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How to Backup Like a Boss: Traveling with a Laptop

Backup Like a Boss
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As a former IT technician, I’ve seen the perils of hard drive crashes, the devastating effects, and the costly aftermath. Hard drive recovery is not a simple process and it can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. I’ve seen people lose years of their work because somewhere between the home and the office, their hard drive decided to give them the finger and call it quits.

When you’re on the road, your notebook gets used, abused, shaken and dropped. Today’s average hard drive is made up of many, tiny moving parts and, the fact is, the more use and abuse these moving parts receive, the more likely it is that your hard drive is going to break, fail or CRASH.

Not cool, dude.

On top of this, there’s always the possibility that your laptop, camera, hard drives or memory sticks will get stolen. The uncertainties of the road rollover onto your possessions and leave the fate of your electronics, and your data, entirely up to chance. Many people choose to backup onto a portable hard drive but, to be honest, I can’t see the value of it. It’s an extra piece of equipment to worry about and, frankly, that hard drive has just as much of a chance of crashing (or getting stolen) as your computer. If you have a reliable internet connection, you’re better off using a service to keep your data backed-up offsite, in the cloud, and easily accessible from anywhere in the world.

Stay Backed Up in the Cloud

Some people choose to use services like Dropbox or Google Drive to manually backup their files, but this is not the most convenient or efficient way to do it. To backup like a true boss, you’re going to want a more extensive solution.

I’ve been using Backblaze for about six months now and, without doubt, it’s the most comprehensive, easy-to-use, unobtrusive piece of backup software I’ve ever used.

Backblaze continuously backs up everything on your computer. Using minimal system resources, it runs in the background, continuously backing up your files, ensuring every backup is always current. As long as you’re connected to the internet, Backblaze uses a secure connection to keep everything on your computer backed-up in the cloud, accessible from anywhere. You never have to worry about backing up because Backblaze is fully automated. Just set it up once, and then you can forget all about it.

Go Mobile

Backblaze also has a stellar iPhone app. It’s sleek and intuitive and provides remote access to all your backed-up data. As long as your backup is current, you can browse, view and download all your photos, documents, PDFs and more, directly on your phone. Now, wherever I am, and at all times, I have access to all of my files! This feature wasn’t even available when I first signed up for Backblaze, and their service was worth it then. This is the icing on top of a very delicious cake.

Easy Data Recovery

Should something go wrong, and should your computer crash or get stolen, you can download your backed-up data for free. Alternatively, Backblaze will mail you a USB stick or hard drive for a nominal fee.

And, because Backblaze is always connected, if your computer gets stolen, there is a mapping option so you can hunt your machine down, and find the actual address where your computer is residing!

At $5 per month, or $50 per year, it’s shockingly cheap. This is a very small price to pay for a full-backup, not to mention the security of knowing that my data is safe. An external hard drive will cost more, and there’s actually no storage limit, so whether you need to backup 2MB or 2TB, you won’t have to worry about managing your hard drive space.

Because of Backblaze, I can now travel anywhere in the world knowing that all my movies, music, documents and photos are entirely safe.

More Information

Name: Backblaze
Cost: $5/mo
Notes: Backblaze offers a free trial, making it really easy to try before you decide!

This article contains affiliate links. If you click the link and sign up for the paid version, I receive a small commission, which helps me keep the site running. As trust and readership is very important to me, I would never endorse a product I don’t fully stand behind.

Photo credit: davitydave

Jeremy Foster

Founding Editor at travelFREAK
Jeremy left home in 2010 to embark on a journey to the other side of the world. Years later, he's still on the move and exploring other countries. He is now a traveling cocktail bartender and the head writer for travelFREAK! You can usually find him on either side of the bar, acting wanky and pretentious about booze.

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  • Sam -Travelling King

    Great post! I manually back up every fortnight onto 2 different hard drives – a little obsessive maybe?

    • http://www.travelfreak.net/ Jeremy Foster

      Nope, not obsessive! It’s your data and, once it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s important to keep your files backed up! You should consider something like Backblaze, though, so you can set it and forget it. I never have to worry about backups because it’s already done for me!

      • Sam -Travelling King

        Ill have to try it out sometime (when I have a minute to scratch my head!!!) Usually back up evry sunday when i dont have access to the internet

  • Lash

    Hey Jeremy,

    Awesome! Thanks for the info. I’ll go check them out. It will certainly ease my mind while traveling.. just in case my laptop should get stolen or break down. Thanks!

    Q: What do you recommend for backing up websites?

    I’m at HostGAtor with WP site. My site is ‘supposedly’ backed up every week…but when I go check I find out there’s some issue and it hasn’t been backed up at all! Scary. I NEED TO fix that asap!

    thanks! Cheers, Lash

    • http://www.travelfreak.net/ Jeremy Foster

      It’s great even if you’re not traveling. All your backups are automated and you never have to worry about a thing!

      As for websites, I use a managed hosting service which does daily backups. To keep your entire site backed up, you’ll have to use the one supplied by HostGator. If you’re using WordPress, you can use WP Backup to keep your database backed up!

  • Lauren @ AllThingsGo.co.uk

    I definitely need something like this. I’m ashamed to say that nothing of mine is backed up! Must get on it asap.

  • The Guy

    Many thanks for the tip. I’ve often considered the merits v cost of cloud back up. I use a hard drive network back up at home. Yet as you say this is only of use once I’m at home. This option is certainly one I will investigate further.

    • http://www.travelfreak.net/ Jeremy Foster

      Well, how much did your hard drive cost, and what’s the lifespan on said drive? At 5 bucks a month, you’re paying way less, and for more storage!

      • The Guy

        Hard drive was about £60-£70 and I’ve used it for more than 2 years. So I guess I’m up compared to online storage. I can just only access once I’m at home though.

  • Graefyl

    I wrote my own cloud and can create .txt files, zip up my photoshop files and store them htere, etc-etc plus a portal I wrote for me to work from. The only file on my netbook is a plain text file that I zero out regularly. Found it’s the best solution.

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