Hard drive backups are like the socks of gifts you give yourself. They’re initially about as unexciting as gifts can get, only to become the best gift ever in a pinch. Got a meeting in 20 minutes and your normal sock reserve is empty? Thanks for the bag-o-socks, Uncle Steve! Your hard drive just exploded, taking the past 3 years of your digital life with it? Thanks for the backup, past-me!
Besides being the day that keeps the people who make Peeps in business, today also marks the Third Annual World Backup Day. World Backup Day is a tradition that started on reddit back in 2011, and has been rippling out through the rest of the tech-loving world ever since.
Making today’s Backup Day particularly special is the fact that it falls on Easter, which, if nothing else, means you get to use “BRB! Gotta go check my backups!” as a way to escape any awkward family conversations that pop up before the ham is done. Or you could be a cool guy and introduce your less tech-centric family members to the concept of backin’ up their bits.
Oh, and tomorrow is April Fool’s day. Probably not the safest day for data, you know?
So, how should you go about backing things up?
If you’re trying to keep it simple, just go buy/find a big ol’ external hard drive, plug it into your operating system’s built-in backup tool (Here’s a guide to Backup on Windows, or Time Machine on OS X), let it do its thing, and then stick the backup somewhere safe. If you can find somewhere off-site (like a trusted friend’s house), that’ll help you retain your data in case of fire or flood.
If you want to get fancy and push your backups online, a couple of the big backup guys are doing deals in honor of today’s techno-holiday. Crashplan dropped their annual price from $71 down to $42 for the day, and Backblaze is giving away 3-months free to all newcomers. If you’ve only got a handful of files that you need to keep backed up, Dropbox’s free 2GB plan is a solid option.
Hard drives are cheap. Lost data isn’t. Go, go, go!