Online data backup

I tried for a long time to work out the best way to save my data. I was terrified that I would turn my computer on one morning and hear it implode (it happened to me once) and lose the latest projects I had been working on, with deadlines looming, or walk into my office and find it emptied of all its content. I copied my files on several CDs, which started forming a precarious pile in a corner, as I have approximately 3Gb of data that I wouldn’t want to lose. These backups were far from being regular, and didn’t really solve the immediate problem of safeguarding all my work, including my latest documents.
I also thought about buying an external hard drive, but there was little point in it living next to my computer: in the eventuality of a burglary, the thieves would no doubt take all the equipment they could. I couldn’t really imagine carrying it around with me, as these things are fragile and, frankly, it would have been a bit of a pain.
So in the end, I decided to backup my data online. I settled for backupdirect, because when I compared their services to other providers, it seemed to me that they offered good value for money (4Gb for £20 a month). It’s proved incredibly convenient. Every time I shut my computer down, all my data is incrementally backed up on an external server, meaning that my hard drive is scanned and that only the files that have been changed or added since the last backup are saved, so it only takes a few minutes. I can access my data from any computer, which is very handy: two weeks ago, I was working in a client’s office when I got a call from another client asking me something about a translation I had sent them the day before. I was able to access the document there and then and to answer my client’s question. It’s easy, convenient and it gives me peace of mind. Burglars? Breakdowns? Pah!
(Read my policy on advertising products on my blog.)
NaNoWriMo wordcount: 21,186

By | 2016-10-18T15:50:40+00:00 November 15th, 2005|Technical corner, Translator's tools|5 Comments

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.


  1. Lee November 15, 2005 at 10:35 pm

    Is it compatible with the Mac? Or just Windoze?

  2. Ann November 16, 2005 at 9:17 pm

    Céline thank you once again for a useful idea – as a fellow translator I have found several from your blog! Just one potential problem I can see about this sort of remote backup: confidentiality. How much risk is there that confidential information info could go astray?

  3. Bruno November 18, 2005 at 1:47 pm

    Backing up her files to a remote location is a wise decision on Celine’s part, but of course, there is an inherent risk in using any such technology. In my opinion, the best way to address it is by the use of encryption tools, which nowadays tend to be more and more suited to end users. Via a search engine, you can find plenty of them on the web (but no, sorry, I won’t recommend any of them in particular). Usually you just crypt the files before leaving your session, and erase the plain text versions… This way, when you stop your computer and the backup begins, the only versions available to the backup program are the encrypted ones. It’s not completely transparent, as you have to remember to do it, but in certain cases it may well be worth the burden if you work on sensitive files…

  4. Jez November 19, 2005 at 7:36 pm

    What about an external hard drive that you keep in a safe place? I’m backing up my entire CD collection that way.

  5. céline November 22, 2005 at 12:11 pm

    Jez, I would have to carry it around to keep it safe and I don’t want to, that’s the problem.

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