How To Set Up A Rotating Backup

When it comes to consulting for photographers, backup systems are one of the things I’m passionate about.  The double-whammy fear of technical complexity and expense keeps a lot of photographers from getting it right.

This is a companion article to my previous post, “RAID Won’t Save Your Ass.”  If you haven’t read that yet, go do so now.  It’s important for setting up your on-site backups.

A rotating backup takes care of your offsite needs.  You need offsite backup, because a fire or a thief will completely wipe out that backup safety blanket you’ve so carefully constructed.  

Setting up a rotating backup is easier than you think. Get two USB3 4TB drives (or whatever happens to be fast and large at the time you read this,) and use FreeFileSync to mirror your data out to the first drive. Put it in your car, or walk it to your neighbor’s house.  Leave it there.

Next, grab your other 4TB drive. Mirror your data to it just like you did the first one. Leave it on your desk. Next time you have a shoot, update that drive one last time, then take it out to your car or walk it to your neighbor’s. Pick up the drive that’s been there, and leave the one that was just updated. Take that other drive home, put it on your desk, and update it with all the latest changes. Keep it on your desk until your next major shoot, then do one last update, and rotate it out with the other drive. Rinse, repeat.

Sound simple?  It is.  And you’ve just implemented an offsite rotating backup.

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