This article is a quick guide to different backup services you can use to backup the artworks and graphic designs you have created over the years. Services mentioned below are ones that I personally use or have used.
Why back up?
If you don't backup your files, you should. You really don't want to lose days, months or even years of your work, photos of your vacations and loved ones, and important documents.
Setting up a backup service for your computer is actually quite easy, straightforward and isn't too expensive.
The backups I use
I use physical storage and cloud storage for backups.
Physical storage are for files that I don't need access to. These are for archival backups.
Cloud storage is for files that I access frequently. The files will be downloaded from the cloud so there is some waiting time before the file can be opened. But internet speed nowadays is fast so that slight delay isn't really a big issue.
In terms of cost, buying external drives as a one time purchase is obviously cheaper in the long run compared to paying monthly for cloud services.
Ideally, there should always be two backups just in case the original backup fails for whatever reason. My two backups are the physical hard drives and cloud storage.
Hard drives can be damaged for many reasons:
- Water spilled from cups
- Kids throwing your drives out the window
- Dropping hard drives
- Damage from magnets from magnetic accessories
- Fire damage to house
If you use cloud storage, obviously you don't have to worry about all these.
But for cloud storage, you have to choose a reliable company. I've actually stored my files with a company that went bankrupt before. Below are the popular cloud storage service providers and prices (US$):
|Apple iCloud||Google Drive||MS OneDrive||DropBox|
|1TB||Personal $7/mth or $70/yr, Family $10/mth or $100/yr|
|2TB||$10/mth||$10/mth, $100/yr||Personal $120/yr, Family $204/yr|
iCloud is a service provided by Apple that comes with a backup service and it works great with iPhones, iPads and Macs. iCloud will backup everything.
iCloud is a monthly subscription service and the prices are as follows:
- 50GB: US $0.99
- 200GB: US $2.99
- 2TB: US $9.99
If you have multiple devices, the online storage will be shared across those devices and can be shared with family members too. I personally use the 200GB plan to backup my iPad, iPhone and my wife's iPhone.
Unfortunately, 200GB is quite easy to reach and the next tier is 2TB and is more expensive although still worth the money if you calculate the per TB cost, and really worth it if you share with family members.
In the event that your Apple device is lost, stolen or damaged, you can get a new device and restore everything from iCloud. Your downtime is the time you take to buy a new device and have everything downloaded back.
The downside is when you have no access to your device, you also won't have access to your files. You won't be able to access your files even with another computer. If you need to access your files with another computer while your computer is down, check out the three services below.
Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and DropBox
These three online storage and backup services with many features for work and collaboration.
These services can be set to sync with your computer so the all your files are duplicated online. Depending on your set up your backup services, they may or may not backup settings.
In the event that your computer is down, you can still access your files through the websites of the respective companies. In theory, if your computer is down, you can still continue with your work using a tablet. This is something you can't do with iCloud.
Google Drive prices:
- 15GB: Free
- 100GB: US $2 a month or $20 annually
- 200GB: US $3 a month or $30 annually
- 2TB: US $10 a month or $100 annually
- 10TB: US $100 a month
- 20TB: US $200 a month
- 30TB: US $300 a month
- 2TB: US $9.99/month with annual plan
- 2TB for six people (family plan): US $16.99/month with annual plan
- 3TB: US $16.58/month with annual plan
Microsoft 365 prices:
- Personal 1TB: US $6.99/month or $69.99/year
- Family 1TB each for six: US $9.99/month or $99.99/year
Dropbox is great for backing up computers with more than 1TB - 3TB internal storage.
Microsoft 365 provides online storage with OneDrive and that's great for backing up computers with 1TB or less storage. Microsoft 365 also includes all the apps from Microsoft Office.
I'm personally using Microsoft 365 Family plan (US $99.99/year) and Google Drive 200GB ($30/year) and iCloud 200GB ($36/year). I'm using Microsoft OneDrive to backup my computer and online storage. I've the 200GB Google Drive because my email is using more than 15GB. The total I spend yearly for backup is $100 + 30 + 36 = US $166 or $13.9/month.
For backing up computers, you'll probably need the 1TB or 2TB plans.
If you think you may not want to spend the money, imagine your computer has just crashed, now go research the prices of data restore services. After that, imagine your computer is stolen or went up in flames and no data can be restored.
By the way, if you want to sign up with Microsoft OneDrive, use this affiliate link to add 0.5GB to your storage capacity.