Backing Up Your Online Data

The best technology executive I know used to regularly walk in my office and threaten to cut off my email, my Internet access or various appendages.   This was back in the bad old days when he had rolled out email to a startup, but he and I were two of the only folks who already had our lives in email.


Like every good coach says, this guy read his email, responded or ignored and went about his day.  I kept my email open all day, dragged items into folders that were nested two deep and seemed hell-bent on creating the best archive system for mundane and trivial corporate news in the world.

Stop snickering.  I don’t do that anymore.

In the spirit of honesty I have to say that I don’t do this anymore because Gmail now lets me search on anything I want.   I use some filters to sort out everyday email that doesn’t need to be read every day, but other than that, my Gmail box is one big repository.  Okay, Gmail boxes.  But I don’t catalog email anymore, and I clean out my inbox every time I visit so that it’s no longer a de facto task list. No 100 plus message inboxes for me.   After all, that’s what Gmail’s “Send and Archive” labs function is for.

But what would happen if I lost access to that email?  That’s when my pack rat sensibilities are most offended.  And that’s where a relatively new service called Backupify comes in.

The service, still free with no indication on the site that there will ever be a charge, promises to backup Gmail, Flickr and even lifestreaming sites like Twitter and Facebook.   The site has the story of someone who lost 200 photos when a friend quit Facebook, as well as other horrifying tales. I have to admit I wasn’t especially moved by someone who had lost their Twitter DMs, but everyone values something.

Unlike backing up your hard drive because it might fail, you’re not typically using Backupify to protect against Google suddenly losing every bit of Google Docs.  You’re still protecting yourself against  yourself–an accidental deletion, for example.  That makes perfect sense to me, and if you can trust yet another company with your information, Backupify seems a sound option against accidentally deleting or losing access to an account where the only storage was in the cloud.

Update: Thanks to Rob at Backupify who reminded me that I blew right past the Premium and Business level plans, which seem like pretty good deals.  Premium is only $40/year and allows 5 accounts per service and a monthly backup.  Business is only $60/year with more accounts and weekly updates.  Either sounds like a good deal if you need your data in the cloud backed up.  [That’s the “Are you sure you want to delete everything?” question we all sometimes race through]

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