My Virtual Vault – Global Outings™

Virtual_VaultThis week a travel writer (not me) had her computer and back-up hard drive stolen. Unfortunately, she lost all her travel photos. Ouch. Hard to get these memories back.

When I travel, I use a convoluted system of  backing up photos. Each night, I download the photos from my camera to my computer, which I then backup to a thumb drive, which I keep in a separate compartment from my camera and laptop.

When I get home, I put the thumb drives in a fire-safe safe. This is a lot of work. And certainly not a bullet-proof system.

Advantages of Online Storage

That’s why I’ve decided to enter the world of cyber storage. I’m now going to start downloading my photos and files directly to a “virtual vault.” There are several advantages to storing your files and photos online:

Protection: Save your documents from natural disasters, like fires and floods, from computer threats, like viruses, and from theft.

•  Sharing: Share your files with friends and family.

Access: Access your files anytime and anywhere. As long as you have an internet connect, you have access to your documents and photos.

Cyber Storage Considerations

Here’re a couple of things to consider when checking out cyber storage options:

•  Security: Security is the most important feature when storing data. Online storage services should offer encrypted file transfer and password protection. Make sure your choice has scheduled backups for your data.

•  Storage Space/Price: Most online storage services offer quite a bit of storage space for a reasonable price, free trial accounts and no setup fees. Prices range from $5 – $15 for 5 gigs. To backup all my files and photos, I’m looking at about $30 a month.

Ease of Use: A couple of the features I wanted were “drag and drop” file transfer and online support. I also wanted a phone number so I could reach a tech if I wanted.

My Virtual Vault

Here’s a great comparison chart from CNET that lists 19 different online storage features for 10 companies. I chose SugarSync, which had a CNET 5-star editor rating. I downloaded the software, but have yet to move my files over. I actually tried, but it wasn’t *instantly* apparent to me, so I’ll be testing out their online support tomorrow.

SugarSync also has free apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian – I’ll be downloading this cool feature too.

Obviously, if you’re only interested in online photo storage and sharing, you can turn to Flick (free to a limit, which I’ve surpassed) or Kodak Gallery (also free). 

I like the idea of having all my files, photos, music all in one place – that is until that one place is compromised. Which is why I’ll continue to use my back-up computer hard drive and my thumb drive / fire-safe system. You can’t be too careful with your memories.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 4th, 2010 and is filed under Before You Go.

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