Does storing and backing up your digital files confuse you?
Who doesn’t have the humongous amount of digital data these days on their devices? Photos, business files, images, audios, videos and what not! If you do have a golden habit of storing essential data in strategic tools and places, you’re already doing a great job! But if the mere mention of the words like backup, external devices or cloud storages is enough to make you go cross-eyed then worry not, you have landed on the right page!
Why do I need to take care of my digital data?
In my early access-days, I lost my first foundation/level 1 & first ESB class recordings, along with ESL teaching resources. My age-old laptop crashed. I procrastinated uploading these audio files on google drive. Neither did I ever thought of investing in a good external hard drive.
Three years later, it seemed I had got it under control. But recently, after losing my phone and the data again, I finally woke up from my digital unconsciousness to educate myself about my storage options, that too, ease-filled ones!
Well, If any part of this drama resonates with you, then you must read this post to make informed choices.
Let’s go back to the basics and understand that – Broadly, There are following choices for downloading and storing your digital files or data.
- Internal storage
- External Storage
1. Internal Storage
The internal storage means that you directly download files on your memory-rich devices. This download is your first copy of your data. For this, you buy devices (laptop, smartphones) with a sound storage system.
Point of this storage is that you can access your handy data wherever you go. Though you risk losing your precious data, if you let it stay on your devices without any backup. Hence, it is essential to have additional copies of this data in other tools using the following methods.
2. External Storages
You directly download and store massive files or digital data on external devices – the external storage is not on your devices.
External storage has two options->
a) On Physical devices – (Pen drives & Hard drives)
b) On Cloud
Let’s discuss them in details.
a) ON PHYSICAL DEVICES
It means you store data on separate physical devices. It can be an external hard disk and pen drives. These devices are like empty digital boxes, and they come with huge storage capacity.
These are some of the physical devices I use.
Are you wondering about the benefit of the external physical device?
First, The apparent reason is the ease of carrying your files around.
Secondly, files can be accessed offline without worrying about the internet connection. Also, your data is very safe, and there are no concerns of hackers.
b ) ON CLOUD –
Does cloud ‘clouds’ your understanding?
There is no cloud up there. Cloud is a hard drive on a service providers’ remote computer/server. In other words, Cloud storage is a method in which data is stored somewhere other than your devices, usually on remote servers.
It is maintained, operated and managed by a cloud storage service provider on storage servers. You can access your files using the internet from the cloud through app or software which is installed on your device.
What are the benefits of this cloud storage, you might think!
You do not have to lug around your devices with you, as you can access your data anywhere in the world with an internet connection. You can also share, collaborate using your files with total ease. Physical devices are prone to stealing, virus threat or many unfortunate events. So having a backup on the cloud makes sense. Most importantly, it is available in both a free and paid version.
Here are some options which give some free space at the beginning which can be upgraded to paid version according to your requirement.
DropBox is famous in the world of cloud services. It is reliable and straightforward too. After signing up for the services, you get 2GB of space free of charge. It may not seem like much space for your massive files, but for many everyday tasks – sharing files, storing pdfs, worksheets etc. – it should be enough.
Free storage allowance: 2GB
Box is easy to use and highly customizable too. On signing up, you get 10GB of storage provided free of charge. Though space seems enough for a beginner, there is a limitation on uploads. The size of the file you can upload should be 250MB for free accounts – so this is something you need to consider. It might not be an ideal option for big mp3 files, but saving pictures, images, documents not a problem.
Free storage allowance: 10GB
GoogleDrive is one of the best-known and my favourite free cloud storage services. You get 15GB of space free of charge. As this is Google, it is integrated neatly with other products from the company such as Gmail, Google Doc etc. Google Drive also offers file sharing and collaboration options.
Free storage allowance: 15GB
This Cloud storage gives users a generous 50GB free cloud storage. Security is said to be Mega’s unique selling points. You can give it a trial run without even signing up.
Free storage allowance: 50GB
Other options worth checking :
Amazon Cloud – 5GB free in S3
Flipdrive – 10GB free cloud storage
pCloud – 20GB free storage
Syncplicity – 10GB of free cloud storage
What is a 3-2-1 Backup Strategy?
A 3-2-1 strategy means having at 3 total copies of your data. 2 copies of which are local on different devices and at least 1 copy offsite, on cloud storage.
Firstcopy.mp3s download is living on your computer/phone.
Secondcopy.mp3 on an external hard drive.
ThirdCopy.mp3 on remote computer/cloud/data centre too.
It’s an excellent strategy to become mindful of taking care of your digital data.
I hope these methods help you explore and choose the best ways to store and backup your digital files safely.