3-2-1 Backup Philosophy

By on January 31st, 2011 in Backup

Updated: 2014-09-23

Admit it, you have heard you should be backing up your computer files. At some point in your experience with computers, you have probably lost an important document and thought “I should have probably been backing up my files.” There are a lot of reasons you could lose your data: data corruption, accidental deletion, theft, flooding, fire.

You probably thought it’s too much work or maybe you don’t know how to do it.  It’s not “if” you lose your files, it’s “when”. Backing up your files isn’t that tough though and there’s actually an excellent philosophy that you can live by. If you follow this philosophy, you can sleep tight at night knowing you will never lose your data.

It’s called 3-2-1 Backup.

3 copies

You should have three copies of your files. This typically means the copy on your main hard drive, a copy on an external hard drive in your house, and one copy online in the “cloud” or possibly on a hard drive in a safe deposit box or at a friend/relative’s house.

2 different media types

Have your data stored on a hard drive, thumb drive, online, etc.  This prevents different types of hazards.

1 offsite

Use an online backup service like CrashPlan or BackBlaze to automatically backup your files online as you create them. (For photos you could also use a photo sharing site like SmugMug or Flickr to backup your photos as well as share them online.) You could also keep a backup hard drive at your parent’s house (preferably several miles away from your house).

For more information on this backup philosophy and in-depth best practices, please visit dpBestflow.

From the first time that I used a computer at a very young age, I knew that this would be a huge part of my life. The computer allowed me to express myself in a way that nothing else could come close to. Computer graphics and web design opened up so many new and intriguing ways to tell the World about myself. Later, I would discover the immense joy of helping others with technology with the patience and enthusiasm that I give it myself.

Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @petebocken