How To Store Your Digital Photos Safely
With storage media changing all the time, it can be difficult to know where to start. The main thing that you have to do is to make sure that you don’t just save your photos on one device. A lot of people still do this and if that storage device fails, they are devastated that their priceless images are lost forever.
The best solution is always the one that you will stick to. There is no point making a complicated back-up system that you will never use, or use one that will soon become redundant, such as optical disc drives.
At the very least you should have two separate hard drive backups at home. I have a large hard drive, which I copy images to and then two backup drives, which are clones of the main drive. I use a software program called carbon copy cloner. I have it set up so that each time I connect the backup drives to my computer, it copies over the new files and any changes made to files from the master drive.
There are many different solutions to choose from. If you are a Mac user then one way to backup your photos at home is to use a MAC Time Capsule. Your Mac computer will update to it automatically, once it is set up.
As well as having copies at home it is good practice to have some backups away from home as a safeguard. There are many online systems that we use everyday such as Flickr, Instagram etc. but these come with their own problems. Whenever you put your photos on these sites you are opening yourself up to having your photos used by others, so make sure you read all the information about the different licenses you can choose to set for your images. It’s worth bearing in mind as well that these are not paid-for services, so if Flickr decides to shut up shop one day, there is no guarantee that you can get all your photos off the site first. As well as this a lot of these services strip metadata from your images. If you have never heard of the word metadata then you don’t need to worry but professional photographers, or people that think they may turn professional need to think about the consequences of this.
If you don’t like the idea of having your photos on these sites then you could choose a paid-for service (cloud storage services). Dropbox is one of the most well-known and also reliable services. It comes with some storage space for free when you sign up and different packages available for when you need to store more. Dropbox works with Linux, Windows and Mac operating systems as well as phones and tablets so it is a popular service.
For those of you who are media hungry and need a lot more space than dropbox offers there are other cloud storage companies such as Backblaze, livedrive and Zoolz to name but a few. It is worth noting though, that with some of these services, if you detach your hard drive from your computer for more than 30 days the data will be deleted from the online backup; so make sure you are fully aware of what the service does and does not do to choose the best service for you.
After you have secured all your photos there is only one thing left to do and that is to enjoy them!
I personally use Lacie hard drives and have been very happy with them.
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