Ok, when you live in a digital world as we do today, that comes with the need to have backups should something occur. After all, you want to be sure to save the thousands of photos taken of your cats and dogs in funny poses. (Cough, Cough…Brenda) At home I surely hope you have some sort of back up running and that is no different when you are on the road. But how, what, where, when? Let me try to help you in this case.
When traveling you only really have a few choices in backups, cloud storage and external storage such as a USB hard drive. But with cloud storage comes data use, and unless you are lucky enough to have an unlimited data plan, you need to be very careful of cloud storage. But with that said, you SHOULD have it.
“But Dave, what do I do when I only have my JetPack or Mi-Fi device? Then what?” As I just mentioned, USB storage. “But Dave, you mentioned to use Cloud Storage”. Why yes I did.
You see, if you use a service such as CrashPlan (the one we use) then you have the best of both worlds. When you are on the road, you connect a USB hard drive to your computer(s) and CrashPlan will use that. However, when it sees you are on a network, it will then also backup to the cloud for even safer backups of your important files. The best part…You can tell it NOT to back up to the cloud if connected to certain Wi-Fi’s like your JetPack. So that means, when you connect to an RV Park’s Wi-Fi, it will start to automatically backup to the cloud thus backing up anything that has not been backed up. Same holds true when you go home and connect to your home Wi-Fi, it will just start to backup. Nice.
Ok, but a BIG THING people do not think about is where they put that USB hard drive after they do a back up. Most will backup every few days or a week, depending on your needs, and then just pop the drive into a drawer until the next time they want to run a backup. While this makes it very convenient, it does nothing for you in case of theft or dare I say a fire. This is even more true if you full-time in your motorhome like we do and thus our entire life, photos, documents, etc are with us all the time. You have no “home” to also store them at. So what do you do?
We use a SentrySafe Fire Chest that is also rated for digital media and is also water tight. This means that your USB hard drive has a MUCH better chance at surviving a fire. But then also take the time to go one step further…Store it in the cargo bay.
Why store it in the cargo bay? Fire burns upwards and the cargo area, unless the fire started in there, usually burns last. As such, your data has the best chance of surviving. But remember, even if a total loss, you still may have all the files that made it up to the cloud when you connected to Wi-Fi as you travel around. As such, your memories will still be around. The above is the way WE do it. Surely their are many other ways it can be done. But bet you did not think about the storage part. :)
Side Note: If you think getting it out would be a hassle, have two USB Drives and rotate them. At least then you will always have the chance at saving most of your data up to the point of your last swap.
Here is a video I did talking about what I just said above. ;)