I received some paperwork from my stockbroker so I decided to take a moment to update my taxes-in-progress for the 2012 tax year. I keep all my 1099’s, TurboTax files, notes, donation records, and that sort of thing in a folder on my external USB drive. I sat down at my desk, opened up the drive, and… my tax folder for 2012 was empty. I checked the 2013 folder (which had several important documents that I’ll need next year) and it was empty, too. My heart sank. It would take hours and hours to replace that lost data. I wasn’t even sure if all of it could be replaced. But then I remembered: I have backups!
I opened up CrashPlan, picked my empty folders out of the list, and clicked “Restore”. About 10 seconds later I had my data back. Yay! I wanted to be sure I didn’t lose anything else, so I did a scan of my external drive and found that things were not so good. The drive was badly damaged and I had lost almost 15 GB of data. Thanks to CrashPlan and a local backup, I had all that missing data back in just a few hours. I am so thankful that I had backups.
So why use something like CrashPlan instead of something like Dropbox? Here are my reasons:
One or more of the above reasons applies to all the mainstream online storage solutions. Nothing beats backup software at doing backups. I like CrashPlan, but anything is better than nothing so take a few minutes and make sure you are backing up the files you care about most.
Photo courtesy of pmsyyz under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license.