2008 Genea Bloggers Summer Games Competition · Organizing Documents

Solutions to Backing Up My Data

One of the challenges I took on from the Genea Blogger Games was to backup my data. I really dreaded this item. I backed up my computer to CDs in February and it almost took me the whole month. What a tiresome task! Plus you end up with hundreds of CDs each having a bit of the backup pie.

As I backed up everything on my computer in February, my goal was to back up all of my genealogy databases, all my old photographs and the 2008 photographs, and my 2008 genealogy digital documents and notes.

I decided the best option would be to use a free online file storage service. This would solve the problem of having my originals and backups located in one place. I’m a little leery about using this type of service though. First, I am concerned about my privacy. Can someone gain access to my files? Can the company who owns the service view my files or share them with another person, government agency, etc.? Second, I worry about the company taking my files and disappearing into the abyss. Another dot.com disappearing act.

First, I tried XDrive.com as it’s been around a couple of years. They offer 5 GB free storage and as far as I can see, no other restrictions (except where customer support is concerned).

I downloaded the interface, XDrive Lite, which is supposed to make uploading easier and faster. I had problems with it right from the start. It kept losing the connection to the server if my file/folder size exceeded a certain amount (which wasn’t obvious to me). I also couldn’t select an entire folder. I had to choose files one by one. That wasn’t very helpful considering I had of photos to upload.

Since the uploading with the interface didn’t work for me, I tried uploading directly from the website. I was able to select whole folders to copy, but still had problems. First, it wouldn’t work with Firefox, so I had to fire up my IE browser. Second, though it says it can upload multiple files at one time, it doesn’t appear that it handles it very well. I had to think about how large each folder was before I copied it, which made the process even more cumbersome.

I backed up all my genealogy databases and one photo folder over two days. Then I decided XDrive just failed the test.

Next, I tried humyo.com. Humyo offers 30 gig of space for media files (music, photographs, and video) and 5 gig of space for regular files on their free plan. They restrict the amount of data you can download and share each month (1 gig), but you have unlimited uploading up to the total allowable space for the plan that you are signed up for.

I’m a little leery using Humyo since they’ve only been around since 2007. I decided to give it a whirl anyway.

It works much better with my computer than XDrive. I uploaded 667 photograph files. It took 1 1/2 hours. That’s not too bad if you considered the algebraic calculations I would have had to calculate to divide all those files over multiple CDs.

I didn’t have any problem uploading multiple folders. It was click on a folder and drag to the upload area. It could even do a folder with several subfolders. It has a progress window which tells you what file number it is working on with a graphic of that file and how many hours and minutes are left.

I had a mini freak out after it was done uploading. A screen came up showing my files and all my subfolder were listed outside of their main folders. Yikes! Luckily, that is not the way they are organized on my account. All subfolders are within the appropriate main folder. I hated to think that I would have to move them all back to the right places. That would have been awful had this been my digital document folder where things are filed by type of record like Census and then the year. Can you imagine going through hundreds of subfolders to find which 1920 folder belonged to what type of record main folder?)

I now have backups of all my genealogy files. This took approximately 5 to 6 hours. I must have backed up over 1000 files. According to humyo, I used up 318.99 of my photo space (1.25%) and 215.87 of my file space (4%) So, this genea blogger challenge is done. Yeah!

I plan to at the end of every month to update these files at humyo.  I’ve marked it on my calendar and I hope to stick to it!

What do you use to backup your digital genealogy files?

One thought on “Solutions to Backing Up My Data

  1. for smaller backups i mean day to day or even hour to hour when you need to backup files i just use my gmail account for backups, i have a special label called backup and i backup to there stuff – its for free why not use it. a free utility that helps me do that is backup to email, i use it to right click files and backup them to my gmail account… (http://www.backup2e.com)

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