How to Back Up and Sync Your Photos

How To  /  Things Organized
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A simple, smart plan to keep your photo library secure

By David Carrington

Given how important our photos are to us, given how often we’re told that we absolutely need to back them up, given how relatively inexpensive storage is, you’d think everyone would have taken care of this by now. But the numbers tell a different story: According to a 2019 analysis conducted by Backblaze, a computer backup and cloud storage company, 20 percent of those surveyed had never backed-up their computer, while 25 percent only back-up on a yearly basis. At the same time, another report found that a full 65 percent of consumers or their immediate family had lost data from a computer or mobile device. Ouch.

Losing your data is easy—your phone breaks, your camera roll stops syncing, your home is hit by a disaster—but backing up your digital photos, and synching  them, is easy, too. And it’s a process that gets even easier when you’re using the right workflow. Below, the basics.

Digital Back Ups: Location Matters

The key to thinking about your photo backup is location, location, location. Literally, three locations. The first is your central location, where the original copies go before they are synced or shared to your backup locations. Your computer is probably your central location. Your first backup location connects to your central location regularly—like an external hard drive you keep on your desk.

The second backup location should not be in your home. It could be a portable hard drive that, for instance, you keep in a safe deposit box or at a relative’s house and update quarterly. (A recent review by the authoritative site Wirecutter named the Seagate Backup Plus Slim the best portable hard drive.) Many people find it more convenient to set up a cloud-based service to automatically copy as originals are added. In June 2020, Wirecutter selected Backblaze as the best online backup service, with iDrive coming in as runner-up.

Mylio’s Back-Up Solution: The One-Two Punch

You can also use Mylio to simplify and streamline your backup process and your syncing process. Mylio connects all your devices directly over a local network, which works even without the Internet. It also doesn’t rely on the cloud, though you can backup to a cloud if you want to. So if your Internet goes out, you’re still covered. The other helpful factor is that Mylio is device- agnostic, which allows you to use it whether you’re on a Mac or a PC—or both. (This article offers more detail about how Mylio handles your backups.)

Phones get lost, dropped, crushed, and stolen, while computers are subject to meltdowns and fatal errors of their own. And memories, of course, are fragile, subject to the winds and whims of time. Which is what makes our photos—especially those that preserve and pass down our most important moments—the objects most worth saving. And today, keeping them safe has never been easier.