Backing up your digital assets with Google

A couple of years back I used to scoff at data backups. Like most people, I used to think data loss is what happens to others who are careless with their machines. But a motherboard crash, presumably due to a power surge, changed this for me.

Thankfully, my hard drive survived without issue, but for a couple of days when the laptop was being repaired, I had no clue if I would ever see my data (documents and pictures collected over almost a couple of decades). This one incident changed my outlook towards data backup and I started looking for options.

The first one I looked at was dear old Google and the combination of Google Drive and Google Photos looked a pretty decent combination. And till date, I have never had to look for another option.

The best part about Google is that you get 15 GB of storage space free. Also, you get to store unlimited photos and videos for free. (The only catch being photos can be a maximum of 16MP and videos can be of a maximum resolution of 1080p. Anything bigger would be downsized to the aforementioned sizes).

There was a offer in 2016 wherein on completing Google's security check you got an extra 2GB of storage free. So that brought my total storage space to 17GB. Quite a few years later, I am still at 6 GB out of 17 GB. So, Google's free offering should be good for most of us. Of course, more storage you can choose any of Google's paid plans.

The mobile apps can be found here (Drive) and here (Photos).
For the websites, go here (Drive) and here (Photos)

The website and mobile apps should be more than enough for most users who want to sync some important documents and photos they click on their mobiles. For those who want to sync folders from their computers, there exists a more sophisticated option, in the form of a desktop app. Some time back Google combined the Google Drive and Google Photos desktop apps to one combined app and started calling it Backup and Sync.

The desktop app is pretty intuitive and lets you choose which folders to backup and sync. The settings screen looks a bit like this.

Yes, I am storing 89.2GB worth of photos on Google Photos for free!! Beat that!

Google Drive allows you access to all your files on all devices, and any change made to the files is synced across devices. Same is the case with Google Photos. And Google Photos is loaded with features that make it a must have, especially if you take a lot of photos. (post the kid, I definitely am taking a lot more photos :) ) More on why I think Google Photos is one of the must-have apps on another post.

In the mean time, if you aren't backing up your digital data yet, do so right away! At the very least, having important documents like your PAN, Aadhaar, passport and such on the cloud, ensures that you have a digital copy handy at all times. And more importantly, there is a backup in case you lose the physical copy.

This article should help you go about setting up Backup and Sync on your desktop.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.