Protecting your backup with a fire safe

By Jeffrey the Barak

You may have a PC, or you may have a Mac. Either way your documents, pictures, movies , music and even your preferred settings are probably more important to you than the machine itself, which can be replaced at the store in a day or two.

That is why we back up. We may back up to a remote server via our Internet connection, or we may own an external hard drive, and vigilantly back up our computer so that our user profile could be restored to a new computer in a couple of clicks. Well isn’t that nice?

Nice, unless your building burns down. Let’s say for example that your computer is a Mac, and you back up to a LaCie external Firewire hard disk. I choose this example because that would be my situation. It is easy to leave that attractive LaCie with it’s pretty blue light sitting on the desk next to the Mac, backing up once every hour or so to Time Machine. But it is also risky, because if the computer is lost, then so is the backup.

A better idea is to disconnect that Time Machine backup and place it inside a fire safe. Once every couple of days, or once a week, you can pull it back out and run Time Machine. But then you should put the drive back in the fire safe and close that lid. The drive can keep your passport and insurance policies company in the fire safe until it is needed on the desktop again.

This may sound like a great inconvenience, but if you are tiptoeing through a black charred smoldering mess that used to be your home, would you be happier to see a fire safe, or the melted remains of a hard drive?

 

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