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I joined the cloud – do me a favour and join too!

I joined the Cloud! You know cloud computing, personal PCs are so 2008 and now everyone lives in the cloud – well that’s what the Economist said a week or two back so it must be true.  Seriously though – I have just migrated all my important files onto an online backup system and I think you should too.

(cc) Kenneth Yeung -
(cc) Kenneth Yeung -

I am seriously old and remember when hard drives broke – a lot! I remember when tape backups took hours and hours to restore your files – and then you discovered that the tape was corrupt …  Lets just say telling someone the file they have been working of for weeks is unrecoverable is not something you want to have to do too often in one lifetime.

Now I do have a backup system- I have a portable hard drive which I back up to on a hmm semi-regular basis – and always before the laptops go travelling. But I was becoming more and more aware just how stuffed my business would be if I lost some crtical files.

I have a client who raves about googledocs and I use googledocs from time-to-time – quite honestly if that is what the future is I’d say bring back the quill pen – clunky, slow – unattractive. Not impressed at all. Anyway I don’t really want to work on my files from a remote location – I just want them backed up and safe from me and hardware disasters, or even the theft of laptop. I am also moving back to an earthquake prone country – having an onsite backup is less than useful in those circumstances too.

So I vaguely knew I should do something about an online backup and when surfing around I came across a review of dropbox. Now I read the review but didn’t go with dropbox – entirely because with dropbox you can only share one folder – I had 2 distinct folders I knew needed backup and didn’t really want to rearrange my hard drive to accomodate this program. Instead I signed up with SugarSync and I am loving it.  I have one small problem though – I have a free account which gives 2GB of space – that was enough for the important stuff – but not for my photos. 🙁

My photos need your help – but its a win-win situation.

Sign up for a free account using the above link and you will get a free 2GB account with an extra 250MB just for using my link. I will get an extra 250MB too – so that’s a classic win/win. If you have a whole lot of files and need 30GB then still use the link (you can try for free for 30 days the bigger plan or upgrade from the free account later) – and you will get an extra 5GB free (and me too).  The 30GB costs $5/month $50/year.

How it works is that you nominate which folders you want synced and then sugarsync starts uploading them – it took a few hours on my connection – but it just worked away in the background. Once synced then as you make changes on files it automatically syncs files to the cloud.

Now regardless of whether you are running a multi-million dollar online passive income business empire, a small online business, or just have a whole lot of family photos and boring stuff like tax records on your computer. You really should be backing those files up somewhere, and if you live somewhere that  computers get stolen, houses burn down, earthquakes/cyclones/floods etc happen – you shouldn’t have that backup in the same building or even town as your main computer.

Now I basically use only one computer but if you regularly filesharing between mutliple computers/blackberries,/iPhones whatever then SugarSync could really make life easier by automatically syncing files between different devices. All too complex for me but I have to say the straight archive thing works like a charm. Also once your files are uploaded you can access them directly from a web browser if you are away from home.  Oh and you can stream music/video too if that’s important to you as well  (not that I’ve tried). And apparently it works on Macs too.

So I am sure you could waste hundreds of hours working out which is the best online archive system – or just sign-up for SugarSync – it works for me and if you sign up and save your important files along the ways you will improve my photo’s earthquake survival odds (must admit I have no idea where Sugarsync keeps their servers but I am pretty sure its not Wellington, New Zealand!