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The backup plan

Technically Speaking

A couple has two young children, ages 2 and 6, whose lives they’ve been lovingly documenting in digital photos and videos for the past six years. They’ve always been pretty good about backing up their photos on a regular basis, so they never really considered the thought of suddenly not having those pictures and the memories associated with them.

One day their hard drive crashes. All of their photos are lost. They have documents saved on that computer as well, but their minds and hearts first go those photos and videos they had failed to back up, and subsequently lost.

If you don’t want this to happen to you, here are some tips for backing up your digital photos.

CDs and DVDs

One strategy for backing up your pictures and videos is to copy the files onto CDs or DVDs, label them well and put them away somewhere safe. CDs and DVDs can hold quite a bit of data (roughly 500 to 2500 photos at standard resolution depending on the media). This system of file backup has been successful for quite some time, but it is not foolproof. These discs can become scratched or cracked and are also very susceptible to moisture and humidity, all of which could lead to them being unusable.

External hard drive

Another option would be to save copies of your photos onto an external hard drive. An external hard drive is a separate file storage device that can be attached to the computer (usually via a USB cable) to save important, confidential, or sensitive data. The drive can be disconnected and placed in a secure location. External hard drives can hold much more data than CDs or DVDs – many can hold up to 2 terabyte (tb) of data. (A terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes. For an explanation of memory sizes you can go to www.whatsabyte.com for detailed descriptions). Like CDs and DVDs, external hard drives are a very effective means to back up important files, but they are digital devices and susceptible to environmental elements that could render them inoperable resulting in the loss of data.

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