Today’s Question: In follow-up to your comments on external backup, why can’t you consider a source such as Carbonite or some other cloud service? Is this a viable solution?
Tim’s Quick Answer: I absolutely consider cloud-based backup solutions to be an excellent supplement to an overall backup strategy. My key issue with online backup is that it should be used in addition to a local backup, rather than serving as an exclusive backup solution.
More Detail: One of the key elements of an optimal backup workflow is an offsite storage location. In general I prefer to have one backup stored conveniently in the same location as the original data, for faster recovery if anything goes wrong. However, I also prefer to have an additional backup stored in a separate physical location to provide better protection for your data.
An online backup solution obviously provides an excellent solution for having a backup copy of your photos and other data stored at a different physical location. However, a cloud backup solution involves data storage that you don’t control, which is why I prefer to treat cloud backup as a supplemental backup solution.
In other words, provided you are creating a backup copy of all of your photos and other data that you store locally (ideally with a copy stored at a separate physical location), I would absolutely encourage the use of a cloud-based backup solution. Besides providing an offsite backup solution, cloud-based backup also serves as an automatic backup that operates in the background.
A cloud-based backup solution such as Carbonite therefore provides a variety of benefits, and is therefore something that I encourage using as an additional (though not primary) element of your overall backup workflow.