Three Ways to Back Up Files, Photos, and Videos

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - updated January 12th, 2024
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The digital space is growing massively and has become a key part of our lives in recent years. It’s no surprise that this means we also have an increasing amount of files, photos and videos on hand and knowing how to backup or efficiently share all of this becomes crucial. Luckily, there are a number of solutions to suit different needs, preferences and budgets. In this article, we share three of the best ways to back up and share your digital assets, including external storage, NAS drives, and cloud storage.

External Storage (SSDs or HDDs)

External storage in the form of Portable Solid-State Drives (SSDs) and Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) are two common and effective methods for backing up and sharing files, photos, and videos. Portable HDDs offer larger storage capacities at a lower cost, making them a good option for those who prioritise volume over speed. If you’re looking for the most cost-effective solution, an external HDD is ideal for backing up large amounts of data like high-resolution photos and videos. Compared to SSDs, HDDs can be more susceptible to damage due to their mechanical nature, but with careful handling, they can serve as reliable back-up devices for extensive amounts of data.

Portable SSDs aim to offer large storage capacities with fast data transfer rates, while being compact and durable. They are typically more expensive than HDDs but offer superior performance, especially in terms of speed. Because of the absence of moving parts, SSDs are less prone to failure and can also withstand harsh environments better than HDDs. Fortunately, thanks to technological advancement and competition, SSDs are now far more affordable than they’ve been in the past. For example, an ultra compact and portable option like the Kingston SXS1000 2TB USB-C Portable SSD costs less than $280 at the time of this article, but there are other options that are even less too. So if superior speed, performance, and reliability are important to you, it may be worth it to spend a bit extra on a portable SSD.

NAS Drive (Network Attached Storage)

Network-Attached Storage (NAS) is another excellent solution for backing up and sharing files, photos, and videos. NAS devices are essentially personal cloud servers that you control. They function as dedicated file storage devices attached to a network, allowing multiple devices from the same network to access and share files easily and securely. Unlike portable drives, NAS drives are highly scalable - as your storage needs increase, you can usually add more drives to the system. They also offer redundancy options, like RAID, which duplicate your data across multiple drives, adding an extra level of security. NAS drives also allow remote access - as long as you have an internet connection, you can access, share, or back up your files, essentially providing you with your private cloud.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage provides a solution that's highly accessible and scalable, without the upfront costs of physical drives. Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive offer substantial amounts of storage that can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection. Additionally, data stored in the cloud is generally synced across multiple devices, so your files, photos, and videos are always up to date, regardless of the device you're using. Sharing is also built into these services, making it straightforward to share single files or entire folders with others, either through a direct link or by inviting them to a shared folder. Given that cloud services usually rely on data centers distributed in multiple locations, they provide an inherent backup system for your files, reducing the risk of data loss. Even if you’re using a solution such as a portable hard drive, a cloud backup of your most important files is a wise idea in case your physical drives ever go missing or get damaged.

Many cloud storage services offer free plans with the option to upgrade for more storage. One Drive for example offers 50GB of storage with a free account. However, if you are on a Microsoft 365 Personal plan, not only do you get access to the entire Microsoft Office suite, but you also get 1TB of cloud storage on OneDrive.

When backing up data, it's highly recommended to take a multi-layered approach. A universally recommended backup strategy, known as the 3-2-1 rule, suggests keeping at least three copies of your data (the original data and two backups), in two different formats (e.g. an external drive + cloud storage), and storing one of those copies off-site or on the cloud to ensure security and accessibility of critical data (in case of fire, theft, or other disasters). 

So, what are you waiting for? Do you have your files backed up? All it could take is once incident for you to lose your valuable files forever. Head over to our our external storage or NAS department to browse our full range of storage devices!

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Staff Writer

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