Data Backup Day: Easy Ways to Create Backups and Prevent Data Loss

10 ways to backup data

The first of each month is what the genealogy community knows as Data Backup Day – a day when we commit to making sure all our research data is safely backed-up in case something goes wrong.  What could go wrong? Well how about:

  • hard drive failure?
  • fire or water damage to home office and computer?
  • theft?
  • website or blog failure?

I’ve been beset by each of these predicaments in the past and the only thing that saved me and my years of genealogy research data was a series of carefully planned backups of data. In recent months, I’ve ramped up the process to not only backup data locally to an external hard drive, but also to an online site – sort of a “backup to the backup.”  And I’ve also expanded the types of data I backup to include bookmarks, blog posts, blog templates, emails, etc. These are all important components of my research and I’d have a difficult time recreating such data and some of it would just be lost forever if there were no backups.

A Variety of Data Backup Methods

Here’s how you can get started on a sound backup plan with the following resources:

  • Flash Drive: Flash drives come in a variety of sizes up to 128GB and now with USB 3.0 becoming the new standard they are faster than ever.  Check out the reviews over at CNET and go to Amazon for some of the best prices.
  • External Hard Drive: I am still amazed at the fact that you can now get a 1 TB (terabyte as in 1,000 GB!) external hard drive for as low as $69.  Check out the wide variety available at Amazon.
  • Data Backup Services: There are a myriad of websites that allow you to backup your data, some even have free allotments (as much as 100GB for free!).  Check out the great comparison chart over at I am a big fan of BackBlaze which takes the hassle out of backing up your data. Set it and forget it!
  • Cloud Storage Sites: Which cloud storage site is best for you? Dropbox is the most popular with genealogists due to its ease of use and free 2GB data allotment. Check out this recent article at CNET to determine which cloud program is best for you and your data.
  • Photos: There are photo repository sites such as ImageBam which has no limits besides a 3MB file size limit per photo and lets you select multiple photos. If you have a Picasa account did you know you can send photos there via email? Also don’t forget you can store images in Evernote as well!
  • Internet Explorer: It seems like there’s a handy – and free – web application for everything right?  Yes, even for your Internet Explorer!  Check out Internet Explorer Backup to preserve your settings including favorites, proxy connections, security zones, cookies, user preferences, history, and more!
  • Blogger: For a time many Blogger users were frustrated with the inability to backup their posts as well as their templates – to the point that many created private WordPress blogs and imported their Blogger data. That has all changed and you can now use Blog Tools to back up your Blogger posts. And don’t forget to backup your Blogger template especially before you make any customizations.
  • WordPress: Using the BackUpWordPress plugin you can backup not only your posts but most other settings for your WordPress blog.  This neat accessory also lets you schedule your WordPress backups.
  • Google: Backup not only your Google Reader settings but almost all your Google applications including Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar with the great list of resources over at lifehacker.
  • E-mail:  Besides checking out the great list of 5 Ways to Keep Your Emails Backed Up over at makeuseof, Thunderbird is a free application that lets you backup almost any e-mail system.

Data Backup Resources

GeneaBloggers has developed a resource list of data backup methodologies and solutions. Click here to learn how you can backup almost every aspect of your blog, your browser, your computer – even Macs!

Also, don’t forget to shop here at Amazon for some of the best deals on data backup software, external hard drives and more!

©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Data Backup Deal from iDrive EXCLUSIVELY for Followers of GeneaBloggers

An early start on Data Backup Day and 2015 New Year's Resolutions! Get automatic backup of all your data - 1TB and file syncing for 75% off at iDrive

UPDATE: This offer has been so popular that iDrive has extended it for one more week – good through Monday 12 January 2015!

I’m committed to making sure that all my fans and followers are backing up years worth of research! So I worked with iDrive to come up with a special deal just for you: 1TB of automatic Online Backup Storage PLUS 1TB of Sync Space file storage, all for only $14.88. This is a 75% savings off the regular price of $59.50!

Data Backup Resolutions for 2015

I just started using iDrive for data backup and it is easy to install, easy to use and it is a “set and forget” program. Talk about peace of mind! If you remember I had a hard drive failure in November that almost wiped me out! I had relied on Dropbox but had turned the “sync” feature off and lost days worth of work. Don’t take chances! Consider using an automatic service like iDrive today!

You MUST use this link in order to get this deal! Offer expires January 12, 2015.

Is iDrive Better than Carbonite? Will iDrive Work on a Mac? And Other Questions

Short answers: Yes and Yes.

First, there are so many benefits that iDrive has over Dropbox, Carbonite and Backblaze. Second, iDrive works with Mac and iOS devices as well as PCs and Android devices. Some other important reason why you may want to use iDrive:

  • iDrive allows multiple machines – you can back up as many as you want – even a combo of PC and Mac devices – all under the 1TB data limit – Carbonite is for one computer.
  • iDrive does mobile devices – Carbonite does not.
  • Carbonite backs up once a day – iDrive is automatic as it happens.
  • iDrive can backup Facebook. Carbonite does not.
  • And this is neat – you can ship an external hard drive to iDrive and they will add it to your backup (extra fee of course)

Check out the comparison of iDrive and Carbonite as well as the comparison of iDrive and Backblaze, and iDrive and Dropbox.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

FREE Genealogy Data Backup Report – December 2014

December 1, 2014 - the first day of each month is Data Backup Day in the genealogy community. Get your free Genealogy Data Backup Report at GeneaBloggers!

Yesterday, December 1, 2014, was the first of the month which means it was Data Backup Day. Guess what? We were so wrapped up in all the Cyber Monday sales (still going on – click here to see the latest deals), that we almost forgot!

While we are a day late, we are NOT a dollar short! Why? Well, we know our data backup systems are running smoothly and everything is in place. That reassurance gave us time to seek out the latest data backup deals. Did you know there is an offer to get Backblaze for just $25 for the first year? That’s 50% off. And that another vendor is offering 90% off storage now through Sunday 7 December? Check out the Genealogy Data Backup Report below to learn how you can get these deals.

Genealogy Data Backup Report

To mark Data Backup Day, each month GeneaBloggers publishes a FREE PDF report – Genealogy Data Backup Report – filled with tips and advice on making sure that your genealogy data is secure. In the coming months, each report will contain reviews of external hard drives, USB flash drives, and cloud backup services. Also, we’ll provide easy-to-follow instructions on making sure you backup all of your genealogy data, like emails from other researchers, your Internet bookmarks and favorites and more . . .

The December issue of the Genealogy Data Backup Report offers a review of current online data backup services as well as external hard drives. This special “gift issue” includes two outstanding deals on data backup services with one deal going for 90% off the normal price!

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.