Today I'd like to talk to you about... backing up. I don't just mean connecting an external hard drive to your laptop and transferring all your files over. I'm talking 'bout backing up the cloud.
Has the thought of losing all your Gmail emails, Google documents, Flickr photos and tweets scare you? You may think storing everything online will make you immune to data loss, but that's not often the case. Lifehacker's done a terrific round-up of helpful free services, but here are the best:
Services like Dan Benjamin's FlickrTouchr script and the Java-based FlickrEdit will help you download all the Flickr photos in their original size, with the last one letting you download your contacts' photos too if you wish.
There's a plethora of back-up tools for your POP-supporting email accounts, or you can simply use your PC or Mac's Outlook/Mail programs to download your whole email history. If paying a couple of dollars each month doesn't faze you, BackupMyMail works with Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo accounts.
The average Twitter user doesn't have much use for backing up all their tweets, but what if your account tweets haikus about the day's trending topics, or something equally "valuable"? Only 3200 tweets are available for download, so if you've made more than that it makes sense to back up for posterity's sake. Backup My Tweets downloads them in HTML, PDF or JSON formats, in exchange for a tweet about the service.
Facebook users can try out Social Safe for $US3, which backs up photos (both yours and others who've tagged you) and friends lists, but sadly not messages or comments. If you know of a better Facebook tool - preferably free - do let us know.
Alternatively, you may be wanting to store your desktop data in the cloud for the first time, but don't know where to start. Let us remind you of CrashPlan for Windows, Mac and Linux users, which costs $US4.50 a month; Mozy which will give you 2GB a month for free, or $US4.95 a month for unlimited; or Dropbox which is a little more pricey at $US9.99 each month for 50GB of storage.
Have we missed your favourite storage/back-up service? Let us know in the comments what you use. [Lifehacker]
Image Credit: Kevin Dooley