Four Ways to Save Your Photos

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If you’re like me, you have an innate sense of paranoia when it comes to your digital photo files. A permanent, irreversible hard drive crash and melt-down is up at the top of my List of Things to Fear, along with a house fire or similar event in which my precious memories (and livelihood) are in danger of being destroyed. But there are several ways in which you can achieve peace of mind, and make sure your photos are preserved.

iomegaOne – Invest in a backup external hard drive. The hard drive in your PC or laptop just isn’t stable enough to preserve vast quantities of media. And, if you’re like me, you like to save the original copy of an image, AND sixteen (or so) edited versions of that same image. At about 4MB per image, hard drive space is eaten up fast. One of the benefits of living in the 21st century is that memory is getting cheaper by the minute. You can pick up a ONE TERABYTE external hard drive for under a hundred dollars USD (this particular model is on my wish list). That’s a lot of pictures, my friends.

TWO – Once you have your backup media, schedule a regular time to back up your files. Once a week, once a month, whatever your personal needs and level of paranoia require. Then, store your drive someplace OTHER than your house to lessen the chances of disaster. Work, a safety deposit box, your mother’s house – basically, the idea is to have copies of the data in different locations, so if disaster strikes one location, the data is still safe at another.

THREE – Go for redundancy. Because even external hard drives can crash on you, make sure you have additional backup. For your best work or most precious memories, get yourself an online photo management account, such as Flickr or Photobucket. These types of hosts have their own backups and redundancies in place, giving you added peace of mind. You typically won’t be able to store your RAW files with them, due to file size and type restrictions, but your high quality JPG’s will upload just fine.

FOUR – If all of this still isn’t enough peace of mind for you, additional on-line data storage can be found with such companies as Mozy and iDrive. For a monthly fee you can ensure that ALL of your data (not just photos) is securely backed up and rendered as safe as you can possibly achieve.

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