up many memory cards. Your pictures will look great but your hard drive will fill up very fast. So, as I have said in my previous post…you have to have a backup plan. In this post I will outline the important things you need in order to be able to safely and consistently backup your data.
1. An extra hard drive.
It can be internal to your PC (if you still have room inside the computer case) or it can be external. It doesn’t really matter if it’s internal or external, but what’s important is the size. So, think big…like 2Tb at least. With prices for hard drives constantly dropping you shouldn’t have any problems finding an affordable hard drive.
I have looked at many different external drives for backing up my pictures. I really liked the Western Digital RAID backup. What’s special about it? Well the cool thing is that it creates two backups instead of just one. It’s just $20 more than the regular external drive, but it gives you two copies on two different hard drives all placed in the same box.
While a RAID configuration is great, the simplest approach works best. This means one simple hard drive with large capacity.
Check out my favorite external drive for backing up your digital pictures. It’s simple and inexpensive.
2. Backup software.
This software will allow you to easily copy your media from your main computer hard disk to the backup hard disk. If you don’t have such software you would have to manually identify what files you haven’t copied and then copy them yourself…this is not recommended if you want to stay sane. I currently use Sync Back which has a free version that works great. I will talk about this step next week.
3. Lots of DVDs.
If you decide that one extra copy doesn’t present enough security for you, then you’ve got to use DVDs. You can’t get any safer than DVDs. The only problem is that DVDs only hold 4.7 Gb which is not very much. If you decide to use DVDs, then make sure you write (with a permanent marker) on them each folder you have backed up on that DVD including the date when you made the backup.
Additional resources for backing up your pictures
- For help installing an extra internal hard drive click here.
- If you have an external hard drive you just need to plug the USB/Firewire connector into your PC.
Essentials for organizing your digital photosHere are the essential products and services I have come to rely on for many years to keep my media collection organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.
Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac (save 35% until Jan 20, 2021) or ACDSee Pro for Windows (save 35% until Jan 20, 2021) is my preferred solution for organizing your media on your computer. It has a very fast browser, beautiful image editing capabilities and you don't work with catalogs at all.
If you do a lot of image editing like I do, I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. But if you do image editing, Adobe Lightroom is my favorite.
I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup for affordable & reliable unlimited cloud backup. I have been using Backblaze for backing up all pictures & videos for more than 4 years now. All my invaluable digital memories are safe and secure.
In addition, make sure you have an inexpensive and reliable external hard drive for backing everything up. It is absolutely essential for backing up your media regularly.