Have an Offsite Backup of Your Data

It’s a good idea to have a bug out bag in case there’s an emergency such as a house fire where you have to evacuate immediately. For the same reason it’s a good idea to have an offsite backup of your important data. You don’t want to be the guy who has to run into a burning building to save the only copy of his novel:

A fire inside a blighted house in Broadmoor quickly spread to a nearby multiplex Thursday, sending residents rushing to safety and one — a novelist worried about losing his life’s work — back inside to save his laptop.


Gideon Hodge, 35, describes himself as a playwright, novelist and actor. When his fiancée told him that their apartment was on fire, he left work in Mid-City and rushed to the scene. That’s when he realized that his only copies of two completed novels were on a laptop inside.

Clad in a T-shirt that said #photobomb next to an illustration of the Joker photobombing Batman and Robin, Hodge dashed into the building. He ran past the smoke and the firefighters yelling at him to stop and managed to grab the precious laptop.

I backup my important data to Amazon Glacier with Arq. What I like about Amazon Glacier is the price: $0.007 per gigabyte in the Ireland region. What I like about Arq is that it encrypts the data before uploading it Amazon Glacier.

Amazon Glacier starts costing you real money when you want to retrieve your backups. But that’s a price I’m willing to pay because the chances of me needing those offsite backups is slim so I don’t want to pay a sizable storage fee. In addition to having cheap storage, Amazon Glacier also allows me to select the region I backup to. You probably noticed that I mentioned the Ireland region. Your offsite backups should be geographically separated from you. An earthquake that takes out your home could also take out nearby data centers. If your offsite is stored in a nearby data center you might lose both your local and offsite backups. Few things short of full scale nuclear war are likely to wipe out both my local and offsite backups and if something that bad happens I don’t think my data will be terribly important to me.

If you’re prepared enough to assemble a bug out bag you should also setup an offsite backup plane as part of your disaster preparedness.

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