3-2-1 Backup Method

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What is the 3-2-1 backup method?  It’s simple!  A 3-2-1 strategy means having at least 3 different copies of your data; 2 of which are local but on different devices, and at least 1 copy is stored off-site.

This method is based on one concept: redundancy. Each of these is meant to make sure that your data is stored in multiple ways, so that at least one backup will survive.  Three different copies means three different copies in different places. Different folders on the same hard drive or flash disc does not count.   This is in addition to your printed photos, videos on tape, etc.

3-2-1 Backup Explained

Let’s say you scanned and digitized your printed photos.  This is the 1st copy.

Now, you also have an external hard drive that you use for backing up your computer.  This is the 2nd copy on a different device of your printed photos.

Then, to ensure that you don’t lose the photos on your hard drive and external hard drive, you need to make a third copy and store off-site or backup to “the cloud”.   This is your 3rd copy.

The combination of these three steps ensures that if something tragic were to happen to your home and everything in it, you have at least one other source of your photos, videos and other items.

Getting Started

If you currently do not have a backup system in place, no worries.  It doesn’t mean you should go out right this minute and getting everything. What I would recommend though is start backing up your hard drive using an external hard drive or some other mechanism.  I use this example as it’s one of the more common methods for backing up.  If you have smartphones, tablets or other devices use iTunes or some other tool to back them up.  Something until you can get a handle on an off-site or cloud service.

One idea for an off-site service is to backup to another external hard-drive and take it somewhere at least once a week.  But you have to be committed. Services such as Blackbaze, Carbonite and iDrive do this automatically.  I’ll write another article in the near future evaluating backup services.  No one service is going to fit everyone the same.

Questions on backing up or preserving your memories?  Please contact us to schedule some time.

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