I use a great program called Dropbox to backup all my documents and pictures which are about 50gb. This is fine since the maximum Dropbox account is 100gb. The real problem I have is backing up all of my media (Music and Video files) which total size is about 700gb. As of now, I find it too timely and cost prohibitive to back these up to the cloud.
All this media is kept on a Western Digital 1 Terabyte Hard Drive. It is small enough to easily carry with me. In my house, I also have a Linksys Network Storage System. It has two 1 terabyte hard drives that mirror (copy each other) each other. Therefore if one of the drives fail, I will still have all the data on the other drive.
My initial strategy was to keep all my media on my portable hard drive and copy everything to the Linksys Storage about once a month. The first initial copy was easy, however it was extremely hard to copy the updated files on a schedule. So, hard that I basically just backed everything up once a year.
That all changed when I found SyncToy, a free program from Microsoft that will sync two folders. All you have to do is press a button.
The options are:
- Synchronize: New and updated files are copied both ways. Renames and deletes on either side are repeated on the other.
- Echo: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right.
- Contribute: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames on the left are repeated on the right. No deletions.
Since I only download new files to the left (My Portable Drive) hard drive and not the right (Linksys Storage System), I have it set to echo. If I were adding Items to both drives, I would set it up to Synchronize. There is no way to automatically set this up to sync, so I manually run it about once a week. It took me about 3 days to do the initial sync and about 4-6 hours to run the echo.
I also use the program to backup my virtual pcs. I keep demos of different software packages on virtual pcs. They are usually between 6-10gb in size and it works perfectly as well for that. This also makes it very easy to copy and send virtual pcs to other people in my office.