Save it or weep

For decades, we have been reminded to back up our computers… but how many of us do it on a regular basis? Well, now you have no excuse: You can very simply back up your data passively — just set it up and go. Your data will be backed up over the internet, meaning that if something physically catastrophic (think flood, fire, theft) happened to your computer and old-style backup system (secondary hard drive, CDs/DVDs, home server), you will still have your files stored safely off-site.

No, the services aren’t free — but the moment you need such a backup, you get your money’s worth. (Your payment means the company in question has more accountability than they would if they were offering a free service.)

Back it all up

Here are five cloud/off-site data backup options for you to check out:

Backblaze — What we like: Supports unlimited file sizes, meaning your videos and movie can be backed up. Bonus: Easy to get going. To run a backup, you don’t need you to pick folders and filetypes.

Carbonite — What we like: You can access your backed-up files from any web browser, or from your iPad, iPhone or smartphone.

Livedrive — What we like: If you need to send a large file to anyone, it’s easy to share online with just a couple clicks — and you won’t be taking up lots of space in their email box, either. You can also listen to your backed-up music from web-enabled devices.

Jungle Disk — What we like: They offer real-time, automatic file sync between multiple computers.

CrashPlan — What we like: Multi-destination backups, so if something happened to your computer and to one of your backup locations, you’ll still be able to restore your data.

And this probably goes without saying, but for the security of your files, always be sure to use a strong password, and one that is uniquely for this data access.

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