I posted about perspectives yesterday, after an incident that occurred. And this got me to thinking about what would happen if I were in that situation. And after really contemplating it, I realized that I would be devastated by the loss of the the things that I have accumulated, but the irreplaceable things, like my pictures, the source materials for my books, and the code for my apps, would all be completely safe. Why would they be completely safe, because I have a backup of everything.
There are many backup strategies, but the one that is most common is called the "3-2-1" backup strategy. It means, 3 copies of your data, on 2 different mediums, and 1 offsite. The three copies include, the original, and two backups. The original lives on your computer and changes periodically. The two backups should be stored on two different media. These media could be an external hard drive (preferably a bootable version), and maybe another, even if it is just the important stuff, on a USB Thumb drive. The last thing is that one of those copies of your data should be offsite. The reason you need an offsite backup is to prepare for the worst. You never want to have to use it, but if you do, you will be very glad it is there.
My preferred backup vendor is BackBlaze (Disclosure, there is a referral code in the link). Why do I use BackBlaze? Because it is only $5 a month for Unlimited storage. Yes, $5 a month. The backup is not just for your boot drive, but EVERY drive that is attached to your computer. The initial upload does take a while, but once the initial upload is complete, only the differential changes will be uploaded and these will be much faster.
There are a couple of features of BackBlaze that make it stand above the rest. The first is the ability to limit how much bandwidth is used. For instance, if I only want to allow the minimum amount of data to be uploaded, so additional bandwidth is available for other tasks, you can do so. When you adjust the slider, you will be able to see an estimate of how much data will be used at that speed.
Additionally, you are able to pause the backups in case you know you will need the bandwidth for another reason. IF you manage to leave it off for too long, BackBlaze will send you an email stating that you have not backed up in 14, 28, and 60 days. BackBlaze will not only notify you if you have not backed up in that amount of time, but also if one of the drive that you are backing up is missing as well.
If you do not already have a backup strategy, go and create one now. The simplest way is to use BackBlaze, but there are many other solutions out there as well.