Choosing a backup strategy

I’d like to be able to backup most of our “important” stuff – i.e. the email database, the iphoto database and pictures (including tags and other things), our letters, spreadsheets and office documents, etc. This amounts to something like 6-7GB, which is not such a big number but is too big to burn to CDs or even regular DVDRs. I’ve reviewed our options:

  • Invest in an external Hard Drive. This is the most seducing option – not only would I be able to backup our stuff on a regular basis, with possible rollback points, but I would also be able to store other stuff on there (movies, etc) for a very low price-per-gig (you can find ˜300GB for around a hundred bucks these days). Also, once it’s installed and configured, everything will just take care of itself. Downside: more hardware to take care of, and more wires. Oh, how I hate wires.
  • Get an account on an external server. Pros: secure backup out there somewhere in the network ether. Accessible from anywhere. Cons: Pretty high price for a limited storage space (Strongspace is 8 bucks for 4 measly gigs, dot mac is even worse), and you have to pay each month.
  • … iPod. I have plenty of space available on my 60GB iPod (it’s more than half-empty). So I could very well save our stuff to a disk image and store it on there. Positive: basically free, since I already own the device. Negative: I need to plug the iPod every time I want to backup, so it cannot be automated.

In the end, even if the external hard drive has a lot of appeal (storage space is just so sexy), the added expense cannot really be justified. Considering our data does not change at such a fast pace, one backup per month would be totally enough. So I’m going to use BackityMac to save all the databases to a disk image, and copy the disk image manually to the iPod.

I just need to do the backup regularly (famous last words…)

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