Oh dear. Photo via Leadership by DanThe worst thing that can happen to your computer is frying the hard drive. I had this misfortune two summers ago. I’m grateful that it was the summer though and not before finals. All of your stuff is lost. Music, movies and TV Shows can be re-downloaded, but pictures and documents cannot be easily recreated. 

The Cloud

DropBox

A good solution that can sit right in your documents folder is Dropbox. You can just drag and drop the files into a folder that’s placed in the location you choose and the files will be uploaded to Dropbox while still being able to access from that folder as well as from any place that has an Internet connection. 

The pricing for Dropbox is 9.99/a month for 50 GB of storage and 19.99/a month for 100 GB. The free version of Dropbox give you 2 GB of storage.  The prices may seem a little steep but the service is much better than Mozy, which I’ll get into below. 

Mozy

Over the past two weeks I’ve been playing around with Mozy and it’s been pretty good. I started with a mammoth upload, which took a couple of days then it just died. Which I don’t blame it, 24 GB is a lot of information to go over an internet connection. I was surprised it got 18 GB across. It didn’t get to upload my documents so on my next backup I just selected the things I need to be backed up for school. That’s worked really well. 

On the download, or restore functions wasn’t what I was expecting. You have to wait for an email from Mozy in order to restore your files. 

There is a free option of Mozy which is right up college students’ alleys. It has 2 GB of space which should be enough for a semester’s worth of work and slideshows. The unlimited version of the servicecosts five dollars a month. While backing up offsite is good if your dorm burns down, it doesn’t seem worth it when you can pay a larger one time price for what I’m going to talk about below, the portable HDD option. 

The Not-Cloud

Hardware

One of the pitfalls of online backups is that if you have a slow internet connection then your backup will take days if you have a lot of files. So, for the students who want to back up their music, movies and pictures, it’s probably better to go with a portable hard drive. 

Western Digital came out with some pretty stylish My Passport drives not too long ago. They are worth checking out. They are compatible with all Windows OSs including Windows 7. They work on OS X too but in order for that to happen you have reformat the drive.

For OS X, I recommend a Verbatim or Seagate drive. They both work with Time Machine right out of the box which is really swell. 

Do you backup your files? How do you do it? Comment below to share your backup method!