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 500Gb 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 like the new 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. This model has great reviews and a great price.
Check out my favorite external drives for backing up your digital pictures:
- Check out my favorite external drives for backing up your digital pictures:
USB only interface: Check out the Western Digital 2 TB Mirror Edition – Get $40 off for a limited time.
- USB + Network interface: Check out the Western Digital 2 TB My Book World Edition – best value for RAID enabled network backup.
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 photosOver the years I have come to rely on only a few products for managing and backing up my large media collection. These are my essential products and services I have been using for many years to keep things organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.
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. However, Adobe Lightroom makes most sense especially when you do lots of image editing.
If you don't like the subscription, you can get also download the last standalone Adobe Lightroom 6 for Mac or Windows (while it is still available). However, the product is no longer maintained by Adobe.
Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you're looking for a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac or ACDSee Pro for Windows 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.
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.
If you're looking for a reliable unlimited cloud backup service, I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup. I have used Backblaze for my online backup for more than 3 years now. All my files are safe and secure and I have never had any problems with them.