In our digital age, preserving precious memories captured in photos is paramount. I highly recommend printing your photos and not letting them hide on a USB for anyone to see. However, having them in digital form as a backup is a GREAT IDEA!!
To ensure the safety of your cherished moments, it's crucial to have more than one backup strategy in place. In this blog post, we'll explore the best ways to safeguard your photos using external hard drives and popular cloud services like Dropbox or Backblaze.
External Hard Drives: The First Line of Defense
THE USB: Invest in a reliable external hard drive and keep it in a safe spot so if you ever need to find your photos again you aren't searching the whole house for a little USB. I like to use WD External HardDrives to put all my photos on.
KEEP IN MIND USBS AND EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES CAN BREAK OR BE CORRUPTED AND YOU CAN LOSE YOUR FILES. As someone who has accidentally dropped a hard drive before and lost all my files on it, IT IS CRUCIAL you have your Hard Drives backed up on a second location to save you from losing a single file!
Organized Storage: On my External Harddrives it is important to Create a systematic folder structure, organizing photos by date, event, or any other relevant categorization. This makes retrieval easier and ensures a more structured backup.
Automated Solutions for External Hard Drives:
Time Machine (Mac) or File History (Windows): Leverage built-in backup solutions like Time Machine (for Mac users) or File History (for Windows users). These tools can automatically back up your entire system, including photos, at scheduled intervals.
Backblaze: Continuous Cloud Backup: Backblaze is my choice when it comes to backing up your external hard drives in a second location. Backblaze is designed for continuous, automatic backup of your entire computer, including photos. With unlimited storage, it's an excellent solution for those with large photo libraries. Its "set it and forget it" approach ensures ongoing protection. This way you don't have to manually check that your photos are being backed up properly. All you have to do is plug in your USB and Backblaze will do the rest, it will also remind you if it has been more than 2 weeks from your last backup so you will remember to plug in the USB every so often.
Cloud Storage Services: A Redundant Safety Net
Dropbox: Secure and Accessible Everywhere: Dropbox provides seamless integration with your file explorer, making it easy to drag and drop photos into the cloud. It ensures accessibility from any device, and the version history feature allows you to recover previous versions of your files. You can also share your Dropbox folders with family and friends.
Google Photos/Amazon Photos: These apps are also great to back up your photos and if you download the app on your phone you can access your photos anytime (as long as you have wifi) PLUS it can also back up the photos you have on your phone automatically.
Regular Checkups and Maintenance:
Verify Backups: Periodically check your external hard drives/USBs and cloud backups to ensure they are up to date and working properly. This can be a part of your routine maintenance to catch any issues before they become critical.
Upgrade and Expand: As your photo collection grows, consider upgrading your external hard drive or expanding your cloud storage plan accordingly. Regularly review your backup strategy to accommodate changing needs.
Preserving your photo memories requires a multi-faceted approach that combines the reliability of external hard drives with the convenience and accessibility of cloud services. By following these best practices and maintaining a consistent backup routine, you can ensure the longevity and safety of your cherished moments.